ENGLISH TRANSLATION: an interview with Johanna Kern – as The Theme Of The Month
– in the October 2015 issue of the major monthly European (Polish) magazine “Zwierciadlo” (“The Mirror”) – which is the Polish equivalent to “Rolling Stone” magazine.
AFFIRM AND HAVE THE LIFE YOU WANT
Positive thinking is a powerful tool to change our lives. When used consciously, it can help us achieve our goals – says Johanna Kern, transformational teacher, speaker, award-winning author and film producer/director.
Interview by ALINA GUTEK
Zwierciadlo: An affirmation may be easily mistaken for a mere wish.
Johanna Kern: In fact, it is a kind of a wish, but supported by a positive intention. Surprising as it may seem, our thoughts are not as abstract as we may think, and when they are sent out, they bring specific results. The power of thoughts was known to and talked about already thousands of years ago by ancient philosophers, mystics, and now it has been confirmed by scientists.
Zwierciadlo: What does the power of thoughts consist of?
Johanna Kern: As explained by modern quantum physics, and talked about in many belief systems, absolutely everything that exists is energy, from the cells of our bodies and all of nature, to planets, galaxies and everything else in the Universe, including our thoughts. The first principle of quantum physics says that reality is created by an observer, that is as long as there is no observer, nothing exists. The second principle talks about so-called connectedness: any two things that have ever interacted remain forever connected, “entangled”. Thus, at the energy level, we are all connected.
We are all creating and co-creating our world not only for ourselves, but also for those with whom we are connected. That’s why our wishes are so important. One can say that our reality becomes as we wish.
Zwierciadlo: But we can’t affirm something that’s unreal.
Johanna Kern: We can, but our subconscious will reject anything that it perceives as nonsense. It will for instance reject an affirmation such as “I have million dollars in my bank account” when we don’t have enough money to pay our bills – does not agree with what our subconscious knows. The thing is that what we affirm must be in line with our vision of ourselves, our vision of the world and the vision of what I call our “Heart” – that is our inner truth, the essence of who we are and who we really want to become. Then affirmations such as“I am healthy” when we are ill, or “I am rich” when we barely can pay our bills are, in fact, ineffective.
Zwierciadlo: And when do they become effective?
Johanna Kern: When we practice them step by step. We should begin from changing our beliefs about ourselves. It is good to first recognize that we are really worthy of having a better life, that we deserve a better fate. We need to realize that every human being on this planet, each plant and each animal, every single living creature – is absolutely unique.
For instance: every single blade of grass on the lawn in front of our house not only isdifferent from all the other blades of grass on the same lawn, but it is also different from all the other blades of grass in the entire world. The same is true for each leaf on a tree, each animal and each human being. It is important to realize and acknowledge our own uniqueness, and the fact that we can decide about our own lives and contribute to the lives of others. And slowly start affirming, saying for example: “I now know that life can bring me all that is good, I am ready for better and better days”.
Zwierciadlo: Even if I’m in a dramatic situation?
Johanna Kern: Then I shouldn’t try to convince myself that everything is peachy and perfect as my subconscious will laugh at it, and reject such an affirmation. But I can say what is true, in a way that will be helpful to my situation. Forinstance when I am ill I may say: “There are moments when I feel good and I’m awaiting more of such moments”. The next affirmation: “I feel better and better. I believe I will recover”. And then the next one: “I am happy to see my gradual recovery”. The same with success. You can’t start by repeating straight away: “I am successful” when your subconscious sees otherwise. It will reject such a thought immediately. You’d better start from a statement like this: “I can acquire more and more useful skills. I believe I can find my dream job and be appreciated.” And so on.
Of course we cannot just repeat such affirmations and do nothing about our situations. You should indeed work on acquiring more skills, obviously. But together with professional development, we need to develop a better way of thinking about ourselves. Practicing affirmations causes a gradual transformation of our internal beliefs, replacing our subconscious negative convictions with ones positive and beneficial for us.
Zwierciadlo: Doesn’t it look like boosting our ego?
Johanna Kern: No. It is not about making ourselves think that we are better than others, and filling ourselves up with false pride. It is about accepting ourselves just the way we are, while working on improving what we want to improve, and letting ourselves truly “spread our wings”.
Zwierciadlo: How does it happen that affirmations work?
Johanna Kern: Generally speaking – our mind is built from neurons, among other things, and these neurons communicate with one another. Each of our thoughts invokes an emotion, which causes production of a chemical substance, to which neurons in turn react. If I for example live in a terrible fear that I will never succeed, I produce, as a result, certain chemical substances to whichneurones become accustomed, forming the so-called neural pathways. And, as it is normally the case with any path (imagine a path across a lawn) – the more often we use it, the deeper and more visible it becomes. In the same way the neural pathways created in our brain, become a part of our life.
