Monday, January 14, 2008



The late, legendary Green Bay Packer football coach Vince Lombardi used to begin each season of training camp by gathering rookies and seasoned veterans together for the initial meeting. Former players tell us that Coach Lombardi entered the room each year holding a football, and his first words were always, "Gentlemen, this is a football." Lombardi reminded his players that the basics are often easily forgotten, and that without reminders, the more 'complex' aspects of the game were lost. It is the same with the life of Spirit. Most of us are probably seasoned veterans when it comes to affirmations, but like Vince Lombardi, I remind each us, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is an affirmation."


1. Use the present tense: An affirmation is more effective when stated in the present tense. For example; "I am making a living by doing what I love", is better than, “I would like to make a living doing what I like.” Avoid affirming something in the future tense.

2. Express a positive statement: Affirmations ought to be stated in the most positive terms possible. Avoid negative statements. Affirm what you do want, rather than what you don't want. For example: "I do not catch the flu in the winter." This is a negative statement. Instead, affirm: "I am perfectly healthy in body, soul and spirit."

3. Be short and specific: Short affirmations are easy to repeat, and have a far greater impact at the subconscious level than those which are long and wordy. Keeping them specific and to the point adds power as the idea is uncluttered by extraneous elements.

4. They belong to you alone: Be sure to ask yourself, “What is it that calls from within my heart? What do I really REALLY want, and what REALLY wants me?” Others will try to influence you with what you should want. Listen to and trust your inner voice, as Emerson frequently said, "Within the heart of every person is the law of his/her life."

5. Conclude them by saying, “or something better": This recognizes that our ego-knowledge is always limited and that the Living Archetypal Presences in the Universe (God) have access to even greater possibilities than we do. The ancient Greeks and Romans sacrificed to the Daemons or Fates as those invisible Guides Who knew our life course better than we do.


Repetition: The importance of repetition cannot be overemphasized. It imprints the affirmation into your subconscious mind. A universal maxim suggests repeating your affirmation at least 15 times per session. In a Time magazine article, Dilbert cartoonist Scott Adams said he went from sitting in a cubicle at Pac Bell to being a syndicated cartoonist by writing 15 times a day, “I am a syndicated cartoonist.”

Dissolution: This step is often ignored in many affirmation systems. The human Soul lives from Images or what Carl Jung called Imagistic Complexes, which are different than factual memories. These Images have a sense of being alive, residents of your Soul. As you begin to repeat your new affirmations, you will notice the old voices or images coming to mind. These past images will contradict and challenge your new affirmations, showing you old visions of failure, fear, anxiety and despondency. These are often very subtle, but it is critical to be aware of them. When they appear, close your eyes, freeze the most powerful image, behold it and study it for about one minute, and then force it to dissolve behind your eyelids. Allow it to completely disappear, visualizing a clean, white space to be filled with your new affirmations. In Medieval alchemy, this was called the Putrefaction or Dissolution stage, prior to the manifestation of the Gold.

Feelings: Get personally involved with your affirmation; be passionate and use your emotions. Consider carefully the meaning of the affirmative words as you repeat them. Don’t do these affirmations perfunctorily or without feeling. See yourself in the finished result. Hollywood actor Martin Short said he knew from boyhood he wanted to be an entertainer. As a child, after seeing Frank Sinatra on TV, Short went into the attic of his home, turned an old gooseneck lamp into a spotlight, printed up programs with his name on them, sang Frank Sinatra songs loudly and then played an applause recording when he finished singing. He did this for years. He said he left the attic feeling as though he had just been in Las Vegas!

Perseverance: Practicing affirmations with persistence achieves results much sooner than practicing them periodically. Successive sessions will have a compounding effect. You will know when to stop by the cessation of negative images and despondent voices. In other words, you need to work hard on continuing your affirmations as long as those old voices and limiting images continue to appear. Also, if you stop for a few days or weeks or even months – get back at it!

Fake It: Keep in mind that you do not necessarily have to deeply believe your affirmations initially in order for them to work. Firm belief will arrive as you dissolve the old images and when you see different results showing up in your life. What you do need is the ability to create a feeling of what it would be like when the desire you're affirming is fulfilled. Without this little bit of feeling, your affirmation is powerless.

Think, Write & Speak Them: Scientific studies are verifying that affirmations must be visualized, spoken and written. If you hold imaginative thoughts, consistently repeat sound frequencies and replicate written statements, you will create new images, rewire human neurons and activate silent DNA. Then objects in the external world will be affected. The internal mind and external world are linked. British physicist Rupert Sheldrake has demonstrated that pet owners mentally influenced their animals. The human mind has the ability to intend and attract external objects through thought, writing and speaking. Sheldrake’s conclusion was:

“In this book I have suggested that our minds extend far beyond our brains. They do so even in the simplest act of perception. Images are where they seem to be. Subjects and objects are not radically separated, with subjects inside our heads and objects in the external world. They are interlinked. Through vision, the external world is brought into the mind through the eyes, and the subjective world of experience is projected outward into the external world through field of perception and intention. Our intentions stretch out into the world around us, and also extend into the future. We are linked to our environment and to each other.” The Sense of Being Stared At, Rupert Sheldrake


This is a fairly straight forward and simple formula for creating effective affirmations. Let me conclude with a quote from one of the founders of the early New Thought movement, Emma Curtis Hopkins,

“There are three ways of dealing with the principles announced in Truth. There is the deep thinking which the mind exercises respecting them. There is the speaking them forth which we do no hesitate to do. There is the careful recording of them, which is writing down what we know of them. The next is living them, which we are sure to do if we think, speak, and write them. It is by faithfully doing all these things with Spiritual doctrine that we accomplish the works of the Spirit in us.” Scientific Christian Mental Practice, Emma Curtis Hopkins, p. 97

Notice that Emma stressed, "by faithfully doing all these things," not by 'Knowing about them.' A spiritual practice is very different than 'faithfully doing all these things."

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