I found this great article by Katheryn Hoban and wanted to share it with my readers. Enjoy!
In my years of teaching and counseling I have come to the conclusion that many people are unsure of what affirmations are, how to use them, what great tools they can be, or what good benefits can be manifested by working with affirmations in both children and adults. In the simplest form an affirmation is a statement of a positive effect, result, or of a future event that you would like to achieve. Usually an affirmation is stated in the present moment and in positive verbiage and wordage. For an example “ I can do this” as opposed to “I’d like to do this” or “I’m going to do this.” The sentence “ I can do this” is set in the present moment and it implies confidence in one’s ability to accomplish the task and an immediacy to take action. The statement “ I’d like to do this.” Implies that it is not quite possible but you are yearning to do it but (something out of your control) is preventing that. “I’m going to do this” implies sometime in the future when all the conditions are right. In that case we can make an assumption that the conditions will never be right.
To effectively work and create affirmations for yourself or child it is better to create patterns of repetition in saying the phrase out loud many times per day if need be, or weekly and using a creative visualization technique to anchor the effects of the affirmation in your mind and your body. For an example if you wish to give up smoking. The best way to phrase the affirmation would be “I’m smoke free.” “I enjoy being smoke free.” “ I enjoy being a non-smoker.”
In these examples you would repeat the affirmations and design a creative visualization (of events in the future but seen in present moment time) of you being a fulfilled non-smoker. You could imagine yourself doing an activity and feeling free and joyful that you are without a cigarette. You could imagine that you are visiting with children who previously were reluctant to spend time with you because of your smoking and how much you enjoy that visit. You could imagine that you feel the breath in your lungs very different and that you can actually breathe freely.
In working with children, repetition is a key. You can make it into a game of movement and imagination that children love. The affirmations can be repeated together and new images or visualizations can be incorporated into the game. For instance, I use an affirmation with children that is very powerful and fun and it creates a strong visual image for them. “I stomp out sickness.” When we are in a circle we stomp our feet on the ground and pretend that we are stomping sickness into the earth. They enjoy games and imagery like this immensely and it creates effective anchors.
For adults too the same sort of movement can be used to create an anchor. You interrupt a pattern of stagnation with the new movement. For instance, if you threw your arms up into the air and then out in front of you in a big sweeping gesture, and then said an affirmation such as “I’m free!” “Big pathways are opening up for me!!” You would immediately feel the vibrancy and the expansion of that affirmation. An anchor of thought and the physical action would then be created in your mind. Every time that you said that affirmation, and did that gesture of the big sweeping arm movements a thought of freedom and lightness would be interpreted into your brain. You would begin to feel the joy associated with that movement and those words.
On repeating the affirmations, a new pattern of hope, expectancy and action would be created for future moments to unfold. Of course you don’t have to make a big physical gesture to interrupt the pattern of thought. However when you can add physical movements, gestures or sounds, the affirmation becomes more effective and can promote a transformation more quickly. If you can picture in your mind the thing that you want to achieve, as if it is already done, and you are feeling wonderful about receiving it, that combined with the affirmation is a very effective tool of change.
Let’s look at some affirmations. “I’m easily and effortlessly attracting the right business contacts to promote my work.” If you imagined in your mind; the smiles, the handshakes and the business meeting going very well and the ultimate picture of you receiving the benefits of new business and the achieving the results that you want and need every time that you said that affirmation, you begin to attract what you are confirming to the universe.
“I am fearless.” If you said this out loud it would be very effective to raise your voice and emphasis the word fearless. If you raised your hand in a strong gesture it further anchors the strength and courage that you feel in your body. The visual image that may go along with “I am fearless,” could be seeing yourself confronting a strong adversary and you looking right into his or her eyes and feeling in your heart that you are too strong to cower, and that you are planted firmly to the Earth.
“I can do this easily and effortlessly.” Imagine yourself in the zone so to speak where you barely make any effort at all and everything falls into place. Feel in your body and heart, how joyful, casual and confident you are about everything coming quickly together for you. Use an example in your past successes when something came together just as easily and remember how happy and light you felt when it did.
“I am the perfect weight for me.” Instead of focusing on how much weight you wish to lose, which implies that you are not perfect as you are, focus on how it would feel to fit into the size jeans that you always wanted to fit into. Also focus on how good it would feel in your slim clothing and seeing yourself in the mirror at the weight that your body looks absolutely fabulous in. See yourself very energized with your newly trim fit body, and how then you would act, walk, run, play and enjoy yourself.
Affirmations are best spoken out loud; the vibrations of the spoken positive expression are impactful to your psyche or a child’s. They are also best repeated until a new pattern is created. Create your own affirmations, or read from a book of affirmations, or listen to affirmations on tapes or CD’s. Keep revisiting these affirmations daily. Affirmations build confidence, help you to overcome low self-esteem, create balance, and space, helps you to get past feelings of guilt, and condemnation, clears obstacles, or limitations, create new patterns of health and well-being, and may produce feelings of prosperity and abundance. Of course Affirmations are not a cure-all, but they are very powerful and effective tools for you and your child to transform a challenging area in life. Every time that you say an affirmation with conviction you are creating a new unfolding moment to engage in a new fulfilled, balance, healthy, or abundant way of being.
Katheryn Hoban is a certified yoga teacher and Reiki Master teacher with 10 years of experience. She has created two CD on affirmations. (Affirmations for Children and Teens and Affirmations for Adults.)
She can be reached at PO Box 7564 North Bergen, NJ 07047 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can purchase each CD for $10 + 2.00 shipping and handling or with paypal.
Wholesale prices are also available for a minimum purchase of 10 CD’s @$4.00 per CD plus $1.00 shipping ($50.00). Paypal is also an acceptable form of payment.