When we think new positive thoughts, we begin to produce different chemical substances, and new neural pathways are being created. Just as we start creating a new shortcut through a lawn using a new, more comfortable path. The more we use this new path, the more often we repeat positive thoughts, the stronger the new neural pathways become.
For such a process to be effective, we need approximately six weeks. That is exactly the time needed for new neural pathways to be created and the old ones to disappear. But to fully change our lifestyle and completely free ourselves from negative thinking, we need at least six months to let the new neural pathways to become permanent. In my book“365(+1) Affirmations to Create a Great Life”, I tell my readers how to do it, and provide them with an easy step-by-step program to improve any life situation.
Zwierciadlo: Many people believe affirming might not work.
Johanna Kern: Affirming should be done thoroughly. If we affirm for a minute in the morning and then we have negative thoughts all day long, it’s obvious that the volume of these thoughts will override the few positive ones. Some people believe that affirmations should be repeated over and over again. It is not necessary. It is best to use affirmations at an appropriate moment. If we affirm a money inflow, it is not good to it when we have no money at all. Best to wait for a moment when we are, for instance, buying something we have desired, even it is something inexpensive.
It is good to say: “I am happy that I have more than I need to buy what I want” – when we are buying something and getting some change. It is an excellent time to affirm money inflow, since our subconscious will agree with what we are affirming. We should use such opportunities.
It is also important to have the thing we affirm invoke some feelings. If it doesn’t, then at least we can imagine it does. An affirmation works best when our brain, and our subconscious, associate it with positive emotions, such as pleasure, relaxation, satisfaction. When we don’t feel well, we shouldn’t try to affirm anything positive, instead, it is best to release the negative emotions, allow ourselves to be sad, to cry. It is pointless to say: “Everything is great” when we are sad. Affirmations won’t work then. It is better to say in such moments: “I choose to feel better and better”. The statement “I choose” is a very powerful affirmation in itself. As we choosesomething, and keep repeating our intention, it will gradually happen, as at a certain point new neural pathways will be created.
Remember that our affirmations work not only when we invoke positive emotions but also when we feel pleasure. Beautiful landscapes, scents, a walk in the park or in the woods,along a seashore, views of the mountains, etc. are of real help. What is interesting is that nature strengthens affirmations to a great extent, which is in turn attributable to the so-called alpha brainwaves, which are found to be very helpful in effective learning.
Zwierciadlo: We don’t think about using affirmations when we lose our job, for example.
Johanna Kern: We need to give ourselves time to get over such a loss. And after the first shock, it is good to reinforce our actions with positive thoughts. Maybe it will turn out that the difficult experience was needed so that we would grow, and thanks to itbe able to find a much better job. We are not able to deal with any problems when we give up on ourselves. When we are depressed, we need to find some help. After we allow ourselves to release negative emotions, it is time to start to think in a positive way. With our positivethoughts we can more easily find new solutions and change our situation. Affirmations are specific tools to change ourlife. When used consciously, they can help us achieve our goals.
Zwierciadlo: Do you have any proof?
Johanna Kern: My life is the best proof. When I left Europe, 30 years ago, I was then very young, and didn’t speak English, didn’t know how to find a job, friends, acceptance in new country (Canada). And despite all that, I thought positively, of course not aware of the fact that I was affirming. The effect was that I’ve achieved a lot. I was admitted to the Ryerson University in Toronto, the film faculty, where 40 people had applied for a place, as it is one of the best schools in Canada. I had to learn the language at a high level very fast. I graduated with Honors, and while a student I started making short films, which were recognized at several international film festivals. Just after graduating, I got a job in the production of feature films for the film company Great Western Paradise Films, and then I made my own fantasy feature film “Shadowland: the Legend” with my own film company. One can say that I created my own reality in a very precise, deliberate manner; although the truth is that I simply thought positively and trusted my inner voice.
Zwierciadlo: Why did you get involved with personal development?
Johanna Kern: I’ve always shared my passions with others. Both artistic passions, and later on also passions related to personal growth and career. Since the very moment I found out how to consciously create one’s own reality, I’ve been trying to pass on that knowledge. Life can really be a wonderful experience and not just a passive existence while waiting for someone else to do something about our situation, or wait for problems to miraculously solve themselves. Nothing will ever solve itself. I described my experiences in my autobiography “Master and the Green-Eyed Hope”. I’m sure that one can break out of one’s negative thinking, emotional and health oppression.
