If you are reading this book you are a person of privilege. You have a roof over your head, food to eat, and the luxury of exposing your mind to ideas supporting and surrounding enlightenment. This book doesn’t advocate a one size fits all philosophy and recognizes that few people in this world have the time to explore self-realization. People who follow their intuition, live their dreams, and have wide-sweeping choices in life are fortunate. People who spend the day looking for food and water, or are evicted and need a place to lay their heads, rarely think of such matters. There is a path of relief for everyone, but I don’t pretend to know what that path is. This book is for those who are ripe in this moment for these words.
This work is a compilation of healing thoughts, affirmations, possibilities, and mind-opening ideas. It began as a book of affirmations and quickly morphed into much more, but affirmations are at the heart of this book.
What is an affirmation?
It is simply a thought. A thought can be constructive or destructive, but regardless of their persuasion, thoughts are powerful. The thoughts offered in this book are beneficial thoughts or affirmations. They can bring a much needed respite to a churning mind. Beneficial affirmations are training wheels for the mind; they offer a radical change from caustic mental programming. They are missives of well-being and the seeds we plant in the garden of awakening. They are tender thoughts of what might be.
There comes a time when we outgrow affirmations, just like a baby outgrows its need for its mother’s milk, but when used in their right time, affirmations become gentle moments of truth. They act pathways to a deeper knowing. That which we know in our hearts, is beyond the capability of words, but words line the path to our surrender.
I became an avid meditator when I was in my 20s. I was amazed and appalled at some of the thoughts that sneaked into my mind, crashed into my consciousness, and rumbled their way into my emotions. I was familiar with positive thinking. It offered an escape from the life-sucking barrage of thoughts, but then I discovered affirmations. I loved affirmations; they seemed solid, bigger, more anchored than positive thoughts. Writing affirmations was like writing sacred verse. I could construct thoughts that nourished me and counteracted old, limiting beliefs.
As I matured I learned that rather than control my mind and change all the thoughts, it was more settling to go to that which was deeper than thoughts. Affirmations seemed like baby steps. I could not only walk, I could run, so I left affirmations, as a practice, behind. Yet I kept having spontaneous affirmative thoughts, so I wrote them down, and many of them are included in this book. I love writing affirmations and reading and rereading them. Elevated thoughts are calming. Affirmations are singing words. They are medicine for sick thoughts. They may or may not change the future, but affirmations can resurrect our view of the past and certainly sweeten our experience of the present.
I am not a fundamentalist affirmation person. I don’t watch all my thoughts and words. The intention in one’s life and the feeling nature are more important than having the exact words. Some of the thoughts and affirmations in this book are not couched in positive words, but the intention behind them is still life affirming or inspirational. Don’t let yourself be a prisoner of perfection. The idea that there is only one right way is more damaging than a negative word here and there. I could be at the end of my rope and use the thought, “No more,” as an affirmation to build a new way out of a situation. “No more” is actually a denial. A denial, in this case, is a statement of releasing. It does not deny that the situation exists; it denies that the situation has power over us.
Affirmations and words have power, but it’s imperative to remember that underlying their power is our life’s intention. We need to operate our lives through a foundation of compassion, open-mindedness, and trust. If our intention is based in some permutation of love, we can be assured, that our vibration is aligned with our highest good.
Even though this book centers on affirmations, it also defines common existential problems and asks that we look at things in new and different ways. Some of the words are informative, while others are transformative. The book challenges us to reach past our limitations and stretch into the role of protector, visionary, health advocate, sorcerer, imagineer, creator, and self-made peacemaker.
Some people use affirmations to reprogram the mind. Certainly we have reams of questionable material in our subconscious mind, but I prefer to think of the affirmations in the book as commands for more compassionate living, openings to greater possibilities, and templates for a brave new world. There are many books available that teach how to use affirmations to work with the subconscious. You can find information on the traditional use of affirmations in two of my previous books, Offbeat Prayers for the Modern Mystic, and EZosophy: The Art and Wisdom of Easy or at Least Easier Living. These books are available on my website, annegillis.com, in the products section and on Kindle.
You may find instances when what I’ve written is not true for you. The egoic mind loves to point out the yes, but, or the opposite of any idea, even when there are plenty of circumstances when the idea is true. The mind takes us up and down blind alleys, using our best reasoning, but, just for a moment, read this with an open mind. This is written about a new dimension of experience; it is not a doctrine to be applied as salvation. It is written to expand the mind, not to refute or support what you already know. Life is full of miracles and grace, and only you can move past the words and into the mystery to which these words point.
Do not read this with the idea of fixing something that is wrong with you. The only thing wrong is the belief that there’s something wrong with you and subsequently wrong with the world. Who you are is right, not wrong or bad; you may want to change some of your behaviors or be less affected by circumstances, but who you are is already perfect. You don’t need to be a better person: you are already that, but you may want to have an easier, more productive and effective life.
The following story illustrates the power of words:
Once a young woman had a protective brother. He would not allow her to pursue her spiritual inclinations, so each night she climbed through her window and quietly made her way to her guru’s home. She was captivated by the truth he spoke. She excelled in meditation and spiritual disciplines and was told that on her next visit, she would receive enlightenment.
