I bring up this topic based on my belief that a mother’s (and father’s) beliefs and mindset are the foundation upon which a home is built! Family leadership has everything to do with where you are in your mind and heart, because that is where it all begins!
I’ve heard some people say they don’t believe in the benefits of writing and speaking declarations. I couldn’t disagree more!
But, before I launch into all the reasons I love mind training, using declarations, I want to issue two caveats:
1 Using declarations to be more positive and deliberate in our thinking does not mean that we should never be sad or go through the crucial process of mourning!
Mourning at the loss of a loved one or over loss in general is an extremely healthy and necessary process to move through, not avoid. Waves of sadness come up and require us to find an outlet for those feelings (usually through tears or talking or journaling, etc.) These are not times to replace our thoughts with something more uplifting. Grief needs to be felt, and avoiding it can lead to serious problems large and small.
2 Because we decide to practice intentionally directing our thoughts through the art of declaration, doesn’t mean we need to change other people and their thinking. It is extremely invalidating to hear the pain or concerns of another person and respond with a “positive mental attitude” statement like, just cheer up! You shouldn’t think like that or feel like that! Just practice declarations and you’ll feel better!
The art of validation requires that we walk with others emotionally while they figure out their next moves, always allowing them to stay in possession of the challenge they may be facing, and come up with their own strategies for solving the issue. More on validation here.
Ok! Onto declarations!
My mom and I used to walk on trails through foothills multiple times a week, and on our travels we noticed an interesting phenomenon. When we started up a steep incline, and we began to breathe harder and our legs were burning and our hearts were pumping, and our bodies were feeling heavier as we plodded up and up, we found that if we spoke about our strength and health and endurance, (instead of moaning and talking about needing to be in better shape or about getting older,) we actually did feel more energy and strength and endurance!
“I am well, I am whole, I am limber, I am strong, I am loved!” I’ve spoken that mantra literally hundreds of times!
Try it! See how your body feels, how your mind and spirit feel after speaking uplifting and encouraging words to yourself! This is especially true if you decide to speak declarations when you don’t feel like speaking declarations. Brigham Young said that the time you need prayer the most is when you don’t feel like praying! How true! And declarations are the same.
So, here we are with a great opportunity to practice! We’re heading into the holidays, which can sometimes feel like a steep climb! This is when we need our minds and mouths to be helping us, not depleting our energy and or distracting our focus by whining and complaining! (I know, I understand whining from years of practice and it doesn’t work at all! Pretty easy to do when we’re running on autopilot though right?)
Funny side note: I had a friend who was an elderly woman. One day, not long after I had back surgery, she asked me how I was feeling. When I told her truthfully that I hurt, she said, “Go on Jacque, you just complain about it and see if it helps!” (This has become an oft quoted sentence in our family because it is always true and the humor, most of the time, helps.)
I have been thinking about declaration ideas for moms during the holidays, and this is the list that came up. I challenge you to adopt and regularly speak those that ring to you, or those you create yourself!
“My ultimate goal is connecting with God and my family and friends.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13)
I am loved, every day, without exception.
My challenges are calling me to grow!
I quickly repent when I say or do something that is unloving.
I feel light and full of love and energy when I repent, communicating candidly with God and my family.
It is ok for me to make mistakes!
I admit my mistakes and I forgive myself and others.
I give from a place of sincere kindness.
It is ok for me to play, have fun and delight in beauty!
I have a prayer in my heart and I’m full of faith!
With God’s help, I am able to pick up my unique burdens and carry them.
I care for my soul, every day.
I am attached to God, now and forever.
I am in charge of me!
I allow others to choose how they will respond to the circumstances they encounter.
I am privileged to work on my family relationships, and because of my honesty, we are facing our problems together.
I love God & His Son Jesus Christ, and they love me.
I love and teach my kids without anger or irritation.
I guard my health so that I can be present and responsible for my own behavior.
I tell the truth about myself every day, especially when I’ve been irritated or angry or acting like a victim.
I love my life! I give glory to God for everything, even my own progress!
Through feeling loved and being loving and responsible for myself, I am creating joyful Christmas memories with my family and friends.”
I encourage you to speak hope and faith into your days. Have some specific problems about which you’d like to shift your thinking and feelings? Simply state the feeling, belief, outcome you seek in words that are positive and present tense. We truly can open ourselves to positive possibility by the words we choose to speak.
God bless you,