Read an Excerpt
from Chapter 1
Intentions set into process every aspect of your life.
Change begins with the intention to change. In the Seat of the Soul, Gary Zukav gives us the following example of intending to change your job. "As the intention to leave your present job emerges into your consciousness, you begin to open yourself up to the possibility of working somewhere else or doing something else. You begin to feel less and less at home with what you are doing. Your higher self has begun the search for your next job."
I remember a time when I was looking for a new convertible. While I was in college, I had a very old convertible. As my finances improved over the years, I was able to purchase newer cars and finally could afford a new car. This was around the time that the Mustang and the Firebird convertibles first came out. I had not been aware of them until someone told me they were great cars. As I drove around town I began seeing them everywhere. My children were very young and when we went on errands they would yell out, "There's a Firebird!" and "There's a Mustang!" I had created an intention, and my awareness grew. It was as if the universe was providing me with plenty of opportunities to make a decision.
Volition is the mental urge or signal which precedes an action.
So we begin with an intention. Something we want to add, reduce, change or let go. We intend to make it happen.
June is a true miracle, a poster woman for affirmations. When she was diagnosed with metastasized breast cancer, it sent her and her family reeling. Fortunately, June had a strong intention to live.
She wrote, "That I'm still here physically almost a year later is a testament to modern medical science. That I'm facing each day with hope, acceptance, inner independence and an eagerness to learn from this amazing experience is in part due to my renewed association with your affirmation meditation group. I needed something very basic when I joined the group five months after diagnosis.
"Though tolerating chemotherapy extremely well, the reality of my situation could be daunting at times. I needed something to help shift my focus from treating the disease that afflicts my body to treating the whole me. I needed to remember that I am not alone on this journey. This was my intention, and affirmations clarify intentions. We came up with what turned out to be a very powerful affirmation for me, which helped me accept my life as it is today with growing peace and a great deal of joy:
'Healing energy is flowing through every cell in my body with every breath I take.'"
When June completed writing her affirmation for 21 days, she found another powerful affirmation that was extremely helpful for her:
"I am letting go of doubt, fear, anger and distrust and quietly accept the Unknown."
Why not take some time now to think about what you would like to change in your life. You can write your thoughts down, and then, with the succeeding steps in this book, you will learn how you can make the change.
Is there something you would like to add, such as more meaning in your job, a new relationship or a deeper spiritual connection?
Is there something you would like to reduce, such as weight, negative thinking or fear?
Is there something you would like to change, such as where you live, your job or your attitude?
Is there something you would like to let go of, such as resentment, anger or pride?
Thoughts of your mind have made you what you are and thoughts of your mind will make you what you become from this day forward.
Before going any further into affirmations, it's important to take some time to become familiar with the term "self-talk." I use this term to describe the conversations we have in our minds, the words we say to ourselves. We constantly tell ourselves all kinds of things which we then internalize as truth. For example, a person with an eating problem might be 5' 4" tall and weigh 105 pounds and still tell herself she is too fat. A very competent person might not go for a job interview after convincing him- or herself that he or she could not be hired.
It is crucially important to become aware of your self-talk if you hope to change it. Practice listening to the way you speak to yourself. Observe the effect that it has on your personal belief system.
Meditation is a wonderful technique for helping you to slow down and listen to your own thoughts. The practice of mindfulness, a form of meditation, not only helps you to increase your awareness of how you talk to yourself, but also helps you to stay in the present moment. I've written more about this in my other books.
Mindfulness is simply a quieting down of our mind, a settling down of our thoughts. Sitting quietly for only twenty minutes every morning, you begin to see how your mind works. By concentrating on your breathing, you'll see how your mind goes off in many other directions. Bring your attention back to your breathing. Every time your mind strays away, just notice it without any judgment and bring your attention back to your breathing.
This practice helps you become aware of your self-talk. People who are just beginning this practice are often amazed at the language they use on themselves. They might discover themselves using abusive language such as, "Stupid! I should be able to stay with my breath." Many people have been talking to themselves like this for their entire lives, but have not been aware of it. They don't know that they are holding themselves back or keeping themselves in a state of low self-esteem.
Once we recognize and understand the power our thoughts have over our actions and feelings, we can learn to detach emotionally from them and observe them, sorting out the negative and destructive ones from the positive and constructive ones; realizing we do not have to believe them. These thoughts lose their power over us as soon as we become aware of them, because we can then choose to create more positive and constructive self-talk to inspire, encourage, affirm, accept, respect and love ourselves.
- We are what we think about!
- What we think about expands.
- We feel what we think about.
- We create what we think about in our lives.
- When awareness increases, we draw to us what we think about.
- We attract what we think about.
¬2003. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Change Almost Anything in 21 Days by Ruth Fishel. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street, Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.