I've decided to keep some colorful index cards with me while I read it. I have a feeling there will be affirmations I will want to use.
Initial thoughts at the beginning of the book:
It is small. It's very easy to travel with or pack in your purse.
Cheryl begins her introduction with doing things that feel good. My Judeo-Christian background rebels against this. However, I think feeling good means ten bags of chocolate. This book assumes the reader understands that feeling good is about what your inner spirit needs to live an exceptional life. I found Cheryl's introduction a bit of a 'Louise is so awesome' bit of pages. My mind kinda nodded off and hoped the book would have more substance. And substance it had. Of course now that I've read the book, I see why the Louise is so great introduction was appropriate.
Louise Hay's introduction was very profound because she pulls back and examines what all writers, philosophers, and religions try to explain.Why do bad things happen? Wow. This point was addressed from the beginning. Do I trust life? Do I trust that life loves me? Do I trust that what happens is ultimately for my good? This section is so wonderful for people who might be in their 20's and 30's and need support and affirmation to look beyond what they currently see. Oh and to top it off Louise just rattles off this superb list of affirmations for those in a health crisis. Can you say highlighter?
Chapter Two: Becoming the Creator of an Exceptional Life
Cheryl recalls moments of attempting to prove the correlation of our thoughts and our lives. This chapter shows such beautiful examples by both women of the proof in our daily life that our thoughts do matter and do affect our world. Self-care begins with our thoughts. I associate self-care with taking a bubble bath or physical restoration. The wisdom in this chapter really gets to the core of true self-care which is what we are thinking. Reading this chapter even gave me a sign. Just this morning I watched five minutes of a reality show concerning financially wealthy housewives. I suddenly realized that these "conversations filled with useless drama and repetitive harmful thoughts" were tearing down the very thing I was building up in myself. I canceled the season pass. It was a great reminder that monitoring what comes into our minds and thoughts throughout the day is NOT a waste of time. It can be so easy to listen to gossip - either in our real life or on TV and think "Hey that's not happening to me so who cares if I watch/listen to it?" But - it DOES matter. It matters a great deal. As Cheryl says so well, "Without realizing it, we develop patterns of thought and behavior that direct our radio transmitter to search for AND emit negative signals that only create more negativity and difficult experiences in our lives."
Chapter Three: How You Start Your Day Is How You Live Your Day
Do you dread awakening in the morning? What message you are sending about what you believe about your life? Louise likes to have two hours before she faces people. ME TOO! I love to walk slowly into my day, even if it means getting up early. I suddenly feel so much more evolved knowing that Louise does too. :-) Lest you not want to awaken at 3am, Louise shares "Everything we think and say to ourselves is an affirmation." All of the moments in my day are important and can be used for my good. Cheryl chimes in that she relaxes and enjoys her day FIRST thing. Oh yes - I totally agree! Highlighter please. Oh and get ready because there are tons of affirmations to say during your day while you go about. I wanted to leap with joy when I saw this page! They also give great ideas for working with children using affirmations.
Chapter Four: How You Live Your Day Is How You Live Your Life
I've always associated Louise Hay with crisis affirmations, if you will. If I'm ill, or in the middle of a break-up, dealing with my self-worth, weight loss and loving my body - the big challenges for me. In this chapter, Louise brings out the seemingly little things that add up such as blessing our food, our cars that take us where we need to go and everything in between. For example, have you ever given thought to what you see all day sitting at your desk? As Cheryl says, "Sometimes all it takes is a small change to send a big message to yourself that says, "I love you, and I care about what you need." We can learn intentional actions that create a beautiful life. There are more suggestions than I could list here, but this chapter is life-changing if you put it into practice in your own unique life. They touch on work in such a powerful way and include affirmations. What a relief to know I don't need to fix the world, I just speak the words of affirmation and the Universe handles the rest.
Chapter 5: Don't Break a Habit - Dissolve It!
Ala ego! This is a great discussion about how to handle life's problems. You know the ones that just tick you off? Louise returns to her affirmation that "All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation only good will come. I am safe." Louise explains "the more you turn away from a problem, the quicker the solution becomes." Wow! I never thought of this before but it makes total sense. The more I want the problem handled, the more my ego jumps in and tries to dictate all the moves in the game instead of TRUSTING LIFE! You should read what Louise says about complaining. That moves into a financies discussion that includes a journal question and of course, wonderful affirmations. I am realizing this small book kinda covers everything. This was the chapter that moved me to tears. Louise shared how affirmations would affect family relationships with those dying of AIDS. I just broke down. Using affirmations for family, yes of course, why didn't I think of that. Chapter Five is my favorite chapter so far.
Chapter Six: The Beauty of Wisdom
Oh this is so yummy! Louise shares about growing older and the secret. It makes so much sense. They talk about wrinkles, weight-loss, the relationship to one's body. Loving ourselves first creates this beautiful trickle down effect. I take that to mean that when I love myself, I'm more tuned into my body (because I love it) and therefore make the best choices in the care of that body. As opposed to listening to someone else tell me what I need and giving no heed whatsoever to what my body is saying. Cheryl's input on aging at 50 are so remarkable. Instead of fighting aging, we learn to see the value in it - becoming intentional about our energy, our time, and our relationships. Hugs, Cheryl. This spoke to my heart.
Chapter Seven: The End of the Movie
This beautiful chapter is one worth keeping for the rest of my life. Louise, someone who has worked with many dying people, shares her thoughts, beliefs, and insights about death in such a compassionate, real way.
This is a heart book. It's not a book of scientific theories and big words. It is a book of how your heart lives, breathes, and moves throughout the day and into the nights. It's about how we look at flower, a boss, a co-worker, our employees, our children, our car, our toasters and everything in between. Cheryl delivers the message of Louise with such gentleness and respect. She shares her own insights when appropriate, but never competes with the message.
Trust Life and our thoughts are our first step in self-care. Now, off to work on step one.
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