How To Use Affirmations Effectively. Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life.
How often do you affirm the good in your life? And, most importantly, are you able to do this when things are not going well? When you are ill, when you are broke, or broken-hearted, can you contact your vital Spirit within to fundamentally change your perceptions, and your experience?
Most people wander through life without any real idea of who they really are! A great, untapped power lies dormant and hidden beneath the layers of the personality’s learned habits of wrong-thinking and wrong-doing that keeps that person separate from their Source of Love inside.
First-hand contact with this Source is vital for the technique of affirmations to work, as I explain below. However, first we must look at some of the traps of following spiritual teachings.
Seekers are everywhere but not everyone finds what they are looking for. It’s too easy to adopt a new belief system, to replace the one we think is faulty with another one that isn’t much better, and it’s also easy to give our power away to another, erroneously thinking they are our ‘saviour”. Truly, another can only be a catalyst, or temporary bridge to Spirit.
The spiritual path is hard, and it tests us – it is not simply a belief system we can adopt for a ‘quick fix’ of our life’s troubles.
Most people flock to a particular religion, path or teacher because they believe it will answer all their problems – but rarely does one path, or teacher, have all the answers. And even paths that once promised salvation have become saturated with ego traps.
Yoga, which I love and teach with my wife, has become just ‘an exercise class’ for many, or ‘a bit of stretching’. Human consciousness today is obsessed with the outer form, but yoga has always been about the inner journey of awareness.
Luckily, I came to yoga after my own series of awakenings through walking the path of fire through many personal difficulties and following the path of Energy Medicine, tuning into the more subtle aspects of our human and spiritual consciousness.
Today’s ‘beer yoga’ shows just how quickly the ego appropriates any spiritual teaching and makes mock of it. Alcohol lowers consciousness, it doesn’t raise it. A purified body will actually reject it because it’s a physical and mental toxin – something to reflect deeply on if you really want to change the ground of your Being.
Many modern yoga teachers like to drink – and continue this erroneous habit of socialisation. The usual comment I hear is, ‘everything in moderation’ but this is not actually true. Poison is poison. Alcohol creates weakness in the body, and mind. It helps to form bad habits and sustains them.
Some religions teach their followers that alcohol is bad, or forbidden, but those people rarely grow either. Many religious followers who don’t drink, smoke toxic cigarettes, or do something else that’s harmful, instead – so long as they conform to the ‘rules’ or ‘commandments’ or their religion. So, has anything really fundamentally changed in terms of their consciousness?
Often the truth is blunt and difficult to hear, particularly for those of us who have created many attachments to the material side of life and sense indulgence.
I would rather meet a devotee (a person devoted to Spirit) who has tasted alcohol and rejected it through the path of discernment. They have come to the conclusion for themselves.
Spiritual power – real power – cannot be bought, or inherited just by following a path. It has to be earned through constant devotion to the ONE source that flows through all of life.
Some people have chosen to call this Infinite Intelligence “God”, others have yet called it “Atma” or “Spirit”. The word, or label, really doesn’t matter so much as the actual connection we have to that energy. I prefer to stay away from the term “God” because of the layers of mental abstraction that surround it.
Love, or Source, or Spirit is better.
We must tune into the energy behind our words.
It’s a bit like being immersed in the energy of love – you either are fully in it, and you know it, or you are not… then ‘love’ is just an idle wish or fantasy, something divorced from actual knowing. You can talk about it, but you don’t actually “know” it. Similarly, if you are prone to talk about God but you’ve only ever read about it somewhere – through the Bible, Koran, Vedas, Bhagavad Gita – or heard about it through your priest or teacher – then your information is second-hand, not first-hand. so you cannot talk effectively about this Cosmic energy that flows through all of life, including you.
The Buddha taught us not to just ‘believe’ because he said something but to inquire earnestly for ourselves until we know it. This right use of our discriminating faculty keeps us balanced as we move upwards in consciousness, rather than subject to delusion.
The Good News
The good news is simply this.
You are a Soul, a little wave of happiness in the Eternal Cosmic Sea of Joy – so you can become aware of your Divine nature if you unblock the ‘cork’ of ignorance that keeps you trapped in the grosser body consciousness alone. Like a bottle of water floating in the sea, with the cork on, the water inside has no idea that it actually belongs to the vast sea it is floating in!
Each day, you must meditate to clean the dust of ignorance from your mind. That is the only way to know Divinity and to gain real power.
The more you sharpen the sword of inner perception and use it in your daily life, the better you will be able to see beyond the dualities of this life: the ups and downs, the successes and failures. You will see beyond health and sickness, and even beyond life and death.
This isn’t just a dry and useless philosophy, it is a timeless, living truth that will help you navigate today’s turbulent world and, ultimately, overcome all challenges – even death. The latter doesn’t mean you will live forever in the physical body, of course. It simply means that the fear of death, in all its forms, melts away. As you learn to train your mind to be deeply concentrated, rather than scattered, you will surely remember who you are – and you will know yourself as a Living Soul.
