Though I decided to skip traditional New Year’s resolutions this year, I have committed to making my life richer in 2016, as I do every year since beginning this blog.
I will be writing a series of posts called Create a Richer Life in 2016 that will focus on ways we can all enrich and improve our lives. I am not putting a lot of structure around this series and will write posts when I feel inspired to share something of value with you rather than on a set schedule.
For my first Create a Richer Life in 2016 post, I want tell you about something I have been doing each day for the last several weeks.
About a month ago a friend of mine, Jen Julius, who is also a life coach, gave me a deck of affirmation cards and suggested I choose a card to read and think about each day. These affirmation cards have become a part of my every morning, a habit I took to quickly.
I was curious why I was able to form this daily habit so easily and quickly. I think it’s because the cards are tangible. I can see, hold, shuffle, pick and read the cards. And it doesn’t hurt that they are also beautiful.
There is the element of surprise too. I love the “what card will I get today!” feeling of anticipation. And it gives me a reason to set aside time for myself.
How I work with my cards:
I always select cards in our living room. Save for the holidays or when we have guests over, our living room goes mostly unused so it’s a quiet spot, free of distractions like televisions and phones and reminders of chores and errands I need to do.
If I’m short for time, I sit down on the couch, do a quick shuffle of the Caroline Myss deck – because they’re my favorite – and pick a random card. I read the card and think about it for a few moments, making sure it will stay on my mind. This takes less than 5 minutes.
Optimally, I spend more time with the cards. After my husband and stepdaughter leave for the day, I carve out at least 20 minutes to focus on the cards. I light candles, take out my journal and my favorite pen and make some tea or pour a cup of coffee. I make sure the house is quiet and I pick my first deck.
I shuffle a deck then select a card without looking then read it. Sometimes it’s a simple thought, which I acknowledge, think about and return to the pile. And sometimes, it propels me into action and I want to write about it in my journal. I find the Carolyn Myss cards often prompt me to put pen to paper.
Why these cards make life richer:
No matter how much time and effort I spend on the cards – thinking about one card for a couple of minutes or journaling about four cards for half an hour – I get something out of the experience. They are a simple way to get me to think about things I may not think about on my own – like being grateful for the beauty, people and blessings in my life or examining a behavior or habit I would like to change or get rid of. And sometimes they prompt me to think about things I have never considered!
Louise Hay’s Power Thought Cards are traditional affirmation cards. Concise and abundantly positive, they are great messages to get you out of a funk or simply start your day on a positive note. I don’t always agree with the cards’ messages and I believe that’s the point – to shift your thinking. From “life is hard and complicated” to “life is simple and easy” for example. Wouldn’t life be wonderful if we thought of it in terms of the latter?
These two decks are by Cheryl Richardson.
Self-Care Cards have a single word on one side and a brief prompt on the other. I find them comforting and they sometimes motivate me to take action – talk a walk, call a friend, or even declutter some area of my home.
My Daily Affirmation Cards are similar to Louise Hay’s in that they are traditional affirmation cards that help set your intentions. I love the gorgeous nature and animal photos featured on the cards.
Caroline Myss’s Wisdom for Healing Cards are my favorite cards. They are filled with thought-provoking questions. They ask you to notice things about yourself you may not generally be paying attention to like those horrible negative thoughts that tend to plague us when we’re not feeling our best or we’re challenging ourselves.
I find there is great value in spending time alone every day to check in with yourself, even if only for a few minutes, and these cards can help you do just that…and more!
Have you tried affirmation cards?
If so, do you work with them as part of your daily routine?
Have they made a difference in your life?
Make it a rich day!