Jean Anne Costa
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Celebrating

Affirmation:  I celebrate my accomplishments and my disappointments.
One of my affirmations used to be: I celebrate my accomplishments and let go of my disappointments.  It sounds good, don’t you think?  But, then I went to a lecture about Enneagrams.   I found that I was someone who mainly looked at the upside of things.  I didn’t like focusing on the things that weren’t too pleasant.  It didn’t take long to realize how right they were.  I remember thinking how lucky I was that the radiation treatments I received for breast cancer were taking place in the spring.  Why, you might ask?  Well, I live in a part of the country that is breathtakingly beautiful during the spring.  The Dogwood trees alone would be enough to decorate the landscape but we also have Red buds and Azaleas and Forsythia and bulbs galore.  It has never ceased to amaze me how beautiful it is here in the Spring.  I mentioned this to someone once, about being glad my drive to radiation was during the Spring.  They told me they thought I’d find a reason to be grateful for the drive regardless of the season.  Oh, yes, that’s my mode: find a way to give things a positive spin.  I guess that’s why this blog is called Creating Positive Affirmations.  But, after that workshop, I changed my affirmation.  Now I write: I celebrate my accomplishments and my disappointments.  I don’t want to miss or dismiss any of my life.  I want to embrace all the experiences.  I mean, all of them have had a direct impact on who I am, what I value and what I want the future to be like.  Without valuing the disappointments, how will I fully appreciate the accomplishments?

Sexy

Affirmation:  I am Sexy.
This week there was an article in USA Today that talked about a study done to help women increase their sexual desire.  Yes, I know, many of you are probably asking who would even want to have an increase in desire; just leave me alone!  But, obviously, there are many many women, because this study involved several hundred of them.  As in most studies there was a control group.  This group was told they were taking a “magic” elixir which would do all they would hope it would do.  It was a placebo.  Can you guess what happened?  Most of these women had a definite increase in their level of desire.  This study took place over several months and their levels did not decrease.  I don’t know if they were ever told it was a placebo and for all I know they are all still out there enjoying themselves without knowing  it’s all in their minds.  What else is just in our minds?  What else can we change to our benefit by simply believing it is true?  That’s the purpose and secret of positive affirmations; say it as if it already is; believe it as if it’s already true.  Fake it until you make it!  It’s without a doubt a great way to live your life.  Sexy?  Well, if that’s one of your intentions, go for it.  If hundreds of women can feel that way by simply taking a sugar pill, certainly it’s available to those of us who simply choose to believe it to be true.

Love

Affirmation:  (1) My life is Joy filled, Miracles occur, Love surrounds me and permeates every aspect of my existence.  (2) I am fully open to love, both human and divine.
Actually, this title could be “Loving Oneself.”  How many women do you know who would say they love themselves?  It seems to me, that most women have a lot of difficultly valuing themselves.  Most of the discussions I have with my friends are about ways to increase our self esteems especially as we grow older.  In one of the books I read the author said she was great at giving out love, but realized quite late in life, that she didn’t readily accept love.  I remember once saying to a friend that when I received compliments, affection from people who liked me, I had a tendency to discount the comment.  Her tongue-in-cheek response was, “Sure, don’t take to heart the things people say who love you.  It’s much better to listen to those who don’t like you.”  And, then there was the comment about how my reaction was like a slap in the face to the person talking to me.  It was like saying, “You are so stupid!  What do you know?”  So, those two comments offered me a lot to think about.  I decided it was OK, healthy to accept the love offered to me.  I am so lucky to have people in my life who do love me.  And, then too, I realized I also have beings not of this world who must love me.  I am sure my deceased father and grandparents love me.  I am sure there are other guides and Angels who deeply love me.  And, my faith tells me that God loves me, that God is love.  So, I have focused several of my affirmations around self-love.  (1) My life is Joy filled, Miracles occur, Love surrounds me and permeates every aspect of my existence.  (2) I am fully open to love, both human and divine.  The truth is, until I full accept the love that is available to me, I will never be able to love the way I really want to: without judgement, unconditionally and non-grasping.

