Add Depth to Your Positive Affirmations

This post is the fourth post in a series on positive affirmations. Each of these titles will be linked up once the whole series is posted over the next couple of weeks.

  1. Why It’s Okay For You To Use Positive Affirmations
  2. What Are Positive Affirmations?
  3. How To Find Your Personal Positive Affirmations
  4. Add Depth to Your Positive Affirmations
  5. Supercharge Your Positive Affirmations
  6. Get Aggressive With Your Positive Affirmations
Add depth to your positive affirmations {LoveLiveGrow} #mentalhealth #depression

{Image modified from Water drop by Mohd Althani / CC BY 2.0}

Add Depth to Your Positive Affirmations

Did you do the work from the last post of finding your own positive affirmations?

Maybe you’ve been running around saying, “I’m a good person! I’m so happy! I’m awesome!” feeling like a dork.

You could probably use a little dorkiness. You really are awesome, and it’s not silly to say so to yourself. Maybe you could even use some running around with a spring in your step.

Let’s look at two ways to take your positive affirmations beyond “I’m happy.” You want positive affirmations that ring true, bring depth to your positive thoughts, and that feel intensely personal.

Expand Your Affirmations

In the last couple of posts we’ve talked about making your positive affirmations short and to the point. It’s great to start out that way because you want to be able to remember them and use them anywhere and any time. In the beginning you kind of need to beat yourself over the head. Take that, thoughts!

A next step is to expand on them.

Think back to your negative thoughts. They start with something short, like, “I’m such a failure.” But your mind will begin to branch out from there, expanding on the idea and making it seem huge, detailed, and true.

We need to bring that kind of detail into our positive thoughts.

Here’s an exercise. Choose one of your negative thoughts. Perhaps the one that gives you the most trouble.

I’ll choose “I can’t do anything right”.

Write it down. Now just dump onto the page everything else that comes to mind about this thought. For me, it might sound like this:

I can’t do anything right. I’m a shitty mother, mean to Dylan, yell too much, can’t fix dinner on time, shitty cook, house is never clean, really disorganized, carpet is dirty, dishes are dirty, behind on blogging, I suck at blogging, I never spend time with Joshua, how come everyone else’s houses are clean, what’s my problem, how come I can’t play more games with Dylan.

You can keep writing as long as you have negative thoughts to dump on the page. I’m going to quit there before you know too much about my inner thoughts!

Now take a minute to group them together in a way that makes sense. Then come up with an opposite collection of positive thoughts. It’s okay to break out your complex sentences here, and add in examples if you can. For example, I might come up with something like this:

I’m a great parent. I’m really sweet to Dylan, and we cuddle a lot. I play a lot of games with him, and we have so much fun together.

Or something like this:

My house is pretty well organized. I know where everything is, and I keep everything pretty clean. My house is a peaceful, pleasant place to live in. I love it!

In another session at another time, work on another negative thought. Expand on it and come up with an expanded positive version. Do this with as many negative thoughts as you need help with.

Deepen Your Affirmations

In addition to expanding and grouping your positive affirmations, you can play with language to deepen your affirmations.

Something like, “I am confident,” will apply generally to a lot of people. But how can you make it apply specifically to you?

One way is to look at new words. Use a thesaurus to explore the idea. Other words related to confident are brave, secure, and having strong convictions. Perhaps one of those ideas resonates more deeply with you. Your affirmation of “I am confident” could turn into “I am secure in myself and my strong convictions.”

Other words related to happy are cheerful, contented, and delightful. Your affirmation of “I am happy” could become “I am content with my life and full of cheer,” if those words speak more strongly to you.

Another step for deepening your affirmations is to come up with an example. A real example from your life. This is going to feel tough. You’re going to be resistant to believing that these things are already true.

If you take a minute, breathe, and try to be honest with yourself you will be able to find examples of how you’re already awesome. {Tweet this}

But if you take a minute, breathe, and try to be honest with yourself you will be able to find examples, even if they seem insignificant.

“I argue with people on Facebook like a boss because I am secure in myself and my strong convictions.”

“I am so content with my life that I have really restful sleep.”

It doesn’t matter if the example is really small. Add it in there with the words that mean something to you, and you will find yourself connecting with your positive affirmations.

Your Turn

Have you been working through this series to come up with positive affirmations that work for you? Have you had any successes? Any frustrations with the process? Let us know about it in the comments.

{Be sure to subscribe to LoveLiveGrow so you can get every post right in your inbox or RSS reader!}

Special note: This Positive Affirmation series is a mental health topic. I am writing about it because positive affirmations have been highly useful for me. While I write very forcefully about them, you are the only one in charge of your mental health treatment options. If this isn’t for you, chuck it and move on. Only you know what’s right for you.

