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Updated on April 5, 2017

Affirmations are short, powerful declarations of intent. These declarations serve as a kind of verbal mirror, reflecting back to us the potential that we cannot yet see within ourselves. By acknowledging that hidden potential, we break the bindings of doubt, insecurity, and fear that so often run interference behind the scenes, and free ourselves to begin manifesting our true desires.

How Affirmations Work

Unlike the flesh of our bodies and the material world from which they’re born, our spirits suffer no limits or restrictions. Made up of pure potential, they exist beyond the order of time, the limits of form, and the separation of space. What might seem impossible in the physical is a simple matter of choice to the spirit. And we can tap into this infinite potential by aligning our conscious intent and our physical action with our spirit-born desires.

We often fail to manifest what we want in life, not because it’s impossible, but because what we want is in conflict with what we believe and what we consistently think - we want to find love but think we’re unlovable or unloving; we desire peace but we spend our time worrying over strife.

Although we like to think that what happens in our head is private, the truth is that our thoughts and feelings are constantly sending out invisible but clear messages to the world around us. We are actively exchanging information on an energetic level in every moment of every day.

These thoughts are not only influencing the world around us; they also have a profound impact on the world within us. What happens in the mind vibrates out into every cell of the body, influencing our health, strength, and emotions. And it even colors how we see and interact with others.

When the things we’re thinking and feeling are negative, judgmental, or hopeless, that energy will interfere with our ability to manifest things that are positive, loving, and rewarding. As long as we hold beliefs or allow thoughts that defy our intentions, the seeds of our desires will continue to lie dormant within us.

Unfortunately, life is too fast-paced for most of us to spend our days completely focused on what’s going on in the back corners of our minds. What we can do, however, is use tools like affirmations to train ourselves to consciously pull our awareness away from our fears and align it with what we hope to create. Clear, conscious focus on our intent acts like water to the seeds of our potential – and affirmations are like the pitcher through which that water is poured.

Unlike other tools such as prayer or meditation, affirmations aren’t a practice of asking for nor of letting go of our desires. Rather, affirmations are acknowledgement of what’s already there. When we affirm something, we’re consciously focusing on getting our own thoughts, beliefs, and emotions out of the way so the power that already exists can flow uninterrupted.

How to Use Affirmations

When we focus our attention on something, we are feeding energy into it. When we recite an affirmation, therefore, it should hold our desire at the center point. This means that the statement should be positive rather than negative, beginning with an action rather than inaction – I will, I am, I have, rather than I won’t or I don’t.

Some examples of positive versus negative statements are as follows:

  • I will stop wasting money can be reworded as I will be responsible with my money
  • I won’t get sick can be reworded as I will be healthy and happy
  • I will lose weight can be reworded as I will achieve a healthy weight

A good affirmation is also short and powerful. It references the core of a desire rather than a specific symbol of that desire. The objects and experiences that we want are often just symbolic of some greater and more meaningful inner desire. The most powerful affirmations are those that target our innermost desires rather than the objects that represent them, because it’s feeding the roots rather than just the flower. This also helps to keep us flexible enough to receive blessings that are beyond what our limited understanding would have allowed us to envision, keeping all avenues open and allowing spirit to work in mysterious but effective ways.

Some examples of symbols versus desires are as follows:

  • A job promotion is a symbol of the desire for affluence
  • A particular relationship is a symbol of the desire for love or affection
  • A new car may be a symbol of the desire for acceptance, attention, or prosperity

Using an affirmation is more than just the recitation of words. It’s a practice that involves aligning ourselves with the positive energy of our soul’s desires. While affirmations can and should be used any time and in any place, it’s best to begin with a set time and place where you can really focus on aligning yourself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually with the meaning of what you’re reciting. Like with meditation or prayer, a place with special meaning, a quiet atmosphere, and comfort is best. As you speak your affirmation aloud, image that it has already come to pass. Feel the emotions that you would feel if it were true, picture how it would look, imagine how it would smell and feel.

With time, as you recite your affirmation in crowded streets or on a lunch break at work, you will automatically recall those feelings and imageries, thus feeding even more energy into the fulfillment of your soul-felt desires.

There is no minimum or maximum number of times to recite your statement; nor is there a particular place or time to use it. Remember that our affirmations are our watering pitchers and our desires the seeds. As often as we can, we should pour those positive thoughts over our intentions. The more often you use your affirmations, the sooner those seeds will grow into your own personal garden of blessings.


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      Roger Ethier 12 months ago

      Cristen, You are a most beautiful diamond shining its bright light in every direction and that is yet to be discovered under a rock. You are my heart and my soul and all the rest of me, and when the rock rolls away there will be an explosion of light, love and awareness. Blessings, Roger E