In the Foreword to Drs.’ Rick Hanson and Richard Mendius’ groundbreaking book, Buddha’s Brain: The Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom, Dr. Daniel Siegel has this to say about the power of the spoken word:
“The simple truth is that how we focus our attention, how we intentionally direct the flow of energy and information, and the way we communicate alters the very circuitry of our brain.”
Neuroscience has proven beyond a doubt that even fleeting thoughts and feelings can leave lasting impressions on our brain. When you add the amperage of the spoken word as a vocal expression of those thoughts and feelings, you literally change the neural structure of the brain.
Positive thoughts and affirmations are not only essential for spiritual growth; they are necessary ingredients for emotional and physical wellbeing and for rewiring the brain in positive, life-affirming ways.
To borrow a term from ecology, positive thoughts and affirmations are ‘keystone species’ within our consciousness. We’re not kidding. They serve the same purpose as keystone species in nature.
For example, conservation biologists tell us that elephants are a keystone species. Their role is analogous to the function of a keystone in an arch. Just as an arch will collapse without its keystone, in the natural world entire ecosystems would collapse without a keystone species.
The simple act of an elephant’s foraging creates a panorama of woodlands and grasslands, making savannahs hospitable to hundreds of animals from the lion to the baboon to the zebra.
During dry spells, elephants provide water for themselves and other species by digging water holes and wells. The elephant’s keystone species role helps an entire ecosystem flourish.
Keystone species play a critical role in maintaining the structure of an ecological community relative to the keystone species’ biomass. Other examples of keystone species are: sea stars, jaguars, grizzly bears, sea otters, prairie dogs, and beavers.
So What do Elephants Have to Do With Us?
Just as elephants are a keystone species in nature, we believe positive thoughts and affirmations are ‘keystone species’ for our spiritual growth. Why? Because they strengthen our neural connections and bathe our neuro-circuits with positive neuro-traffic.
Affirmative prayer, meditation, spiritual visualization, positive chants and mantras, repeating key words and phrases, and positive affirmations all serve as ‘keystone species’ in our evolving spirituality. Without them we couldn’t restructure our neural circuitry to move us beyond what neuroscientists call a built-in ‘negativity bias’ which keeps us on edge and fearful.
The negativity bias is a built-in defense mechanism that has evolved for our survival. Our ancestors who survived the harsh prehistoric realities paid particular attention to negative experiences, especially those that meant life or death. They developed a keen sense for danger.
Today, we don’t have the same kind of clear and present danger our ancestors had for their survival. The need for the fight or flight response is considerably less now. We do not have to fear stepping outside our front door and being eaten by a sabre-toothed tiger or attacked by pack of raptors.
Because of that built-in ‘negativity bias,’ our brain typically detects negative input faster than positive input. “Our brain,” says Rick Hanson, “is like Velcro for negative experiences and Teflon for positive ones.”
As a result, we have to work harder at seeing positive cues from the environment and being more positive in our approach to life. That’s why having positive thoughts and shooting positive affirmations from the lip is so important.
We strengthen our neural circuits every time we think and speak positive, life-affirming thoughts and words. Shooting positive affirmations
from the lip short-circuits the negativity bias and
diffuses the power of negative experiences.
We invite you to shoot positive words from the lip as often as you can to make 2014 a banner year. Aim high and shoot higher.
“SHOOT” is an Acronym!
‘Shoot’ as we’re using it is an acronym. It means ‘Spiritually Honoring Only One Truth.’ So, ‘Shoot From The Lip’ means ‘Spiritually Honoring Only One Truth every time we think, feel, and speak.’
And that Truth is: there is only one Presence and one Power in the universe and in our life and affairs, God, the Good, the Eternal Presence, the One Reality. And we are the physical expressions of that Eternal Presence, which means there’s no separation between us and that Eternal Presence.
Try These Three:
We shoot three affirmations from the lip every day, as often as we can every day:
- I am rich, well, and happy in all areas of my life.
- I have transcended all forms and patterns of illness and disease and I am happy, healthy, and whole.
- I am living at the speed of my Christ Consciousness and all is well.
We make it a regular practice to repeat these affirmations regularly during the course of a day. We say them and sing them. We visualize the neurons in our brains firing together and wiring together to strengthen our connection with our spiritual nature.
Create Your Own!
Make up a few of your own affirmations and shoot from the lip as often as you can in 2014. Focus on what you want to manifest in your life in the coming year. Sow positivity and you will reap positivity.
Turn your resolutions into positive, optimistic, decisive, enthusiastic, cheerful, life-affirming personal and spiritual revolutions — as you walk the spiritual path on practical feet!
Bil & Cher