I Think, Therefore I Am.
“I think; therefore I am” or ‘Cogito, ergo sum’ (Latin) was the end of the search 15th century French philosopher Rene Descartes conducted for a statement that could not be doubted. He found that he could not doubt that he himself existed, as he was the one doing the doubting in the first place.
Languaging our aspirations and gratitude is a key part of my daily practice and coaching approach because our reality is a construct of our subjective interpretation and social conditioning, therefore it is neither absolute nor final. We see the world not as it is, but as we are. Being able to make and embody this distinction is one of the most pivotal moments of my life, if not, the most. When we expand the ways we are in thoughts, the world we see expands in possibilities including actions and solutions. We see more doors open ahead than the one door that has just closed.
I firmly believe in the power of language. My choice of words is a reflection of my mind; the power of the mind is the force behind speech that affects reality. We can create a new language to establish a new thinking; we can also give up a language to remove old thinking. For example, I have given up the language of ‘busyness’ because the word ‘busy’ is laced with anxiety, stress and powerlessness yet it comforts with a fake notion of social worth. Instead of responding with the socially-accepted and pervasive ‘busy’ to ‘how are you’, it has been consciously replaced with ‘I’m engaged in many opportunities’, ‘I’m pursuing my different aspirations’, etc. LOL.
Giving voice to intentions amplify their power. I designed my practice of intentionality through words years back and have been doing this on a daily basis because we become what we practise.
Many friends and coaching clients have asked me to share my daily practice of intentionality and affirmations. So here goes (complete expose, verbatim):
1. Before I get out of bed in the morning, I sit in half-lotus position on my bed and affirm the following intentions: Today, I shall not harm anyone intentionally; I shall help others to the best of my ability, I shall keep my thoughts, words and actions congruent; I shall perform my meditation practice at least twice a day to the best of my ability.
2. Sunrise sitting meditation after 1 litre of lemon water with a pinch of salt. I complete the meditation by offering my love to those I know who are suffering and need healing.
3. I weaved intentions/affirmations into each sequence of my surya namaskar (or sun salutations) practice:
Sequence 1: I am open to all possibilities in life because they come from You; I release all my fears and ease into myself; I own my light and shadow; I own my body; I have everything I need to be the best that I can, to serve the best I can; I am enough because I’m always expanding.
Sequence 2: I slow down and do less because I want to nourish myself to expand myself; I release all my fears and ease into myself; I own my light and shadow; I own my body; I shall always be kind and gentle to body, mind and spirit because I deserve tenderness.
Sequence 3: I trust myself because I am You; I release all my fears and ease into myself; I own my light and shadow; I own my body; I have everything I need to be the best I can be, to serve the best I can; I am enough because I’m always expanding.
Sequence 4: I am ready for the joy and growth of a romantic relationship because I am ready for companionship, intimacy; I am ready to love and be loved that way again; I own my light and shadow; I own my body; I shall serve my soul and the soul of others with humility, kindness and tenderness.
Sequence 5: I love myself completely because I am special and beautiful, and because You love me; I own my light and shadow; I own my body; I have everything I need to be the best that I can, to serve the best I can; I am enough because I’m always expanding.
Sequence 6: I am a good human form because I want to serve my soul so that I can serve the souls of others; I let go of the need to prove myself all the time; I own my light and shadow; I own my body; I shall always be kind and gentle to my body, mind and spirit because I deserve tenderness.
I repeat the above with another 24 sets of sequences — and will be swimming in my own pool of sweat and self-belief by the end of it. :)
1. I do a short meditation for 3–5 minutes.
2. I affirm my gratitude for the meal with the following: Thank you for the Divine goodness and nourishment of this food before me; Thank you for the farmers who grew this food; Thank you for the people who made this food (if I cooked it, I say ‘thank you for the ability to make this food!); Thank you for the company and love of xxx who’s sharing this food with me; Thank you for the ability to afford this food; Thank you for Your infinite love in this food.
1. I used to write a small note for my Happiness Jar but I’ve stopped that for now because the jar is kinda full! Just a short affirmation of gratitude. Thank you for xxxx today; The day has ended and tomorrow shall be a new day.
2. A short meditation before shuteye. (Not always successful but I try). I complete the meditation by offering my love to those I know who are suffering and need healing.
Will the above work for you? I don’t know because our life journeys are very personal and much as I will always be here to walk with you as a friend and/or coach, I can never walk it for you. So I encourage you to experiment and design your own practice. But I do believe that there’s much merit in the discipline of self-love through a regular practice. Again, remember that we become what we practise.
Since I started my daily meditation practice 11 years ago, I know with fervour (even if I cannot sometimes articulate it with well) that I see and show up in the world differently. Claiming the power of my intentions and affirmations through languaging reinforced that permanent shift. I am at ease and at peace a whole lot more than I’m not. Every moment is home. A grateful place to be.
The world may be the same but I’m no longer the same. Because I’m no longer the same, the world is also no longer the same. I think; therefore I am. I could not doubt that.
NB: It just hit me that I’m sharing so publicly and completely this very personal practice of mine for the first time. As I explored the motivation behind this expose, I observe that I am very aware of my own mortality and therefore was compelled to share one of the ‘tools’ that has served me well to become a better version of myself. Because I could become dust tomorrow. And also because nothing really belongs to me. Whether anyone reads or benefits from this or not is immaterial.
**I wrote the above in March 2017 before I discovered Medium.com. :)