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➽ ➽ ➽
...and possibly those
who'd like to think more like one
(Not a Foolish, Misguided,
Embarrassing Waste of Time)
Written & Illustrated by Anne-Louise Ewen
A short and refreshing, "absolutely gorgeous," "timely," "helpful and valuable" book of 68 e-book pages.
In the spirit of Henri Matisse who said "Creativity takes courage," these affirmations were created to embolden artists to leap more freely and joyfully into uncharted territory and take creative risks.
This exercise in intentional thinking was designed to challenge limiting beliefs and to neutralize meddlesome negative messages that try to sabotage our creativity, whether they’re coming from advertising, social media, popular culture, toxic personal encounters, or our childhoods.
Some of the concerns tackled in this book are
- Financial insecurity
- Pressure to conform
- Feeling overlooked, ignored, or jealous
- Feeling out of sync with modern civilization
Feeling paralyzed or intimidated creatively
While these concerns aren’t unique to artists, they are particular things I wrestle with as an artist. I’m sharing these so that other artists, or I suppose anyone who wants to think more like an artist, can use them as a jumping off point for their own affirmation experiments to enjoy more creative freedom and grow more resilient, happy, and relaxed.
EXCERPT FROM THE INTRODUCTION:
I’m aware that affirmations have a spotty reputation.
Often when I hear the word affirmation, part of my mind goes straight back to the early 90’s to “Daily Affirmation with Stuart Smalley” which was such a popular Saturday Night Live skit when I was in high school that it became a kind of meme:
“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and -- doggone it -- people like me.”
The clueless Stuart (played by comedian/satirist/politician Al Franken) delivers his catchphrase affirmation while gazing at himself in a full length mirror during the intro to his mock self-help t.v. show, in which he over-shares the intimate details of his struggling, hum-drum life and dispenses dubious advice.
Stuart, “a caring nurturer, a member of several twelve step programs, but not a licensed therapist,” counsels the famous guests on his show to use affirmations to thrive. Pathetically, and to comic effect, he only succeeds in emphasizing that his guests are managing quite well without affirmations, while the stories he shares about his own dreary life provide evidence that affirmations are useless delusions.
Of course we know it's comedy, but I was at an impressionable age and for me it stuck as a kind of warning. It turned me off to anything having to do with affirmations. Stuart Smalley was the opposite of a role model. It felt like, whatever you do, don’t be like this guy…
Don’t be foolish enough to try to feel good about yourself when you really just don’t measure up. It's better to be harshly objective and practical than an obvious fool. If you believe unrealistic things about yourself, you're embarrassingly misguided. Affirmations are pure quackery and a ridiculous waste of time…
⟼ So, why this book? ⟻
Well, my perspective on positive affirmations has changed.
They’re not really like that.
After years of guarded, skeptical cynicism toward the practice of repeating positive affirmations, I gave it a try for myself and found (to my surprise) that it helped me -- and also very importantly, that I didn't have to sacrifice my dignity and high standards to do it.
For one thing, you don’t have to expose your earnest and vulnerable efforts to criticism by announcing to everyone what you’re trying to do.
And for another thing, your endeavors to be positive aren’t fruitless or stupid -- they’re actually an amazingly proactive strategy.
The power of positive thinking has been prescribed in many forms throughout history, but for me the most direct and practical advice on the matter has come from Louise Hay (1926 - 2017), one of the pioneers of the self-help movement, whose work I came in contact with around 2008.
To put it simply, Hay observed that many emotional (and even physical) ailments are often caused by beliefs we have about ourselves, and that by repeating positive affirmations we can change our thinking and lives for the better.
I’ve tested this hypothesis for myself and have now practiced positive affirmations for many years, and here's the deal:
1) They help me feel better
2) They help motivate me to take action in beneficial ways.
I created the affirmations in this book for my own use to challenge limiting beliefs that would hold me back and to strengthen my joy and courage in the process of creating.
( END OF EXCERPT )