Affirmations from CoDA NYC
© 2000 NYC CoDA IntergroupThe
May 7, 2000 Affirmations workshop was a great success! Special thanks
to Nancy for leading the event. With the workshop as inspiration, here
are some thoughts on Affirmations as a tool of recovery.
All rights reserved.
1. Writing your own affirmations
2. Using affirmations
them in the present tense, rather than thinking of them as something
that will happen. Your unconscious responds better to the here and now.
Rather than, "I will be happy," try "I am happy," or "Happiness is in
me and all around me."
- Keep it positive. (Avoid
negatives.) If you say "I’m not going to get sick," you are still
focusing on sickness, and that is what your unconscious hears. Instead,
consider, "I am extremely healthy." Similarly, rather than, "I don’t
need my lousy relationship," consider something like, "I am a beautiful
person, and I deserve healthy, beautiful relationships."
the affirmation to you. Using the 6th Step (became willing to have God
remove our shortcomings), imagine what positive qualities will exist in
you after God removes your shortcomings. Then create affirmations using
those positive qualities. For example, one of my character defects is
Judging. With Judging out of my life, I imagine I’ll be accepting and
loving. So Acceptance and Love become my affirmation themes and I
write: "I accept people exactly as they are," and, "Every day I am
surrounded by God’s children." Positive statements give our unconscious
something healthy to focus on, which takes attention away from our
3. Prayers as Affirmations
- Whether you use affirmations from a book, or write your own, it’s good to work them into your life. Here are some creative ways:
- Tape a list of affirmations on your mirror and recite them whenever you look at yourself.
an affirmation on your answering machine, or send yourself a voicemail
at work. Some voicemail systems will even allow you to send a message
at some point in the future, like Tuesday at 11am. Then in the middle
of a hectic Tuesday, you’ll hear an affirmation in your own voice,
cheering you on!
- Have a list of favorite affirmations that you say before going to bed and/or first thing in the morning. Make it a daily ritual.
your favorite affirmations into a tape recorder. Maybe record a few
affirmations each day. Then, when the tape is full, you can play it
back any time: while you sleep or do housework, for example.
- Consider buying a daily affirmation calendar, and read out loud from it every day.
4. Speak up!
adding one letter to the Serenity Prayer, you can turn it into an
affirmation: "God grants me the serenity to accept the things I cannot
change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the
- Consider using other prayers or inspirational messages as affirmations.
5. General Notes
is much more powerful to say something out loud than to say it to
yourself or think it. This is a kind of 'neuro-linguistic programming.'
Chances are that many of our negative messages were said out loud at
some point. Positive messages deserve the same treatment.
an affirmation for a few days and see if you like it. You can always
change it later. After all, there is no "correct" affirmation, just one
that helps you and your recovery.
- Remember that you
don’t have to believe the affirmation right now. For many of us,
negative messages have been playing in our heads for years. We recite
affirmations to retrain our unconscious mind and, like all good things,
that takes time…. But the nice thing is, the process of reciting
affirmations feels good now. So, enjoy the process, and let go of the
7. Words of encouragement
publishes an Affirmation Booklet for $1.50. Contact CoRe at
214-340-1777 (firstname.lastname@example.org) for details. An order form is available
online at www.coda.org. Click on "ordering literature" and go to page 3
of the order form; you’ll find the booklet (Item 7001) under "Special
Items" in the left column. A $7.50 minimum order (plus shipping) is
required, so you may want to get a group purchase together or buy
- Ask friends for their favorite affirmations, or listen at meetings.
- Many books, tapes, and daily calendars exist with affirmations in them. Visit your local bookstore.
slowly. One affirmation a day is more than zero. One affirmation a week
is more than zero. There is no magic formula or perfect way to do
affirmations. Like life, it’s all part of a process. And you are
already wonderful, right now.