The power of our words can be found evident in the phrase “speaking truth to power”. The Oxford English Dictionary defines this as “the action or practice of speaking out against or opposing the actions or policies of those in authority.” Truth-telling has been an important part of many liberation movements throughout history. When one stands up to give a speech, their powerful words are often the first step in challenging systems of domination and oppression. As author Yehuda Berg states, “Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity… Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate, and to humble.”
Let’s talk about both of these powerful language tools so you can get the most out of using them!
What are Affirmations
Affirmations are present-moment statements we make to ourselves, about ourselves, that reflect our highest vision for ourselves.
An affirmation is a declaration that something is true. Expressing the powerful truth in a positive form. It is a declaration of who you are, what you stand for in that present moment. Any phrase beginning with “I am” is a state of being. Anything said after “I am” is something you identify with. During meditation, we are the observer of our thoughts.
Mediation is a great way to become aware of your ego and what you are identifying with. What are the “I am” phrases you are telling yourself currently? They can be used to help us focus on our goals, release negative thoughts or emotions, and increase our self-confidence.
Quick History Lesson of an Affirmation
According to Wikipedia, the word “affirmation” comes from Latin affirmation, meaning- there is also the verb form “to affirm.” The term stems from Freudian psychoanalysis and Jungian psychology. A basic definition of affirmations is that they are positive statements used to strengthen or infuse an individual with courage or confidence. Affirmations can help people focus on the present, while also preparing for future situations they have the intention to pursue.
What are Intentions
Intentions are more specific because they express a goal or idea. They help you connect with your goals on a deeper level. It’s as if it becomes part of your very being, almost like a deep longing or desire. A clear intention is not just about setting an objective for yourself – but also includes the feelings associated with achieving that objective.
Words of intention are ones where the mind is set; purposeful action, indication, and signification. An intention assumes you haven’t completed the task you wish to complete. They involve mental activities such as planning and forethought. Being intentional means doing something with a deliberate aim or design: planned beforehand: intentional acts may involve either good intentions (such as trying to help someone) or evil intentions (such as trying to hurt someone).
Quick History Lesson of an Intention
The history of the word “intent” in the English language is derived from the Latin intention to, meaning ‘ stretch out’ or to ‘stretch towards’. It was first used in 1531 and originally meant purposeful determination. The root of this word is still visible today in such words as intend, intention, and intentness. In its earliest use it also had a sense of stretching one’s thoughts toward an object. With our thoughts manifesting our desires, intentions came to mean that one was planning on carrying out a certain task in an already determined future.
Proof to Put Your Words to Work
Research conducted by the HeartMath Institute proves that our heart is the most powerful source of electromagnetic energy in the body. This field extends out in all directions of the body and can all be called an Aura when we are talking in spiritual terms.
Affirmation and intention statements are based on feelings. Any time you can use your positive heart-centered energy while making your intent, it becomes more powerful because the higher mind is open to these words. By using our thoughts or words in a positive way, we are able to create a reality that is different from the one we have been living in.
When we instead express a positive statement like “I am smart” or “I am learning”, our brain will pick up the thought, turn it to language, and make that come true. It becomes your reality which is why people always say you create your own reality. It is backed by scientific research that thoughts become feelings which become actions and turn into things creating your world.
These patterns become habits, and eventually your destiny.
I do think Gandhi said it best, “…Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.” We are responsible for our thoughts which is where it all begins. We need to be imaging a different, more positive future for ourselves in order to make a positive shift. These daily affirmations and intentions do become reality after a period of time. Having the intention behind them makes a difference.
Having No Judgments, Expectations, or Assumptions
This is key to keep top of mind for stating affirmations as well as our intentions. Because we are not perfect and this effort is a road, not a destination. Belief systems, old and new, collective and individual, will be something we continuously work through. The goal is to process the affirmation at the end of the day as we are always growing with each experience. To be along for the ride and be able to have a practice such as meditation working alongside WITH you is as you grow into your highest self.
Why Positive Phrases Matter Daily
When your body is aligned with your mind, it is a state of being. Dr. Joe Dispenza, a neuroscientist researcher, and educator explains that thoughts are what you send out through electrical patterns and we magnetically attract back emotions or feelings which creates an electromagnetic field.
This is why daily affirmations and intentions are so powerful. Neuroscience has proven we are able to change our belief systems over time with repeated practice. Our brain does not care between “right” or “wrong” information. It believes anything we tell it. The first step is to catch these negative thoughts such as “I am dumb” before our brain can register that information and update it with “I am smart”.
Dr. Dispenza explains that this means when feelings and emotions attracted back to us and we decide to the harbor and store them— over a period of time, that creates a mood (long-term emotional reaction). He also states that if you continue this reaction repeatedly, it becomes a personality trait that turns into part of who you believe you are, your identity.
Connecting to Your Highest Self
The great thing about affirmations and intentions is that they are actually always working. Every moment, even right now. They are being used by anyone and everyone, every day. Good or bad so we want to make sure they are good! This is regardless of your spiritual or religious beliefs because words carry a lot of power, and the way we use them can create change. They are a way for us to connect with our innermost desires and help guide us in life!
When we connect with our highest self and use words that carry a strong positive emotion behind them, we are able to shift the energy around us. We may not see the results right away, but by practicing these words or affirmations on a daily basis, change will happen over time. So taking the time out of your day for this practice will have great benefits to you, your loved ones, the world around you, and beyond!
The Seed Analogy
Words are a powerful tool that can be used for good or bad. Words have the power to shape our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of others, while also affecting our thoughts about ourselves. The more self-confident we are in what we say the easier it is to reach goals or move past difficulties.
One way to look at it is that our words are like seeds. When we plant them in the fertile soil of our minds, they will grow and blossom into something beautiful. With repeated exposure and practice, affirmations and intentions can help us create a positive new reality. They are a way for us to connect with our innermost desires, and help to guide us on our path in life.
The words you say have a profound effect on your life. The words you choose to use, whether it is an affirmation or intention, will project who you are into the past, present, and future. Thoughts become things. Be careful what you are thinking about because it could just come true. With positive affirmations or intentions that are uplifting, the sky is the limit for possibilities of where we can go in our lives!
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To Affirm or Not Affirm?. Psychology Today. (2021). Retrieved 10 December 2021, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/embodied-wellness/201704/affirm-or-not-affirm.
Do Affirmations Work? Yes, but There’s a Catch. Healthline. (2021). Retrieved 10 December 2021, from https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/do-affirmations-work.
Dispenza, J. (2021). Back to Basics. Retrieved 10 December 2021, from https://blog.drjoedispenza.com/back-to-basics.