 

The Artist's Way {LoveLiveGrow} #creativity #mentalhealthBook Recommendation: The Artist’s Way (affiliate link) is a book that guides you through a 12 week course for recovering your creativity from the mental blocks and hangups you’ve built up. I’ve never made it all the way through the whole book, but the parts I’ve done have been very valuable. Examining your habits and thinking about yourself in new ways is part of the focus of the book. If you think of yourself as an artist – especially if you tell yourself you’re a former artist or failed artist or wannabe artist – I highly recommend this book.

Square Foot Gardening for Kids {Review and Giveaway}

Square Foot Gardening with Kids {LoveLiveGrow} #gardening #kidsSquare Foot Gardening (SFG) is an easy, enjoyable way to get started gardening. It was the inspiration I used to get over being too intimidated to start gardening.

Because I love Square Foot Gardening so much, I am pleased to introduce you to Square Foot Gardening With Kids!

Disclosure: To do this review, I received this product for free. All opinions are mine. The links in this post are affiliate links. I get a commission if you’d like to support me by buying through them.

Square Foot Gardening is the simplest way to garden. It doesn’t take a lot of money, a lot of space, a lot of gardening knowledge, good soil, or fancy tools. You don’t have to do a lot of weeding, and it’s organic, too.

What more could you ask from a gardening method?

It’s ease and simplicity make SFG already perfect for kids.

Keep reading to see how you can win your own copy!

In addition to information on how to get started with the SFG method, Square Foot Gardening With Kids brings specific tips for gardening with kids in different age groups. For Preschool Growers, Early Learners, Terrific Tweens, and Cultivating Teens, you get advice and activities tailored to kids from 2 to 18.

Gardening is accidentally educational. The SFG with Kids book shows you all the different ways to aid children’s education. You’ll find art projects, science questions and discoveries, math problems, carpentry, writing tasks, and vocabulary. This is the best kind of learning, because it happens alongside living and creating.

Square Foot Gardening with Kids {LoveLiveGrow} #gardening #kidsSquare Foot Gardening with Kids {LoveLiveGrow} #gardening #kids

I love the section on plant suggestions that are big hits with kids – like radishes which come in lots of colors and are ready to pick in 4 weeks, and cherry tomatoes which are delicious to eat standing right there in the garden. These are my favorites, too, because I like a big, beautiful payoff and eating right from the plant.

Like the original SFG book, SFG with Kids gives you everything you need to know in one book. You won’t need any other gardening books at all. It even covers things like expanding your garden into cooler seasons and building community around gardening.

I am absolutely thrilled that there’s a Square Foot Gardening book aimed at kids. I think anyone who wants to bring their kids into the garden with them should check out this book, even if you’re not going to stick with the SFG method. It’s so full of great ways to include the kids in the gardening process.

Do you have kids? Do you garden with them?

I use the SFG method myself. I have four 4×4 boxes so far. I’m just now planting them because we had one last, late frost. One of my boxes is not going to get planted, though. I’ve turned it over to Dylan so that he can play in the dirt. It’s like a sandbox but with rich, homemade planting mix.

Square Foot Gardening with Kids {LoveLiveGrow} #gardening #kids

 

I have a new bunny named Hops. Hops likes napping in Dylan’s garden box, too.

Square Foot Gardening with Kids {LoveLiveGrow} #gardening #kids

Even when you’re not officially “gardening”, it’s so rewarding to be outside in the dirt with kids. What other ways do you like to get outside with your kids?

Square Foot Gardening with Kids {LoveLiveGrow} #gardening #kidsGiveaway

Comment on this post to enter to receive a copy of Square Foot Gardening with Kids. Promote this post somewhere on social media and drop the URL to your post in a separate comment to receive a 2nd entry. Giveaway ends on Friday, April 25, 2014 at 8:00pm EST. Winner will be notified by email, and the book will be sent directly from the publisher.

My Son is Not a Man

Dylan is two years old.

He’s not a man.

He’s not a Little Man.

When his father goes out of town for business, Dylan is not the man of the house.

He doesn’t “take care of his mama”.

He doesn’t ever have to “man up”.

He’s two years old.

Regardless of what he thinks of masculinity in the future, it doesn’t apply to him now.

I have heard variations of all those “man” phrases directed at my son or other people’s sons.

I cringe every time.

When you imagine saying any of those things to girl children, their absurdity is revealed.

Imagine calling a girl child a woman or nicknaming her Little Woman.

Imagine calling her the woman of the house when her mother is out of town.

Imagine telling her to take care of her father.

Imagine telling her to “suck it up”.

I don’t know.

Maybe people say these things to their daughters, too.

Ew.

Can’t children just stay children?

Can’t they avoid pointless gendering for just a few more years. (No, of course.)

Can’t Dylan just be my baby and not some tiny caricature of masculinity?

He’s not a little man. He’s not the man of the house. He doesn’t have to take care of me. He doesn’t have to man up.

Please.

My Son is Not a Man {LoveLiveGrow} #parenting #kids #gender

How to Find Your Personal Positive Affirmations

This post is the third post in a series on positive affirmations. Each of these titles will be linked up once the whole series is posted over the next couple of weeks.

