The power of affirmations and how they’ve helped me

Dear Moms,

This week I wanted to talk about the topic of affirmations?!! I think the first time I stumbled upon affirmations was about 3 years ago when I watched a great movie on FMTV called ‘you can heal your life’ which is a Louise Hay film and speaks about how our thoughts and our language can hugely affect our lives. Shortly after that I downloaded some of her books to my kindle app and got straight to reading.

Firstly, I was amazed and humbled about all her work with Aids patients back in the 80s and that affirmation work was very popular back then however as I was merely a young child living in Ireland I hadn’t caught on to this great tool yet ;0

So now as a new mom, I was curious if affirmations could actually work for me. At this time, I was still recovering from chronic fatigue and peripheral neuropathy and was just about to go back to the corporate world full time. What I needed most was more energy and also less body pain so I started using affirmations and soon I found some favourites and here they are:

  • I say yes to life and life says yes to me (one of Louise Hay’s favourites)
  • I am willing to change and grow
  • I love myself just the way I am
  • I am enough
  • I forgive and set myself free
  • I listen with love to my body messages
  • All is well
  • I am in vibrant health
  • Only good lies before me
  • I am happy, calm and relaxed
  • I am always full of energy
  • I am the creator of my own life
  • I do the work I love

After a few weeks, I started to feel a bit lighter and had an increase in energy. I also started using affirmations if I was feeling a bit anxious about a situation and it helped me feel much calmer.  I did affirmation work in the shower, whilst I was driving, commuting on the train and found quite seriously that my mood was much better and also felt more energised.

What I discovered is that affirmations are simply replanting new seeds in our mind. It can be hard to do in the beginning as our mind is simply not believing what we are telling it…  So, from my research, a little trick that can help in this instance is to start with ‘wouldn’t it be nice’

For example,  wouldn’t it be nice if I am happy, calm and relaxed today… Wouldn’t it be nice if I could do the work I love…, wouldn’t it be nice if only good came into my life today? This statement will be accepted by our subconscious mind until we are able to use the ‘I am’ statement…

Where’s the reward?

So, for me, this took a least a month to feel some changes. You must ‘do the work’ and repeat your affirmations throughout the day (unfortunately, there are no shortcuts!) However, the reward is worth it. As Louise herself says ‘when you plant the seeds in the ground you don’t expect them to grow the very next day, you plant the seeds and then wait as you know they will grow in due time’  I know this can be hard, as some of us (including me) are conditioned to want results instantaneously, however, there is an element of trust and the planting the seeds analogy is a great reminder.

More than anything affirmations really helped me bring an awareness to what my daily self-talk was and what language I was speaking, for example, I became more aware/conscious of how I might put myself down, or how I would not accept a compliment. I was also more aware of my negative words and started to catch myself and be mindful of how I spoke about myself and others. Rok and I would try and hold each other accountable so that we didn’t fall into the negative talk trap/spiral.

Around this time, I gave up watching the news as I found it was so negative and energy draining, there was rarely any good news stories. So, I began to choose what information I wanted to hear and see myself. This was and still is very empowering.

Science has proven that affirmations do work by rewiring our brain! A study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology in 2015 showed that affirmations helped people at work perform better and calm their nerves! So, it’s not ‘woo woo’ stuff, thankfully it’s becoming more mainstream ;0

Nowadays, I still use affirmations, however, l don’t feel the need to use them as much, which shows how mich I have changed my thoughts and beliefs.  I also regularly share Louise Hay’s affirmations in our Mom’s private Facebook group as her work has really helped me and therefore I want to share this with other moms too.

Also, it’s important to point out (and even Louise Hay says this herself), there is no one panacea – affirmations are part of an self-help toolbox, just another tool to help you with your life’s journey. For me I used affirmations in conjunction with many other things like nutrition, exercise, meditation and energy work, a holistic approach!

Firstly, observing our self-talk can really help us get started on the right path and this helps us with other key areas of our life too, like ensuring we eat healthily and work out our body. Starting with the right mindset means we are able to create more successful habits.  Using this approach really helped me change my life both physically and mentally.