Resilience

Affirmation:  I invite God’s divine healing light into my mind, body and spirit; creating a state of total well being.
Several months ago, I visited my Chiropractor and our discussion turned to healing one’s self. She spoke to me about how the beliefs we have concerning our health have a direct impact on our state of well being, or ill being.  She and her assistant have a practice they use to make life changes.  She explained that not only did she find a phrase or sentence to affirm the change, but they also took time to visualize it.  I left with a new found sense of power.  I had been struggling for years with a sore hip and here I was being told, I could change that by thinking differently about it.  I’ve been practicing affirmations for years but truth to tell, I never thought about re-framing the ache in my hip.  Then, I was led to re-read John Sarno’s book: Healing Back Pain.  There it was again, the same message.  How you think about your body, your health, has a direct effect on its state.  At one point in the book, he says that you either believe the theory or you embrace it simply because you’re so desperate for relief.  I happen to fall into the first category. I know one must be careful believing we are fully responsible for everything that happens to us. It can lead to a blame the victim mentality. But, I choose to think I am responsible for almost everything that happens to me.  However, sometimes forces beyond our control overcome our best intentions. It makes me feel better.  Then, just the other day, I read where people who think of themselves as resilient have fewer health problems.  I wonder if they have fewer problems all together?  But, the message was clear.  How you think has a direct impact on how you feel.  Affirmation:  “I invite God’s divine healing light into my mind, body and spirit; creating a state of total well being.”  If that’s too long, try this one:  “I will not allow my brain to cause my body pain.”

Categories

Affirmations can be divided into categories. How do you see your life? Do you think of it in terms of God, family and work? Maybe you think of it in terms of relationships, career and social? How about spiritual, physical and material? Some days, I divide my life into mind, body and spirit. Yes, some days. But however I divide up the affirmations, one aspect is always true. They are all about me. Most of my affirmations begin with the word “I.” Even when the focus is about relationships, they revolve around what I am trying to affirm with regard to MY relationships. Perhaps, it’s about valuing my friends, loving a difficult person, listening compassionately or giving generously of my time and talent. Maybe the affirmation is all about love: “I love unconditionally, non-judgmentally and non-graspingly.”  Yes, I’m working on improving the quality of my relationships but the focus is on me. And, isn’t that OK? It begins with me. If I can change myself for the better, won’t that help others? If you did the same thing, how would that change the world or at least your world?

Faith or Fear

Affirmation:  I let go of fear, anxiety and shame.
I recall the first time I heard the phrase; Faith or fear.  It was in a sermon at a church I was visiting.  It was one of those moments when I felt the light go on.  I knew exactly what he was talking about.  I had a choice.  How was I going to live my life?  Well, I decided right then and there, I was not going to have my life’s choices dictated by fear.  And, I have been deciding that every day, ever since.  I have had to make it a meditation.  Deciding was the easy part; making the choice, putting it into practice, well, that’s a whole other story.  I am a cancer survivor.  One of my physicians graciously told me that the cancer wasn’t anything I did or didn’t do; it was a “random act of violence.”  In one way, that gave me a lot of comfort.  I didn’t need to find blame either within or without but it meant that I was vulnerable to the whims of the world and with that thought, I found I felt unsafe.  It left me fearful.  I wondered what else was going on inside my body that I was totally unaware of?  And, I was afraid.  Once again, I was faced with finding a way to live with Faith and to let go of the fear.  That’s where my original affirmation about fear came from:  “I let go of fear, anxiety and shame.”  It’s evolved over the years.  I not only focus on the letting go of those emotions that don’t serve me; I now focus on strengthening my Faith.  I have several affirmations that I say to increase my sense of well-being; to make me believe that no matter what is happening, I am alright because my Faith is strong and helping me stay in a good place.

