Thursday, May 17, 2012

Approval exercise

The following brief exercise is an excerpt from Louise L. Hay’s book “You can heal your life”. I present it to you here in preparation for the entry that I’ll be posting next. This is an exercise that I have offered to many of my clients through the years and one I use myself. The exercise is simple to do but challenging at times to execute especially when we are caught up in our own judgmental behavior.

This exercise is also useful to do when you find yourself judging or criticizing others. The need to judge says far more about the person doing the judging than it does about the one being judged. The need to judge others to attempt to feel better about ourselves comes from a deeply wounded space within our being. Remember that we will never seem taller by cutting the heads off of those around us. Notice those times when you move into a judgmental attitude and use this simple exercise to pull your awareness back to loving and approving of yourself.

Here then is the excerpt…

Exercise: I approve of myself

I have given this exercise to hundreds of people, and the results are phenomenal.  For the next month, say over and over to yourself, “I APPROVE OF MYSELF”.  Do this three or four hundred times a day, at least.  No, it’s not too many times.  When you are worrying, you go over your problem at least that many times.  Let “I approve of myself” become a walking mantra, something you just say over and over and over to yourself, almost nonstop.

When negative thoughts come up, such as “How can I approve of myself when I am fat?” or “It’s silly to think this can do any good”, or whatever your negative babble will be, this is the time to take mental control.  Give these thoughts no importance.  Just see them for what they are – another way to keep you stuck in the past.  Gently say to these thoughts, “I let you go; I approve of myself.”

Even considering doing this exercise can bring up a lot of stuff, like “It feels silly,” “It doesn’t feel true,” “It a lie,” “It sounds stuck up,” or “how can I approve of myself when I do that?” Let all these thoughts just pass through.  These are only resistance thoughts.  They have no power over you unless you choose to believe them.

“I approve of myself, I approve of myself, I approve of myself.”  No matter what happens, no matter who says what to you, no matter who does what to you, just keep going.  In fact, when you can say that to yourself when someone is doing something you don’t approve of, you will know you are growing and changing.


Thoughts have no power over us unless we give in to them.  Thoughts are only words strung together.  They have NO MEANING WHATSOEVER.  Only we give meaning to them.  Let us choose to think thoughts that nourish and support us.

Part of self-acceptance is releasing other people’s opinions.  If I were with you and kept telling you, “You are a purple pig, you are a purple pig”, you would either laugh at me, or get annoyed with me and think I was crazy.  It would be most unlikely that you would think it was true.  Yet many of the things we have chosen to believe about ourselves are just as far out and untrue.  To believe that your self-worth is dependent on the shape of your body is your version of believing that “You are a purple pig.”

Often what we think of as the things “wrong” with us are only our expressions of our own individuality.  This is our uniqueness and what is special about us.  Nature never repeats itself.  Since time began on this planet there have never been two snowflakes alike or two raindrops the same.  And every daisy is different from every other daisy.  Our fingerprints are different and we are different.  We are meant to be different.  When we can accept this, then there is no competition and no comparison.  To try to be like another is to shrivel our soul.  We have come to this planet to express who we are.


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