Reflections on 2007 – The Affirmation Spot for Monday December 31, 2007

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Today’s affirmation is:

“I give up the old and gather its wisdom as I pursue the opportunity of the new.” 

newyear.jpg2007 is about to pass away and give way to 2008. The passing of one year into the next is another manifestation of the eternal symbology of death being the source of new life.

New Year’s Eve is a day to look forward to a new year. Everyone is excited and filled with hope for a fresh start. It is also a day for reflection. In the rush forward, you may forget to appreciate the blessings and lessons gained in the passing year. I hope you will take a few moments today to reflect on the wonderful things that happened for you in 2007.

Here are a 10 ideas for remembering the good, the positive, and hopeful from 2007.

  1. Growth – think how you have grown as a person in the past year. Consider all the new things you have learned about the world, about yourself, and about this crazy journey called life.
  2. Challenges – think of the challenges you faced and overcame this year. Remember how courageous and strong you are when you need to be. Use that strength to face new challenges.
  3. Dreams – think about the dreams you dreamed this year. Continue pursuing the ones you have begun to follow. Renew your commitment to pursue the ones that never got started.
  4. Lessons learned – think about the life lessons learned or relearned in 2007. Be grateful for the benefits these lessons bring to your life.
  5. Entering people – think about the new people who came into your life in 2007. Be thankful the gift of their friendship and for the possibilities opened for the future. 
  6. Exiting people – think about the people who left your life in 2007. For whatever reason, your time with them is at an end or at least a standstill. Remember the joy of your time together. Use what you learned from the relationship to be a stronger person.
  7. Career – think of all you accomplished on the job this year. Think how your career moved forward in 2007. Think about the opportunities now open to you as a result.
  8. Spirituality – think of the spiritual growth you enjoyed this year. Forgive yourself the faults and focus on how you have improved. 
  9. Worries – think about the things you were worried about this time last year. How many of them actually happened? How many can you actually even remember? Let this be a lesson for the worries you hold going into 2008. Worries seem bigger than they really are. Many melt away in the heat of the day.
  10. Connection – think of the times this past year when you felt connection – to other people, to nature, to ebb and flow that is life. Remember the peace, the quietude, the knowing you experienced in those moments. Make it a goal in 2008 to bring more of those moments into your life.  

For good or ill, 2007 is the most recent foundation for the rest of your life. It now has the greatest influence on the path your life is following.  If it has launched you into a future that enthralls you, bless it. If it was a difficult year, mine its gold today and move on.

We humans have this tendency to speak of “the good old days”. Stripped of the struggles and stresses of the present moment, the past always seems golden. 2007 is about to join the ranks of “the good old days”. Why not remember the good while it is still new?

Be peaceful Be prosperous

Ray 

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The Affirmation Survey Update

Saturday greetings –

 Just wanted to update you on the current results from our affirmation poll. I am conducting this poll as part of the research I am doing for a book I am writing about affirmations. The survey currently consists of 10 questions.

Here are some of the interesting results thus far. Click the link below to take The Affirmation Survey.

Take the survey right now.

 

If you use affirmations or other motivational products on a regular basis, which of the following best describe when and how you use them? Select all that apply.

Answer Percentage
Before an activity (game, sales call, speech, etc.) 43%
Driving 21%
Evening 19%
Exercise 15%
Meditating 20%
Morning 64%
Praying 18%
Relaxing 27%
Working 6%

What format(s) do you usually use to get your affirmations or other motivation? Select all that apply.

Answer Percentage
Audio – CD 23%
Audio – Download 21%
Books 39%
E-mail Messagelf 20%
Verbalize to Self 45%
Write and Read 16%

Which areas of your life have you used or would you consider using affirmations to improve? Select all that apply.