Zwierciadlo: You managed to find a solution to how to deal with a serious disease. Were affirmations helpful?
Johanna Kern: Yes. After an accident in which I broke my elbow, I developed a serious neurological disease, known as Sudeck’s Atrophy. I suffered from horrible pain every day, as painkillers didn’t work. People in such a condition sometimes commit suicide. I was informed that I could suffer for the rest of my life. I acknowledged that, but one of my features of character is that I do not put negative prefixes before adjectives. Impossible is possible for me, incurable is curable.
Being in that chronic pain, when I couldn’t pursue my beloved profession, that is filmmaking, when I couldn’t even move as each move caused pain, I said to myself: “If I keep thinking about the pain, my life will actually become incurable.” I made a decision: “Let the arm ache, I still have a healthy heart, head and the other arm”. And I used the other healthy arm to write two books (“Master and the Green-Eyed Hope”, “Shadowland: The Legend”) which soon received four awards in the USA. Believing that our body is as curable as our thoughts are, I started affirming health and applying alternative treatment methods. I’ve learned how to help the pain, so that it will be more manageable. I constantly and consciously build new neural pathways in my brain, and I’m sure I will fully recover one day.
Zwierciadlo: And your husband, much younger than you are, to whom you refer as your “dream husband” – is he also a consequence of affirmations?
Johanna Kern: Of course! I got married on December 12, 2012, when some prophesied the end of the world. Two months later, I had the accident. My husband, who had never had such duties before, took care of me day and night. Thanks to that, we could spend that time in a much more intense way. We have been together for less than three years and I feel like we’ve lived together ten times as long. Thanks to the disease, I saw how wonderful a man my husband is: helpful, caring, sensitive.
When the accident happened, we didn’t sit down and cry, instead we said to ourselves: “What a wonderful challenge in our marriage, we can prove ourselves, we can see how that difficult experience will make us stronger”. And it made us stronger!
I have the husband I’d been dreaming of, I have a life I’d been dreaming of, despite all the difficulties: my dad was murdered when I was a year and a half, I had to leave my country, and later I got ill. But I’ve always thought positively. My first affirmation just after I arrived in Canada, not conscious at that time, was like that: “So now I’ll build the life I desire”. I was realistic, I knew that not everything would go like clockwork. And when I had a hard time, I said to myself: “It’s a very interesting adventure, apparently it is meant to teach me something.” I drew conclusions and I went on.
Zwierciadlo: Pessimistic attitude also works, but negatively – like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Johanna Kern: Of course. Our thoughts may be compared to radio waves as they also have a certain frequency, vibration, range. When we send out pessimistic thoughts, they attract others with a similar frequency. Our mind seeks people who think in a way similar to our way of thinking. There is even a saying that some people are on the same waves.
Zwierciadlo: Is it your mission to help people change their way of thinking?
Johanna Kern: I’ve been sharing with people a method that has been known since ancient times, I didn’t create it, I just improved it in such a way that it suits absolutely everybody. The world assists us in our pursuit of happiness. If we don‘t feel happy, it’s because we’ve made such a mess that we destroyed our happiness or because we focus on something else. All of nature, the evolution of the world supports what is positive and growing. And only that will survive.
Half of our success at work, in relationships, in fighting a disease depends on your attitude. Negative attitude brings us down and demotivates us.Positive attitude makes us stronger and helps us achieve a set goal. That fact has been scientifically proven so theoretically we all know that but it’s very hard for us to reprogram ourselves from the omnipresent pessimism into optimism. Why is that? Because our brain got used to seeing the world in a certain way.
What can be done to change that? Practice affirmations – the author advises. And she gives us a set of affirmations for each day of a year. She shows us how to teach our brain step-by-step to see the world differently. And, consequently, how to improve our life, career, and even the financial situation and health. That is – how to become happy.
Johanna Kern, multiple award-winning author and transformational teacher, has extensive experience in counseling people on life and career paths, spirituality, health and emotional problems, relationships and family issues.
Drawing from her experience and knowledge from over 20 years as a successful professional and counsellor, she has designed a special program included in her award-winning book“365 (+1) Affirmations to Create a Great Life”: an easy step-by-step method for overcoming subconscious programming and improving any life situation.
She recorded also a series of MP3s and CDs to be listened to in a state of deep relaxation, while she is guiding the listeners through the process of reprogramming their subconscious.
These or similar tools are very effective and you can find what will suit your preferences and needs.