When thoughts shape your environment: a conversation with Sadie Ackerman.

By Vivian Morellon

“Where thoughts go, energy follows.” Brain development is a reaction to our environment, but in today’s fast-paced life we tend to get sucked into our overbooked schedules. We ignore the work of being mindful to our reactions along the way.

“It can become very…cement, traffic, cars and lights. What I try to do with clients is transition them away from all that and bring awareness to their perception of it – and most importantly, their reactions to it.” 

This is Sadie Ackerman, sitting in front of me sporting a perfect messy-bun, relaxed yoga leggings, feather earrings, and a smile that radiates positivity across the tiny studio office that sits atop an aerial yoga rooftop. We’re seated inside the rooftop bungalow at Trilogy Sanctuary, a multi-purpose space that hosts yoga classes, sound bath workshops, and a vegan cafe with a view. In pursuit of mindfulness and making space to honor the day-to-day, Sadie talks to NTCH about her work using affirmations.

Sadie is a relationship guru – to the self, to others, to God Spirit, to mindset, and to energy. She uses many methods to work on a multidimensional level and bring consciousness to one’s emotional and energetic being.

“We have all heard of the 3 dimensions of health: mind, body and spirit. But what if your emotions and the energy you carry also play a vital role in your overall health?”

A curious example: in clinical trials, many psychologists and doctors have started observing the placebo group to report improvements. Commonly referred to as the ‘placebo effect,’ this newfound result has many Western doctors and scientists re-thinking the power of mindset – maybe it’s not as passive as we thought.

It’s essential to recognize that mindsets are not peripheral, but central to health and behavior. If we truly want to tackle the diseases and crises of our time, we need to more effectively acknowledge and leverage the power of mindset.

Alia Crum, assistant professor of psychology and director of the Stanford Mind and Body Lab.

Emotions and thoughts as its own branch of health. Why?

Our mental health effects how we perceive and translate our experiences based on our patterns and our conditioning. But sometimes these patterns work against us through trained emotional reactions. Through our development years we experience new things, new emotions, new ideas, and new people. We are constantly reacting to newness and setting ideas about those experiences. As we grow up, we might approach things with the memory of our experiences with them. We attach emotion and energy to experiences, slowly narrowing our minds into thinking a certain way because we have trained it to it. We start developing triggers that allow us to re-live emotions, traumas, fears. Before we know it, we create a fixed pattern of thinking, of perceiving. 

“Our minds are usually hindered in thinking a certain way because we have already been trained by beliefs, stories, people, ideals…this is why thinking in ways that support you is critical,” says Sadie.

This is Affirmism: Positive words, mantras, and affirmations catered to you, by you. It’s not just about thinking positively, but about bringing awareness to the current state of our emotional and mental health, embracing it, and then shifting into a state of acceptance where we can honor instead of resent. 

Not an easy task considering we as a society are wrapped up in avoidance tactics – drugs, alcohol, and impulsive buying, only to name a few. Avoidance tactics keep us distracted at a physical level, the constant stimuli making it hard to sit with present thoughts.

But avoidance tactics only go so far

Unworked negative emotions can launch people into victim-hood, depression, and even illness. This is something that Sadie experienced firsthand.

“I used to be in a space of total victim-hood and awful negativity. I believed I was always going to be miserable.” It wasn’t until being introduced to Louise L. Hay’s philosophy and the power of affirmations that Sadie sought out help from an energy healer. After a month of working with her and using mantras, she decided to start tweaking her affirmations in a way that catered to her voice and was customized to her day to day.

“I decided to record myself saying my own affirmations and combine them with binaural beats; I was shocked when I heard it. I sounded super sad and miserable. My own resonance sounded flat, externalizing all that was happening inside.” She then decided to re-record and “fake” happiness, making sure she was speaking in a highly jubilant tone. After listening to that recording every morning for 6 months she noticed a massive shift, “I heard happy energy and aligned myself to match that energy. I was thinking in the way I was hearing myself being told to think.”


After a year and a half of successfully practicing Affirmism, Sadie now helps clients tackle blocked emotions, expand their perspective, and re-pattern their way of thinking by using custom tailored affirmations recorded in each client’s voice. It’s a self-help, new-age kind of therapy. 

A typical session is as follows: you go in and talk, figuring out the what and the why. As you speak, Sadie listens and translates what she picks up – this is what she calls vibration translation. “Everything is a vibration: music, this space, the chair, the people outside and our voices…all of it! But our voice is our most powerful tool because it’s the vibration we put out to the world, and it’s also a mirror that reflects what’s going on inside us.” After Sadie taps into the energetic body, she works with each client in order to tailor affirmations true to them. Then, she records clients saying it to themselves, making each session a co-creative process. 

“The affirmations give you permission to feel everything you need to feel without victimizing yourself, instead becoming your biggest cheerleader by supporting and loving yourself. It’s something really personal.”

In true “yes man” fashion, the manner in which we react emotionally and energetically to experiences will ultimately shape our environment. Because everything in our physical dimension is a vibration, our emotional state will match those vibrations energetically and start manifesting. Our brains work like a lens – if scratched or broken, your reality will become distorted.

Our mental and emotional well-being is the fixed lens giving you the consciousness to navigate in the external world, to choose reactions rather than allowing triggers to take over. And Sadie’s work with Affirmism is to refocus the lens, wipe away the dust, and zoom in beyond the glare. 

Our actions and words are the persona we show to others and how we connect with the outside. But our thoughts are how we relate to ourselves and the stories we tell ourselves about the outside world. One cannot be full without the other. Listening to Sadie speak encouraged me to listen to my own self speaking and ask myself – what thoughts do I put most energy into? How do I feel throughout the day as I tackled traffic and deadlines? What are the thoughts in between the moments and noise?

By revising our thoughts and the emotional energy we put into it, we revise the story.

To find more about Sadie’s work with Affirmism, visit her website and schedule a quick call to find out how she can help you.