Affirmation: I carefully choose my words.
The May/June 2015 Issue of Where to Retire had an article about things recommended to help oneself develop habits to improve the quality of one’s life. One of the suggestions was to “create affirmations.” The example they used revolved around the discipline of daily exercise. Now, everyone knows that a body needs to move in order to stay healthy. There are some that say exercise is “the fountain of youth” and others have said that if there were a way to bottle all the benefits and turn them into pill form, it would be like an “elixir of the gods.” Knowing and doing, however, are two very different things. What guidance could the article offer to get people more involved in exercise? I was pleased to see their approach was to reframe what one said to oneself about his or her activity. According to the article, if you tell yourself you’re a swimmer, runner, walker, tennis player, golfer, etc. you will be more likely to actively pursue that activity. Not only will you be telling yourself, you’ll probably use those same words to describe yourself to others. It’s the process of labeling ourselves and don’t we do that all the time, with or without intention and sometimes to our detriment, not to our benefit?
The sub-title of my book, Creating Positive Affirmations is, Living an Intentional Life. I believe with my whole heart and mind that what we choose to say to ourselves affects every aspect of our being, all the way to our cellular structure. When we choose those words and phrases that nurture and empower us, our whole being responds to them. It’s no different when we choose to degrade and demean ourselves. My husband, Sandy, is always reminding people to be compassionate with themselves. He reminds them that we are usually our own worst enemy. We can treat ourselves harder than we would treat even an enemy, no less a friend. We filet ourselves over something we did or said over and over whereas we have already forgiven and probably forgotten something someone else mistakenly did.
I’m not speaking here of becoming narcissistic. We aren’t here to live lives of conceit and contempt. We are here to be powerful through humility and service. One way to achieve that balance is to carefully choose your language. Louise Hay has been guiding us to powerful words and phrases for decades. Norman Vincent Peale wrote about “positive thinking.” It’s no different than exercise. It’s a simple concept but it can be hard to put it into practice but once you do; once you start to see the amazing uplifting impact it has on your life, you won’t want to live any other way.
That’s why I began writing this blog. It was because I felt I had discovered the best “shoe store in the world.” These shoes were so good looking and you could wear them forever and they would never hurt and they were on sale!” That’s how I felt about discovering positive affirmations. My life shifted. My mood shifted. My health and my relationships became better. I felt I had an obligation to share this tool with others. I know not everyone is interested in what I have to say but I don’t really care. I’m so excited about how this skill has made me feel, I need to shout about it.
I have a dear friend who once told me she has “a healing body.” She’s had several serious ailments that she has overcome and she truly believes that her body likes to heal. Now, I know it can be foolish to not seek help when one is ill. I don’t believe in denial but I can tell you from experience that if you believe your body is supporting you in your efforts to heal, you will heal. You may not be cured of all that is affecting you but healing will definitely take place. I’ve watched many friends go into life threatening illnesses with attitudes of powerful warriors and been amazed by the outcome of their battle. Inspired would be a better word. So many have overcome and for those that didn’t, their strength and courage brought their world to a whole better place.
Sixty Minutes did a special segment in March of 2015, on the latest successful research being done at the Robert Tish Brain Tumor Center at Duke Hospital. Dr. Mattias Gromeief has been modifying the polio vaccine and injecting it into tumors. He’s been working on it for over twenty-five years. The tumor dies. The center has been using the virus to successfully treat glioblastomas, an up until now always terminal brain tumor. Sandy and I know a lot about this since both his father, Joe Costa and my father, Frank Grolimund died from a “glio.” The TV special interviewed two people who were completely cured. It was a miracle! They also interviewed people who were part of the clinical study who died because of not yet knowing the correct dose of the virus to administer. They were all brave battle ready warriors. Their strength and courage lifted all in their story to new heights and hopes.
Words! What words do you choose to label yourself with? My daughter, Melissa, has given me several very meaningful gifts. She had a tote bag and a shirt made for me that said, “Happy is a habit” and this Christmas I received a teapot hand decorated with the phrase, “I am a bold adventuress.” I can as easily fall into, go down into those places of despair, sadness and self pity as the next person but I have discovered that I can also recognize what I’m doing, thinking and saying and with some effort and practice, I can turn those phrases around and choose to create not just sentences that sound cheery and upbeat but a life that is rich and meaningful and marvelous. And, who among us would not want to share those tools with others? Who does not want to help the world to a better place? Who doesn’t want a cheap pair of the nicest, most comfortable “shoes” ever?