Answer Percentage
Career 36%
Health and Well-Being 68%
Hobbies 17%
Learning/Education 9%
Personal Empowerment 51%
Relationships 19%
Religion/Spirituality 50%
Sales 34%
Sports 28%
Wealth and Prosperity 24%

Bhutto Assassination Proof of Work to Be Done – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday December 27, 2007

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‘He offended me, he hurt me, he owes me, he took what was mine.’ Those who dwell on such thoughts will never be free from hate or find peace within.

‘He offended me, he hurt me, he owes me, he took what was mine.’ Those who dwell not on such thoughts shall be free from hate and find peace within.

For hate only feeds on itself; but love overcomes hate. This is an Eternal Law.

Few know that our purpose in this world is to live in harmony. Those who become aware of this cease their quarrels immediately.

~ Buddha (Dhammpada Chapter 1, verses 3-6)


benazir_bhutto.jpg‘The Buddha’s words are extremely timely today.

The news from Pakistan this morning is dire. Former Prime Minister and opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated after a campaign rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. This nuclear-armed nation is about to be thrown into chaos and turmoil. Many on both sides will likely call for armed conflict.

Unfornately, 2500 years after these words were uttered too many human beings still don’t “get it”. Our leaders don’t “get it”. Our media certainly does not “get it”. Our arms dealers don’t “get it”.  We clamor for war. We clamor for revenge. We support leaders as “strong” who feed our desire for revenge and war.

The “it” is that violence is the birth of hatred and chaos, not the solution to it.

Even in the western nations, we extoll the virtues of our military prowess and take pride in the fact that we are better able than others to wreak havoc on our enemies. We honor the warrior above the peacemaker and so we get more of what we reward.

Most of all, we promise with a straight face that we will stop killing “them” right after they stop killing “us”. It’s circular logic because there are two sides to the “we” and “them” equation and both sides promise to stop the killing as soon as the other side does. And thus, the killing never ends.

In these few simple verses (and others like them in many sacred texts), rests the solution to the problem. But, we must be willing to take the medicine, if we are to be healed. 

We are reminded incessantly by the purveyors of war and vengeance that this is “unrealistic”.  “Neville Chamberlain, Neville Chamberlain,” they shout. “Peacefulness is weakness.” “We must be strong or our enemies will destroy us.”

The “kill them before they kill us” method has enjoyed a 10,000 year trial run in human civilization. It has utterly failed to solve our problems, but it does line pockets and create jobs. No other product or idea has failed so miserably and yet lasted so long. It survives because it plays on our lowest instincts such as fear and selfishness.

Pakistan is a perfect look into our own future, if we fail to take the medicine. If we fail to understand, as the Buddha says, “that our purpose in this world is to live in harmony.” If we fail to grasp that the vengeance mindset that counts every offense against us and ignores our own faults, is a mindset dooming us to destruction; then we are sealing our fate.

The expiration date on that mindset is fast approaching. The weapons of mass destruction genie is out of the bottle and we are, in a very few decades, going to be faced with a stark choice. Adversaries the world over are going to stand nose-to-nose with nuclear, chemical, and biological weaponry.

The question is will we choose to change or race down the fast track to destruction? The force of habit is hard to stop. We are a world addicted to violence. Sometimes an addict cannot stop himself even at the cost of self-destruction.

Here is the challenge for those of us who “get it” in 2008. We must increase our efforts bring positive change in the world. We must first convince our fellow human beings that a better world is possible. Shockingly, many don’t believe that it is.

  • We must “be the change we want to see in the world.” We must work on our own thoughts and actions to stay positive and focused on a better future. 
  • We must make intelligent, self-interested arguments that counter fear-based and selfishness-based arguments by capitalizing on positive core human instincts.
  • We must be patient with our fellow human beings. They have been conditioned to accept this nonsense for a long time and it is going to take time for them to change. 
  • We must recognize that help is not coming any time soon from our leaders and media who thrive and profit on the conflict. These institutions will probably be the last to change. We will have to force the change by changing hearts and minds.
  • We must see through arguments, even highly emotional ones, that rest on logical fallacies.
  • We must call attention to those logical fallacies and challenge their validity at every turn.
  • We must create a clear vision of what the world will look like without the conflict.

