The greatest work of art you will ever sculpt in this life, is you. The tool we use to sculpt this masterpiece is the mind. Every second of every day we are slowly using our thoughts, intentions, and choices to guide our lives (Be it consciously or unconsciously). Affirmations, are self-guided conscious intentions, applied for the use of personal progression. Say for a moment that you are beginning to have a bad day. Instead of spiraling downward and focusing on all the negatives in your life, a simple affirmation quietly spoken to yourself saying “Today is a beautiful day, and there is so much to appreciate!” can instantly shift your focus to a more peaceful and joyous state of being. You will then begin to notice more and more to appreciate, and this joyous state of being then becomes your experience. Learning to apply affirmations to your own life successfully does involve asserting a certain amount of control over yourself, which will take time and practice to develop, but is in itself extremely rewarding for those that want to live in full accordance with their true will. You can set the affirmations as an alarm on your phone, a sticky note on your desk, or even something more permanent like a tattoo or a piece of jewelry that you have attached a certain meaning to, that reminds you of the self guidance you want to implement. There is also great use for affirmations in the meditation experience, as a tool to guide one’s thoughts and energy. However, as with everything, it is all about figuring out the method that works best for you, should you decide affirmations can bring you benefit.
Meditation works with all belief systems, unless of course you believe it to be a demonic or harmful activity. In which case you don’t understand meditation. It is ultimately unavoidable for any human to go their whole life without it. Many of us mediate daily and aren’t even aware we are doing it just because the label of the activity is changed. Every time you consciously choose to do something to relax or to cultivate joy you are in one way or another partaking in an act of meditation. Although this may not be the “Empty your mind” technique everyone classifies as the true definition of “Meditating” it is still nonetheless an extension of the experience. In my current understanding, none of the popular religions or belief systems have banned meditation or considered it a forbidden act. In fact, many of them are fully supportive of it (Although they may not know it). Prayer for example is a type of meditation in which you communicate with a higher force. It calms the mind and helps you cultivate feelings of joy, hope, power, peace, and so forth. It does not matter what religion you follow, what Gods or Goddesses you believe in (Or disbelieve in i.e. atheism), or what facts you have determined to be true in your life experience. Meditation is here to benefit all and does not rely on any of that for it to be an advantage to you. It is about journeying to the deepest realms of your being and exploring the endless depths of your spirit. It is about getting to know who you truly are behind all the layers, ideas, and concepts. It is about freeing the imagination and uncovering hidden truths that dwell beneath the normal realms of consciousness. Meditation will not interfere with your beliefs in a negative manner but might influence the dissolution of that which does not benefit your soul. Meaning, if you believe in something that is harmful to you or keeps you from experiencing harmony, meditation will help you change it. However, it is important to know that you are always fully in control. You are not strapped in for the ride. If you want to stop all you have to do is open your eyes and do something else. Meditation is not here to force you to do or become anything that you do not want to become. It is here to help you cultivate energy, align with truth, and explore deeper realms of your being in accordance with your will.
As you travel down your path in this spiritual journey it is important that you do not compare yourself to others. It is your path, your journey, and your experience. When you compare yourself to others it takes your focus away from where it is truly beneficial – your self. Take money for example; We may look at someone with a lot of money and say “That person has so much more money that me, what am I doing wrong?”. This immediately creates a feeling of unhappiness and inferiority by comparison. It can also pull you away from seeing the abundance that is already right there in front of you. Instead of defining your abundance by what someone else has, it would be best to direct your focus only on what you have. Block everyone else out completely. When you block everyone else out you create an extremely powerful shift in your perception. If someone has more or less than you, it doesn’t matter at all. Your worth is no longer relative to the existence of what someone else has or does not have. It might take some practice but this will help you be grateful for every little thing that enters your life (Or is already there) and help you to generate much more powerful vibrations of joy, happiness, and peace. (This also means don’t compare your present self to your past self.)
Music is a very powerful tool when used correctly. If you are having a bad day it can completely change your mood from angry to happy. If you are running in a marathon, the right song can motivate you to push harder to the finish line. It can also make you very sad if an emotional song is playing that brings back memories of the past. Every human emotion that there is can be triggered with a musical composition, and that is just barely scratching the surface. The power music has on the human mind is undeniable. However, the question at hand is “Can music help me have a better meditation experience?”. The short answer is “Yes, absolutely”. If you are new to meditation, music can greatly help with eliminating all the distracting thoughts that appear when you begin to quiet the mind. This gets much easier to handle with practice but in the beginning it can be very annoying, and in my opinion music is a simple solution. Playing the right sounds can also have a very calming effect on the listener, so it is especially useful to those of you that are restless and have trouble relaxing into the experience. If there is a lot of commotion or noise happening wherever you are and you can’t find a good place to sit in silence, music might be an ideal tool for replacing all the background noise with something more peaceful and serene.