By Noelle Sterne
Affirmations help us see what truly is and not what our senses try to fool us with—and we can use them everywhere in any circumstance.
As a student of spirituality, you probably know about affirmations—powerful, elevating statements that replace our negative thoughts. Affirmations quiet our doubts and fears and scrub out our worries like metaphysical bleach. Used for centuries, affirmations are a form of prayer. A powerful connection exists between our thoughts or spoken affirmations and our outlook. Spiritual teacher Catherine Ponder reminds us that affirmations “make firm” our positive thoughts (Pray and Grow Rich, p. 100).
Many books contain excellent affirmations. Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life is one of my favorites. At the end of every chapter, she adds a paragraph-long meditation/affirmation that sends you floating to the ceiling. Most of the meditations are specific to the chapter subjects, but each begins with this: “In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole and complete.” Covers it all?
When Should You Use Affirmations?
The answer is anytime, anywhere. You can be formal about it and use affirmations in your regular meditation sessions. Or as meditations. Or in the few moments before you wake or fall asleep. You can also use affirmations whenever you’re waiting, watching, or walking—at a traffic light, in the dentist’s office, on a turn around the neighborhood. Or whenever you feel frightened, uncertain, angry, or edging toward depression.
Your Custom-Made Affirmations
You can create your own affirmations for any event, circumstance, person, or quality you want to feel better about. The more specific you are, the stronger the affirmation. Only one rule applies: Always decree your affirmations in the present tense. Here are some broad-spectrum ones to get you started:
• I am worthy of all good in my life.
• I deserve to love and be loved.
• I forgive myself and I am forgiven.
• I lack nothing. All I need is here now.
• I hear my true Voice now.
• I am guided to the right words, decisions, and actions in this
Your affirmations are also great negative catchers. Like seizing sparks that flip out of the fire, extinguish them with your affirmations. Here are some affirmations for some familiar situations, and for additional encouragement, with affirming “testimonies.”
For your parents and partners:
• I forgive them, whether I think they deserve it or not.
• I am free to be myself with them.
• I respond only positively to them.
• They did the best they could and do the best they can. I send them love.
After Derek practiced these affirmations for a month before a family reunion, at the gathering he announced his change of career. To his shock his mother and most difficult uncle didn’t belittle his choice but congratulated him and offered any help they could give.
For your job:
• I do all I need to with ease and lightness.
• I am in the right place right now, doing the right work.
• I see my boss and coworkers only in and through Love.
• I enjoy this job (even if you have to swallow hard).
After a testy start in her new position, Tracy started using the second of these affirmations every morning as she got ready for work. She noticed changes immediately and couldn’t believe how everyone responded so helpfully to her, especially when she was preparing for a big project. She actually started enjoying her job and began to feel like she belonged in this firm.
For a presentation you must give:
• I am perfectly at ease.
• The audience is on my side.
• I am sharing information and Love.
• I listen to God’s Voice and speak.
When I do a radio interview, I prepare, yes, but I also affirm beforehand (and sometimes during) that I am God’s Voice speaking to the audience’s needs. Even with preparation and agreed-on questions and answers, often, still to my amazement, more inspiring and creative (and unprepared) ideas and words flow through.
For your studies or any test:
• With a clear mind, I understand and retain everything.
• I produce my assignments with ease and smoothness.
• I ask the questions I need to ask.
• God gives me the right answers every time.
Andy, a doctoral candidate, had great difficulty finishing a chapter in his proposal. For months he submitted draft after draft and got the same response: his chair never seemed satisfied. Then Andy engaged me and we used these affirmations and several more. Andy followed my guidance but also attacked the chapter with new vigor. Within three weeks, his chair approved the chapter and Andy continued with his dissertation.
For going to a social event you dread:
• I listen to others and smile.
• Words and conversation come to me easily and effortlessly.
• I can be myself.
• I don’t have to do anything.
