A poet can say, “I’m a poet” but without ever writing and
sharing their poetry they likely don’t feel very “poety.”You might proclaim, “I am a singer” but if
you never sing, I can’t know for sure.I
can say that I’m a triathlete, but if I’ve never participated in a triathlon,
then those words aren’t really true.It
feels like a big lie. Affirmations can feel like that too, like you’re lying.Sometimes we read in books that if you want
something, then repeat the words that match the desired outcome over and over—because
doing so will make your dreams come true!Maybe, but not likely.There’s
more to using affirmations than just saying words.
My writing coach taught me the importance of “showing” more and
“telling” less in writing my memoir.What
this means is to get into the feeling of a scene.This works for creating a new life experience too—and
why affirmations that “show” really do work. When we “show” that thing we want, then our
feelings are involved.Feeling is what
fuels the affirming words.The problem with just “telling” is that the
(telling) words lack any power if all we do is throw them out there without doing anything else. Nothing great happens if we just rely on the all-mighty and powerful magic of affirmations to do all the work. If I want to be a published author, I must write things and
share them.When I do, then saying “I’m
a writer” or “I’m an author” feels like the truth.If I want to add some oomph to this
statement—let’s say I want to write a lot of good quality content and not just okay
stuff—then I might say (affirm), “I am a brilliant and prolific writer” (a
wonderful and powerful affirmation Julia Cameron teaches in her book, The Artist’s Way).
But, just saying “I am a brilliant writer…” still doesn’t
make it true.In order to make it true,
I have to work to improve my skills as a writer and “show” my brilliance by
showing up to write every day instead of just when I feel like it. I have to build
the “showing” by actually “doing” (or at least attempting to do) that which I desire. And I have to remember
to show my enthusiasm for being a writer.If I didn’t, people might ask, “Do you “really” like being a writer? Because
you sure don’t look very happy when you say
you are a writer.” This “show don’t tell” practice can be used in any area of
life.If you want to be more at peace
then work to “be” the essence of peace.You can’t just say, “I am at peace” and then go ranting to the neighbor
about the weeds in their yard.You can accept the weeds (and find peace with the neighbor) or pack up and move (and maybe go rant to a new neighbor about their loud music). But you can’t have both: ranting and then five
minutes later say “I am peace.” When your
behavior is in complete contradiction to your words, and reality, you actually feel
worse. Because it feels like a lie.
Showing (by actually “being” the thing you desire) versus
telling and then not doing what you “said” is cause for a troubled heart.Merely saying that you are happy, wise, loving,
and calm or at peace is an obvious lie when your life says otherwise.When you merely tell without showing, no one
will buy it anyway. And, worse, you end
up complaining, “I’m doing exactly what that book said to do—repeating words
that make me “happy”—and it’s not working!” You feel like a victim.
Trinity of Truth Tip:
Stop telling everybody how happy you are when you know you aren’t. Instead, “show” everybody how happy you are by feeling the emotions of happiness.Get into the feelings of the story you really (really!) want and live it out loud! Show us how happy and enthusiastic you are. How? By wearing a smile, by not complaining, blaming, or criticizing—things that actually tell others you are miserable (and not happy at all). The “show” voice is always more believable to you personally—your subconscious mind (where beleifs are made and stored)—and to others.
An important note: Showing doesn’t mean bragging ("look at me, look how great I am and all the “happy”
things I do and have") either!Far
from it (braggers are usually the most unhappy people of all). And showing doesn’t mean to “show
off” how happy you are (even if you really are).That’s merely telling.A boring, dull, story that no one wants to
hear.Showing your happy self means to
gracefully “be” a happy, positive, energetic person on the inside.Then, let it—the happy story—speak (show) for
I learn a lot from my grandsons.Not long ago, I overheard my daughter say to
the older of the two boys (when little brother wouldn't leave him alone), "Use
your feet and walk away."She was
giving her oldest a choice of either staying there and continue being annoyed
or to get up and move away from little brother who was climbing all over him
and invading his personal space.
To say, "I have no choice" is claiming
the role of victim. Claiming the role of victim takes all your power, bundles
it up, and hands it over to whoever is victimizing you.You never win when you claim the role of
victim.Never.You feel defended, annoyed, and abused. You react instead of getting away from the situation or person.
