What we feed ourselves affects our health. It’s easy to acknowledge the nutritional difference between a salad and a fast-food hamburger, but do you consider the way you talk to yourself, the media you consume, and the conversations shared with others as food for the soul? Emotionally, mentally and physically, are you feeding yourself positivity, love, kindness, compassion and understanding? Are you dreaming, improving, giving-back, paying-it-forward, and living with a spirit of gratitude? Or are you feeding yourself with impatience, regret, sadness, fear, loss, loneliness, judgement, anger, and worry? If we’re honest with ourselves, it’s a combination of both positive and negative, but which is “winning” most of the time? It’s unrealistic to think that happiness is the absence of negativity; we will face hard times, change and challenge, and some of it will come and go easily and other experiences will rattle us or even break us for a little while, but I believe that we can influence how we respond to difficulty by establishing and maintaining positive self-talk habits.
In a season of my life where I wasn’t sure which way was up and everything felt broken, I started reading and meditating using the affirmations of others. Google, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram are full of motivational words and speeches, and I was consuming them morning, noon and night. I memorized a few so that I could sit with my eyes closed and speak hope, kindness, forgiveness, and love into my heart and mind, and the process was both emotional and very rewarding. I had lived so much of my life without tenderness or care that it took practice to believe the positivity and allow it to change my way of thinking. Then I started writing my own affirmations, many on my bathroom mirror so that I could read it while also looking myself in the eyes. The deep trust and connection with myself that was created in that season was such a blessing; a true turning point from viewing myself as lost and broken to viewing myself as lovable, worthy, and capable of significant and meaningful change.
When we do something, positive or negative, often enough for long enough, it becomes a part of who we are, how we think, how we view ourselves, and how we live. I am constantly practicing positive self talk and gratitude, either out of deep appreciation and happiness in the moment, or as a way of resetting negativity that’s clouding my day or robbing me of joy. Most of my affirmations these days are internal and spontaneous, sometimes written on my mirror or in my journal, and today I wrote one to share. These thoughts came to me while meditating, and I invite you to read these words as if you’re drinking them into your spirit and feeding them to your heart. Please add-to or remove from this message to make it exactly what you need to hear, and I promise that if you adopt self-affirmation as a way of communicating with yourself, your days will be lighter, your spirit more free, and your energy grounded in positivity.
noun: affirmationThe action or process of affirming something or being affirmed. Emotional support or encouragement.
“Today, I am thankful for my heartbeat. There is a rhythm and energy inside of me that is beautiful, unique, and worthy of expression. I have the power to move mountains, the courage to dream big, the grit to try again and again, the heart to show myself and others compassion and love, and the peacefulness to sit silently and pay attention to my wants, needs, fears, and hurts. My spirit is bold, my heart is brave, my imagination is wild, and my potential is limitless. While I choose daily to push myself toward new greatness and connect with my spirit on a deeper level, I am perfect just as I am, in this moment. Where I feel broken I trust myself to care for the hurt, and I live with confidence that the combination of light and darkness inside of me is worthy of love, tenderness, and acceptance. What lives internally is reflected externally, therefore loving and caring for myself gives me the ability to love others. Each heart has the same desire for connection and understanding and I choose to spread light over darkness, to pay attention to energies over appearance or words, and to freely give positivity to everyone I encounter. I believe in love, and choose to release past hurt so my heart can give and receive love fully. It takes courage to open yourself up to others, but remember, people are designed for connection and love is the greatest gift you can give another. I give thanks for my heartbeat, because it’s a blessing not a guarantee, I pay attention to my feelings and accept both joy and pain as it comes and goes, and I choose to live with a spirit of gratitude for all that I am, all that I’m capable of becoming, all that has come and gone, and the beautiful reality that each day is a new beginning. I am capable of creating wholeness, connection, love, excitement, adventure, and newness for myself. I will be brave with my heart today and everyday, love both recklessly and intentionally, with passion and faith, because I believe the human experience is limited only by our own restrictions, and I want to live each of my days to their fullest potential; physically, emotionally and spiritually.”