Whoa. Affirmations. (And The 2013 RKA Theme Song!)

So…affirmations. Do they work?

I touched on affirmations this summer in my RKA in LA post, My Love/Hate Relationship With Positive Psychology. I wrote:

Remember when Rhonda Byrne “discovered” The Secret and everyone and their mom started parroting the insane notion that, with just a few affirmations a day, one would eventually wake up to a Maserati in their driveway*? Yeah, it’s no secret that I called bullshit on Byrne’s dirty lil’ bestseller from Day One.

*And/or any other practically unattainable status symbol/fantasy including but not limited to bathtubs full of $100 dollar bills, the fictional blue diamond from “Titanic”, a Cubs World Series win, etc.

For me, as an activist…the clear (and rather offensive) fallacy of Byrne’s claims lies in the patent fact that, were positive thinking the real equivalent of a genie in a bottle, the human race wouldn’t continue to wrestle with massive problems like, um, I don’t know–war, poverty, cancer, AIDS, environmental degradation, slavery, violent crime, etc. etc. ETC.!!! And if it were, how dare Byrne make the reckless, hedonistic suggestion that we use our magical minds to do anything other than fix the above list?

Suffice it to say I haven’t always been on Team Affirmation. Yet, as I shared in Love/Hate, many of my clients and partners do play for Positivity and over the last few years, these relationships have acted as antidotes to my resistance.

At the heart of my anti-affirmation agenda was the criticism that, were mindset all it took to change the world, we would have a different one. But my clients–coaches, writers, artists, strategists–showed me that Rhonda Byrne didn’t write the book on affirmations, after all. Looking at positive psychology from a money-tinted lens obscures the point: money is finite, it is richness that is truly limitless.

No, affirmations can’t immediately snap the world out of its funk. But I do believe that affirmations can help more people access the world’s infinite richness. When we’re all living richly, that’s when the magic happens.

Let me show you what I mean. Last year, at the climax of my negativity towards positivity, Annie Lin (a powerful coach if I ever met one) walked me through writing an affirmation to help me express my deepest desires for my life and my work with others. Annie asked me a long series of questions and love showed up in every answer. It became clear that love was my money–what I associated with richness. The luxe-hungry Secret would never work for me because it didn’t resonate with my deepest desires: companionship, collaboration, community. Y’know, the things you can’t park in the driveway with a bow on top.

This is what I came up with:

I am a loving woman who deserves love and is spreading love in the world.

There it was. My Secret. My wealth. My joy. Made me–makes me!–squirm a little to say that out loud to someone. To be so naked with my desires: which, admittedly, look pretty goopy on paper. But as vulnerable as I felt admitting it, I loved my affirmation. I loved that affirmation so much–and so deeply desired the wealth that it affirmed–I threw skepticism to the wind and gave the darn thing a go.

Annie’s wisdom combined with my budding relationship with the Strengths movement helped me infuse my life and business with that affirmation. When I re-branded my business and two blogs, I made it a point to dot everything with a heart. Love wasn’t only my desire, it was my mission.

It was my most authentic re-branding yet.

My heart took me to Germany to build a relationship with my wonderful partner. My heart brought me to Girls Shift Africa and from that has blossomed a cherished friendship with its incredible leaders. My heart connected me with awesomepreneurs and visionaries all over the world who are building empires of love with their work. My heart helped me begin healing relationships with my family.

Basically, I re-branded my life. And I realized that the point of affirmations isn’t just to think them, the point is to do them.

On Sunday, I chatted with Annie and checked my calendar. One year. One year of affirmations. One year of love.

I took a look around at my life. It hasn’t been my easiest year or my most money-ed year, but it sure has been my richest year. I am literally steeped in love, folks. (Imagine me floating in a giant love vat right now.) Love. is. all. around. And love buys you joy, patience, forgiveness (for the rest, see Corinthians) which, when mixed, only make more love.

Whoa. Affirmations.

The answer is Yes.

Yes, they work. Yes, they can bring you wealth. Yes, I want in for Love Marathon #2. Thank you, Annie.

On Tuesday, a few days after talking with Annie, I received a message from a friend who was passing through San Cris and lost her wallet hours before having to leave for the airport. I felt her pain. One year ago, right before writing my affirmation with Annie, I was depressed, flat broke, and had to catch a 4 AM flight to Chicago. I crossed my fingers for public transportation to the airport but the first combis left two hours after my flight. A taxi driver offered me a fare three times what I had in my pocket.


Eyeing his watch, the taxi driver reduced the fare to pocket change and took me anyway. Eyeing my expression, the taxi driver filled the hour drive to Tuxtla with encouragement and positivity: sharing stories of his family, listening to a few of mine, and passing me his card in the end while he insisted I spend my money on food at the airport. It was a supreme act of love. The first coin in my purse before my year of riches had even begun.  I never forgot it.

Then, Tuesday, my stranded, wallet-less friend sent me a message that she made it to the airport, thanks to her guardian angel taxi driver, who gave her a free ride and money for food and told her a story about a sad gringa named Rachael. Could that sad gringa possibly be me?

Scratch the sad but keep the gringa part. That. was. me. My purse burst with love. It felt like I was living that moment of generosity all over again. I felt so rich.

Whoa. Affirmations.

In that spirit: my 2013 RKA theme song. Last year, I shared a list of my Top 10 Theme Songs in Tip #4: Get A Theme Song, but in 2013 I have just one. Love Marathon #2. You in?

Love is a verb
It ain’t a thing
It’s not something you own
It’s not something you scream

When you show me love
I don’t need your words
Yeah love ain’t a thing
Love is a verb
Love ain’t a thing
Love is a verb

Love ain’t a crutch
It ain’t an excuse
No you can’t get through love
On just a pile of IOUS

Love ain’t a drug
Despite what you’ve heard
Yeah love ain’t a thing
Love is a verb
Love ain’t a thing
Love is a verb

So you gotta show, show, show me
Show, show, show me
Show, show, show me
That love is a verb

Yeah you gotta show, show, show me
Show, show, show me
Show, show, show me
That love is a verb

Love ain’t a thing
Love is a verb

Love Is All Around - Awesomepreneur

luv. sigh.



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