Changing our lives begins with changing our minds and changing our minds means paying mindful/careful attention to the words and statements we use.
Words are an actual force that consist of sound vibrations and without them, our thoughts could never become reality. They reveal and confirm our innermost thought, and good or bad. They are the real creators of our lives, of our worlds.
Words reveal and confirm to us how we see our lives, how we see others and how we perceive ourselves. As a real power, they hold within them the energy to help and heal or to hinder, hurt and harm.
In other words, we are either using this force constructively with words and tones that encourage or destructively with words and tones of despair.
Repeating negative statements over and over in our minds and speaking them out loud in words eventually creates undesirable situations because our subconscious mind accepts as true whatever we believe for ourselves and continue to feed into it by thinking and speaking it.
Unfortunately, as a society, we are conditioned early on to talk about and share our misfortunes and problems. We complain and moan to those around us, empowering these negative words and statements with life.
Furthermore, when we enforce our negative thoughts by speaking them, we not only cement these negative words and statements as true for us, but we cement them in the minds of those listening as true for us, multiplying the power 10 times over.
Mindfulness is a relatively new word that is empowering people to become aware of what's happening in the moment and this would include becoming mindful of what is thought and spoken. But, practising mindfulness is not a new discipline, it just has a new fancier, new-age name.
Mindfulness is nothing short of self-awareness. This discipline has been around and practised forever – it is the most empowering discipline we can adopt. As yoga and other ancient self-disciplines increased in popularity, mindfulness as a discipline gained popularity as well and is now mainstream and practised by many.
As self-aware, mindful individuals, we can gain control, catch and reframe our word choices to have a positive impact in our world rather than a negative one. We can create a reality that is good for us.
Carolyn Hansen: Self-discipline is empowering and brings results
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When we are mindful and speak consciously, we choose words wisely and negative words such as can't, won't, and shouldn't are avoided. These words are not only damaging, they are the very things that are preventing us from manifesting the life of our dreams. They are road-blockages to our dreams.
The most empowering words in everyone's vocabulary are the words "I am". These two words alone define who we are to the world and more importantly, who we are to ourselves.
"I am" statements open the channel in our consciousness that builds new beliefs and every statement that begins with those two powerful words is creating and defining our reality. These creations can be constructive or destructive depending on the words we pair with "I am".
Become aware and be mindful. When the words "I am" flow from your mouth, pay attention to the words that follow and ask yourself: "Do they reflect positively on me and my world? Do they contribute and add to my happiness? Do they make me feel good about myself and about others?"
Do you focus on and repeat positive affirmations daily such as "I am healthy, happy and at peace" or do you repeat "I am sick, tired and going out of my mind?" Are you thinking and telling yourself that you are too lazy, lack inner strength or that you are going to fail at something? Whatever follows "I am" is an affirmation declaring what you are so choose wisely.
Using positive affirmations consciously, with intent can and will eventually shift our subconscious programming. It is a process empowered to change the negative scripts that run in our minds - to transform our habits, behaviour, mental attitude and reactions and reshape our external life.
Repeating positive words helps focus the mind on our aim and automatically builds corresponding mental images in the conscious mind. These images affect the subconscious mind like what happens when we use creative visualisation.
However, getting results using positive affirmations takes patience, rarely do they appear quickly. It usually takes a bit of time to attain the desired results. It could be days, weeks or months depending on several factors such as time, focus, faith and feelings invested, on the strength of your desire and on how big or small your goal.
It's imperative to understand that repeating positive affirmations for a few minutes daily and then going back and entertaining negative thoughts the rest of the day will neutralise the effects of any previous positive words or statements. To truly manifest in your world, there must be a lifestyle change in your thinking, not a momentary hit of positive energy.
It's really very simple. You cannot create a positive world by thinking negative thoughts. They don't live on the same frequency. Negative comments about yourself or about others are detrimental and will eventually cause discord in your life and disease in your body.
As individuals, we must get our heads out of the chaos in our minds and see negative thoughts as the proverbial "devils" that they are. We must refuse to allow them space in our minds and most importantly, if we want to avoid negative conditions manifesting in our lives, we must avoid bringing them to life by continually repeating them in thought or word.
The reality is, thoughts and their resultant words are empowered to create our world, and so, we must pick them wisely. To enforce your new habit of thinking and speaking positively, place positive affirmations where you will see them daily such as your bathroom mirror.
Use them as "gentle reminders" to keep your attitude healthy and your thoughts in a positive frame of mind. Become a self-aware, mindful master who chooses their thoughts and words wisely rather than one who is buffeted by chaotic thoughts and harms with destructive words.
• Carolyn Hansen is co-owner of Anytime Fitness.