Negatives

When creating an affirmation avoid the word “not.”  Why?  It won’t work to your benefit; it may even work to your detriment.  There are some phrases you can use instead of enlisting the negative.  For example:  “I release” or “I let go of.”  Two of my affirmations using those phrases are:  “I let go of fear, anxiety and shame.” and “I release myself from my childhood limitations.”  I’m sure you can come up with some others.  Give it a try.  It’s simply more effective than saying: “I will not let fear, anxiety and shame influence my life.”  Can you hear the difference?  Can you feel the difference?  What are some things in your life you’d like to let go of, or release?  Make a list, choose one or two that seem the most relevant and give it a try.  Write them down, write them every day, post them on your bathroom mirror, by your doorway, on your computer and wait!  Wait for the conscious to create your desires in your unconscious and into your life.

Emotions

When creating an affirmation, it is helpful to use words that resonate deeply with you.  Try out some of the words; see if they cause a visceral reaction.  I sometimes write out the affirmation without too much thought and then take time to fine tune it.  Recently, I’ve been working on the concept of staying connected to the Divine.  I believe that we are spirit having a human experience and that with awareness and quiet, we can connect to God’s Divine Grace.  You can define that any way you like.  But, I believe it’s available to us and can lead us to a peace beyond that of human comprehension.  So, one of my affirmations is: “When I pray and meditate, I enter into union with the Divine; miracles are created and without struggle, manifest.  I love the words: Divine, miracles and without struggle.”  When I hear them, I think “hope.”  I have found that I now spend more time in prayer, more time in silence, Miracles?  Oh, yes, they have manifested.  Is it because I am paying more attention, waiting for them to appear or is it because they have multiplied because of my time spent with Spirit?  Do I really care why? Would you?

Definition

What exactly is an affirmation?  What does it look like?  How should it sound?  What phrases work, which ones don’t?  An affirmation is a statement that affirms, make firm, that which you believe.  You can have positive or negative affirmations.  Most of us have lived our lives telling ourselves about our faults.  We also rarely hesitate to tell others about our faults.  For example, someone may compliment your outfit.  What is your normal response?  Or perhaps, they tell you what a wonderful job you did on a project. What do you say when that happens?  Can you imagine saying something like: “Thank you, I did do a great job, didn’t I?”  Well, certainly you don’t have to say it out loud, but perhaps you could start saying it to yourself  and you don’t need to wait for someone to compliment you, you can begin saying it right now.  ” I really do a great job.”  For today, find one thing you want to feel good about and form a very short positive statement complimenting yourself.  Write it down anywhere you like and carry it with you.  Say it to yourself a few times each day and see what develops.  Remember, the first change takes place in the spirit, then in the mind and the last place to accept  the new reality, is the body.

Noticing

Today is your day to simply NOTICE.  To watch your self-talk and to make note of what you’re telling yourself.  It’s also helpful to notice your emotional state.  Sometimes, our emotions kick in and we’re not even aware of why.  What just happened that you reacted to and what are you saying to yourself at that moment?  What are you telling yourself when you’ve moved away from the situation?
Recently, I went for my first training session with a young man at my gym.  He seemed to be in quite a hurry.  He called me “sweetie” and at the end of a half hour, he indicated that we were done.  That was all I got for “free.”  He needed “to make a living.”  I didn’t expect the session to be free.  I actually thought I was buying an hour of time to fine-tune my workout.  When he walked away, I couldn’t tell you what I was feeling, but I knew what had just taken place didn’t feel good.  I waited a while and noticed it was my inclination to just let the whole episode go.  Why would I do that?  Because my self-talk over the years has been that I don’t like conflict.  I have also told myself that, I am not an assertive person.  Oh, yes, there have been many many incidents when I felt almost abused, but I didn’t fully recognize it at the moment and I didn’t feel empowered enough to stand up for myself.  One of my affirmations is: “I stand in my power.”  Another is:  “I am worthy, I am valuable, I am lovable.”  So, this time, I recognized that I had been badly treated and since I now tell myself that I am powerful and worthy, I went and spoke to him.  We resolved the issue which revolved around some mis-communication and he won’t be calling me “sweetie” any longer.