My core talk, The Inspired Life, has three intentions:
1) Awareness. Participants will leave with a full awareness of the negative self-talking mind, i.e. Shadow. Psychologist Carl Jung stated: Everyone carries a Shadow and the less conscious we are of it, the darker and denser it becomes. Benefit: Awareness is all that is necessary to reduce the power of Shadow in our lives.
2) Experience. Through vividly shared experiences participants will be brought into the experience through specially designed stories. Physicist Albert Einstein stated: The only source of knowledge is experience. Benefit: Living vicariously through me and my experiences, one can learn from them and become inspired by them.
3) Tools. Participants will be given usable tools to overcome negative thoughts, beliefs, and emotions. St. Francis of Assisi stated: A single sunbeam is enough to drive away any Shadows. Benefit: Tools participants receive can be valuable and usable resources to overcome negative thinking and replace it with positive, powerful thinking.
African Proverb: “If there is no enemy within, the enemy outside can do you no harm.”
This talk may be piggybacked by my workshop, Living the Inspired Life! This workshop is designed to bring forth the vibration of inspiration into daily life. In this workshop I’ll work directly with participants to co-create an inspiring affirmation for their life. Participants will also be given tools to create and sustain inspiration for themselves. I will also provide one on one support to individuals interested in guidance.
Albert Einstein: “No problem can be solved at the same level of consciousness that created it.”
Creating Affirmations (Handout 1)
Affirmations are powerful tools that when used can help to overcome the negative self-talking mind. Affirmations are statements we make about our being or our lives. The word affirmation means: Something validated or made firm. An affirmation is a desire stated in the present tense as if it is already true in our lives. With affirmations we are able to re-program our minds from negative thought to positive thoughts as if we were filling a glass of dark, cloudy water, drop by drop with clear water.
1. Make them personal: I AM…I KNOW…I DO.
2. Make them short: one sentence if possible, for easy memory, lasering into our mind.
3. Write them in the present tense, in the here-in-now. RIGHT NOW.
4. Make the vocabulary personal to you using your own manner of speaking. Use words that touch you at the feeling level. Notice the difference how you feel about these words: wealthy…rich…prosperous…
5. Be specific but do not “outline.” State WHAT but not HOW.
1. Place them everywhere you are likely to look – around your house, room, restroom etc.
2. Write each 10-20 times.
3. Say them aloud as many times a day as you can; be emphatic and enthusiastic.
4. Record them and play them to yourself throughout the day at appropriate times.
5. If the words or tone don’t “feel right” to you, restate them until they do. Play around with different words.
Using Affirmations to Uncover Hidden Beliefs
If the “inner you” says NO every time you say your affirmation, ask yourself, “What do I really believe about this?” Frequently, we discover that something in our early life established a no-longer-valid belief that we have since been operating from. Example: “I’m not good enough.” Or, “I’m bad.” Take that belief out and look at it. What purpose does it serve? If you no longer need it, give it up. Then your affirmation will be clear.
Once you identify a hidden belief that no longer serves you, create and affirmation which will pour into your mind the constructive opposite. Example for belief above: “I am worthy of all great things for my life because I am a wonderful person.” Or, “Every day, in every way, I am better and better.”
Identifying Negative Self-Talk (Handout 2)
Not sure if your self-talk is positive or negative? Here are some common forms of negative self-talk:
Filtering. You magnify the negative aspects of a situation and filter out all of the positive ones. For example, say you had a great day at school. You completed your tasks ahead of time and were complimented for doing a speedy and thorough job. But you forgot one minor step. That evening, you focus only on your oversight and forget about the compliments you received.
Personalizing. When something bad occurs, you automatically blame yourself. For example, you hear that an event with friends is canceled, and you assume that the change in plans is because no one wanted to be around you.
Catastrophizing. You automatically anticipate the worst. You spill a glass of milk on your lap at breakfast and you automatically think that the rest of your day will be a disaster.
Polarizing. You see things only as either good or bad, black or white. There is no middle ground. You feel that you have to be perfect or that you’re a total failure.
Exercises to Gain Awareness of Your Thoughts and Beliefs:
The Alarm Exercise: Setting an alarm every 30 minutes for a day is an effective way to “catch” your mind thinking. So often we are thinking negative thoughts unconsciously, this exercise will allow you to see what’s happening in your “thought life.” When the alarm goes off, take a moment to stop and look at the current thought you are having and write it down.
At the end of the day pick one negative thought or belief you want to go to work on and follow the instructions from the “Creating Affirmations” worksheet. When you create an affirmation for the thought or belief you’ve chosen, you may see in time that it will have a positive effect on othewr areas of your life as well as the other negative thoughts you’ve written down.
Mindfulness Meditation: This type of meditation is based on being mindful of thoughts, or having an increased awareness of living in the present moment. (Out of thoughts of fear of the future and regret of the past.) Start with 2 minutes a day and build slowly to 10 or 20. In a quiet place close your eyes and focus on the flow of your breath. If your mind wanders gently bring your attention back to your breathing. You can observe your thoughts and emotions but let them pass without judgment. By cultivating mindfulness, you allow yourself to hear even the subtlest messages from the unconscious. You become aware and awakened to thoughts that are hidden. This practice can be challenging but provides the most benefit not only to your awareness of thoughts but also to your health and peace of mind. Journey of Awakening: A Meditator’s Guidebook by Ram Dass is the classic guide to inner development and is an excellent source of information on the subject of meditation.