Effective Affirmation Therapy
Theory Behind Using Questions for More Effective Affirmation
These writings provide advanced considerations in the use of affirmations for self-applied personal growth therapy. The first section is on the principles, how and why they work. The second -- "Quest 'n Soul You Shen -- Question & Solution Exercises" -- provides sample Positive Response Questions ("PRQ's"). I will later make reference to some essays that provide more fundamental concepts as well as elaborations into other related areas.
The *Question* is the basis for one of my core sets of tools, for myself, for clients, and as used in visual affirmations. Possibly due to my reading John Simone's quote, "The key to wisdom is knowing all the right questions." Possibly due to some study of materials from the Rosicrucians (back in the 70's), about various famous inventors and scientists who would, vexed with a problem situation, propose a question to themselves, then go into alpha state, wherein they would receive insights and solutions, etc. Directing questions to "the back of one's mind" is how it is sometimes phrased.
Affirmations can be quite valuable for directing ones mind in the directions one chooses to go. There are, unfortunately, a lot of myths and misconceptions about the use and benefits of affirmations. Less than effective use of this tool arises primarily out of unrealistic expectations -- as in when we believe that a few simple repetitions are going to stand up to years of believing in and responding to totally different messages. And how about when the events around us are signaling to us that the affirmation needs modification, and we haven't been prepared or trained for recognizing the signals, let alone for updating the affirmation(s).
Let me clarify that:
I believe it is important for teachings about affirmation usage to have suitable explanation for, and responses to, sudden difficulties when they happens to someone who has faithfully been doing their affirmations and positive attitude homework. Otherwise it can be very disillusioning. Some teachers do respond more knowledgeably. For example, June Miller, in her essay, "Positive Thinking Explained," gives a valuable technique for advantageously employing (cause and effect) dynamics, those that may otherwise attract very hard learning opportunities, otherwise perhaps experienced as tragedies, or at least as tests and trials. I'll mention Douglas Block's contribution shortly.
I like to call the more gestalt approach used here (at this site) "Gestalt Positivism", because it doesn't deny the value, certainly not the reality, of "the feeling stuff" or chronic pain. While at the same time it helps build depth, overall context, and therefore stability as well as appropriate regard for effective (and long term) life plan development. Whether toward improving one's habits, attitudes, vocational goal accomplishment, or health, freedom from pain, clarity of mind, etc. You may notice that many of the samples in the next section are about dealing with ones own processes in self-regard, dealing with emotions, other self-development, and even designing and using affirmations.
One of the most interesting cause and effect dynamics in the use of affirmations is what I'll call "Shadow Teasing" or "Depth-Charging". This is the reaction born out of one's "Shadow" self - the old and/or repressed beliefs, reacting to the affirmed beliefs, and striving to maintain the territorial power hold of the old beliefs, by proving to you "What really is -- because it always has been -- so it always will be!" As Douglas Block says in "Affirmations: Using Affirmations to Uncover and Transform," when you affirm, "I am the greatest," up may come the reaction, "I'm afraid you're not." Unfortunately, we don't always notice the Shadow's response, and if it has any strength, it may maneuver to attempt restoration of the old order.
The Shadow attempts to attract or help you create situations in reaction to your affirmation, sabotaging your plans. We "depth-charge", but if we don't meet the submarine with our reality check, the submarine torpedoes us. But this is all part of the testing and the learning of personal growth, of dropping old patterns - it takes time. And utilizing a more complete knowledge of affirmation therapy can help to minimize the hard lessons, or at least prepare us for some of them that can't be prevented.
This is where the use of questions come in. The Q&S Technique does not confront the shadow so directly. No confrontation, no "charging". It accomplishes the objectives of affirmations; in fact, it can employ them. It starts off with an acknowledgment-preamble (such as on the "Quest..Shen" exercise sheet) and then is followed by questions. These are designed in such a way that the Universal Body-Mind can only respond by producing "positive" answers and solutions (or none at all) -- internally as well as externally (manifested into reality).
IMPORTANT: The question technique is BEST used with the previously referred to knowledge and techniques. One of the advantages of the question technique is that it can be used by the worry-occupied mental type of personality with wonderful results: Just by using that (excess) mental energy to flood the mental computer with "positive response questions" (PRQ's).
Quick Tips for designing "Positive Response Questions" (PRQ's):
Use PRESENT tense and no negatives ("no, w/o, not" or contractions). Use "...I am..." or "...am I..." in as many of your Q's as possible. Use follow-up Q's such as, "How enjoyable does this feel?" "What does this look like?" "How very often am I enjoying this?". SEE (with your imagination) and/or FEEL (with your emotional self) the desired picture(s) and feeling(s) as you are verbalizing out-loud the Q's.
