As I kissed my little girl ‘goodbye’ this morning, and told her to, “Have a great day”, she had a big grin on her face. This grin always appears at the end of our Daily Affirmation Cuddle. At least once a day – especially if we will be separated throughout the day – I hold her close and whisper a few sentences into her ear. These are the same words I’ve been saying to her since she was about the size of a blueberry, growing inside me – even before her tiny embryonic body had developed ears. Somehow, if she is tense or anxious, when we do our Affirmation Cuddle, she relaxes, becomes confident and beams her gorgeous smile.
The first time I really understood the impact of affirmations in children was while watching “The Help” movie. I was most impressed by the scenes in which the character, Aibileen would say to her employers’ daughter, “You is smart. You is kind. You is important.” It got me thinking of the blessings my parents would recite over us as my siblings and I went to bed each night, and how all three of us have absorbed those words into our DNA. After leaving the movie theatre that night, I promised myself that I would speak life and power into my children, just as Aibileen did. But, I had no idea how fear, inadequacies and disappointments would cause me to use affirmations on a daily basis.
When a consultant obstetrician shows you the tiny warrior that is growing inside you and explains that your baby is threatening to miscarry, you feel helpless and desperate. Then when you get placed on strict bed rest, it is very easy for you to spend the hours, days and weeks imagining all that can go wrong and to dig yourself into a deep hole that is filled with fear and negativity. But, I decided not to suffocate my joy nor crush my dreams. After all, I knew that whatever I feed my mind, will consume my heart, spill from my mouth and determine my behaviour. So, I decided to flood my mind with the positive, progressive and productive. I chose a few phrases that I made me feel empowered and encouraged, then every time I had a negative thought, I would repel it with my affirmation. At first, I never believed those words. But, I said them anyway. I said them so often that I had effectively reprogrammed my mind. They started to fly off my tongue effortlessly and without any thought. Soon, I no longer had the fearful thoughts and despondent feelings, and my baby kept growing hearty and healthy because I had spoken words of love and life to my situation.
Yet, life is designed in such a way that as soon as you overcome one obstacle, another one appears. The journey of a mother is very much the same. Many women start with the hurdle of trying to conceive, then when they’re pregnant they do their best keep healthy and to protect their unborn child. Once they reach full term, they try to birth their babies without complications. After that, they try to overcome the sore nipples, sleepless nights, fevers, teething, bumps and bruises, and it never ends – till a mother breathes her final breath. But, it really helps to feel confident, empowered and hopeful as you face these challenges. It is always better to embrace the new hurdles with optimism and the joy that comes with living in the moment. This is why the right words, spoken consistently and frequently through our daily lives can make a world of difference in the experiences we have.
Professional athletes visualise and affirm their victories many times before they actually compete. Actors and actresses rehearse their lines and emotions a hundred times before the curtains are raised. Medical students simulate open heart surgery countless times before they anaesthetise their first patient. In each of these scenarios, the individuals need to make their dreams and aspirations become a reality in their minds first. They flood their minds with positive thoughts and as they practice and prepare, they speak as if they were already in the ultimate moment. This is precisely what we do when we make affirmations. When we affirm something, we are making a positive statement about that thing. We declare the desired state of affairs to be true and profess an idea or a desire to be our reality. There are many websites, books, audio and video sources for great affirmations. But, you may even write them yourself. Below you will find a few good ones to try if you are:
Preparing for Birth
I am relaxed and I trust my body and my baby to birth.
My muscles are relaxed and my cervix opens easily.
Learning to Breastfeed
My breasts produce plenty of milk to nourish my baby.
My baby is eager to nurse and I’m eager to learn.
Empowering Your Child
You are smart and beautiful.
Mommy loves you, Daddy loves you and God protects you.
If it is your first birthing experience and you’re overwhelmed by anxiety, you can begin to speak peace into your life. When you have spent weeks trying to get your baby to latch on to your nipple, you can declare resilience into your life. If you are frustrated with the housekeeping and keep snapping at the children, a daily confession of mental clarity and cohesion will help to steer you back to a place of happiness. You can take back control of your mind. You can choose the thoughts and words that influence your life. You don’t need to go from day to day feeling defeated or discouraged. Starting today, you can speak positively. Starting this moment, you can speak life.
Mothers, what life affirmations do you speak to yourself? Share them below!
Didan Ashanta is a natural living enthusiast who blogs at DidanAshanta.com. A native of Jamaica, she currently lives in Tokyo with her husband and 1-year-old daughter.