There is hope. There is possibility. There is opportunity. The world need not suffer constant chaos and violence.  For that to come about, though, enough people must believe.

Think about it today. Do you believe a better world is possible or have you bought into the assumption that nothing more is possible and so you accept what is?

I hear people say things like, “I don’t like war, but there has always been war.” “I know our leaders are corrupt, but leaders have always been corrupt.” We need not accept these as immutable truths.

John F. Kennedy quoted George Bernard Shaw in his inaugural address in 1961, “Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not?”

Today as the chaos heats up in Pakistan and elsewhere around our tiny marble of a world. I’m asking you to think about a better world and ask, “Why not?”

Be peaceful Be prosperous

Ray 

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An Affirmation for 2008 – The Affirmation Spot for December 26, 2007

Check Out Our Cool Affirmation Apps:

Check out our new affirmation apps for Apple devices or search i-mobilize on the iTunes store. The Affirmation Spot is developing these motivation apps in partnership with i-mobilize. Click an app to view it – Love Magnet, Sales Booster, Confidence Affirmation, or Full Body Scan, and many more.



As Christmas passes, our focus begins to move towards the new year. 2008 holds potential for anything at this point. There is not yet one fingerprint on its possibility.

Today’s affirmation is:

“Who I am is not for sale at any price! I am brilliant and beautiful and a best friend to everyone who knows me. I am peaceful and happy and more successful than ever before. I am relaxed and confident and trading in my old fears on new hopes.

2008 is going to be a wonderful year for me; a year of breakthrough, options, and opportunities for new paths to follow. I am excited and ready for the challenges and the triumphs that lie ahead.

No, my self-worth, my happiness, my freedom, my unbounded optimism about what is ahead is not for sale at any price!”

earthyear.gif

As another journey around our home star begins in the next few days, begin visualizing 2008 as your big year.

Read this affirmation to yourself a few times today. Begin envisioning the new year as you’d like to see it right now. As the door of 2007 begins to swing shut, the window that is 2008 is opening.

Every possibility, every option, every hope, dream, and goal are back on the table.

Be peaceful Be prosperous

Ray
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A Little Christmas Inspiration – The Affirmation Spot for Christmas Day 2007

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Today’s affirmation is:

“My dreams, however big I make them, belong to me. No force on earth can keep me from achieving them.”

I was looking for an inspirational story for the Christmas Day post and I found one closer to home than I expected. Dreams and pursuing them are a frequent topic on this blog. Belief and confidence are powerful companions when pursuing dreams, but they are empty without action.

Sometimes we need a reminder, even from an eleven-year-old, that the best way to catch a dream is to stop talking and do something about it. The eleven year old, in this case, is my nephew, Dakota Zinn. He has a dream and he is taking action on it.

How about you? The new year is coming. What are your dreams for the new year? Are you willing to take action on yours the way Dakota has.

The following article and photo are copyright The Lawrence Journal-World. Article by Kristi Johnson and photo by Nick Krug.

Dakota Zinn, 11, of Lawrence, is a fan of the Topeka RoadRunners hockey team and is so inspired by the sport that he is working to try to get a ice rink built in Lawrence.

Dakota Zinn, 11, of Lawrence, is a fan of the Topeka RoadRunners hockey team and is so inspired by the sport that he is working to try to get a ice rink built in Lawrence.


