Week One Practices

1. Practice Anchoring Yourself in God's Affirmation
2. Practice Positive Speech

Practice Anchoring Yourself in God's Affirmation

We have many scripts running through our minds endlessly; most negative rooted in childhood experiences - I am not enough, I am not good enough, I always…I never…I should…

Sometime we struggle the most with being compassionate towards ourselves. This practice of gentleness and compassion with ourselves begins with anchoring ourselves in God’s affirmation of us. What might it look like for you to stop judging and forgive yourself for your mistakes and limitations? Take some time this week to journal and research techniques for anchoring yourself in God’s affirmation. Here are a few thoughts to get you started...

1) Self Compassion vs Self Judgement
When we are empathetic and understanding toward ourselves when we fail, suffer, or feel inadequate, we no longer ignore our pain but see it and experience it. Those who anchor themselves in God’s affirmation recognize imperfections, failings, and experiencing struggle is inevitable so they tend to be gentle with themselves when triggered or activated.

2) Self Awareness vs Over-identification
Anchoring ourselves in our truest thing about us - that we are God’s beloved means that we are able to observe our negative thoughts and emotions with openness and clarity with a non-judgmental observance of our lives. Without denying or suppressing our emotions, we can experience those emotions and experience God’s love for us at the same time. When we are anchored in God’s affirmation, we no longer “over-identify” with thoughts and feelings that often cause us to get swept away by negative reactivity.

3) Ideas for How To Practice
- Spend some time this week reflecting on your identity as a beloved child of God.

- Spend some time in prayer each day and meditate on the words that God the Father spoke over Jesus at his baptism: “You are my beloved. With you I am well pleased. With you I am satisfied.” (Luke 3:22)

- After you've practiced anchoring yourself in God's affirmation, use the journal prompts below for a time of reflection.

4) Journal
- How did this practice disrupt your normal way of seeing and evaluating yourself? Did it disrupt your normal way you experience how others perceive you?

- What intentional choices did you have to make in order to avoid self judgement, comparison, and concern regarding approval from others?

- What new thoughts or feelings did this practice awaken inside of you? How does it transform how you perceive that GOD sees you? How you see yourself?

Practice Positive Speech

James the brother of Jesus had this to say about words: 
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.” (James 3:9-10).

Here are three suggestions for practicing positive speech...

1) Commit to Positive Speech
To make your practice of positive speech stick, you may find it helpful to sign the statement below and tell the people you are close to about your promise.

"I promise to practice positive speech. For the next 7 days I will only speak words of compassion and affirmation about myself and others and avoid making critical and disparaging comments. To affirm my value and belovedness I will meditate on this passage of scripture ______________ each day when I wake up in the morning and before going to sleep at night.

2) Dwell on the Word of God
Practicing positive speech is considered a discipline of abstinence, an action you are saying “no” to. Alongside this, it helps to also practice a discipline of engagement, a replacement action you are saying “yes” to. When you wake up in the morning and just before you go to sleep at night, spend a few minutes meditating on 1 John 3:1a (or another passage of your choosing). 

"See what kind of love the Father has given to us in that we should be called God’s children, and that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1)

3) Journal
At the end of the week, write out journal responses to the following questions.

- How well did you do keeping your promise to practice positive speech? What impact did this practice have on how you felt about yourself and interacted with others?

- In what situations did you catch yourself wanting to say something negative or disparaging?

- Do you find it easy or difficult to affirm that you are valuable and worthy of love? Explain.

Note: This practice is adapted from Mark Scandrette’s 9 Beats Group Pilot Curriculum