So, Moms, have you used affirmations before and if so please let us know if and how they have helped you.  Maybe you have a favourite… please feel free to share 🙂

Love and best wishes,

Lisa X

PS: ‘All is well’

Resources: 

References

Pesto Courgetti with Cashew Cheese Sauce

Hello Moms,

This week I am sharing our Pesto Courgetti recipe that is so loved in our household, it’s so tasty and it’s also really perfect for Summer evenings. It is vegan-friendly, gluten and dairy free, however, this dish will leave you feeling fully satisfied without any heavy feeling.

It is packed with nutrients for example courgettes contain abundant levels of manganese and vitamin C that help to keep the heart strong.  It contains significant quantities of potassium, folate, and vitamin A all of which are important for maintaining good health.

The pesto is made from basil which contains high levels of antioxidants, magnesium and a range of vitamins, such as vitamin A, K and C.  Interestingly basil contains antimicrobial properties that fight viruses and also has DNA-protecting flavonoids!

The cashew cheese sauce is full of goodness too, cashews contain a powerhouse of proteins, essential minerals, including copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Cashews also contain vitamins such as vitamin, B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, vitamin E and vitamin K.

So Moms, as I’ve said before this dish not only tastes great, but you can also rest assured in the knowledge that your family is getting a jam-packed nutrient dense meal!

So let me share this recipe with you:

To make the Pesto:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil (large stems removed)
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts (can also use walnuts, my preference though is pine nuts)
  • 3 large garlic cloves (add more garlic if you are like us ;0)
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3-4 tbsp nutritional yeast (see link below)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt and pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-6 tbsp of water (more if needed)

Method:

  • Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender except the olive oil and water
  • Blend on high until a loose paste forms
  • Then slowly add the olive oil as the machine is on and scrape downs the side as needed
  • Then add 1 tbsp water a time until you reached the desired consistency
  • Taste the pesto and season

To make the Cashew Cheese sauce:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashews (recommend you soak the cashews first (at least 3 hours) better for digestion and also removes phytic acid)
  • 1/4 cup of water (more water if you want it a thinner consistency.. whatever way you like it, experiment…)
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper (optional)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Method

Blend all the ingredients together in a high-speed blender until you reach your desired consistency. For this recipe, I like to leave it a bit chunky (almost like a cottage cheese consistency) however that’s totally up to you.

To make Courgetti:

  • Simply take 2 washed courgettes and place them on a spiralizer, we use the Hemsley and Hemsley spiralizer (link below)

Voila! toss the courgetti in the basil pesto and add a dollop of cashew cheese on top and you have just created a healthy, delicious and beautiful meal. Issey loves this especially the courgetti ;0

As always moms  I’d love to hear from you, please let me know if you decide to make this dish and what you thought of it… :0

Love and Best wishes,

L X

 

Notes: Serves approx 4 portions

Credits:

Lovingitvegan 

Minimalist Baker

References:

Hemsley & Hemsley Spiraliser 

Nutritional Yeast  

Courgettes 

Basil 

Basil 

Cashews 

 

4 Keys to Break Free from Worry

Dear Moms,

This week I thought I’d share my story about how I used to be a chronic worrier and how I’ve found some very useful keys that really help when worrying strikes. I’m grateful to report that with these keys my worrying has become less frequent 🙂

I think unless you are extremely lucky or an enlightened being worry does visit us for time to time, however, I didn’t realise how bad it was for me until I started watching my thoughts and observing how a little worry could turn into the worst disaster! On a scale of 1-10, I probably was at an 8 or 9 especially after becoming a mom. Most days I would spend a lot of my energy worrying?! Finding some relief was really warranted 🙂

Dare I say it but looking back I thought worry was actually beneficial that if I worried enough I’d be able to prevent bad things from happening, plotting out every scenario in my head. However it wasn’t until I took a step back and started researching/reading and practicing Reiki that I realised that I didn’t need to live like that especially since the activity of chronic worrying is so bad for our well being. Worrying causes our brain to think we are in danger, this starts a cascade of events – our brain signals our body to release stress hormones, then our immune system gets suppressed which in turn leads to us becoming more susceptible to illness.

