A famous Hebrew proverb says, “Death and Life are in the power of the tongue.” In fact, many religions and spiritual paths have a similar saying or notion. Why is that? It is because words are so very powerful and that transcends culture, religion, and spiritual practice. When I was a little girl, there was a saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” However, that never felt true. Words stung when they were not said from a place of love. Even as an adult, if I say something mean-spirited, I can feel my body recoil and tense up. Our body knows the power of words. Buddha said, “words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are true and kind, they can change our world.” I do believe that when we spend time to make our personal lives and the world around us better, that it spreads even further than we can imagine. There is an infinite ripple effect of goodness that stems from the good that we do, where we are—this extends to the words that we say. Hear more on my YouTube video for this week: https://youtu.be/yo9uXdDeT3Y
Last week we discussed how using the beauty of our imagination through creative visualization can yield some very powerful and positive changes in our lives. This week, we will talk about the power of words, and how you can bolster your creative visualizations by tending to what you allow to come out of your mouth. If you know me, you know that I try to be careful about what I say, and also what I allow the people that I love to say around me. Before you think that I am some kind of totalitarian new age Pollyanna meanie, what I mean by that is our words are very powerful, and yet it appears that humans gravitate towards talking more about the things that they don’t want. Think about why in Harry Potter, everyone referred to Voldemort as “He Who Shall Not be Named.” By speaking his name, they gave him energy and power. The same thing goes for your life. Give energy to that which is good—to that, which fills your soul with joy, and love. Sprinkle good words around everywhere you go. Give compliments, and lift others up with your words. You would be surprised to see how everything blooms under these conditions.
If I spend time with someone, I can almost have a good sense of what is going on in their life from what they talk about and how they talk about it. Someone who always complains about the lack of money in their life, will almost inevitable, never have enough. The person who complains constantly about their health, will certainly see a deterioration in their health. The person who says that there are no good (men, women, person, insert your pronouns here), will almost never find it. You can’t find something if you push it away with your words. I want to hear my friends talk about the things that are going well in their lives, and let that energy permeate all the other areas of their life. I want to hear about the beautiful relationships that they plan to have with amazing people. I want to hear about how well work is going for them, how they feel fulfilled, and delighted to be working with good people doing what they love.
We have to say what we want! We must talk about the things that we want as if we know that we are worthy of having them. Essentially, we want to help talk the things that we want into existence. I encourage you to not only talk about them, but also believe that you are worthy of what you ask for.
My former therapist, Alphonso once told me that I was being reactive to life—meaning I was accepting whatever came my way instead of proactively asking for and receiving what I wanted from life. I found the notes for this in my old journal. I often pondered that question. Why am I being reactive to life? A lot of us grew up feeling ashamed or guilty if we asked for anything or for anything extra. We perpetuate the Oliver Twist narrative. “May I have some more sir,” or things we don’t even like, and feel despair when we don’t get even sloppy seconds of cold porridge. Some of us did not grow up making our own decisions or even being involved in the decision making process, and that can cause a paralysis as an adult. It is actually just as easy to make the statement about why you can have, do, or be something as it is to the contrary. In addition, when you get the things that you want, you are in a much better place to help other people and pay it forward.
I learned a very important lesson from a young woman that I went to law school with. She grew up in a wealthy family, went to Ivy League schools, and always asked for what she wanted. I was stunned when I heard her ask for one extra point on a paper. She felt that she deserved that point, and why should she settle for less? It was not just limited to exam points, it was anything and everything. That was transformational. I thought maybe she got the things that she wanted because of her upbringing, but no, it was simply because she had learned one of the most powerful lessons in life. Ask for what you want. Those of us who may have grown up in the church have often heard, “Ask, and it shall be given; seek and you shall find it; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” But how many of us are asking? Seeking? Knocking?
I ask for anything that I want, because either I am going to get it, or I will be right where I was before. We should do the same with our lives. We should ask for what we want from life, from our partners, from our relationships, from our careers, from everything. Many of us are afraid that if we ask, we will be seen in a not so positive light. Who does this person think they are to ask for X,Y,Z? What empowers them to ask for this? But who are you not to ask. I can assure you that my life up to this point has taught me that there are people out there not only asking for the things that they want, but fully advocating for themselves to get it!
Please believe that you are worthy of what you asked for. Not believing that you are worthy of what you asked for is like asking for success, but preparing for failure. One way to get to that place of belief is by utilizing affirmations. In the 1920s, the author Florence Scovel Shinn introduced her book, “The Game of Life and How to Play it.” This book influenced thousands of people to use affirmations, including Louise Hay (founder of Hay House Publishing), and Shakti Gawain (author of Creative Visualization). Affirmations are positive statements that something is already so. These statements affect both your conscious and subconscious mind. Repeating affirmations can help to create a mental image in your conscious mind, which affects the subconscious mind, and ultimately impacts and influences your behavior, actions, habits, and outlook. This powerful activity can totally transform your life, impact what you create, and what you manifest. Affirmations can be done silently, out loud, you can sing them, write them down, and do them as often as you like in a given day. In her groundbreaking book that I talked about last week, “Creative Visualization,” Shakti Gawain gives these tips for affirmations:
1) Always phrase affirmations in the present tense, and not in the future. It is important to create it as if it already exists.
2) Always phrase affirmations in the most positive way that you can. Affirm what you do want, not what you don’t want.
3) In general, the shorter and simpler the affirmation, the more effective.
4) Always choose affirmations that feel totally right for you.
5) Always remember when doing affirmations that you are creating something new and fresh. You are not trying to redo or change what already exists.
6) Affirmations are not meant to contradict or try to change your feelings or emotions.
7) When using affirmations, try as much as possible to create a feeling or belief, an experience that can be true. Temporarily suspend your doubts.
Here are a few examples of Affirmations: (Florence Scovel Shinn & Shakti Gawain).
· I am at peace with myself and with the whole world.
· I love everyone and everyone loves me.
· My good now flows to me in a steady unbroken, ever-increasing stream of happiness.
· Divine love floods my consciousness with health, and ever cell in my body is filled with light.
· I give thanks for radiant health and endless happiness.
· All that is mine by Divine Right is now released and reaches me in great avalanches of abundance, under grace in miraculous ways.
· My life is blossoming in total perfection.
· I am whole and complete within myself.
· I now give and receive love freely.
· I am an open channel of creative energy.
· I always communicate clearly and effectively.
· It is ok for me to have everything I want.
· I am open to receiving all the blessings of this abundant universe.
I urge you to create some of your own affirmations. Create them for all the areas of your life, and practice them repeatedly. Repetition is a power tool for training or retraining the brain. I also challenge you to watch carefully what you are saying to yourself and to others for the next week. How are you talking to yourself? I pray that you would never call yourself stupid, or anything demeaning. I also hope that when you talk about the things that you want, that you do so with enthusiasm and the belief that you can have it. I am asking you to demand the most from life, and allow it to be the most beautiful unfolding ever. This is not to say things you don’t want, won’t happen, but as my dear friend Mr. Rishi says, “Life is filled with hills and valleys. As you practice this, the space between the dips in the valley lessen, and your time on the hill becomes longer.” I may have mentioned this before, but apparently when Kurt Vonnegut had something good happen, he would look up and say, “More of this please.” I hope “more of this” happens for your life. I hope you use your words wisely to allow for “more of this.” May the stars shine brightly over your week. Have a joy filled and love filled week, and practice your affirmations!