Do affirmations really work?
There are many spiritual teachings that speak of the power of positive affirmations in one's life as a force for transformation. Basically if we keep telling ourselves that something is true long enough - like we are only love for example - the hope is that we begin to fully believe it and manifest that reality in our lives. But does it work?...
As anyone can, I can only offer my own view based on my life experience. I have paid much attention to this over the course of my lifetime and what I can offer is a resounding NO!!! They do not work - at least in my truth.
I should qualify this statement and say they can work temporarily and some people appear to have success with them - at least for a while. So why do they sometimes work in the beginning but fail the test of time?
The answer is quite simple really. Whenever you make a statement about yourself "I am love" for example, you create an internal identity around the affirmation. There becomes a 'someone' inside trying to manifest a reality on the outside.
In doing this you are of course defining yourself. But that which you are - the all of it - is beyond definition. A definition that something is 'this' needs the presence of 'that' and so immediately you create love inside of yourself, you also create that which is not love.
The illusionary self you have just created relates to the interplay of the two states of beingness. If your will is strong, you may radiate love for a while but it will always wane eventually. You may be able to sweep the 'not love' bit under the proverbial carpet for a while but sooner or later it will reappear and 'bite you in the ass' when you probably least need it! Why is that?
This is because there is but one purpose of the universe. That is to realise yourself as what you truly are - the absolute, through all experiences identified with none of them. So when you make a statement like "I am", you summon the whole power of the universe to test you on that belief. No matter how successful you may initially appear to be, it will ALWAYS fail in the end because there will always be more darkness - the relative universe is continually expanding at the speed of our thought.
So how can we be a positive force for upliftment and change? Why is is that enlightened masters such as the Buddha have spoken of the inner fire that melts all darkness in its path?
It is because the fire is arising from the absolute. It is the fire of compassion for all those who are still caught up in the illusion that there is 'someone' inside of themselves. The inner fire is the experience of release from that illusionary universe. When burning brightly, it transforms all in its path.
- "Be a lamp unto yourself.
Don't search for light anywhere else;
the light is already there, the fire is already there.
Just probe a little deeper into your being, enquire.
Maybe much ash has gathered around the fire...
Just probe deep inside, and you will find the spark again.
And once you have found a single spark inside you,
you will become a flame, soon you will be a fire...
a fire that purifies, a fire that transforms,
a fire that gives you a new birth and a new being.
Be a lamp unto yourself."
Last words of Gautama, the Buddha
To facilitate the arising of this inner flame, we have to still the mind, go inwards and connect with the truth of what we are being. We become the witnesser of ourselves identifying with nothing that arises from within whether 'good' or 'bad'.
Over time, the 'ash' is blown away and the spark of light grows and grows. At Openhand, we use breathing to fan the inner flame and then movement to release that through every part of the body.
Would you like to know more about kindling this fire of transformation? Then you might consider coming to one of our events like our New Year retreat taking place in Glastonbury from 29th December to 1st January. Call us on 01458 830443 or click on this link...To book a place, click on this link... click here