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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Life-Affirming or Fear-Affirming ~ What Messages Are You Letting In?

Your Brain Remembers Meaning, not Facts

"Thinking will not overcome fear, but action will."
W. Clement Stone

Affirmations Are Everywhere
Affirmations are everywhere ~ in the newspaper, T.V. and internet ~in your communications and actions ~ and in your photos, art, and  music.

Every day you're bombarded with messages running the gamut from life-affirming to fear-affirming. Unless you pause to consciously choose which ones you let in, those heightening your emotional response, especially your fear response, are most likely to get in.

This morning, I was in that 'I just woke up, haven't had a cup of coffee  or breakfast yet frame of mind' when I saw the newspaper headline:

'Layoffs rare now even with unemployment high'.

I think, not a bad start for reducing fear in this job market. So I read on:
 'Got a job? Take a breath, you're lucky to keep it; No job? Good luck trying to get one.'
Ugh! I could feel the collective grip of fear and anxiety surge through my body.

Unfortunately fear-affirming messages, such as these, do not need help getting into our consciousness. They get fast-tracked in as the fear whips through our body and there they stay until we work to get them out.

Let the Sunshine In
It doesn't have to be that way. You can choose the messages you let take up residence in your brain by presenting those messages with strong emotional and visual impact. The stronger the meaning you give a message, the more your brain attends to it.

The key is: your brain doesn't remember facts, it remembers meaning.  So the more meaning you give something, the more it takes root in your memory.

Do Something With Positive Messages to Give More Meaning
Rather than glancing at the affirmation 'All Is Well in my World' and moving on with your day, stop and do something with it ~React to it ~ Talk about it ~ Redesign it ~ Apply it ~ Go for a walk and ponder it.

What meaning does 'All Is Well in my World' have for you today? What can you do to apply it to your life? What is getting in the way of you accepting it as true right now? How can you switch from accepting fear-based messages to accepting everything is well in your world?

Artful Messages with Visual and Emotional Impact
Many of the affirmations I use on the watercolor hearts come from Louise L Hay's book, 'You Can Heal Your Life'. Rather than reading the book, I actively responded to it by turning the messages that spoke to me into pieces of art visually appealing to me. The more I work with creating these artful messages, the more meaning I give them. And the more I share them with others, the deeper the messages get in my psyche.

All is Well in my World
Let go of the fear. All is well.

What are you affirming in your life?
~Getting out for a walk or bicycle ride daily affirms you're healthy and active.
~Staying involved in your community confirms you're connected.
~Celebrating other's good fortune in getting or keeping a job, affirm your own good fortune is on its way.
~Passing on life-affirming messages to others affirms your own desire to choose life-affirming actions.

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