A nosey neighbor ran into her brother at the market. “You think your sister is so chaste. She leaves your house at night, when you sleep, and goes to meet her lover.” The brother didn’t believe his neighbor, so the next night he followed his sister. She approached a strange house and entered. His heart was heavy; he felt betrayed. He peered in the window and saw his sister approach the master. At that very moment the master uttered the words that would bring ultimate peace and enlightenment to his sister. The guru heard a rattle at the window and turned and saw the brother. The brother heard the words and fell to the ground in supreme bliss. He made his way inside to the master and through tears of ecstasy, thanked him. He fell to his sister’s feet in gratitude. Just one or two words, spoken with power and authority, awakened the highest in the brother. He had done no practices and no preparation, but the words pierced his heart.
You are that brother. May the words and thoughts in the book bring peace, power, ease, and joy. These affirmations are sutras to feed the heart, rather than words to game the mind. Don’t expect miracles in the future. Allow the words to pierce the heart right now as they drift past your mind. Surely it is your time. As the great H. W. L. Poonja would tell you, “Now is the only time for enlightenment.”
Nothing Works For Me
Everyone has emotional challenges. No one is exempt from pain. Self-help books, seminars, counselors, and therapists have emerged over the past 100 years to help us deal with pain. Help abounds, but unfortunately we do not always get the help we need when we reach out. Sometimes our attempts open another door to hopelessness. How can that be, given that we live in a universe specifically designed to support and love us?
One belief, held in the subconscious mind, might be the culprit. It is a powerful thought that undermines our best efforts. It’s a belief that stops the loving inflow of solutions, support, and love. What is that stalwart belief? “Nothing works for me.”
Nothing works for me is a potent thought that tailors itself to almost any situation. Relationships never work for me: therefore, I must keep my protective distance. I can’t have friends; it just never works out for me. I can never really be healthy because nothing ever works out for me. It is a self-fulfilling thought that tyrannizes our lives. This thought can be restricted and only applied to one area of our lives. I can make plenty of money, but my relationships never work out. They are all misguided beliefs based on erroneous decisions we made about our lives during our formative years.
The thought, “Nothing works for me,” can actually become a crutch. If nothing works for me, I can abdicate responsibility for my life, do little on my behalf, and live a protective, walled-up existence or I can borrow someone else’s life and live through them. The thought that “Nothing works for me” forms a prison of illusory safety and suffering.
It takes courage to change this belief because it’s so familiar. It’s like an old friend. But what would life be like without this thought? What could we do if we believed that life provides an even playing field and that we have a great position in the game? Suppose we begin to replace the thought “Nothing works for me” with the thought, “It is safe and okay for more and more things to work for me; therefore, more and more things work for me.”
How can we start? How can we facilitate the change? Here is a four step process to consider.
1. Ask for Help - It can be a prayer to a higher power or a request to the universe. “Help. I want to overcome this.” Imagine receiving help with overturning this belief. See love flowing in, see the cavalry riding in, or create a scene in your mind picturing everyone you’ve ever loved being by your side to help you undo this belief.
2. Write or read the following, “I am willing to let go of any of the negative payoffs I receive for believing that nothing ever works for me. I receive any beneficial payoffs in other ways that are favorable and supportive. These new benefits assist in my life’s work.”
3. Write or read the following, “Now that I have the unlimited help of a friendly universe or God (use your own words), I am willing for more and more things to work for me and go my way. I’m loved, nurtured, and supported by the thought that life can work for me. This new belief is a gift to me and for me. As I accept this new belief, I find more and more things going my way.”
4. Move energy. The limiting belief, “Nothing works for me,” is not only mental; it is also physical. The thought blocks energy in the physical and emotional bodies. You can move energy through breathing exercises or physical movement. Movement frees our energy. Take 5 to 15 minutes to dance the blocks out, take a swift walk, jump on your rebounder, move your body up and down while seated on an exercise ball (it’s like rebounding in a seated position on your exercise ball), or do breathing exercises. Picture life bringing in your new belief as you inhale, then exhale and visualize the trapped energy moving out of your body.
Inactivity is said to be the new “smoking.” We have to move. Physical movement fosters emotional movement and inactivity fosters inertia. Move that belief out! (Other permutations of this belief are, “Nothing goes my way. Nothing good ever happens to me. Things are stacked against me.”)
Undoing this primary thought creates a shift. Replacing it with new beliefs reawakens our creativity and productivity, bolsters our self-esteem, and releases energy. Emotional healing is a progressive activity, and the therapeutic process is fun and empowering, and it always makes our lives easier.
• My life works for me.
• Everything I need to work, works for me.
• My life is in perfect order.
• I can be safe and happy even if everything doesn’t work as planned.
• My relationships work.
• My career works.
• My body works for me.
• Life works.
• My money works for me.
• More and more things work for me.
• Today, more and more things go my way.
• It’s safe for things to work for me.
• My ship has come in.
• I find it easier and easier to move and exercise.
• Good happens in my life on an ongoing basis.
• It is safe and okay for more and more things to work for me; therefore, more and more things work for me.
• Everything I touch is blessed and successful.
• Things automatically work out for me.
• All events work for my highest good.
Words Make a Difference:
Affirmations, Visionary Statements, and Revolutionary Ideas for Transforming Ourselves, Our Culture and Our Planet
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