The Affirmation Spot Affirmation of the Day – Friday August 31, 2007

Today’s affirmation is:

“I feel a new peace of mind. A new sense of serenity is coming over me each and every day. I am calm, I am centered, and I am focused.”

As we move into this holiday weekend and celebrate the unofficial end of summer in the United States, take a moment to recenter and refocus. This affirmation will help. Download it, put it on your mp3 player, and listen to it as you go about your day today.

http://soulerflare.com/peace_of_mind_serenity_e.mp3

Peace…

Ray

The Affirmation Spot

Officially open Saturday September 1, 2007

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The Affirmation Spot Affirmation of the Day – Thursday August 30, 2007

Today’s affirmation is:

“I am a unique and worthy person. I require no more justification than that to be who I am.”

Being Who You Are

Everyone has an opinion on who you should be.  Your mother, your co-workers, your spouse, the church, the government, your friends; they all are constantly trying to mold you into their vision of who they think you should be. Obviously, there are times it is wise to listen to sound advice.

By and large, however, defining who you are is your right and your responsibility. Giving up that right to other people’s expectations is disempowering and leads to unhappiness.

 Starting today take back your right to be who you are. You are fully capable and fully prepared to create your own vision of you. It is your “divine right” as a human being to make those decisions for yourself.

The opinions will still come – fast and furious – but you’ll be too busy enjoying the real you to care.

Peace…

Ray

The Affirmation Spot

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The Affirmation Spot Affirmation of the Day – Wednesday August 29, 2007

Today’s affirmation is:

“Roadblocks are simply shortcuts to something better than I had planned.”

Seeing the Opportunity in “Roadblocks”

When you hit a “roadblock” in your life…stop…wait. Often roadblocks are viewed as something negative. We don’t like our plans to be foiled and it can be pretty frustrating. However, if we can avoid the initial negative reaction, we may find that the “roadblock” is in fact a gateway to something better than we had planned.

Sometimes the things we initially view as “roadblocks” – because they interfere with our plans – are actually possibilities we had not even considered.

Today when something seems to be interfering with your plans try looking for the opportunity in it. You may find that “roadblocks” can transform into gold mines.

Peace…

Ray
http://www.theaffirmationspot.com

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Is Positive Thinking a Learned Skill?

In the training world, there is constant discussion about what constitutes a learnable, trainable skill and what falls into the realm motivation or determination. For instance, I can train a sales manager with the knowledge and the skills that can make he or she  better at coaching sales representatives. However, I cannot train a sales manager to be motivated to use those skills.

Lately, I’ve given a good deal of thought into whether positive thinking is a learnable, trainable skill or whether it relies completely on the motivation of the individual. It’s fair to call any ability that can be enhanced with practice or additonal knowledge a learnable skill.

By this definition, positive thinking meets the criteria. There are teachable techniques that can help people see the world or themselves in a more positive light.  A couple that I have employed successfully over the years are thought stopping and tick-marking.

Thought stopping involves mentally or verbally saying, “stop” when a negative or unwanted thought comes to mind. Sometimes the process requires you to say, “stop” mutlitple times to discontinue the negative thinking. This process is most effective when you can replace the negative thought or visualization with one that is positive or healthy. This technique is effective for people battling depression, obsessive thoughts, or addiction. However, anyone can use it in their daily lives. The fact that you are not dealing with a serious mental condition makes it that much more effective.

 Tick-marking is another way to stop negative thoughts and embark on a positive thinking program. When we are afflicted with negative thinking we often don’t realize how many times during the day we are thinking negative thoughts to ourselves (negative self-talk). For some, there is a constant stream of negative thoughts, self judgements, and critiques of everyone and everything around them. Because we are what we think about all day long, unchecked these thoughts spill out into their lives – their view of the world, their self-esteem, and their interactions with others.

Tick-marking is a technique where you have a little note pad with you all day long. Everytime you think a negative thought you make a tick mark on the note pad. Some people find it effective to categorize the negative thoughts. This is an awareness tool. Once they become aware of how many negative thoughts go through their minds in a day, many people become motivated to do something about it. Until there is awareness there cannot be action.

So, I come down on the side of those who believe positive thinking is a learned skill. That said, it is very much a commitment too. Developing a positive outlook on life has many of the same characteristics as a diet or an exercise program.

First, you have to be motivated to change. Until you see negative or demotivated thinking as a problem in your life, you are not going to commit to change.

Second, you have to stay on the program. If you begin an exercise program, you will reap the benefits of it only as long as you continue exercising. If you stop, your muscles will atrophy and your fitness level will drop to previous levels.

Replacing negative thinking with a positive outlook works in much the same way. It requires an ongoing commitment and you will see the benefits only for as long as you work at it. If you don’t provide constant positive fuel and apply techniques that work for you, the negative thoughts can return. Face it, we live in society where there is a lot of negativity and fear perpetuated for a number of reasons. If you don’t take charge of your own thinking, it is easy to fall into the societal malaise.

Third, you have to keep the end in mind. When someone goes on a diet they are going to be successful as long as they continue to visualize their life at the goal weight. What happens along the way, often, is the demons of the present take control and steer the person off course. The dieter falls back into old habits and the diet fails. A positive thinking program has the same pitfall.

