Through the magic of the internet, I was recently introduced to the work of playwright Tim Crouch, the creator of the play An Oak Tree. His TEDx talk on Autosuggestion is worth your time. He talked about a book that has informed his life and work by Émile Coué, the creator of this famous affirmation:
Every day in every way, I’m getting better and better.
My mother gave this affirmation to me as a youth when she was working on her own self-improvement. I’ve had a conflicted relationship with this affirmation over the years because, in my mom’s case, she was trying to get me to lose weight. Her hyper-focus on changing me hurt me. I know she didn’t mean to. She was doing her best. But here’s the thing: This affirmation isn’t saying there is something wrong. It’s suggesting that things can be better which is true. I’ve been saying this again since seeing the video I mentioned above because you know what? It doesn’t hurt to be positive. In fact, the power of suggestion works in both (all) directions. The question is what suggestions are we listening to?
If Mr. Crouch can get an audience member to believe he had his arm raised the during an entire performance when he hadn’t once raised it, what can we convince ourselves?
I recently made the little card that you see in the picture for our kitchen table altar as a reminder. It makes me smile when I see it because it makes me think of my mom, may she Rest In Peace. She would have loved it as my children do.
If you’ve never heard the song “Positivity” off of Prince’s Lovesexy album, I highly recommend it.