MAO Assembly: How to create your own positive affirmation

The team at Modern Art Oxford are constantly grateful for the fascinating exchanges we have online with creative individuals. One of these creatives is Buckinghamshire-based artist Saskia Saunders. We first met Saunders on Instagram through our digital project, MAO Assembly just a week or so before the COVID-19 virus truly affected our lives in the UK. These Japanese-inspired sculptures and positive affirmation works were a timely discovery. For we all need a bit of calm, self-reflection in our unsettled daily routines at the moment.

We all have the power to create more freedom in our lives by seeking simplicity and making intentional choices. At times like these, focusing on slowing down, clearing mental clutter and believing in our inner strength can be a powerful way to reframe a situation. One way to do this is by using tools such as affirmations, mindfulness and gratitude practice.

I’m Saskia Saunders and I’m a sculptor and artist living in Buckinghamshire, UK. My work utilises ancient craft techniques, such as weaving, to create a calm moment of contemplation in our busy, contemporary world. I’m here to share with you today how the first tool, affirmations, can positively impact your life.

What is an affirmation?

An affirmation is a statement that when said out loud will help you focus your thoughts on a particular feeling, mindset or way of living.

Why use affirmations?

Positive affirmations are a powerful tool to alter our thinking over time. They can help reduce negative thoughts, encourage your inner strength or create change in your life.

Who are they for?

You! We can all benefit from the positive impact they can have on our mindset.

Saskia Saunders, Flowing 1, 2018. Acrylic, fabric, canvas

My current affirmation

‘I am calm, I am gentle, I am kind.
I carve out my own path.
I make my own decisions.
I am here, right now, in the present.’
My focuses are to improve my patience, have confidence in decisions about my future and be more mindfully present in my day.

How to practice affirmations

An affirmation is most powerful when said out loud, at least once a day, for at least 30 days. Don’t worry if you feel awkward or embarrassed at first, even by yourself! You’ll soon overcome this.

You can also write your affirmation out on paper and stick it around your home. Just remember to say it out loud at least once a day.

Saskia Saunders, 2018. Woven parchment paper and koyari paper yarn.

Let’s create one together for you

Spend a few moments thinking or writing out why you want to use your affirmation. The more specific you can be, the better.

For example, is it to:

Set a calm tone for the day?
Develop your courage and confidence?
Focus on a joyful journey or outcome?

Here are some prompts to start your affirmation

I am…
I believe…
I will…
I choose…
I feel…
I trust…
I practice…
Today I…

Saskia Saunders portrait

There are no rules. It is the regular repetition over time that creates the most positive impact. You can always write something and adapt it later.

Let me know how it feels, or if you need any help writing yours. I’d love to hear from you. Connect with me via Instagram at @saskia_saunders or by visiting

You can also download my positive affirmation guide here.

Words and images by Saskia Saunders 

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