Especially when you are using positive thinking to improve a certain area of your life, it is critical to keep the end result in mind. Your old negative thought patterns are going to rise up and try to get you off course. In fact, the closer you get to your goal, the more intense they may become. The only way through this gauntlet is to keep moving step by step in your new, positive direction.

Finally, you have to believe. You have to believe that change is possible. You have to believe that by using affirmations or other positive thinking approaches you can change your life and your mind. Without the belief, the commitment to reach your goal is not going to be there.

You can teach yourself to be more positive or to change your mind about certain aspects of your life. Once you know how all that is left is to do it!

Accepting the Rainy Days – Wednesday August 22, 2007

silouette_ocean_horizon.jpg

It is a beautiful day, a day of hope for the future; a day of limitless beginnings. For your life is like a garden, you must plant it and tend it before the harvest comes. You must nurture the garden of your life as you go; weeding it of old destructive patterns of thought and action. Making sure it receives the love and care necessary for its growth and ultimately its blossoming.

As with any garden, there must come times of sunshine and times of rain. Both must be if the garden is to succeed and flourish. Conventional wisdom claims that joy is easier to find in the proverbial sunshine than in the proverbial rain.

I have found, however, that when I accept the necessity of the rain, stand in it willingly, and understand its nature and purpose; it can be even sweeter than the sunshine.

The sunshine is the provider of life, doing its work over long hours, days, and weeks. Without it, there is no life. The rain, by contrast, is an occasional visitor. It appears in short increments, but is the source of rapid growth. It brings newness to all it touches. 

So keep in mind that if today brings a little rain into your life, it’s OK. The sun will return soon enough. It is right behind the clouds. For today, stand strong, give yourself to the rain, and grow grow grow!

Ray
http://www.theaffirmationspot.com

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Getting Out of “The Gotta Zone” – Monday August 21, 2007

How often do we say it or hear others say it: “I’ve gotta do this or I’ve gotta do that.” It seems our society is obsessed with “gottas.”  We stress ourselves over all the things we’ve gotta get done. What we have forgotten is that most of the things we’ve gotta do relate to choices we’ve made. Through time, we have convinced ourselves that theses gottas are necessities imposed upon us by others.

We seem to thrive on stress and worry. When one worry is resolved we seem to immediately start searching for the next thing to worry about like the addict seeking his next high. There is something within us that causes us to feel guilt if we aren’t doing SOMETHING.

Some might argue we gotta pay taxes, or conform to the law of gravity, or die. There are things that might be called the rules of life that we cannot get around.  Why enslave ourselves by applying “gotta” to them?  Most things we “gotta” do amount to no more than choices we’ve made related to who we are or who we think we are or who we think we’re supposed to be.

When you hear yourself saying “gotta” in any circumstance, ask the question, “Why must I do this? The “because” phrase that follows will tell who or what has conditioned you to think you “gotta” do that.  “Because my mom wants me to.” “Because what would my wife think.” “Because God says so.” “Because I need it to be happy.”  Your “because phrase” will also tell you what needs to be healed or let go of or faced to remove that “gotta” from your life. 

If your “because” phrase is just old programming or isn’t really something you value, then you know you are dealing with a gotta that was once forced upon you from the outside, but now can be released. 

Most of our gottas are really choices disguised as gottas.  If so, then it really isn’t a gotta imposed by the universe, but rather value judgments we have made or allowed to be made for us. 

We have power over choices whereas a true gotta is dictated to us.  Thinking about things this way is very freeing.  Realizing that most our gottas really aren’t and taking responsibility for making the choices we want in our life is the first step towards getting out of The Gotta Zone.

Wishing you a peaceful and positive Monday….

Ray
http://www.theaffirmationspot.com

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Help – Your Input Welcome

A pleasant Sunday to everyone!

Two weeks from now I am launching a new website called The Affirmation Spot. The site will offer MP3 affirmations, meditations, and visualizations for download  (eventually) for nearly every area and pursuit in life.

The idea is to create a kind of iTunes for positive thinking that would allow people to download specific, single-track affirmations only for thoughts they are trying to promote in their lives.

The affirmations are presented in the first person (repeated four to six times), then repeated an additional four to six times in the second person to provide confirmation back from the outside of the affirmation.

They generally run 1-2 minutes and are set to upbeat music (for exercise and active times), relaxing music (for meditating or quiet times), and no music which allows you to use the affirmation without music or combine it with your own music. 

As I approach the launch, I’m looking for a little feedback on the site and the affirmations. Even though the site does not officially launch for another two weeks, I have made some of the affirmations available for free download at this link:

Free Affirmations

They can be played on your iPod or other MP3 player, transferred to your MP3-capable cell phone, played on your computer, or burned to CD.

No catches or mailing lists to sign up for. Just download a couple of the free affirmations that look interesting to you and send me a comment to let me know what you think about the affirmations and the website.

I appreciate anyone willing to take a few minutes to help. If you like what you see and hear, tell some friends about it. They are welcome to download the free affirmations as well.

Wishing you a peaceful and positive Sunday….
Ray
http://www.theaffirmationspot.com

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