“An affirmation a day, keeps the madness at bay.”
I was joking when I said this but I needed to ease the slight embarrassment I felt as my coworker watched me stick my post-it to my computer screen. I hadn’t done this in a while. It’s probably been maybe a year or so, but if I really wanted to commit to my new mantra of the year, I need to have reminders, and what better way to have reminders than use the post-it notes I’ve been stashing and hoarding. So there it stuck, bright orange and in all of its glory, right in the center where I couldn’t avoid reading its words.
Let me be honest with you guys, these first few weeks of the year have been more than I can typically deal with. In fact, I thought this month was going to break me and all the progress I’ve made in the past year when it comes to dealing with life’s downsides while keeping my anxiety in check. But with amazing friends and family, I’ve managed to keep a lid on things. Not to mention, coping mechanisms like affirmations have kept my negative thinking and self-doubt to a minimum. I think that’s key: being able to rewire your thoughts to something more uplifting, and recognizing your power to react to life’s blows in a way that doesn’t involve a pity party.
I began using affirmations back in 2011 after watching “The Secret” and after reading The Complete Writings of Florence Scovel Shinn for Women. When you’re young and heartbroken, you’ll turn to anything for relief, but these specific things were books and movies my Aunty Sade had recommended to me after listening to me cry for a couple of days. Aunty Sade, who has been a buddhist for as long as I can remember, has a way of turning the most intense and distressing conflicts into small bites of life that are easy to chew, taste, and then digest. Through her I have become a believer of good and bad energy, a believer that the universe is on my side (you know, if I allow her to be), but most importantly, with the help affirmations, I’ve tapped into a higher power that is, well, me.
“You’ve got power within you girl. Use it. – Aunty Sade.”
I don’t fully believe in everything that comes with “The Law of Attraction” but I do believe that if we change our thoughts, we change our lives. We can’t just think things and have them manifest. That is not how it works. That’s not even magic. That’s just silliness. We have to think we can do something. Like totally and completely believe in it. And then we have to do something towards it. Put actions behind the thought. Put movement behind the intention. There is work that has to be done but before we can even get to that point, we have to recognize there is power within us and our words.
When we speak terrible things about ourselves, we further lodge that terrible thought into our minds, making it an automatic go to thought when things go wrong or not as planned. When we are mean to ourselves, we welcome others to also be mean to us too. And quite frankly, thinking all things negative is absolutely and unequivocally draining as fuck. Something I’m often reminded of during my down days. Bad and shitty thoughts live off and attract other bad and shitty thoughts. And then guess what that creates? Bad and shitty feelings, and I really have no energy to put towards that. So I’m getting back into the habit of speaking joy, and beauty, and courage and success, and all things goodness into my spirit.
With February being National Self-Esteem Month, for the next 28 days, I plan to share an affirmation a day via my social media accounts to truly keep the madness at bay. It’s the best way for me to keep my positive thoughts rolling, not to mention, when you’re in a period of transition like I currently am, you need all the motivating words you can get (especially your own motivating words.)
P.S. You’ve got power within you girl. Use it. #thephenomenal28