Old-habits die hard. Or so the saying goes. For Ellie, the negative patterns she had developed in her life motivated her to change. After accepting her old life, Ellie found a new identity though movement and continuous affirmation of her true self.
Breaking old patterns has been a lifelong journey for me. When I was 23-years-old, I was divorced and raising three children on my own. Life was painful. My body was unhealthy. I was smoking, weighed 100 pounds and thought I was fat, and watched television incessantly. My spiritual-being suffered the most. Fear, self-pity, anger, and guilt were my constant companions, and I thought I was so worthless that I did not deserve to be here. Ironically, my mind was constantly focusing on what other people should change in their lives so I could be happier.
At that time, I was unaware of the impact that my thoughts were having on my current life situation. I did not understand that my repeated, destructive self-talk was causing an overall unhealthy state of being in me. Because I internally repeated, accepted, and identified with toxic thoughts like “I am useless, I am not good enough, and I am a failure,” I was essentially destroying myself.
The first step in my healing journey began when I started listening to and owning my own thoughts. As I began to learn about my personal power of choice, I realized that my mind, body, and being were all affected by my limiting, negative beliefs and self-talk. I had been using words like have to, never, always, should, and not good enough. I also was not able to separate who I was from who I thought others wanted me to be.
At that time, I also learned that positive affirmations, whether repeating them out loud or silently, have a healing effect on the mind. The subconscious mind stores our thoughts and experiences. It doesn’t differentiate between thoughts that are good for us and those not so good for us.
Because the subconscious mind creates exactly what you tell it, replacing the damaging and untrue thoughts with positive, core value affirmations began a powerful healing process in me. Phrases like “I am unloved” became “I am loved”; and I replaced “I am worthless” with “I am good enough.” I wasn’t waiting for someone else to love me; I was going to love myself. Gradually, I felt my personal power and place in the world change.
One goal I had was to quit smoking. I had tried quitting multiple times in several different ways and had been unsuccessful. But once I began to apply affirmations like “I can” and “I am successful” while visualizing my life without cigarettes, I was able to break the smoking habit permanently! Unfortunately, I also began gaining a couple of pounds a week. Being reasonably good at math, I knew if I continued this habit, I would be sixty pounds heavier by the end of the year. I was determined not to start smoking again to avoid the weight gain, so I combined core value affirmations with an exercise movement program. It worked and I’ve been using this tool to help me make phenomenal life changes.
Here’s what I do:
1. Take time to listen to my own thoughts through meditation and journaling.
2. Choose what affirmations I need for the day. My favorite affirmations are: “I can,” “I am good enough” and “I release fear.”
3. Decide what movements to perform for that day: yoga, cardio or strengthening.
4. Enjoy moving my body while affirming my true self.
I am so grateful to have an easy to use, fun workout routine that supports who I am becoming.
See how Ellie answers our Identity Five Questions:
1. What have you accepted within yourself and/or within your life? Is there anything you are working on accepting?
Accepting that I’m unable to give away something that I personally don’t have has been another motivating factor for me to change. Letting go of the childhood messages about being selfish, I realize that I need to love and respect myself first before I can treat others that way.
2. What do you appreciate about yourself or your life?
I appreciate my ability to see life’s possibilities. When I was resisting life, my thoughts were limiting because I was afraid. Listening intently to my inner dialog and spoken words, I can replace any limiting thoughts with possibility thinking.
3. What have you achieved, or what are you working to achieve personally, physically, or mentally?
Heightening my awareness about myself is a lifelong process. To live in the present moment is truly a gift.
4. What is your no-so-perfect way? We are all unique with quirks and imperfections, so why not flaunt them and embrace them!
My not so perfect way is that I like to be right. I have my perspective to offer and it is right for me yet if you think differently from me doesn’t mean you are wrong.
5. How would you complete this sentence, “I Love My…” This has to be about you, physically or mentally.
I Love My Creative Mind. I am fully present in the moment when I am creating.