My Affirmations Aren’t Working!

 Technicolor Hug Creative Commons License photo credit: CarbonNYC

My Affirmations Aren’t Working!  What’s up with that?

Affirmations became popular with the birth of the human potential movement.  One of the perceptions of the human potential movement has been that limitations on happiness and achievement come from negative beliefs about ourselves. As a result, the human potential movement put a lot of attention on how we think about ourselves and what we believe about ourselves and why; one of the practices it developed to improve self worth was the use of affirmations. The general idea is that if you repeat affirmations often enough you will believe them.

The label “bad” has been used for a long time – centuries – to describe behavior that did not conform to group standards. Those standards are being questioned as we evolve beyond traditional societal structures. However, the labels of good and bad are not easy to get rid of.  Even if we eliminate the words from our vocabulary, our educational and other institutions rewards the “right” answer, picking winners and losers, which is a way of defining good and bad.

The labels of good and bad are also believed to shape an individuals self identity often with disastrous results. This recognition has led to increased efforts to change cultural conditioning because the labels good and bad are essentially simplistic and do not honor the magnificent complexity and potential of human beings.

A side effect of the effort to challenge the definitions of “bad” is a desire to transcend the difficult past of the human race.  So the “bad” label has been put under the microscope over the past fifty years as we have evolved to develop a more contextual or situation based way of thinking about behavior to improve how we relate to others as well as ourselves.

Affirmations probably developed as a result of exposure to Eastern medication practices and the use of mantras. Mantras have been used for thousands of years to help focus the mind and to shift our attention from an undesirable fixation to a better one.  It is a way of facilitating the act of “letting go: and developing more acceptance of ourselves, each other and the challenges of life. They have helped a lot of people.

There is a catch with affirmations.  They are not a quick fix and cannot help everyone equally.  I think it has become apparent that affirmations do not solve all problems. Even with the great effort that has been made in using them, they somehow miss the boat with some people.  I think the clue to explain it comes from energy healing practices and meditation.

My TM instructor told me that meditation works on the nervous system to release blocked energy. Blocked energy can have a number of causes: unresolved grief, poor health habits, and all types of abuse – physical, emotional, mental, sexual etc. In other words, energy can become trapped in the body until it is released. Blocked energy does not release easily.  There is usually a learning associated with it.  At a minimum the energy needs to be processed, and often it cannot be processed until we reach a new understanding.

Meditation and  energy practices like Reiki and EFT are ways to release blocked energy from a painful past. They bring loving energy into the body to create the conditions for the releasing of old pain.  Highly sensitive people are known to have more abuse in their backgrounds than other people, so affirmations pay provide some benefit, but long term energy healing practices will probably offer the best hope.

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Class and Superiority

Kindness Meter Creative Commons License photo credit: m.gifford

Why are class and superiority important subjects for highly sensitive people?

Social anxiety is a serious problem for highly sensitive people, since HSP’s values are different from those of the dominant culture –  a culture that pursues competition above quality of life.  Finding a way to be in and live in the culture without losing yourself is important challenge for HSP’s.  Giving some thought to the difference between class and superiority and how each concept affects social relationships, provides a highly sensitive person with a good starting point for developing an effective social strategy.

A competitive culture values superiority and winning.  Social and other forms of superiority promote the triumph of one person or species over another.  It is adversarial, often darwinian, and low in regard for human and other life.  It is the survival of the fittest model.

Superiority is an attitude.  In reality, no one person knows it all.  In reality, we are all finite, and “in this” together.  Therefore, superiority is really an illusion.  Class is not an attitude, class is a quality.  Class is the result of approaching all tasks and people with regard.  It is essentially humble, willing and caring.  Class recognizes that each life and each life form has value.

  • Superiority is about separateness; class is about coexistence.
  • Superiority is about conquest;  class is about consideration.
  • Superiority is about prizes; class is about prizing.
  • Superiority is about disregard; class is about regard.
  • Superiority is about winning; class is about sharing.
  • Superiority is territorial and exclusive; class is inclusive.
  • Superiority is adversarial; class is collaborative and problem solving.
  • Superiority is about toughness; class is about kindness.

It can be easy to oversimplify, after all not all choices and options are equal or helpful. Superiority and class are more about the spirit that defines our approach to life than the actual choice itself.  Healthier motivations make for easier and better decision making – all other things being equal.

It is the natural tendency of highly sensitive people to be inclusive which has the potential to create an atmosphere of good will around them. Inclusivity is a valuable social quality to have.  Too often, highly sensitive people are considered weak when their natural kindness is exactly what our world most needs. Class has more than social benefits.  It is the basis for effective mediation and problem solving; important skills for a healthy society.

Why Is Food Medicine?

tomatoes Creative Commons License photo credit: woodleywonderworks Why Is Food Medicine?

The simplest way to view food is to realize that everything you eat either supports your life force or it does not – either promotes health or disease.  Therefore when you eat anything processed, you are essentially consuming chemical toxins which disrupt the energy in the body.

Most of modern foodstuffs are created with convenience in mind, not health. Therefore, very little that we consume in the United States is healthy unless an individual makes a heroic effort to become informed and more effective at healthy nutrition.

Many people have heard that organically based nutrition is better for them. What many people may not realize however, that it is not enough just to eat vegetables because not all vegetables are good for you.  That may seem like heresy, but there is an important reason for this that Ayurveda has discovered.

The knowledge of food and the body is best found in the Indian health care system called Ayurveda.  Ayurveda is at least 5000 years old.  In India for thousands of years Ayurvedic experts have been working with and documenting the effect of all foods and herbs on the body and the individual body type constitutions.  Ayurveda makes nutrition recommendations on the basis of energetic usefulness – not fun, not convenience.

Taste is valued because it is a factor in creating balanced, healthy energy.  Therefore, an answer to the question why is food medicine is that each food has an energetic impact and eating foods that have the best energetic impact for your body is an important key to health. When an individual ignores energetic usefulness in their eating choices, they are adding stress to their body, because the body will be consuming a toxin, something that needs to be eliminated. The meal will be viewed by the body as an unnecessary tax, a harm. Eating for your body’s energetic needs is a easy way to minimize stress. Why is food medicine?  It is medicine, because the right nutritional energies will support and heal the body because they are life affirming.