The Inner-Work of Positive Affirmations

“I Am Safe” but “Am I Really?”

Positive affirmations are not about suppressing reality nor about using a mask to cover up what’s “really underneath”- on the contrary, positive affirmations are powerful assertions that are meant to open up a dialogue with the experience of embodying the ancestral and everlasting universal question of Who Am I?

 

To Affirm

I breathe in and repeat the words “I Am Safe” and then a thousand questions come out, as eyes that start to blink surrounding a forest night. This is my unconscious speaking, all these thousands of eyes, always there but not always visible to the naked eye, unless I summon a question, unless I summon an assertion. And why is this? That an assertion, inherently becomes a question in itself? That the unconscious responds so strongly and many times so powerfully against a certain idea of myself, against a certain identity I would like to contemplate, construct, or simply integrate into my life?

 

“This is my unconscious speaking, all these thousands of forest eyes, always there but not always visible to the naked eye.”

 

There’s a dialogue happening there, I say “I am safe” and the body responds: are you sure? And then so many paths open up, and then I can choose to continue to say, yes “I am safe”, or I can maybe engage in a logical explanation of why is it that I am safe or my mind may even betray me and remind me of how unsafe I am.

For this reason, positive affirmations can be tricky, and being conscious of the dialogue that takes place within this space that opens up during inner-work makes all the difference. When an inner dialogue unfolds, for the most part, we are by default, not always present with it. Thought patterns are so part of us that we naturally become engaged with them without much awareness or distance from them. It might sound trippy, but many times dialogues can go on for years without us ever being conscious of the tape that’s playing, unknowingly carrying a feeling or a persona that’s being embodied through these dialogues. When it comes to asserting positive affirmations, the dialogue that’s playing becomes ever present and ever clear, giving one the opportunity to listen, to what’s really happening inside.

 

“While asserting positive affirmations, the dialogue that’s playing becomes ever present and ever clear, giving one the opportunity to listen, to what’s really happening inside.”

 

Positive Affirmations Are a Door

To repeat “I Am” is a knock, a desire, and a confrontation with the mirage that’s there. Positive affirmations are at their basis, very philosophical, meaning they are directly related to fundamental questions of existence. And for this very same reason, the mind replies to them, not as a direct truth but, as an extension to an emotion that’s already there. This reverberation holds a mirror to the same mirror we are holding ourselves. In other words, the holdings of the mind become exposed when an affirmation knocks and shows up. These “holdings” or attachments of the mind surface from the mammalian to the reptilian brain, all the way to the memories held through the nervous system that extend throughout the body memory that reacts. Hence, the door.

 

“The holdings of the mind become exposed when an affirmation knocks”

 

The door to the unconscious is closer than what it seems to be, but it gets complicated when we try to open it with force. This is obviously an issue as most of humanity does not live in a monastery with plenty of overflowing time to explore with deep patience, what is happening underneath it all. Nonetheless, there are many things we can still do as there are many tools at our disposal to find a deeper and stronger bond within ourselves. To affirm a thought, a feeling, or an idea as a reality is to allow the unconscious to surface, to talk to us, to laugh and cry with us, to feel with us, and to be there for us. To realize there is a whole world of feelings down there creates a space for growth and a sense of understanding of our true needs.

 

“To affirm a thought, a feeling or an idea as a reality is to allow the unconscious to surface, to talk to us, to laugh and cry with us, to feel with us, and to be there for us”

 

Meet your Positive Affirmation

So let’s try an exercise. Choose any of the affirmations below which resonates with you and take a deep breath. Inhale slowly through your nose and then with your exhale repeat the affirmation as you place your hand on your heart or imagine coloring yourself with healing light of whichever color you choose. Do this five to ten times and as you start to embody it, become aware of what comes up by following the questions below. Moreover, try these exercises by affirming your message as you start to uncover your subconscious.

 

Affirmations

  • I am beautiful
  • I am balanced
  • I am present
  • I am complete
  • I am calm
  • I am confident
  • I am connected
  • I am loved
  • I am grounded
  • I am safe
  • I am clarity
  • I am the path

.

Questions to Follow

How does it feel to be there with a phrase? How is it to be with an affirmation of a reality that is so simple and yet so powerful to tint everything? How can an affirmation co-exist with your idea of yourself? How is it to be present with the feelings that arise? With the embodiment of a truth? How does it taste like? What are the emotions that it brings? Its blockages and questions? Its flow and bodily sensations? What is your relation to this phrase? Are there any memories attached to it? Be it good or bad. Do you like it? Do you hate it? And if so why? Why do you choose a certain affirmation? Why does an affirmation hold importance to you? Since when has this affirmation resonated with you and for what reason? What would it bring if you could feel this way? How would it feel? How would reality feel? How would the world feel and its sensory input? How would your relationships feel? How would you be? How would you breathe? How would you stand? How would you walk? How would you dance or sing as you would embody this truth? How would you sleep and wake up? How would it be if this was a part of your core truth?

 

“How would you breathe if you embodied this affirmation?”

 

Positive Affirmations + Journaling

To affirm a positive thought is not about invalidating what you feel or who you are in order to deny your emotions or the different facets of you; it is instead a proven way to hold a space for your inner child to speak. Journaling facilitates this space, as it gives a platform to the thoughts that have so much to say but that many times can feel fearful to speak through other avenues. Journaling is a way of profoundly listening to the roots that hold the tree that gives the fruits. So next time you repeat a simple affirmation, remember that there is so much more to it and that you can always explore yourself through it.

To practice positive affirmations, as well as other mindfulness practices such as journaling visit the Coloring Method. Dive into coloring practices for inner work through the aid of simple and fun workbooks to connect with your present and conscious self.
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This is a collaborative post supporting our Peace In Peace Out initiative.

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