In this art journal exercise, I focused on morning and evening affirmations that inspire me and help me start and end my days. Some of these messages I found on Pinterest images, in books I love, or they just simply came to me while I was drawing. I hope that by sharing some of these affirmations, others will be inspired to start a healing journey and share their thoughts surrounding self love and acceptance. (I would love to see any of your artwork or journal entries that this inspires in the comments or you can follow me on IG at @geena.xo and share your entries with me there.)
How I Practice Affirmations
I practice affirmations by repeating the words out loud in front of the mirror or to myself. I typically like to sit with the affirmation for at least one full minute to see what feelings it stirs in me. THIS refection is the most important part of these exercises for me. Does the affirmation feel believable? If not, why? Is there a personal belief about myself that is limiting my ability to believe this about myself? Am I laughing to myself and feeling very uncomfortable? Where does this lack of confidence come from?
Just like any addiction or mental health problem, we can not get help until we ACCEPT the things we need to change. Affirmations help me discover what limiting beliefs I currently hold for myself, so I can work through the challenges associated with changing my outlook.
Here are my top ten favorite morning affirmations from the journal entry above.
- I am free of pain.
- I am fearless.
- I am a magnet for ideas.
- The sunrise fills me with confidence.
- Success will find me today.
- I am patient and calm and meet the day with ease.
- I love who I see in the mirror.
- I am grateful for another day.
- I am a giver of love today.
- Unlimited energy fills me today.
Here are my top ten favorite evening affirmations from the journal entry above.
- Sleep comes easily to me tonight.
- The moonlight fills me with peace.
- My mind is restful.
- I am calm and let the events of today go.
- I am at peace with my life.
- I have no regrets or worries of the future.
- I release what no longer serves me easily and gracefully.
- I am filled with content.
- I forgive myself and others for any mistakes that were made today.
- I awaken with new inspiration.
I have suffered from obsessive compulsive thinking and suicidal ideation since my teenage years. I meditate frequently and have always felt attracted to and comfortable with the meditative arts, such as yoga and tai chi. However, these practices have never seemed to help me actually change my thought process nor the messages of my erratic, intrusive thoughts.
I never understood how I could practice meditation as often as I do and still feel out of control when it comes to my thoughts and feelings. What I’ve discovered on my personal journey is that a lot of this “out of control feeling” is actually due to my personal need to feel in control and my lack of acceptance and empathy towards myself. I was still holding onto toxic, critical thoughts of myself even if I was able to separate from them for long periods of time.
I notice that as I practice more affirmations through my journaling practice, these intrusive thoughts have changed their tone. I am able to actually become less reactionary to their messages and have even noticed myself automatically repeating some of my favorite affirmations in my head instantly in order to cope with the negative thoughts. This is a huge improvement for someone like me.
What’s helped me really be able to tune into the messages and work through my own inner feelings regarding the affirmation’s messages has been what I can only explain and define as mindfulness or meditation journaling. Because this practice is so different from my meditation practice, I prefer the term “mindfulness journaling”.
Mindfulness journaling allows me to becoming absorbed in the messages that I’m drawing through a mantra like process of awareness. I typically begin one of these sessions with an affirmation I like. I may or may not get an idea for how I want these pages to look before starting. I try not to take a lot of time with planning and if I am going to give myself a design, I keep it very loose and adaptable.
As I write the affirmations and doodle, I repeat it’s message over and over in my head. I let myself see and draw symbols that can remind me of this affirmation’s power, while also paying attention to my inner thoughts and feelings regarding the affirmation’s message. I find that the more unbelievable the affirmation, the stronger the power it typically has over me and my inability to believe it’s truth due to my preconceived negative opinions of myself. This allows me to acknowledge that this affirmation is telling me something I really need to work on – whether that be acceptance for something that I can not change or the beginning step of awareness towards a trait that I can and want to change about myself.
I prefer to do this type of journaling in my paper notebook so I won’t be distracted by technology and it’s constant alerts. It also allows me to go anywhere to practice without worrying about battery power.
I will begin sharing some of my favorite affirmations periodically on this blog along with my journal entries. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and they inspire you to do the soul work you need to become the person you’ve always envisioned yourself to be.