Thursday, 17 February 2011

Affirmation for life

After my dreams back in January I decided to do daily draws on which to base affirmations.  In part this was because I understand the power of affirmations to guide us, to help keep us going when we are following a path that isn't always easy.  However, although I've enjoyed creating these affirmations, and read them regularly, I found that what was really working for me was a single, powerful affirmation.  This I repeated daily, unpacking each aspect of it differently each time to connect more deeply with it. This affirmation became my guiding light, my Star, that helps me through each day of living a better, more spiritually in tune life, following my intuition and hoping to transform myself.

It has now been a month since I ate any chocolate or biscuits, and I haven't replaced them with anything like agave syrup or fructose or carob.  My "sweets" are fruit, and I try to make each meal I eat (about 5-7 a day) combine protein and carbohydrates.  

Then, as I was writing another daily draw affirmation I suddenly paused to wonder which tarot cards I would pick for the affirmation I am using, rather than randomly selecting cards and creating affirmations around them.  So, this is what I came up with:

"I choose health, happiness and energy."

The first bit is that I choose - I could choose otherwise - and that this is a logical step, something I have considered and decided upon for good reasons.  For me, the Ace of Swords covers this nicely.  In the image I've chosen, taken from the Mystic Dreamer Tarot, we see a woman by the side of a huge sword embedded in a stone.  Where she touches the stone, light blossoms.  Above the sword is a red crown, indicative of life energy being concentrated in the head or crown.  This makes me think of pouring life energy into the crown chakra, our connection with the universe.

The second part is health.  For me, this is about health in all aspects of life.  Obviously the physical is the most basic, but true health is also about the mental, emotional and spiritual.  And it's definitely not just about looking good, though if I'm healthy I know my skin will be more radiant, my nails stronger, my hair shinier.  Move over L'Oreal, I'm worth more than a bottle of shampoo, I'm worth an entire healthy lifestyle.

Anyone who is into their tarot can probably already guess where I'm going with this: the Ace of Pentacles.  This card represents the purest essence of the physical, the manifest, of health.  In the image from the Mystic Dreamer Tarot we see a woman in the background leaving a garden, but looking back one last time at the pentacle wreathed in flowers on a pedestal of stones which has taught her all she needs to know to incorporate its strengths into her life.  She will carry that vibrancy with her wherever she goes, for good health isn't just something we find in the gym or in a health food store, it is a way of life.

The third aspect of my affirmation is happiness.  I choose to feel good about myself and my life.  One side of this is knowing that I am taking good care of myself.  My self-esteem is so much better now that I am not controlled by chocolate.  And I know that I am truly following my own guidance.  I've accepted help and information from a number of diet and fitness gurus (Andrea Albright, Bill Phillips and Tom Venuto in particular).  However, I take what they say with a pinch of salt.  I'm no longer going to buy into someone else's ideas wholesale.  What I do I must make my own, it has to be something I'm emotionally in tune with, otherwise it isn't mine and I won't be able to be lastingly happy following someone else's plan.

Another aspect of happiness is knowing that I am taking care of myself emotionally, too.  Instead of eating sweets for a brief sense of pleasure, I am truly listening to what I want and need, both in terms of food and exercise, but also emotionally.  For example, all three of the health experts I mentioned above have sections in their books on emotional strength, and on practising awareness, forgiveness and gratitude.  I am trying to cultivate happiness through these practices, and by appreciating my successes and seeing any slips as part of the process - as they say on, it's progress not perfection that counts.

All in all, the card that seems most appropriate here is the Ace of Cups.  This beautiful image from the Mystic Dreamer shows a dove above a crystal cup.  Water overflows from the cup, pouring down on the woman below, and the spray from it seems to create a rainbow.  There is such a sense of divine love in this card, a sense of the emotional abundance of life!  And the woman is embracing it fully, with no self-doubt getting in the way of her letting this emotion wash through and over her, cleansing her inside and out.

The final part of my affirmation is energy.  It's true that I feel much more energised now that I'm not sedating myself with chocolate and feeling heavy.  While I'm still tired (overactive three-year-olds will do that to a body) I do feel that I have more enthusiasm for life, more energy to run around after a little person, more joy in everything else I do.

The perfect card for this is clearly the Ace of Wands.  In the Mystic Dreamer version of this card we see a woman sitting in front of a rock.  While this may at first seem a very static pose, the rock behind her has been cleaved in two by a wand.  So, enough energy to slice a rock in two without even breaking a sweat or a nail :-)  I also like the crow that sits on the rock, a messenger of spirit watching over her.  In the background is a castle, a safe refuge for the end of the day when all challenges have been met.

So, having found my affirmation for the year, and maybe longer, what of my daily draws?  Another positive way to start each day is by expressing gratitude for the good things in our life, even including the challenges which make us stronger.  From now on, then, I shall do daily gratitude draws!

Images from the Mystic Dreamer Tarot.

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