Do NOT try to mentally answer the Q's after you ask them. Allow time for your Universal Body Mind to present the solutions in the form that it designs for you, when it knows you are most ready to use them. Use your "issues" (and related hopes, desires, and fears, etc.) to design affirmations, and use the affirmations to design the PRQ's. EG: From "I fear balloons," to "I am calm and creative in the presence of balloons," to "How enjoyably calm (and perhaps even inspired) can I be in the presence of balloons?" (if you'll pardon the pun: the word "inspired" comes from "filled with air"! ;-)
Another accelerator phrase to consider adding to the PRQ is, "...very well, Thank you." OK, for example, when talking to the muscles I might say, "How are we enjoying taking the next step toward your realization of optimal performance and well-being in accordance with Divine Order and Timing very well, Thank you." The "very well" part is added as if one with the main part of the PRQ -- as in "how *very well* are we doing this". Then the "thank you" part is added to thank the Higher Self or Higher Power (etc.) for facilitating the "answering" or solution manifesting process, as well as "the kids", the "celldren", for rejoining in the teamwork again. (Although *these* kids actually have just been doing what we told them on some level a long time ago in response to some event or situation, and it was the attitudes of mind that since then created whatever degree of loss of teamwork that occurred).
Please see the Related References Section for accessing the articles referred to above, "Positive Thinking Explained," by June Miller, and "Affirmations: Using Affirmations to Uncover and Transform," by Douglus Block. Including "Attainment and Achievement -- The Alignment of Beliefs, Desires, and Needs," with related basic and advanced aspects elaborated by the author. These do not explain the use of questions but do well at providing clarity in the effective use of affirmations. All of these essays and many more are available (w/o charge) by email via firstname.lastname@example.org (please type "permit2chris" in body of email)
Chris Pringer ©April '93
Sample Positive Response Questions (PRQ's) following the quote section
[Ideals-Related essays: "More On 'Ideals'" & "Idealism & the Concept of Perfection" (including "Unconditional Love") at the page, "Compassion, Healing, and The Practitioner -- and Detouring 'Burn-out'"]
"Quest 'n Soul You Shen -- Question & Solution Exercises"
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© September 1999, Chris Pringer
in the time(s), space(s), and way(s) that best fulfills my Divine Plan:
How am I increasingly allowing myself to enjoy the ever-growing realization of benefits
of reviewing the following affirmations, with increasing appreciation of the reality that:
By God, I Am Entitled, even Commissioned,
to continually learn to be as fully present as I can be, and continually improve in my capacities...
To Find safe & effective ways to Feel & Respond to my own feelings, desires, emotions ?
Truth &Inspiration Caring & Love Authority, Approval, & Worthiness
Responsibility & Freedom Harmony & Presence Security & Safety Power & Strength
Humility & Pride Intimacy & Boundaries Success & Failure
How Am I most enjoying allowing myself, more and more often today and each day:
To Accept -- & Learn from -- ALL of my past.
To Be my own Best Friend & Inner Parent.
To Determine my own needs as I Discern my needs from my desires.
To Choose my own priorities & Set my own goals.
To Be Responsive to & Responsible for my own Inner Child.
To Clarify my own Strengths & Highest Potential as well as current limitations.
To Be my own Self & Be visible as Who I Truly AM!
To Be safe in my own authority -
as I learn to be a channel of God's Highest Loving Will through me -
as I continually improve in capacity to clarify It from my ego's will.
To Re-define values & revise choices accordingly.
To Find/realize Purpose & Meaning in my life.
To Do all the above safely -even when I risk "failure,"
or discover I have made mistakes along the way as part of the learning to do this -
without judgment, obligation, guilt, invalidation, manipulation (by myself or others).
To Know that my value & worthiness (to have true needs met)
is a God-ordained Reality to be realized, Regardless of
my internal mental, emotional, or physical condition,
or the external actions or reactions of myself or others.
To Know how talented & powerful I am, & find my path as I
Utilize that knowledge productively,
Honor others as the worthy beings that they likewise are, &
Release attachment to how others respond, learn, & grow.
To Express & feel my power
as love, wisdom, passion, & connectedness with God.
To Fully realize today how worthy I am & what that implies for my life here & now.
To Take all the time I truly need to learn to do all the above & much more,
to enjoy & be responsible for my decisions as regards these choices.
Thank You, God, for assisting
in the manifestation of all insights, answers and solutions called for herewith!