Invited to a good friend’s wedding, Margaret felt she couldn’t possibly go. She’d always had difficulty meeting and talking to new people. “My brain becomes paralyzed.” Beforehand she used the affirmations above. At the reception, she met another woman who confessed she was very nervous, and they found themselves comparing social horror stories and giggling uncontrollably. To this day they are close friends.
For enacting your dream:
• I deserve to do what I’ve always wanted.
• No one stands in my way.
• I have enough time, money, energy, interest, and cooperation from everyone to do what I’ve always wanted.
• Doing what I’ve always wanted to do harms no one.
• Doing what I’ve always wanted to do makes me feel good and keeps me healthy.
• Doing what I’ve always wanted to do blesses me and everyone around me.
• I give myself permission to receive all the gifts and support the Universe is eager to shower upon me. (Unity Daily Word, May 13, 2014)
• I succeed in my dream by surrendering to God’s Voice in me.
Working on my second book, I fervently desired the right academic press in a reasonable time. I was well aware of the common belief in the difficulty of finding a publisher and all the time it would take. But I pushed aside those negatives (not easy, of course) and repeated the affirmation from Unity—with passion: I give myself permission to receive all the gifts and support the Universe showers upon me. One week later, an excellent publisher offered me a contract.
Whatever your dream, whatever you really, really want to do, you deserve to. Accept this fact, and start with small steps if you need to. Register for a class, unearth your watercolors, go practice at the next karaoke sing-off, write a paragraph. Everyone starts at the beginning.
Expect and Allow Results
We can use affirmations for anything and everything. Don’t feel constrained or ashamed by any request in an affirmation. Expect replies.
Nothing is too small or stupendous for the universal laws to respond to. When out shopping one day, I needed a large shopping bag. I declared the need and believed—and a few moments later my eye caught a sturdy one lying on the street.
My friend Charlie needed a car for two weeks to deliver special supplies for the nonprofit he worked for. We affirmed the perfect vehicle together. You guessed it. Another friend was going on vacation—for two weeks—and asked Charlie to car-sit and keep it running.
Affirmations About Affirmations
Affirmations are powerful spiritual tools we can use everywhere in any circumstance. They help us see what truly is and not what our senses try to fool us with or our fearful mind conjures. Any affirmation you create or use is the right one. You cannot affirm wrongly. Simply grow quiet and acknowledge your need. The words will come.
And so, a few final affirmations:
• My affirmations carry all power and fulfillment.
• I accept perfect fulfillment of my affirmations.
• Fulfillment of my affirmations is the universal law.
• I affirm always rightly with God on my side.
Author, editor, writing coach, workshop leader, and academic mentor, Noelle Sterne has published over 600 stories, essays, writing craft articles, spiritual pieces, and occasional poems in literary and academic print and online venues. Publications include Author Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul (most recent November 2019, The Forgiveness Fix; podcast Jan. 2020), Inspire Me Today, LiveWriteThrive, Journal of Expressive Writing, Mused, Pen and Prosper, Romance Writers Report, Ruminate, Sasee, Textbook and Academic Authors Association blog (monthly), Thesis Whisperer, Transformation Coaching (bimonthly), Two Drops of Ink blog, Unity Magazine, WE Magazine for Women, Women in Higher Education, Women on Writing, Writer’s Digest, and The Writer. With a Ph.D. from Columbia University, Noelle has assisted doctoral candidates in completing their dissertations (finally) for 30 years. Her published handbook to assist doctoral candidates is based on her professional academic practice (PhD, Columbia University): Challenges in Writing Your Dissertation: Coping with the Emotional, Interpersonal, and Psychological Struggles (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2015). In Noelle’s spiritual self-help book, Trust Your Life: Forgive Yourself and Go After Your Dreams (Unity Books, 2011), she draws examples from her academic consulting and other aspects of life to support readers in reaching their lifelong yearnings. Continuing with her own, she is completing her second novel. Her webinar about Trust Your Life can be seen on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95EeqllONIQ&feature=youtu.be Visit Noelle at her website: http://www.trustyourlifenow.com.