Affirmations comprise three elements:
- Self/soul focus
- Chakra nature
- Universal gratitude
For my courage, I am grateful
(1) For my — (2) courage, — (3) I am grateful
The structure is inverted in terms of how English is usually written and spoken. The purpose however is to talk to the subconscious mind, which can be seen as inverted with respect to the waking mind. Translating this effect into other languages might require a bit of grammatical kung-fu.
The elements correspond to: good thoughts, good words and good actions, in that order.
Affirmations should be crisp. They must be worded using common and non-ambiguous language. Deviating from this simplicity engages the mind in counter-productive ways, which is the opposite effect.
Consider the following:
- For my relationships, I am grateful.
- For my healthy relationships, I am grateful.
- For my friends and family, I am grateful.
- For my wonderfully sparkle-filled loving relationships, I am grateful.
The second affirmation is preferred because there’s an unspoken (and dangerous) ambiguity regarding unhealthy relationships. Use this judiciously because most affirmations could be argued in this way. The danger per this example is significant enough to warrant explicit wording. (In a targeted client-therapist scenario, adding ‘healthy’ to certain affirmations might be essential.) The third affirmation is both too specific and too complex. It’s more wish-like than a healing statement. The fourth is the typical woolly garden-variety affirmation that’s a wish instead of being healing related. Take note!
A brief aside
I found this gratitude affirmation example using the Qwant search engine, and I think it was written by a lawyer, or a cat (being so hard to determine these days):
“I am here to fully and completely accept all joy that already has and will in the future transpire in my life. I accept it here and now in a willing and open state of gratitude.”
EJT is the product of a design process. It’s direct, and crucially doesn’t require a middle layer of lawyers and cats:
For my joyfulness, I am grateful.
Should I belabour my point any further? Your mantras on a postcard, please.
Affirmations should be sequenced like a seed grows into a flower, working from the core outwards. This is creates a natural, organic emotional flow that doesn’t rouse the mind into a thinking state. Consider the placement of phrases and the effect they might have. Some affirmations might be emotionally difficult, so try to soften the way beforehand.
Affirmations can potentially reinforce non-ideal behaviour:
(Brow chakra) For my sincerity, I am grateful.
However, this is immediately followed by:
For my wisdom, I am grateful.
The reasoning here is that sincerity without wisdom isn’t going to be your friend. You should consider that the person you’re dealing with is unlikely to share your moral compass. We live in an imperfect world and a healthy strategy is vital. It’s the kind of oversight that good people have been exploited for since the dawn of time.
The sequence should be both concise and sweeping. Targeting a specific nature might seem like a good idea for deeper work, but that’s thinking too linearly. It needs to be holistic, which is mutually supportive across a broader spectrum. That’s not to say tweaking the affirmations towards certain ends isn’t going to be helpful.
One must consider at all times the underlying nature of what’s being worked upon here, being the soul. It’s fundamentally non-linear, but at the physical end of the equation things become somewhat quantifiable, hence being able to pin numbers against chakras. It might be helpful to envisage the chakras as seven concentric spirals (with the root at the centre, like a bullseye) rather than a column of individual whirls. This describes their overlapping nature and why the root is vital for the entire system.
Following this advice, it becomes a valid discussion whether to sweep the seven primary chakras at the same time, or the lower three as a group. There’s absolute merit in this, but working with the root chakra is essential before anything else. Overall, working from the root upwards proves to be effective.
EJT affirmations are delivered in 3 rounds. Each round consists of 10 affirmations. Each affirmation cycle lasts 13 seconds. Therefore, a complete round is 13×10, being 130 seconds, which is a little over 2 minutes.
The rounds are gapped. The entire sequence lasts a compact 7 minutes. Gaps are needed to avoid overload and to resettle the mind. Although it’s possible to add rounds, mental, emotional and vocal fatigue is a determining factor. Longer gaps between rounds is a good thing and EJT audio lacks that due to a fundamental decision regarding brevity and attention-spans.
The 13 second cycle (13x10x3) works well because it allows good settling time. Alternatively, an 11 second cycle (11x11x3) is the minimum-reasonable length in the English language. Subjectively, it was found to be less effective than 13 seconds. The EJT meditation music synchronises to a 13 second cycle as the result.
Finally, for those wishing to use EJT as therapeutic tool, please tailor the timings and sequences to your requirements, which might for example be wholly determined by client response. It’s all good.
A 15 second round of singing each affirmation would be ideal for platforms such as TikTok, but I lack the voice to carry it off. EJT would be perfect on that platform…