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Inner Peace: The power of affirmation

Today is a new day. I welcome new ideas, thoughts, feelings, people and opportunities that are positive and life affirming!

One of the most powerful and practical tools I know of, for self-healing and inner transformation, is the use of positive affirmations. I think we can all agree: that the thoughts, feelings and beliefs we have about ourselves and others play a significant role in our experiences.

With the use of affirmations we become alchemists, transforming, “No one ever listens to me” into “I am worthy and people value my thoughts and ideas.” With this process, we spiritually turn lead into gold.

Often times, negative self-talk and the beliefs that perpetuate it, happen just below the surface of our awareness. The first step toward using positive affirmations is to become more conscious of our thinking patterns. What are these thoughts? What beliefs drive them and how do they influence my feelings, actions and behavior?

My first encounter with affirmations came from Louise Hay, author of numerous books on self-healing, and who I call the affirmation guru. My roommate had Louise Hay’s “Power Thought Cards” and we kept them on the fireplace mantel, where we also kept special stones, feathers, pine cones, Doreen Virtue’s Angel Cards and a piece of the aromatic wood, Paulo Santo.

In times when I felt inwardly conflicted and unsettled, I would sit in front of our fireplace altar, light a candle and draw an affirmation card from the deck. One of my favorites is, “The point of power is always in the present moment.”

Louise Hay writes in her book, "You Can Heal Your Life," “The universe totally supports us in every thought we choose to think and believe. What you choose to think about yourself and about your life becomes true for you.” So, why not choose to tell ourselves a new story, a better story, where we are not just a victim of circumstance but powerful co-creators?

Eventually, I started writing my own affirmations on little pieces of decorative stationery, “I listen to the needs and requests of my body. I have the discipline to make healthy choices,” and “I have the diligence and insight to take actions that move me in alignment with my heart and spirit.”

Ideally, affirmations are repeated first thing in the morning and before going to bed at night. But, even the act of writing them can be insightful and healing! Your affirmations can be memorized or written on the mirror, or placed anywhere where they can be frequently seen (I like to keep mine paper-clipped together, next to my bedside).

To keep things current and fresh, it is always good to write new affirmations that meet you in the moment and, if appropriate, let go of the previous ones. The way affirmations are worded is important. Instead of, “I have wealth and abundance surrounds me,” you could write, “I feel and appreciate all the wealth and abundance in my life.” Because, more often than not, all that is required to feel more joyous is to recognize and appreciate the good that is already there.

When I find myself complaining, feeling “blocked,” judgmental or upset with others (or myself) I return to my affirmations. I read them aloud to myself — affirming, “I graciously support and accept others for where they are without judgment or critique” or “I am at peace with myself.” As I speak these words, I soften. I am watering and nurturing this thought; it takes root and becomes a sprout of truth.

Diane currently works as a caregiver in Ashland. Rogue Valley residents are invited to send articles on all aspects of inner peace to Sally McKirgan at innerpeaceforyou@live.com.