It started for me in secondary school when I put a lot of pressure on myself to ‘succeed’, to get good grades and get into university. And, then worrying about jobs and climbing the career ladder, and then that turned into worrying about what people thought of me, or worrying if I made a mistake how it could affect my career etc.  After Issey was born I worried about her health and then my health and how I was going to manage my career and being a mom. It was exhausting… It wasn’t until my health really suffered that I started to review all the areas of my life and realised that this chronic worrying was a bad habit that I needed to change as a priority.

So if you find yourself getting into a worry trap here are 4 proven keys that have really helped me.

  1. Observe – as mentioned above I’ve learnt that simply observing my worrisome thoughts as they start to come in I have the ability to quickly stop them turning into worst case scenarios. This takes practice (the more you practice you are literally re-wiring your brain with what’s called new neural pathways to stop the spiral happening) I am now amazed how quickly I can turn my thoughts around, I just simply say thank you for showing up worrisome thought however I am not going to engage in you. I also find that affirmations help change the nervous energy in my body to more of a calm energy. My favourite affirmations are ‘all is well’, ‘only good lies before me’, ‘I am happy, calm and relaxed’ and ‘just for today I will not worry’ (this beauty is one of the five Reiki principles). I’ve also observed that worry happens for me when I am extremely tired,  haven’t eaten well (although this is extremely rare) and/or watched some news that was extremely worrisome. So now I ensure I put my sleep and food as a priority and decide what I watch, for example, we never watch the news anymore (growing up it was the first thing we saw in the morning and the last thing we saw at night!). I’ve broken the habit of news watching and we have removed our TV from our home so we only watch content on our devices that we choose for ourselves. I’m not suggesting you give up your TV however maybe observe how you feel after you watch something especially the news…
  2. Meditate – yes I am talking about meditation again ha! I have to tell you that my meditation practice has literally changed my brain and my personality, I am no longer the person I used to be and therefore no longer a chronic worrier! I always feel relaxed, refreshed and calm after doing a 10 or 20-minute meditation and this stays with me throughout the day. I see this as a daily habit I will never give up.
  3. Take purposeful action and then let go – when the worry doesn’t seem to be going away or it is indeed a very big worry then sometimes action is warranted. This may be in the form of writing out the worry on paper and then reviewing it later. What I find is most of the time on relection it doesn’t seem so bad… Depending on the worry another action maybe simply contacting someone to find out some more information… However, once I have done all that I can then I let it go and simply hand it over to a greater power in my case I will ask the angels for help ;0
  4. Practice Gratitude – yes I am also mentioning gratitude again 🙂  if you follow my blog or are part of the moms speaking your truth private facebook group you will know I am always talking about the simple yet extremely powerful practice of gratitude. Two things to mention about gratitude, firstly, if you feel worried just start thinking about what you are grateful for this will stop the worry trap (your brain can’t be worried and grateful at the same time!!) Did you know that if you earn more than $10/day you are better off than 80% of the rest of the world. This statistic always brings me back to reality and grateful for my home and my running water! The second thing with gratitude is that if you genuinely start practising it you will find worry doesn’t come to you as often. This gem of a practice is so powerful and changes your energy for the better. In our household every night before we go to sleep with Issey we all take turns to list out the things we are grateful for, this is a practice we want to instil in Issey so that she will believe it’s the norm and becomes a great habit of hers.

So Moms, if you try the above out I’m confident that it will help you, as it has truly helped me. My advice is not to try and implement everything at once maybe try one key out and see how you get on.

As always love to hear from you so please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below…

Love and best wishes,

L X

References:

How worrying affects your body 

Stress and the immune system

Anxiety and the immune system

Neural Plasticity

Reiki Rays just for today

Statisitics