The other day I was reading through some old journals as I sorted through “stuff” to throw away or give away. As I read I felt such appreciation for the person I was then and how hard I worked to find the answers to life and why I was here. During that time period I committed to a disciplined use of affirmations as that was part of the teaching of several people I was reading and listening to at the time. It is also an integral part of the philosophy of Unity and I was attending a Unity church.
There are probably several different ways to define the affirmation process to which I refer. The Bing Dictionary definition from the internet is: “…act of affirming; a positive statement or declaration of the truth or existence of something”. An example of one I used is: “I am a child of the universe, perfectly designed to live in balance and harmony with all that is around me,” or a simple “Everything I need now is here” (Wayne Dyer).
As I learned to work with affirmations I stuck them on my bathroom mirror, refrigerator and carried them written on note cards in my purse. I was diligent in reciting them and memorizing many. Along with other teachings I believe this process assisted in the beginning of a real shift in focus for me from outside myself to inside. My mind that holds fear and belief in separation began to “hear” that the being it is a part of is more than fear and is in fact above fear. In my situation affirmations taught my mind to focus on the Truth of being rather than negative thoughts and beliefs. Initially it was just a “thinking” process but over time and with practice it became a “feeling” process. I began to recognize I was more than a sad, fearful human and could see it as I looked in the mirror. At times joy would just bubble up and I would begin to sing or dance or both.
Then at some point the process changed for me. I cannot exactly pinpoint when as it was probably just a subtle moving in my heart. I began to recognize that once I “accepted” the Truth taught me through affirmations and other learning that “doing” something with who I am became the next step. And the “doing” switched to “giving” who I am along the way. At that point I no longer needed to “affirm” truth but began stating “intentions”. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines intention as: “…a determination to act in a certain way”. For me this means I have accepted the Truth, know who I am and willingly participate in my purpose for being in this life on the earth at this time.
Stating intentions helps to remind me not only of who I am but that Creation, God, the Universe provide supports as I am connected to all. This practice helps me center myself. So every morning before I get up and again before I leave the house I say: “I set an intention to be the Love that I am this day focusing on the feelings of Peace and Joy at my core as I serve as Your (God) channel of Grace, Healing and Service.” That lets the embodied me- Light Being and Human – set the tone for the day.
Now this does not mean that every day is a perfect day and that I fully give without frustration or question. For remember we are still human. However, I more quickly recognize negative thoughts and move to bring myself back to center as I remember my intention to fully be who I am. I am finding coming back to center gets easier. In addition speaking truth with others becomes more natural when fear is no longer so attached to interactions. Vigilance and practice are a part of every day but so is the level of Joy and Freedom felt with the process.
Certainly, we could get into a discussion of semantics between using affirmation and intention. However, for me this has been a progressive process and I rarely if ever use affirmations at this point. Using both tools together maybe more helpful for some.
Do you use the affirmation or intention process? If so how has it impacted your life? If not do you see any value in applying either process? What questions do you have about it?