It was while doing the first chapter of The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, for the first time, that I came face to face with my issues about affirmations. I didn’t believe in them. Period. I thought they were silly. Then I did this exercise and my attitude changed. Whether or not you already support the idea of affirmations, this exercise could be eye-opening for you. I hope you’ll give it a try.
Julia Cameron on the enemy within:
“An affirmation is a positive statement of (positive) belief, and if we can become one-tenth as good at positive self-talk as we are at negative self-talk, we will notice an enormous change….
When we first start working with affirmations, they may feel dumb. Hokey. Embarrassing. Isn’t this interesting? We can easily, and without embarrassment, bludgeon ourselves with negative affirmations: ‘I’m not gifted enough/not clever enough/not original enough/not young enough…’ But saying nice things about ourselves is notoriously hard to do. It feels pretty awful at first….
Just try picking an affirmation. For example ‘I, _____________ (your name), am a brilliant and prolific potter [painter, poet, or whatever you are].’ Write that ten times in a row. While you are doing that, something very interesting will happen. Your Censor will start to object. ‘Hey, wait a minute. You can’t say all that positive stuff around me.’ Objections will start to pop up like burnt toast. These are your blurts.
Listen to the objections. Look at the ugly, stumpy little blurts…. You will be amazed at the rotten things your subconscious will blurt out. Write them down. These blurts flag your personal negative core beliefs. They hold the key to your freedom in their ugly little claws. Make a list of your personal blurts….
Turn now to your own list of blurts. They are very important to your recovery. Each of them has held you in bondage. Each of them must be dissolved. For example, a blurt that runs, ‘I, Fred, am an untalented phony’ might be converted to the affirmation, ‘I, Fred, am genuinely talented.’
Use your affirmations every morning.”
Jeane here: When I did this exercise I was stunned. While I was attempting to write the original affirmation ten times, I had to pause time and again to write down all the negative self-talk that poured out of me. I ended up with page after page of blurts. So I did the work to turn these negative beliefs into affirmations. And when I was done I had pure gold—a list of positive affirmations that were custom-made for ME. They neutralized all those core negative beliefs I’d been carrying around with me all my life. And I USED them! Every morning I would choose three and write them ten times each. This became a powerful part of my process.
As I write this now, I realize it’s time I did this exercise again—to uncover new blurts (or deeper blurts) residing in my psyche. Let’s try this together, shall we? I hope you’ll join me and then write to me about your experience. You know I’ll be writing about mine!
Love to you all,