“The thought manifests as the word; The word manifests as the deed; The deed develops into the habit; And habit hardens into character. So watch the thought and its ways with care, And let it spring from Love, Born out of concern for all beings.” ~The Buddha
The creation of anything begins with thought: thought, word, then action, resulting in manifestation. Our thoughts are creating our reality all the time, but most of our thoughts are unconscious. These unconscious thoughts are stored in our subconscious as old programming based on our perceptions of past experiences. When something in the present feels similar to a past experience, it’s as if an internal button has been pushed, pulling up the old program like a record on a juke box. Even our conscious thoughts are usually oriented around past and future- rarely are they focused on the now. Meditation is an opportunity to quiet the surface level turbulence of our minds, and deep dive into the stillness of the present moment. There, the subconscious becomes conscious, and we can literally rewrite our old programming. Getting the mind still can sometimes be a bit like getting a two year old still, or a Labrador puppy still. It is said that the mind is the hardest muscle in the body to control. One of my massage teachers often said, “Muscles are like children- if you don’t give them something different to do, they keep doing what they’ve always done.” Likewise with the muscle of the mind: sometimes it can be useful to give the mind something constructive to do, rather than trying to get it to stop doing what it’s habitually done. Affirmations give the mind something constructive to do and let us direct our minds rather than be subject to them. Choose words that feel authentic for you. More importantly, focus on the feeling state they generate within you, as this is the direct route to the subconscious. Combining affirmations with body movement additionally helps cross the barrier between the conscious and subconscious, as physical positions have direct psychological affects and the body itself is always fully in the present moment. Here is a short series of movements with corresponding affirmations to try: Forward bend: “I am present. I am here, now.” Reach up: “I open my mind to the many possibilities available to me.” Side bend: “I am willing to stretch beyond my past conditioning.” Clasp hands behind back: “My heart is open. I am filled with joy in the now.” Twist: “I am willing to see things from other perspectives.” Forward bend: “I release all cares, worries, and concerns. I am safe.” Reach up: “I am open to receiving all the good that is available to me.” Side bend: “Strength and courage flow through me.” Clasp hands behind back: “I face life’s challenges with an open heart.” Twist: “My perception is expanding. I’m aware of multiple possibilities.” Forward bend: “All that I need, I possess in this moment. I am complete.” Self Care Suggestion: Return to your chosen phrase or word frequently throughout the day, like mini-installments of your chosen programming. Really feel the feeling state evoked by your words. Especially when triggered by experiences or internal thoughts, recognize that you have a choice. The point of power is always in the present moment, and it is the thought program we are running in this moment that determines our future, individually and collectively.