How Affirmations Work

It’s difficult to see the science behind how affirmations work when you’re just starting out. In fact, most people – myself included when I first began – find it silly to express themselves in this way and rarely catch on to the magic for a prolonged period of time. If you’re like me, when you hear the word affirmations you probably think of that video of the little girl in her bathroom yelling into her mirror “I CAN DO ANYTHING GREAT!” I mean who wouldn’t, it’s adorable!

Want to jump in and get started with affirmations? Go to the end of this post for a daily affirmation tool you can use each day.

But, affirmations aren’t really like this….

Yesterday, I wrote an article about an interesting question I ask myself to realign my path toward the goals I want to achieve. The question is “what remarkably stupid things am I doing today that will ruin my life?” It helps me to see not the tasks I should be doing, but rather helps me evaluate the tasks I should not be doing. As I went on my day and began to think more about how this question leads me on my path, an empowering thought came to me.

If I’ve been this blessed to experience so much of the world, so much giving, so much growth and success already in my life, then what God has in store for me next is just going to be unfathomably amazing…

Like…. WOW. And, I don’t say this to rub into anyone’s face that things are going well for me and that I have success and happiness just flowing endlessly. The reality is that my life is probably just as ordinary as others. A lot of people are probably much more blessed than I am. But, I am profoundly grateful for all that I have. That thought I had proved to me that I really do believe that abundance and joy are not just coming for me, but they already are here. The belief I have is like a fire in me that no one can put out.

This is how affirmations work. Affirmations rework your brain to cause fierce optimism and positivity. I love that word fierce to describe the outcome of affirmations. It means “furiously eager or intense.” Can you stop fierce? I don’t think so. You can try, but it would take a lot of effort. And, so affirmations every day – simple positive phrases that you can listen to and say each day work to make you believe what maybe you didn’t know you could believe in before.

If you don’t believe that this could work for you, I challenge you to just try it.

An Easy Daily Affirmation

Each morning for the next week, wake up and say this to yourself:

I love myself.
I am grateful I am strong and confident.
I am grateful I am blessed and successful.

After 7 days, leave me a comment or DM me on Instagram @IntentlyAmy and tell me how you feel. If you’re not fiercely believing these statements and feeling their impact then keep going.

The Good and The Bad of 2020 Lessons Learned

Goodbye 2020, hello 2021 and a whole new chapter in my life. As I enter this new year with a whole heart full of gratitude and hope, I wanted to share a few of the things that made 2020 both challenging and rewarding for me. I also want to make a few things clear… I’m doing this because of a few reasons.

  1. I am focusing on being more honest and open in 2021. This is not just with others, but with myself as well.

The first thing is to be honest with yourself. You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself… Great peacemakers are all people of integrity, of honesty, but humility.

Nelson Mandela

2. Blogging helps me stay creative and fulfills my love of writing. Making it a consistent practice helps me continually improve my writing and use of words. I always wanted to be an author and this is sort of like my place for that, it’s my life book.

Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.

Virginia Woolf

3. While I don’t put everything on display, I do seek to share my adventures in hopes to find connections with people who have shared experiences or to lead someone to discover something that may be useful in their life. If my blogs impact even just one person, I’ve done something positive for the world and therefore, it isn’t all for naught.

And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.

Sylvia Plath

The Good of 2020

All in all, 2020 was filled with a lot of learning opportunities. Everyone had to adjust to a new way of working and a new way of living life. My journey through it brought me to understand a few things better:

  • How to show gratitude – I started my daily gratitude list practice once again
  • How to be more positive each day – I made a commitment to wake up each day with a smile
  • Renewed friendships – I rekindled a few friendships that really have helped me get through tough times, but also that I feel I can offer a lot of support to
  • I learned to give with my heart again – Always a giver, I felt like I had lost that spirit. But, through renewed friendships and a focus on healing, I’m finding my path again.
  • Importance of family – I moved back to Texas to be closer to my family and I’m so happy as their presence is so important to me. I made the commitment to truly see my family as a priority.

In 2020, I also had a few surprises and exciting updates:

  • Started a new job
  • Began my journey to earning my Master’s in Business Administration
  • Found new opportunities to learn and grow in my personal health and development
  • Created a new business venture
  • Developed new skills

It’s amazing how much progress we make over a year, when we look back on it all. I believe I’ve grown the most during the most challenging times. So while most people wanted 2020 to end, I didn’t want it to. I was stretching myself, growing, and really becoming a whole new me. From running more, to eating healthier, to finding a way to build my own business and grow my mind. I don’t think 2020 was all that bad for my personal development.

But of course, there were times when it wasn’t so easy. Here are some of the things that forced me into this growing stage last year.

The Bad of 2020

Because I try not to dwell when “bad” things happen to me, I’m choosing to really only share a couple of the things that had the biggest impact.

  1. My 10 year relationship with my husband ended and I moved away from him and California.
  2. My grandmother got really sick, unrelated to covid, and has been in a hospital since March. With covid happening though, it’s prevented me from seeing her.

So, now that I’ve shared that, I think there are probably a lot of other people in the world who could say they’ve had it worse. Sure. Everyone is battling something. What I think was the most powerful thing about my “bad” list of 2020, was that neither of these things has really brought me down. Despite going through a divorce, despite having a heart full of worry and despair, I was able to achieve so much this year and still come out positive.

