Years ago, I attended a memorable international conference at the Crystal Cathedral in California. Many speakers presented uplifting talks, but what Beth Nakamura said changed my life: "Your subconscious mind is a good little soldier and will do whatever you tell it, even if it is not true." From Nakamura's comment, I began reciting daily affirmations and read that you can replace negative self-talk like "I can't" with "I can."

Shifting your thinking won't happen overnight. It will take consistency and time to make the positive change, and your belief in what you tell your subconscious mind is the key to a successful change. Remain steadfast as you practice ridding yourself of negative subconscious self-talk.

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Your subconscious mind is always turned on. It is active day and night whether you are awake or asleep. Train yourself to think loving thoughts as Jesus did. Begin looking at others and seeing the Christ within them.

Author Forbes Robbins Blair tells the story about how a man healed himself with positive self-talk. Several times a day he repeatedly read a script: "Let your body become quiet. Move your attention to the inside of your forehead and picture a small bright circle there. Begin to relax the inside of your forehead. Think of your eyes. Let your eyelids fall heavy. Look at the color of your eyes as if you were looking into a mirror and relax them." He would continue his relaxing affirmations until he ended with: "Think nothing. You are silent and empty in a relaxed body." This man managed to heal himself from his sickness and became healthy once more.

Blair's book, "Instant Self-Hypnosis: How to Hypnotize Yourself With Your Eyes Open," describes how reciting scripts can be used for therapeutic purposes such as removing bad habits, confidence building and goal attainment. It is important to say the affirmations calmly with a belief in what you are telling your subconscious mind. If you do not believe what you say, you are wasting your time.

Another book, "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind" by Joseph Murphy, gives many examples of people who changed their lives through changing their subconscious minds. Murphy, an ordained Religious Science and Divine Science minister tells that he has seen miracles via "the magic power of your subconscious mind." The Rev. Murphy teaches that your habitual thinking and imagery mold your destiny: "Every thought is a cause, and every condition is an effect."

Examples of affirmations are printed everywhere. Customizing them with your name can make them more meaningful. Two familiar affirmations from the Bible are: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13 NKJV), and "I keep God's words in my heart. They are health to my whole body" (Proverbs 4:20-22).

Prayer can give us affirmation, as through the following thought process:

I seek the strength to live completely in love, releasing all my fears. I grant forgiveness to myself and for all I hold against another. May I be a tool of healing in the world today.

The Rev. Ellin M. Dize is executive director of nonprofit NRS Inc. and facilitates A Course in Miracles spiritual discussion group at St. Paul's UCC. She can be contacted at NRSsolutions@yahoo.com.

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