As a lifelong poet and songwriter, I craft and use tight, vivid affirmations both to help clear stresses and problems in myself, and to manifest better outcomes in life. I'm a survivor of pretty serious caregiver trauma, so there is at times for me a rather narrow calm state between anxiety and over-excited anticipation. Like, either too worried or too wired.
Affirmations help me a lot to manage this moderate "disregulation." I tailor and use them with my clients as well. And from time to time, people have asked me to share some of these more broadly. So I'll include a few here.
There are two primary ways in which I work with affirmations. One is high tech, and the other low tech, no tech--or maybe spiritual tech. The high tech version involves recorded auto-suggestion while drowsy or sleeping. I'll explain the process of setting that up in another blog.
The Spirit Tech Version
This is very simple and harnesses the power of breath. I create short, focused two or four line poems and repeat the first line on OutBreath One (or InBreath One, start either way), the second line on OutBreath Two, and so on if it's a four liner. The idea is to synchronize the lines with your breathing while calming yourself down, or already in a meditative state.
On the OutBreaths, I visualize sending the reality depicted in the line out to manifest in my world. On the InBreaths, I'm taking reality of the line into my body and being so that I can acknowledge and live it. So for example, a very simple affirmation for health and well-being goes like this.
I'm safe (OutBreath One)
well (InBreath One)
happy (OutBreath Two)
and loved (InBreath Two)
or I might, since the lines are very short, do it over just one breath cycle, as in
I'm safe, well (OutBreath One)
Happy, and loved (InBreath One)
As I share a few more generally useful ones below, remember please, they are designed to be used with the breath. You don't have to--but trust me, it works better.
Avoiding Entrepreneurial Overwhelm--
The Boss-Worker Split
It's become the "gig-economy" these days, so even if you don't have your own small business or healing practice, you can be saddled with branding, selling, and managing yourself over the long term. I was securely employed for 7 years at Columbia University, and 10 at Music Together in Princeton. So I remember what it was like to just be a more peaceful, but productive "pair of hands," so to speak. Just do the best I could, and not sweat at all about the bigger picture.
So I create as best I can now two quasi-distinct personality parts. The "boss" (not Springsteen) plans and watches money, deadlines, and such. But the "worker" part of me has a very different job. He stays away from all this and remains calm, productive, and engaged in sufficient self care. I could keep this very beneficial disassociation going without this affirmation.
You know I just work here (InBreath One)
And put in good hours (OutBreath One)
The outcomes are up to (InBreath Two)
Benign higher powers (OutBreath Two)
Sometimes I substitute "divine" for "benign." Actually, you can use this in much broader ways to be very invested in what you do, but more detached from the results.
Training Yourself to
Keep a Positive Outlook
We humans as a species have inherited a tendency to look for trouble or danger. It's a characteristic built in to our nervous system that has valid evolutionary roots, but doesn't serve us the same way in a safer world. Oh, or maybe that world is getting less safe now both in terms of weather, politics, and finances. Anyway, this affirmation is a very important one I use regularly.
I look for the good things (InBreath One)
Coming today (OutBreath One)
And enjoy more and more (InBreath Two)
My work, rest, and play (OutBreath Two)
Learning to Trust Your Body
During Chronic Illness or Pain
All of the cutting edge work by traumatologists like Levine, Scaer, Ogden, Porges, Van der Kolk, and Siegel these days points to the same underlying truth. Chronic illness is rooted in past trauma, either developmental, ancestral, or both. So while we take care on the physical level and support the body, we often have to endure periods of disability or discomfort while the emotional wounds emerge for healing.
As a professional healer, and trauma survivor, I've been through this more than once. I crafted this affirmation to help me stay with the process (which, by the way, I tell you happily, has worked)
I'm trusting my body (OutBreath One)
To take care of me (InBreath One)
While old trauma releases (OutBreath Two)
And sets my heart free (InBreath Two)
Sometimes I substitute "life" or "soul" for "heart." Or you can substitute a name for the body part that is afflicted--so, "joints," "skin," "stomach," for instance.
Crafting Your Own Affirmations
To Use with This Breathing Technique
Of course you can write your own. All you have to do is follow to the guidelines I've outlined in "Six Rules for Successful Affirmations," and stick to the short, two or four line format. I'll share a few more of my favorites, plus the high tech sleep suggestion process, in another blog shortly. Till then, breathe and affirm good things.
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