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Mantras, Affirmations, and the Great “I AM”

I’ve been in the field of “motivation” for a very long time. So you would think that I’d be all in when it comes to mantras and affirmations! We see them in movies, commercials, and even social media…… dramatic stand-in-front-of-the-mirror-in-your-skivvies-moments of truth where you proudly declare “I AM BEAUTIFUL” before heading out for your day.

But to be totally honest, I always thought they were a bit hooey. (No offense to anyone who does stand in front of the mirror saying they are beautiful.) It’s just never been my thing.

But I do love the scene in the movie Cool Runnings when Yul dragged Junior to the mirror and made him declare he was a “bad ass motha’ who won’t take no crap off of nobody!!!” Click¬† Cool Runnings for that fun scene!

Like so many, 2020 did a number on my confidence as well as my motivation so I decided at the end of last year that 2021 needed more of a jolt. Something more than my One Word, because Lord knows, I always have a lot more to say than just one word!

Enter the hooey!

I was lying in bed one night in late December (around 2 am) reflecting on my life. Because what does one really think about at 2 am but life? And the words came tumbling out. Clear. Concise. So simple that it moved me to tears. In spite of all that I do not know about my life, the words that fell upon my heart represented what I do know.

Undeniably. Unequivocally.

And dammit!

They were affirmations!


They were so fundamental to who I am that, when they came to me, I actually said them out loud. (Talk about hooey!)

Since then, I have repeated them every morning before getting out of bed as well as every evening before I fall asleep.

Would I sound like a “motivational speaker” if I told you that in less than two months it has changed the entire dialogue that plays inside my head? All. Day. Long.

So I’m sharing them with you, not because my affirmations should mean anything to you. Rather so you will embrace the hooey and try some yourself!

I have 5 statements.

I am loved.

This is a testament to my faith. I am a child of God. In spite of my imperfections and flaws, I am loved by my Creator in a way that does not depend on my doing, rather my being. Nothing I do which I could ever consider ‘less than’ changes that. I. Am. Loved. Period. That’s grace.

I also have family and friends who love me. My husband and sons tell me all the time but they also show it. In big ways and not-so-big-ways. I have no doubts. I am truly loved.

And in spite of social media telling me how many “friends” I have, I know the true meaning of friendship. Because Facebook friends and love friends are not always one in the same. I know who I can call in the middle of the night if a situation merits it. I have friends whom I trust. They create a safe place for me. No hidden agenda. Just love.

I love.

There are people in my life I would give a kidney to if needed. They are the people who make me want to be a better person. I love through action. I drop off flowers. Make soup. Send notes. Show up in the middle of the night when I get the call. Giving and expressing that love makes me feel complete.

I am strong and healthy.

I can pick up a concrete urn and carry it across the yard. I can fill a wheelbarrow full of rocks and dump it at the edge of my property without spilling a single one. I have a high level of energy that allows me to be a caregiver while also creating and accomplishing things I am passionate about. This affirmation of strength and health is not about my current weight, how many times I hit the gym, or whether I ate a carb today (because I do love those little sucka’s). It’s an affirmation that I am focused on the big picture. Performance. Do my choices support the lifestyle I want to live? Once I stopped obsessing on the minutiae and started focusing on the end result, I began making better choices.

I am creative.

Creating brings me so much joy. When I think of times I’ve not felt myself it was because I did not give myself time to create. Carving out space to dream, imagine, create has been a game changer for me in these past few months. Writing. Designing new presentations and workshops, dreaming up new events, gardening, decorating, floral arranging, cooking, painting, art-and-craft projects of many kinds. When I am creating, time stands still. I feel free. It is my greatest form of self-care.

I am happy.

I once asked a woman I know if she was happy. She responded, “Well, I’m not unhappy.” This made me so sad because there have been times in my life when I have thought the same thing. The truth is, in spite of this past year, when I remind myself of my four previous affirmations, it delivers me to a place of knowing that I AM happy. We could debate whether “happy” is situational, but I’m talking about the happiness….. JOY……. that vibrates deep within my soul and protects my heart even when life feels out of control or doesn’t turn out the way I’d hope. I am happy in spite of the fact that real life is not a made-for-TV-movie.

It’s been said- –

“I AM are two of the most powerful words; for what you put after them shapes your reality.”


I invite you to fill in the blanks and make 2021 the year of your mantra.