I had a great Nutrition class on Wednesday. (Wait. To fill you in, I'm taking a 6-week course called Nutrition 101 at Live With Spirit.) Okay, so it was great this week. The topic was Mindful Eating, ie. not letting your emotions dictate your eating habits. This is definitely something I think most people can admit to doing. Whether it's boredom, anger, or stress, just to name a few, I'm sure we can all say that at one point or another, we've indulged a bit too much when we're riding an emotional wave.
We began the class with our instructor, Pam Elek, leading us in a meditation to help us quiet our minds and relax after a long day. She then spent some time talking about positive affirmations. (If you're not familiar with the concept of affirmations, you may want to check out Louise Hay for some expert information.)
Pam had us choose something in our lives that we were currently working to improve. We wrote it down on a piece of paper, and folded it up for later in the class. Then we listened to twenty minutes of Louise Hays' "You Can Heal Your Life" book on cd. I found it to be really powerful stuff. Basically, the idea of positive affirmations is to change our thinking patterns. For most of our lives, we've had thought processes that were ingrained in us by our parents and others at a very young age. A lot of this is negative thinking, maybe stemming from that time a boy on the playground told you that you have a huge nose. So, since you were 6, you've hated your nose. Maybe you don't even remember why you hate your nose. You only know you have an ugly nose. It's all about breaking these negative and often destructive thinking patterns, so you can move beyond it to create your best life.
After we listened to the beginning of the cd, Pam had us go back to our piece of paper, and turn that goal into an affirmation for ourselves to use. For example, "I would like to focus on clean and healthy eating" can become "I respect my body, and I treat it only with love and kindness." Or "I need to get a new job" turns into "New doors are opening for me all the time." In choosing an affirmation, you have to be specific. It needs to be in the present tense and you need to revisit it (writing it and saying it aloud) many times a day.
Our homework this week is to spend 5-10 minutes per day meditating, and also to say and/or write our new affirmation at least 15 times per day. So far I've only been doing it for two days, but I've been saying mine aloud in the car and in front of the mirror, and I've written it on several pieces of paper and taped it up around the house as a constant reminder. As a personal goal for the rest of the summer (or longer if the habit sticks) I've decided to choose a new affirmation for myself each week. I'm very excited to do this, as this summer is a major time of self-discovery for me.
Hope you are all having some time just for yourselves this summer, and enjoying every minute of it!