Do you use affirmations in your life? I didn’t used to, but I swear by them now. In my life, I have seen that affirmations really open doors. When I am stuck in a place, I just start with affirmations, and it may take some time, but I always see that as soon as I begin to work with the affirmations, I start to visualize and see what the affirmations are saying, and as soon as I can visualize and see a potential for something, then I can start to feel it emotionally. Then it becomes easier for it to actually manifest on a physical plane.
Animals are sensitive to our energies, so that’s another reason to practice daily affirmations. When we are in a bad place, they naturally want to come to us and offer comfort. But if they are the ones sick or hurt, they need us to be the strong support they deserve. But that’s not so easy when negative emotions often get in the way. Here are four steps to making affirmations work for you and your animals. Keep in mind, these steps work for shelter situations or even the family dog or cat:
Step 1: Be present and mindful.
Any time you are working with or spending time with an animal, remember to be present in the moment and mindful of your thoughts. If your thoughts are negative, how can you possibly create a positive space for the animals?
The answer is: You can’t. Animals are sensitive to our thoughts, feelings and energy—whether positive or negative. That’s why it’s so important to think positive when working with animals. If you’re actively doing affirmations, you’re going to see a shift in the animals that come to you. More animals will come. More animals will be drawn.
Step 2: Take notice whenever negative thoughts pop up.
When sitting and meditating with an animal, whether your own cat or dog or at a shelter, watch out for unhelpful thoughts that focus solely on the bad side, such as the animal’s situation in a shelter or his appearance. For instance:
Situation: A sick-looking dog is dying.
Negative thought: “I hate this. What a poor dog. Life is so unfair.”
Emotions: Stress, sadness, despair
Result: Our negative thinking has gotten in the way of helping the animal. We were so focused on what they looked like, or our take on the direness of a situation, that we neglected to truly be there in the moment for the animal, offering a peaceful space. Instead, the time shared between you and the animal has been tarnished by negativity.
Step 3: Retrain your mind to think positive.
This goes back to mindfulness in Step 1. When you feel a negative thought emerging, look deeper to the heart of things—this will help you find a positive focus. For example:
Situation: A sick-looking dog is dying.
Positive thought: “What a beautiful soul he is: perfect and bright in this moment. I can imagine exactly what this dog was like as a puppy, running around happy and doing silly things. Just think of how much joy he has brought to so many people in his lifetime! I feel so blessed to be here in this moment, supporting him.”
Emotions: Compassion, love, joy
Result: The animal is not stressed out by our negative energy, but rather drawn to our open heart and mind. A positive space has been created.
Step 4: Practice, practice, practice.
Emotions are tricky things, and they often have minds of their own, refusing to listen to us. So be easy on yourself if this is all new to you. Learning to think in affirmations requires time, patience, practice and self-compassion. If sad or negative thoughts feel standard and familiar to you, it’s going to take extra effort to retrain your mind to think positively. But it can be done, even if it feels a little weird at first, or like you’re making it up. But keep trying—eventually the energy within you will shift, and that’s when you’ll know your hard work has paid off. You’ll feel less stress and anxiety within your heart, and the animals around you will feel that, too.
What are your favorite affirmations?
Adapted from How to Help Animals With Reiki by Kathleen Prasad.