Affirmations: the Three P’s

September 2016

Here at Creative Wellbeing Workshops we often get asked how to be more positive, but it’s not always easy to just “think positive!”  We sometimes need gentle reminders to shift negative trains of thought. Affirmations are short positive sayings or phrases that can serve that purpose.  
The word “affirmation” originally comes from the Latin root affirmare, meaning to steady, or strengthen. Affirmations help fortify our resolve. They can remind us of empowering thoughts and inspire a more positive outlook. Some of Gioia’s favorite affirmations come from Clarke & Dawson’s book, Growing Up Again; sayings such as, “You can grow your whole life through,” “You can trust your inner wisdom,” and “You are lovable at every age.”  
Whereas, Clarke and Dawson address their affirmations to”You”; others use “I” messages.  Some suggest following the 3 P’s rule: present tense, personal, and positive. This means that we want the affirmations: 1) to be couched as if they were already happening; 2) to relate to us meaningfully; and 3) to be aspirational. In other words, we want them to feel authentic and believable as well as realistic enough that the unconscious mind doesn’t reject them. For example, rather than saying, “I am rich” we might say “I am becoming financially secure.” We also want it to associate it with a positive feeling, like safety, comfort, achievement, or connection. So instead of saying, “I am a super model” we might say, “I feel attractive” which is more about positive esteem.   
A creative way to remind ourselves of theses sayings throughout the day is to make Affirmation Touchstones.  You can create these touchstones out of the small clear round glass drops, sometimes called decorative fillers, which can be found at craft stores or dollar stores in the floral department. Gioia likes the “jumbo” size, which are about 1.5 inches wide. They cost a few dollars for a bag of 20. The affirmations become visually appealing with the glass above them reflecting color and light.  You can also use flat pebbles or rocks and then paint them or collage words onto them.  You might even make them into magnets to post on your fridge or filing cabinets.  
More favorite affirmations:I don’t just Bounce back, I BOUNCE FORWARD!I am focusing on what is working in my lifeI am finding the silver lining I can balance my commitments to the world and to myself 
Or you can just use “power” words like kind, safe, grow, support, create, believe, love, brave, focus, be, and so on. 
Positively yours, Gioia, Tabitha (Gioia’s Daughter), and Rebecca(Thank you again, Tabitha, for contributing so much to this newsletter!) Art DirectivePick one of your favorite affirmations or inspiring words and make some Affirmation Touchstone.  Use decorative colors, paper, and handwriting (be sure to make it small enough so that it will fit). Paste the paper onto the back with Modge Podge, white glue, or other glue that dries clear.  With rocks, you can also paste paper, but you can also use metallic markers or acrylic paints.  Put them on the window sill, in a small saucer, or put one in your pocket.  Or if you want to make them into magnets (small round magnets also available at craft stores) use a hot glue gun or super glue.   Share them on our facebook page.