As you’ll have read last week, I’m not a huge fan of New Year’s Resolutions, especially if they are negatively-stated, involve giving up something, or are just downright unachievable.
However, I do think it makes sense to “set yourself up for a good year”, and begin as if you mean to go on.
It started well for me. I danced my way into the New Year with great friends and did the New Year’s Day swim at Topsham Pool (in the rain), and I thought that this sense of fun and adventure, embracing my inner child was exactly what I needed to take into 2017.
I’d also booked a trip to London to see one of my gurus, Lee Harris, speak at event, and billed as an “Energy Tune Up for 2017”, I thought this was just the kickstart I needed to hit the ground running when I went back to work.
The day before heading up to the big smoke, I was chatting to a friend about the subject of this column as I was feeling a little uninspired and I’d left it late in the day. He’s a climber and a wild runner, with a similar background in fitness and I knew he’d have some good ideas.
He suggested affirmations, or mantras, as a way of setting our intentions for the year and making them last as long as possible.
I’m a huge fan of mantras. I use the one “smile and breathe” for yoga and for life, for when things are getting difficult and to make sure you stay in a positive state.
Sportspeople like Mohammed Ali have used mantras to help them achieve greatness, and there have been hundreds of books written explaining just how you can change your life using them.
The reasons they work aren’t just airy-fairy nonsense, there’s science behind this, and without going into it too much, studies have shown how the words we use have a profound effect on our wellbeing. If you’re interested in reading more about this, check out the work of Japanese scientist Masaru Emoto, “The Hidden Messages in Water”; it’s quite astounding.
Basically when we use affirmations, we are setting an intention for ourselves, we are positively stating who we want to be, what we want to do, and what we want to H ave, as if we already are/do/have it, and the energy within us and around us responds in a way that assumes it’s in place, and the wheels are in motion for its manifestation.
I know, it sounds a little deep, but bear with me. I have some examples in a moment. But back to the story….
So I’ve decided to write about mantras, but I’ve written about them before, and I needed a new slant, and I wondered what my new affirmation for 2017 would be. I decide to sleep on it and leave my writing until the next day.
It’s funny how when we ask the question, the answer appears.
The next day I’m at my event in London. It’s freezing cold, the hotel is not quite as I expected, and I’m feeling a little deflated eating my omelette, drinking my water, wondering what I’m doing here, instead of being at home, listening to another of Lee’s YouTube videos.
Yet when he walks on stage, his energy stops me in my tracks. Whatever he’s doing, I’m listening. He starts his story of how he got into what he does now. He wanted to be a singer/songwriter, but how the Universe “had other plans”. We are two minutes in and I’m crying, I know exactly why I’m here.
The next thing that causes my jaw to drop is that I realise the postcards on our seats are the subject of the talk. Affirmations. This is spooky.
There are four different ones and he explains the relevance of each and how they may be useful in their own way, and we test them out by closing our eyes and saying the words a few times over and seeing the effect they have.
I’m going to share these with you now, just in case you find one useful.
“I give myself my own love”.
This is a great one to use if you’re single or feeling unloved or uncared for. It stops us from depending on others to fulfil our needs and instead helps us develop self-love, which also helps us extend love outwards and attract new love to us. We say it with a hand on our heart, and it’s amazing how good it feels.
“I am open to my highest potential”.
This is ideal for those feeling stuck in life, perhaps unfulfilled in their work, or feeling like they’ve not really found the career that’s for them or their life purpose. We are warned that this one can lead to quite powerful changes so we need to be ready, or caveat it with “and I allow that to come with grace and ease”.
“I am magic and power”.
When you’re feeling down, depressed or low in energy, this short, simple sentence can completely transform your frequency and energy. It reminds of the power we possess within and when we write it down and stick it up around our home, it also changes the energy in our environment. This is a general one that everyone could benefit from, especially in this difficult time for the world, when we can easily feel disempowered.
“I release any energies and emotions that are not mine”
This one is for the empathy and “lightworkers”, as Lee calls them – people who give themselves in the service of others. When you work to help others, your energy can easily get drained, as the negative emotions of others can remain as residue in your energy field long after you’ve been with that person.
This one i realise is for me. It was the one on my seat without me realising it, and as I tried it out with my eyes close, I felt an openness in my chest that I hadn’t felt for a long time.
It strikes me that I’ve felt unwell for two months, and I couldn’t figure out why. This is it. I’ve found my affirmation for the year ahead. I’m going to use it after every class, every private season especially, and at the end of every day.
I already know it’s going to work, and that in itself is an affirmation.
And most of all, thanks to a couple of inspiring guys in my life, I know it’s going to be a good year.