By Lauren Nixon

When I was in middle school I used to watch The Wiz religiously. I loved the pulsing, upbeat music, Dorothy’s team of ragtag, big-hearted friends, and her journey through fantastical spaces on her quest to meet The Wiz himself. Recently, upon revisiting the movie, I realized that Dorothy’s journey was strikingly similar to my own healing journey—a winding path fraught with laughter and joy and pain and confusion and bliss. Dorothy’s journey is pretty universal.  

Several years ago at the beginning of my own healing journey, upon experiencing a mish-mash of twenty-something growing pains combined with a handful of difficult experiences, I bopped around from place to place. I left Brooklyn. I boarded a plane with two suitcases and over the course of four years, I found myself in Texas, California, New Jersey, Indiana, and Philadelphia. To others, it looked glamorous. The reality, however, was that I spent about half of that journey scraping by, crying, journaling, working, falling in love, mending a broken heart, wandering around in the woods, and working on farms and in gardens. I was searching for home, which for me was both a physical and spiritual location that I hadn’t quite found yet.  

At the start of my journey, I was a combination of Dorothy, the Tinman, the Scarecrow, and the Lion—all fragmented, all in a process of figuring out how to overcome some major roadblock in their lives. Cut to today. I still have a bit of all of those characters within me, but I’ve transformed into my own character—a self that I never knew I’d be. A really happy, fulfilled self.  

Throughout my healing process, affirmations have been a really helpful way to direct my energy toward the things that I wanted to manifest. Affirmations are not to be used as a cure all, but as a way to direct your thoughts and energy toward your goals in a productive way—a verbal reminder of all of the things that you want and deserve to have. When I really decided to dive into self-work mode, I would repeat affirmations as I pulled weeds, tilled soil, or harvested vegetables. Soon after, I began to instinctively repeat these affirmations until they became part of the thread of my very being.  

Here are a few affirmations to remind you that you’re supported on your journey. Alter them to fit your needs and desires. Say them when you need a bit of guidance, say them when you’re feeling confident, say them in traffic, on your lunch break, in the mirror. Whisper them or scream them. Write them out and put them somewhere where you can see them. Repeat them as much as possible until they begin to feel like they’re a part of you.  

Trusting the journey:
“I trust myself and the process.”
“I am walking my divine path.”

Listening to your intuition:
“I honor all of my feelings and instincts.”

Manifesting your dreams:  
“I am fearless and confident in my divine plan.”
“I am a magnet for great opportunities.”
“I am welcoming ______ into my life with open arms.”

Letting love in:
“I am loved, loving, and lovable.”  
“I am a magnet for romantic love.”
“I attract new friendships easily and effortlessly.”

Lauren Nixon is a Food and Wellness Educator who guides youth and adults in creating healthy, nourishing relationships with local, sustainable food through cooking instruction and educational workshops. She has had the pleasure of working with sustainable food and environmental education organizations including FoodCorps, Urban Nutrition Initiative, Raices Eco Culture Micro Farm, Johnson's Backyard Garden, Hidden Villa, and many more. Follow Lauren on Twitter @LaurenNNixon or at www.laurennixon.com