The Secret Technique of Affirmations
The power of affirmations has been mentioned countless times in countless books. One of the most influential books of this New Age is ‘You Can Heal Your Life‘ by Louise Hay, with over 40 million copies sold to date! Yet, even though that is a remarkable number, there are nearly 8 billion people on this Earth, so only a staggering 0.05% have read it!
So we clearly have much work to do!
The basic of idea of affirmations is to say something positive to your subconscious mind, which then overcomes anything negative you may be experiencing, whether that’s an illness of mind or body, or some negative life experience (divorce, death of a loved one, loss of a job, and so on)..
Some basic ideas are:
“I am healthy.”
“I am slim.”
“I am talented.”
“I am rich.”
“I am enjoying a happy relationship with a loving man/woman.”
If the simplicity of this irritates you, read on. It’s a good thing you are irritated because it means you are applying your faculty of discrimination.
A vital key is missing here.
Many people are divorced from their true centre of knowing and power inside – so when they say the opposite of what they are actually feeling, they feel like they are lying to themselves; there is no understanding of the power of the Creative Word, nor is there any real connection to it.
Remember this! You cannot lie to yourself and expect a positive result!
The ‘fake it til you make it’ theory is nonsense – otherwise most people would find that just saying affirmations would work. Repeating affirmations can actually make a mental state, and situation, worse if it’s done with incorrect understanding.
To really use the ‘technique of affirmation’, you must understand all of the following information – and I don’t just mean intellectually. You must learn to live it.
Firstly, you must understand your connection to Source, and the power of ‘vibration’ behind your thoughts.
Paramahansa Yogananda, who greatly influenced and shaped Western thought told us, ‘the infinite potencies of sound derive from the Creative Word, Aum, the cosmic vibratory power behind all atomic energies. Any word spoken with clear realisation and deep concentration has a materializing value.”
Further, he explained: “Prayer often implies the consciousness of beggary. We are children of God, not beggars, and are thus entitled to our divine inheritance. When we have established a connection of love between our souls and God, we have a right to lovingly demand the fulfilment of our legitimate prayers.”
So, when you ‘ask’ for the re-establishment of health in your body, or financial success in your life, you really are giving thanks for it in advance, knowing it must come from the Infinite Source that is within you and also outside of you.
Many clients who I do cleaning of energy for, struggle with their part of doing the work. They don’t trust enough initially – but they learn to trust quickly as the power of the One Spirit shines through and the miraculous occurs.
To one dear client who wanted a new job, I asked her, ‘do you not think that the one power that created this Earth and all of its rivers, mountains, seas and all living creatures could create (or find) the perfect and right next job for you?’
I also reminded her that this same power also created this Universe, with all of its galaxies, and all Universes that we know of (and don’t know of) – something that is truly impossible for the mortal mind to grasp in its totality.
We must remember that just as a drop of water from the sea has the same properties within it, so too do we have the same properties of Spirit within us.
We have to contact this power in daily meditation, and by using our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual/psychic energy to overcome all perceived difficulties after we make contact with this power.
I think the movie Spiderman said it best, ‘with great power comes great responsibility.’
So, you must connect to Spirit through Love, that is the first requirement.
Then, understanding that power. you must affirm through your thoughts, and words, that all is well – even when the contrary appears in your life.
Words saturated with sincerity, conviction, faith and intention are like vibratory honing missiles that shatter the rocks of difficulty and create the necessary change desired. If the desired change does not come quickly, then a deep peace will come that will allow you to transcend the difficulty. Either way, you win.
Spirit can release you from karmic difficulties but you also have to persevere. Not from a grudging, irritated ‘when will this happen’ point of view, but from the faith and understanding of Cosmic Laws.
The subconscious ideas and habits of disease or health exert a very strong influence upon us, far beyond what materialistic science dares to comprehend. Stubborn, chronic, mental or physical diseases always have a deep root in the subconscious – and also the superconscious – or Cosmic – mind. Since the ‘root’ of your Being is actually Non-Physical – because you are a Non-Physical Being – it makes logical and intuitive sense that you have to root out disease at both the subconscious and superconscious level of existence.
All affirmations should be done AFTER meditation upon Spirit – when you FEEL that connection coursing through you. Then the affirmation will be impressive enough to imprint upon your consciousness, and permeate the subconscious mind, which automatically influences the conscious mind.
If strong and persistent enough, the affirmations penetrate the superconscious mind.
‘Patience, and attentive, intelligent repetition are wonder workers. Affirmations for curing chronic mental or bodily afflictions should be repeated often, deep and continuously, utterly ignoring unchanged or contrary conditions, if any, until they become part of one’s intuitional convictions.’ Paramhansa Yogananda
In more modern language, Abraham-Hicks, has repeatedly made the same points through the ‘Law of Attraction’ teachings.
“The Universe doesn’t hear what you’re saying. the Universe hears what you mean.”