“Every thought we think is creating our future. ”
―Louise L. Hay
We all know Louise L. Hay. She is a motivational author and the founder of Hay House. Her first book Heal Your Body touched me deeply during my recovery from bulimia back in the mid-eighties. This book and her work, in general, are based on the premise that what we think affects us, not only on an emotional and mental level, but also on a physical level.
Whether or not there is scientific evidence to support this idea, I think we all know from experience that we are powerfully affected by the thoughts we have and the statements we make to ourselves.
I teach the repetition of a Sacred Mantra to bring the mind back to a more positive place when it starts down a negative, worrisome path. When it comes to The Practice, affirmations (positive, uplifting statements) can complement the repetition of the Sacred Mantra, but they do not take the place of it.
As I state in my book, “A mantra is sacred because when we use it, we are calling upon the strength of all the great saints, masters, and traditions that have used it before us for support, spiritual well-being, and deep connection.” When we use an affirmation, we are speaking directly to ourselves—sort of the way a mother would speak to her child.
The truth is, our mind can be like an unruly child—or even an untrained puppy!—and sometimes it simply needs the training and the reassurance that we can do it, conquer it, overcome it, achieve it, survive it . . .
Although we may know this truth deeply in our hearts that we are strong, capable, and loving, we sometimes need to remind ourselves in words that our brains can process and put into action.
One of the affirmations I turn to when I need a little extra assurance is “Barb, you are strong and capable; all is well.” I recite my Sacred Mantra before and after this statement, and it tells my mind what I already know deep within. Then, I can go tackle whatever it is that I need to take care of with confidence.
What affirmations do you use to support yourself throughout the day? If you don’t have an affirmation that you use regularly, perhaps you would like to choose one from below and see what happens the next time you use it. Let me know!
I am strong and capable.
All is well.
Today is special.
Inner peace is my birthright.
I am patient and compassionate.
I face fears with courage.
I make good choices.
“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”
As today is the first day of Hanukkah, I wish all my friends and readers who celebrate the Festival of Lights a beautiful, happy holiday!
A time of celebration most often calls for light in some way or another. Nearly every religion and spiritual tradition places the concept of light or creating light in a role of importance. Consider this: without light there would be only darkness—a mysterious and sometimes frightening place to be—so our love and reverence for that which brightens our lives makes perfect sense.
I believe we each have a light within us—a light we connect with by sitting quietly with ourselves every day. When we feel lost or afraid, this light reminds us we are not alone, and the silence helps us listen to the “whisperings of our hearts.” Our light is our essence in the world. I am deeply moved by the Sanskrit phrase Namaste, which means, “The light within me honors the light within you.” Here are four beautiful ways we can honor the light in others.
- Connect with the light within you. Sitting in silence each morning helps you connect within to your “true self.” This quiet time is a place of love, peace, courage, and support. It lights up the magnificent being that you are. It helps you to see the world as well as yourself more clearly.
- Take that light out into the world. When you have connected with your inner light, you take your light with you as you go about your day. If you perceive it dimming (it never really does, but you may be feeling a lack of energy), simply breathe and bring yourself back to the present moment and repeat your Sacred Mantra or a positive affirmation, reminding you of who you really are.
- Use your light to see the light in others. When you shine your light, you are able to see others more clearly, and you understand deeply that each of us is doing our best and that we all share the ultimate goal to be happy. Patience, gratitude, tolerance, acceptance, presence, and love are the gifts you give to others and yourself when you recognize the light in them.
- Acknowledge the light in others. By treating others with kindness and compassion, you are acknowledging that they are sacred beings with whom you share this planet. A smile, a helping hand, a nod of the head, a comforting pat . . . these are just a few of the ways you can let others know that you respect and honor their presence in your life.
The Festival of Lights continues for eight days, and over the course of the year, there will be many more celebratory opportunities, as well as solemn occasions, for lighting candles. Regardless of the spiritual tradition or religion, with each candle that is lit, let it be a reminder of the bright spark within each one of us that provides a steady glow of peace, love, and happiness.