  1. Why It’s Okay For You To Use Positive Affirmations
  2. What Are Positive Affirmations?
  3. How To Find Your Personal Positive Affirmations
  4. Add Depth to Your Positive Affirmations
  5. Supercharge Your Positive Affirmations
  6. Get Aggressive With Your Positive Affirmations

The last post had examples of positive affirmations. They may be all well and good, but what you really need are the intensely personal positive affirmations that will truly make a difference in your life.

How can you find those? I’ll give you two simple techniques.

Opposite Affirmations

First, you’re going to take a look at your negative self-talk that we talked about in the first post in this series. Those horrible, awful things you tell yourself are the exact opposites of the positive affirmations that YOU need.

For example, one of the things I tell myself is that I’m disorganized. When I am telling myself this I feel out of control. I feel like I don’t have it together and that I never will. The “objective truth” is that I am organized in some ways and disorganized in others.

Helpful positive affirmations for me around the topic of organization sound like this:

  • I am so organized.
  • I really have my shit together.
  • My systems are really helpful.

I also tell myself that I’m a terrible parent. Helpful positive affirmations for me about parenting sound like this:

  • I’m a loving and engaged parent.
  • Dylan is really lucky to have me as his mother.
  • I really love parenting and I do it so well.

What negative things do you regularly affirm and how can you switch them to positive affirmations?

Values Affirmations

The second technique for finding your personal positive affirmations is to imagine the feelings and values you want for yourself and affirm that you already have them.

Perhaps you would like to be happy. You would like to be confident and certain of yourself. You would like to be more honest and genuine. Some affirmations might sound like this:

  • I am really happy and full of joy.
  • I approach each day with confidence and strength.
  • I really speak my authentic truth.

The Structure of Your Affirmations

Remember the guidelines from the last post – keep them positive and in the present tense. You can relax a little bit on the short and sweet part. These are your personal positive affirmations, and you can begin to expand them a little if you like.

As you begin to work with personal positive affirmations, you are going to encounter even more resistance than you already have.

One of your objections may be the present tense part. You don’t feel like you’re there yet with the value in your affirmation, so you feel like you’re lying to yourself. I encourage you to try to push through that objection.

However, if you absolutely cannot bring yourself to approach your affirmations from an “already done it” perspective, here’s an alternative: approach it from a “making progress” perspective.

For example, if you just can’t say, “I am happy,” try something like, “I am learning to be happy,” or “I am making progress towards happiness”.

Continue to use “I am,” rather than “I will be”. Saying “I will be happy,” is a wish or a plea. Saying, “I am supporting my happiness more every day,” is a positive affirmation.

Also, use words like “learning” or “growing towards” but not “trying”. There is no try. Try has a whiny “never gonna happen” sound to it. Instead of, “I am trying to be confident,” go with something like, “I am gaining confidence” or “I am more confident than I was yesterday.”

You still want to stick in the present tense and with statements of certainty, but you can talk about being on the path instead of being at the destination.

What kinds of values do you want more of in your life? How can you word those as positive affirmations?

{Subscribe to LoveLiveGrow so you don’t miss the rest of this series.}

Special note: This Positive Affirmation series is a mental health topic. I am writing about it because positive affirmations have been highly useful for me. While I write very forcefully about them, you are the only one in charge of your mental health treatment options. If this isn’t for you, chuck it and move on. Only you know what’s right for you.

 

Nonviolent Communication {LoveLiveGrow}Book Recommendation: Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life (affiliate link) has been enormously helpful in teaching me how to speak more compassionately with myself. The core of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is learning how to make accurate observations, identify and express your needs and feelings, and make requests to help you meet those needs. You might think that “communication” would be primarily about other people, but the things you tell yourself in your own head are also communication. The techniques and perspectives of NVC have helped me improve the conversations I have with myself.

The Color Book {Review}

The Color Book by Sophie Benini Peitromarchi is a strange and fascinating book that is a little difficult to review. I think instead of a traditional kind of review, I will need to do something different.

Disclosure: To do this review, I received this book for free. All opinions are mine. The links in this post are affiliate links. I get a commission if you’d like to support me by buying through them.

 

Are You An Artist?

Do you paint or otherwise create with color? Are colors part of how you imagine your world?

Do you remember in color? Do you dream in color?

The Color Book {LoveLiveGrow} #art #painting #artwork

Do you dance with color or fight with color?

Do you understand how color comes to be… or do you want to?

The Color Book {LoveLiveGrow} #art #painting #artwork

Does color have feeling for you? Does color have personality? Does color have meaning?

Do your moods have color? Do you think in color?

The Color Book {LoveLiveGrow} #art #painting #artwork

Do you put more colors into the world? Do you want to create more colors?

If these questions resonate with you then The Color Book is for you. If these questions sound strange to you, and you want to know what they mean, then The Color Book is for you, too. It’s for any age of person who wants to dive deeper into color. It’s perfect for budding artists, master artists, and people who just like colors.

The Color Book {LoveLiveGrow} #art #painting #artwork"