My good list will always outweigh my bad list. My good list just grows and grows. It’s where I put my focus. The bad list always has a light at the end of the tunnel. It always has a positive spin and I know that these bad situations don’t last forever, nor do the good ones. We have to keep mining for them and wake up every day with a smile ready to accept them.

I am working to bring a light to people’s lives in 2021. I am working to share what I find to be the most effective ways to look passed the bad and look at how to effectively flip it. My blog means so much to me. While I am always “busy” working and studying and focusing on my health, I know there is plenty I can be doing to share and make a positive impact. So for YOU, I commit to being a writer and to sharing what I learn. I commit to seeking new things to share with YOU my readers and my community.

I also commit to being a great writer so that you never have to feel burdened by my typos… 😛

To peace and wellness in 2021.

A

5 Ways to Completely Change Your Day

In 2018, I thought waking up every morning was the hardest thing I had to do. I knew that with every sunrise, there would be heart ache, tears, and an unsurmountable feeling of missing my father. What happened after my dad passed away was a critical turning point in my life, and I truly believe it’s because I chose to do five things that, in their simplicity, never could I have imagined they would be so life altering. That was the most transformational year I’ve ever had.

I think my father’s impact on the world really struck me when I watched a grown man, who I had never met before, weep by father’s bed. He told me that without my dad, he would have never turned his life around after prison. It disturbed him to see such an amazing man be subjected to the cruelty of death by cancer. To this day, I don’t even know what it was that my dad did for him, but I could tell that man was as heartbroken as I was to see such a magical person fade from our world.

When I started to see the impact that my dad had on our neighborhood, his community, his friends, and our family, it was like a light had been taken out of everywhere I went. I went down to tell our local cafe staff that my dad was nearing the end, they all mourned. Our local tailor was distraught. Our neighbors never left our side until my dad finally passed. Every day during that period of time was misery.

If I was feeling this way each day, I couldn’t imagine what my sister and mother were feeling. I knew that I couldn’t fall prey to letting the darkness take me, because one of us had to make sure life moved forward.

Waking up every day with a positive attitude when nothing is wrong in your life, is easily taken for granted. You wake up, you do your routine, you get to work. But, during difficult times, it’s easy to forget how to get going. It’s even easy to forget why you need to get going. Hopelessness is a feeling I never want to welcome back into my life again.

At that time, I had been introduced to a TED Talk speaker and author name Shawn Achor. His book the Happiness Advantage really impacted me and my career during the time when my father was being treated for his cancer. It was difficult to balance a lot of things, but his book taught me to look at the world a little differently.

I came to realize that it’s not what life gives you, because trust me there are going to be a lot of lemons, but it’s how you handle what life gives you. Every bad situation can be flipped. Every horrible feeling can be overcome.

And so, I woke up one day on the couch next to my father’s bed. My mom and I spent nights sleeplessly watching him breathe. I stood up and I promised myself that I was going to do these five simple things every single day and that I would not allow our family to go into a depression or fall into problems because of what we went through. I wrote them down and I remembered my dad telling me to “be brave” before he couldn’t speak anymore.

5 Things to Do Each Morning

The Five Daily Habits

  1. Express Gratitude
    Each day I write down three things I’m grateful for. This is something Shawn Achor taught and I adopted it right away. Three things no matter how big or small, be grateful. Do this even when you don’t feel like writing anything down, it will totally change the rest of your day.
  2. Smile
    As previously mentioned, life is going to kick you in the a$$! That’s true for everyone. Some have it worse than others, but guaranteed that if you don’t appreciate every moment, and put a smile on your face each day, then it will only drag you deeper.
  3. Be Kind
    This is one of the most important things I believe anyone can learn to do. Being kind not just to others, but to your self is the greatest way to invite love and happiness into your life, especially in the bad times. If you’ve ever felt the sting of someone who was not kind to you, just think about how others may have received you. Remember, you don’t need the world to be kind to you first or in return. This is a gift you should learn to give everyone. Being kind to yourself includes eating healthy, meditating, doing yoga, and practicing things that make you feel good.
  4. Remember Your Vision
    On page one of my journal, I wrote down my goals for the next 6 months to 5 years. It’s important to really dig deep. Take an hour of undistracted time to really put some thought into these. Make sure write them down on paper, with a pen. This will help you commit. When you’ve written them all down, be sure to reflect on them at least once a week. Just reading them and remembering your reason for them will help you stay on the right path. It will give every action in your day purpose.
  5. Center Yourself
    Each day, I write down my “Thoughts” underneath my gratitudes list. This is my space for letting go of pent up feelings. It’s where I can brainstorm ideas for this blog, or reflect on events that recently happened. As you write down your thoughts, be as equally committed to sharing the good things as the bad things. If you feel it, share it. Sometimes, I like to go back and see what my train of thought was on a specific day. It helps to see where I was in relation to where I am now. I can tell you, it’s helped me to stay committed to decisions that have been important for me to push on in my life. It’s helped me recognize my priorities, my passions, and what I truly want out of life.

Everything you do in the morning is the setup for what will happen the rest of the day. Remember these 5 things, get a journal and just start at it! My favorite journals are Moleskins. You don’t need prompts or anything too fancy. Just write your goals, your gratitudes and your thoughts. Remember to be kind and wake up with a smile.