Sunday, March 16, 2008

Freeing ourselves from negative thought patterns

These monkeys looked to me to be quite unhappy in their cage... with the only real trees those reflected in the glass. But I couldn't see into their minds... maybe they were actually looking out at the flamingos and thinking how lucky they themselves were to be in such a secure place.

This morning I wrote a long email to someone about affirmations and in particular about how one can test for them using kinesiology self-test questioning. I then went to Carla's wings4you site and found that she too was focusing on affirmations. So I decided this synchronicity was encouraging me to go a little more public on the self-test method of checking and using them.

If you are interested in learning how to to self-test the best reference on the web, that I know of, is on the Perelandra site. You need to have mastered this before learning how to use it to self-test affirmations. Incidentally I use a different method so I'm not saying this is the only, or even the best method, just one that is relatively easy to learn without the commitment I made to train as a Health Kinesiologist.

Self-testing opens up a great communication channel with your body. Some cautions though, there are some things you cannot expect to be able to self-test accurately - for instance no-one I know has yet managed to correctly test the lottery numbers in advance - it is in general dodgy to self-test future events, but random ones are the most dodgy. It is best to use self test for accessing your own body's information and responses. Again you still need to be cautious. For instance if I tested that it was appropriate for me to eat arsenic I still wouldn't! So keep your common sense intact.

Testing for appropriate affirmations is a really good use of self-test.

First what is an affirmation?

An affirmation is always worded positively and in the present tense. It is usually also short and succinct. Most affirmations contain the word "I" or "me" or similar, e.g. "I am happy" or "Happiness flows up from the earth through my whole body" though some are much less personal, for instance "Life is good". Once you have the wording you then test a schedule for its use. For instance a common pattern is to say the affirmation out loud 10 times on waking and before sleep every day for a fortnight. Another is to look into the mirror to say it every morning.

Using self-test one first checks that it is appropriate to test for an affirmation now. There are plenty of reasons that it may not be appropriate - it may be that a different method would suit you better right now, maybe a visualisation or a vision statement or something which changes everyday and is not a fixed repeated affirmation. However if you do get that it is appropriate the next thing is to find the exact words.

You may have a specific example in mind. For instance you may have a list of affirmations such as those in Louise Hay's book "You can Heal Your Life". If you are drawn to using one or more of those, use these questions to check it / them.

Using self-test to check with your body:
  • Is this an appropriate affirmation for me to use?

  • Is there a more appropriate one from this list?

  • Should I look on another page?
There are times when what seems like an obviously good affirmation is not appropriate. For instance the example of "I am happy" may in fact cause too much stress and repeating it may not be the best thing to do right now. It may be that a statement such as "I allow myself to feel and release the grief within me" would be far more beneficial. Feeling grief whilst grieving is not being negative!

Sometimes the affirmation could be improved by a minor change in the wording. For instance here are some example affirmations from Louis Proto's Self-Healing:
  1. I feel stronger with every moment that passes.
  2. With every breath I feel more alive.
  3. I feel well, I look well, I am well.
  4. I deserve to be radiantly healthy.
Say you are drawn to the 2nd affirmation in the list - With every breath I feel more alive - you've tested its a good starting point but your testing shows the need to change it, ask which word to focus on changing. Point to each in turn until you get a yes to "Change this one?" Let's say the word to focus on changing is "I".

Should we reword it without an I in it?

For instance:

With every breath my body feels more alive,


With every breath life flows into me.

Should we keep the I and change the order?

For instance:

I feel more alive with each breath.


I breathe and feel life flowing through me.

As you can see the possibilities are endless and it really does help to use self-test to get the best possible version for your own use.

If you are struggling with this stage, ask if any of the affirmations you've come up with are "good enough". It may be that after a few days of using a good enough affirmation you find a variation that you test is better. This is the advantage of self-testing and not relying on someone else to find the words for you.

A Health Kinesiologist will normally test affirmations from scratch but they have other tools to help them, not least useful lists of words to test from.

I sometimes "see" affirmations for other people in a sort of semi-legible writing in the air... you may find you too can get them that way too.

Once you have the wording that is most suited to you right now also check what the best way to use it is.

Does it matter how I say it?

If yes, then check whether out loud / silently, eyes open / closed, standing in front of a mirror, reading it etc.

How many times?

Check how many times to repeat it each time. Some bodies are very particular and like this to be an exact number. So if you come up with say, 14, then say it exactly 14 times when you say it.

Should I use it in a fixed schedule?

If so, then test how often a day and at what times to say it. These may be fixed times like 10.20 am or event times like on waking, before lunch, after dinner, on turning the light out to go to sleep. Write it out and put it in the best places to remind you to say it at these times.

If not, is this more like a mantra, something to think/say whenever possible? If so, test whether it would help to write it out and put it up in various places where you'll see it.

How long do you need to keep this up?

It could be, that to be effective, this affirmation will need repeating to this schedule for days, weeks even months! Test this now.

Should I measure how long to use this affirmation in days? Weeks? Months?

More than 1 day/week/month? More than 2?

When you think you've got the wording right, the timing and method and length of use right, etc. ask

Is there anything else I need to know?

If there is then start asking questions like, does it matter where I am? Does it matter how I say it? E.g. Loudly? Whispered? Sing it? Write it? Do I need to keep it private? Would it be best if I kept my notes visible only to me? Do I need to retest my schedule after a certain time? Etc. Generally none of these extra conditions do matter but if they do, then you need to know.

I am glad I learnt to use self-test.
I find self-test very beneficial.
Self-test is a great tool.

Affirmations increase the positive self-talk in my head.
I feel happy. I am happy. I radiate happiness.
Every cell in my body is happy.



Caroline said...

On the keeping notes out of sight suggestion - I remember hearing about someone who had a little sign on his bathroom mirror that said something like "I am 150 lb." He gradually lost weight, his wife however gained it!

So the reason for keeping them private might not be secrecy but because its healthier for others not to be influenced by them.

Anonymous said...

HAhhaaaa, funny about the weight changes! I find lost objects this way ... Before sleep tell myself I'll find them soon as I wake and do! Even if it wasn't me who lost them ... ;) Once I found a library book which ended up down the street!

Caroline said...

Anonymous - I once saw someone dowse for someone else's lost keys in a big field where we were camping - and the dowser found them. But it exhausted him! So finding things whilst asleep is a much better method.

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

This is something that people in underdeveloped countries should be many people here suffer from self doubt, self hate, all the ills that go hand in hand with negative self image. It is the major cause of apathy, all the other ills that keep us from developing.

Caroline said...

GG - and perhaps everyone in overdeveloped countries too!

People generally do seem to have the capacity to pick up a lot of negative patterning...