"Chalice tapestry" background artwork by Christopher Pringer, 2003
(A quality graphic with text placed over colorful tapestry background is available for donation via email@example.com )
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PRQ's for assisting in a
"Chali-Cells": Even in the matrix of our cells, the sacred-geometry proportions actually facilitate (ionic) polarities [positive/ negative or yin/ yang] for bio-magnetic interactions and energy exchanges at atomic/ molecular levels - in this "cell matrix chalice." And these "chali-cells," at that atomic level, operate like tiny but ever-powerful nuclear generators, yet with all of a living cell's frequencies/ colors (Rainbow), given all the energy, including all the loving understanding that's been channelled into this "chalice dynamic." This "ChaliCells" description is an understanding of one reality, and it is also an affirmation. We could add "how might I be increasing in the understanding that this is true, and increasingly true in manifested reality each day?"
Related References (most by the author)
Using Affirmations to Uncover and Transform Negative Beliefs and Attitudes
by Douglas Bloch, Nov.'98 -- Theory & Example; Basic and very useful Self Help psychology in therapeutic use of affirmations.
"Questions for INNER-RESOURCING
The Use of Personally Applied Invocative Questions (Invoc-Q's) for Multi-Dimensional Facilitation of Information Sharing, Integration, & Access," ©`96. Includes "An Ericsonian Reading for Resource manifestation," ©`96.
"Seven Laws of Change" and "Principles for Invocation of 'The Blueprint'" --
Two pieces about 1) How Change Happens - 'Within & Without' about some key attitude-related principles of force, movement, and the balancing of energies (one basis of healing); 2) Empathic Healing & Invocation - A Summary of a 3-part essay, Originally published © July'97 (at Seeker Magazine Website).
"Notes on Beliefs, Healing, and Prayer"
Or "Bridging Prayer & Science" - faith & intuition, Spirit working logic & emotion, and a little science to boot. Tools for working with the cells - self-healing on an energetic level, plus supportive science, concepts and references, a summary essay, "Cells & Healing Changes: How I Believe What I See; Building, Cleansing, and Paradigm Management; Body-Parenting & Healing Cell-Talk" [Rev'd Apr 2011] and "'Getting Super': Sample Personalized Visualization Prayer Chart" (more application of science than prayer in this case, as related to *Cellular Re-Organization* and engaging *neuroplasticity*.) [New Apr 2011]. Also "Focusing Love-Organized Healing Waters", or Water-Charging (incl. a section for the Neuro-Endocrine System), based on some very inspiring scientific findings by Masaru Emoto, including Dr. Emoto's message for transforming the water (molecules) effected by nuclear radiation. [this page is finally beginning to say what I've always wanted it to! ie: more to come in time.]
"Questions for Boundaries
Effective Communications of position, intention, & message, Maintaining Clarity for appropriate Connection, Direction, & Protection" ©`96
"Attainment And Achievement -- The Alignment Of Beliefs, Desires, And Needs"
Often referred to at this site as "the Goal Chart" - Basic principles and definitions for functionally clarifying the differences between ones beliefs, desires, & needs and the implications for personal growth, preventative health maintenance, and self-healing
"Whole Being Integration In Manifesting Abundance and Seven Steps To Initiation And Understanding"
Principles of magnetism in the process of conscious personal growth, spiritual integration, and self healing.
Includes special section: "Questions for Empowerment", over sacred geometry background through clarifying and/or re-defining one's values and beliefs, all over "Chalice Tapestry" sacred geometry background. Chris Pringer, 9'99
"A Gestalt Perspective," and "Seven Phases of Personal Growth" (2 Essays)
A perspective on an approach to and regard for life, one's past and present, as well as a basis for personal growth and/or therapy. I could've called it an integrated 'Gestaltist-Humanist-Buddhist-New Thought' perspective. (You could say these are my main sources, from among the various "schools" of psychology and correlating approaches to application of therapy.)
The "Bleep Tool Kit"
...because habits are difficult to break... - an Intro for application of principles from 'What The Bleep Do We Know - Down the Rabbit Hole' And I don't mean to imply that 'Bleep' is all about such serious things. It's as fun as it is intellectually stimulating, even as "wondrous," as it pulls together and makes understandable so many realms of knowledge in a practical way, including the quantum physics that backs it all up! And the DVD set is available at most video outlets. This DVD is also one great means of learning about and enhancing your neuroplasticity, with the brain essentially being a tool kit that we each have opportunities to develop and enhance, even repair - from within.
[Available in text form via firstname.lastname@example.org (please type "permit2chris" in body of email):] "INTER-RESOURCING INVOC-Q's - The Use Invoc-Q's) for Multi-Dimensional Facilitation of Information Sharing, Integration, & Access Adapted for *GROUP* Prayer/ Meditation" ©`96; "Space Cadet's Priorities - for 'Grounding` & Earth-Plane Productivity" © Jan '94; "Facilitated Resource Agreement Invoc-Q" © May `95, "Self-Programming Body Invoc-Q's For Personal Growth Process and Healing," ©`96, and "Whole Being Integration In Manifesting Abundance -- Seven Steps To Initiation & Understanding," ©'93-'98.
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