We always have a choice—even if that choice is
accepting what is (without
resentment) or shifting an attitude from "why me?" to one of curiosity.Maybe an attitude like, “Hmmm, I wonder why they’re acting that way (whatver "that way" is)? Maybe
they need some attention or maybe they’re like that with everybody. Work to have an attitude of, "it’s not
about me" and then let it go (walk away).It's
easy to get caught up in the role of victim when we are feeling abused.But, the behavior of other people isn’t about
you.Don’t let it be by reacting to it.
It’s not always possible, but next time someone’s “victimizing”
you, think about how you can “use your feet and walk away.”You never know, it could be that the person
who’s got you worked up is so crazy about you—like the little brother who
thinks his big bro is a superhero—that their overbearing energy is simply
enthusiasm for you!If it’s too
much, gracefully use your feet and walk away.
Recently, I had an
experience where I felt repulsed by something that came up in a conversation.It troubled me so much, and had such a tight
hold on me, that I couldn’t even sleep that night.After some hours of angst, I became motivated
to get any semblance of the "thing" (the negative energy) out of me. When I remembered to let
myself be vulnerable enough to go into the darkness the shift (from darkness to light) happened.I asked myself, “What is the opposite of this
dirty feeling I now hold inside of me? What does the opposite of this evil
thing look like?” Immediately, I saw, felt, and was embraced by, the brilliance
of God's light.
Get quiet and take a few
cleansing breaths to center yourself.Once feeling centered, allow yourself to feel the negativity of an
issue, memory, or feeling that’s troubling you.As hard and as scary as it may be, allow yourself to fall into the darkness,
the negativity of whatever it is that’s got a hold on you.
Now, ask yourself what the
opposite of this darkness looks like.Its
opposite is always light.See the brilliance
of light surrounding you.Now, with the
help of your breath, leap into the vastness of the light. Allow the light to
consume you, to cleanse you. Live in it.
If we allow ourselves to fall deep into the darkness of a negative energy—really feel it to the bone—for the purpose of launching us into the opposing positive energy of a particular emotion, we can use the blackest black of darkness to catapult us into the whitest, purest, light: the darker the dark, the whiter (purer) the light. If we can remember that all darkness is an invitation to leap into the light, we can use this life experience—which, by its very nature is laden with darkness—to cleanse the soul, one dark spot at a time. The darkest dark can transform us into the lightest light.
In the practice of Reiki there are five principles practitioners
are expected to honor and teach. Each principle begins with "Just for
today..." Try applying a "just for today" mentality to shift
your attitude or set an intention for the day. For example, "Just for
today, I will practice non-judgment," or "Just for today, I will
honor my body."
Try this mind-body-spirit affirmation.
for today... through mindful action... I glide with the flow of life... fueled by the
grace of Spirit."
Turn this affirmation into a mantra by
repeating these words over and over throughout the day.
Some days are full of challenge. Some days feel like suffering.Some days ...life just sucks.Recently, even though I know better, I found
myself having some of these negative thoughts.I was complaining (to myself and God) about how hard this physical human
thing is.Then, my laptop crashed.I hadn't backed up in weeks and had been doing a lot of writing.Like a light switch, my crazy-on-fire
writer took a nose dive into a state of misery.Why me!?!I got myself worked up and
slipped into a real funk. A few days later I managed to climb out of that deep well
of misery where the victim in me stumbled in the dark.Once back in the light, I had an epiphany, of sorts.I'd asked for it!
I know that what I think and say comes to me. I've proven it to myself over
and over. And it's what I teach to others, for goodness sake! My thinking (and complaining)
about how hard being human is was like placing an order to the Universe.The Universe simply answered my call. Hardship
befell me.Quick and with precision.
The light bulb moment actually made me laugh.Soon, I ordered a new laptop.And I remembered something my mom said one
time when I was lamenting over something.She said, "Any day you learn a lesson is a good day."
I learned and re-learned the lesson of watching my mouth, my thoughts, and
my behavior—the importance of keeping them in check. And that counting my blessings helps me climb
out of that deep well of darkness. It was a few days of some good learning! Thanks mom.