What’s a boy to do when he wants to play hockey in Lawrence?He could go to Overland Park, where Kansas University’s ice hockey club plays. Or, if the weather would stay cold enough, long enough, he could play on a frozen pond.But, if he’s like 11-year-old Dakota Zinn, he might try to get an arena built here in town. Dakota, a sixth-grader at Langston Hughes School, envisions an ice arena where youths and adults could play ice hockey and where KU’s hockey team could play. He also would want to offer open skating hours for the community and facilities for parties.And Dakota’s adamant on one point: No alcohol allowed. He has seen fans act up at Topeka RoadRunners hockey games and he wouldn’t want to see the same at his arena.“I’d rather be safe than have people there being crazy,” Dakota said.And just because Dakota is 11, don’t let that fool you. He’s taking this idea seriously.“He’s making business cards and he’s making T-shirts for all his friends,” Dakota’s dad, Rod Zinn, said. “He’s already got businesses calling him up.”Dakota thinks his age actually helps him. When adults pitch an idea, he said, it’s easy to ignore them. But when a kid has an idea, he said people take notice.

“When kids do it, they say, aw, it’s so cute,” Dakota said.

Dakota’s plan to build the Extreme Ice arena has become a family affair. He has drawn up building plans with the help of his dad, who works for Landplan Engineering. Dakota also has written surveys and fliers to get the word out. Some of the help there has come from his mom.

“We’re behind him and we’re along for the ride,” Rod Zinn said.

Dakota and his dad estimate that the arena would cost about $3 million, a cost the family’s not planning to cover alone. So Dakota also has been working to attract donors. He has even worked out different tiers for donors. For instance, a donation between $1 and $50 would get a donor a free puck signed by a hockey player.

Dakota’s dream of an ice arena has consumed much of his time the past few weeks, Zinn said. He said Dakota was sick last week, which he attributed to late nights spent working on ice arena plans.

Dakota became a fan of hockey only recently, and he doesn’t even play the sport yet. He has played other sports, such as football and baseball. But he got hooked on hockey when his dad got tickets for the Topeka RoadRunners’ home opener in September.

They had so much fun that his dad wrote a letter to the team’s owner, Mary Magdalene Lorang. She was so touched by the letter, Zinn said, that she gave his family season tickets.

And now, Dakota wants to play hockey. But he doesn’t want to leave town to do so.

He thinks having an ice arena or some other youth sports center in town is essential to attracting families with children.

“I think it’s going to become a city for older people to retire unless we get more stuff for kids,” Dakota said.

Originally published at: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/dec/25/boy_looks_score_ice_rink/

Be peaceful Be prosperous

Ray

 

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Is There A Santa Claus? – The Affirmation Spot for Christmas Eve 2007




santa.gif Is there a Santa Claus? This headline appeared in the September 21, 1897 editorial page of the New York Sun. The question was posed by eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon. Her letter to the editor reads as follows:

“Dear Editor: I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth: Is there a Santa Claus?”

~ Virgina O’Hanlon
115 West Ninety-Fifth Street

New York Sun editor Francis Pharcellus Church responded to Virginia’s letter with this now famous editorial.

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowlege.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas how dreary would be the world if there was no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if their were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

110 years later we live in a world infinitely more skeptical than the one Church decried. Many view Santa as just another marketing device to feed our consumerist frenzy. He is real only in as far as he serves the bottom line and provides a small slice of innocence to an ever shrinking childhood.

In our world, one where knowledge is controlled by economists and scientists; if you cannot weigh something, measure it, or define it in objective terms, it’s not real. Santa doesn’t fit into this worldview. He cannot be observed or tested in a lab. Therefore, the reasoning goes, he is not real.

Santa represents one thing – The Possible. He cannot be conclusively proved. Neither can your dreams, determination, hope, compassion, or most of the other things that make life worth living. You cannot measure a dream or weigh determination or define hope. These concepts are not susceptible to the scientific method or measurable on a profit and loss statement. And, yet, can you deny their reality?

They, like Santa, are only observable indirectly by their effects on the world. What would the world be without dreams, determination, hope, or compassion? It would be devoid of The Possible the same as if there was no Santa. Even as adults, we must continue to believe in The Possible or risk being stuck in what is; unable to move forward.

So, Virginia, is there a Santa?  Yes, there is, but those looking for Santa in chimneys will never find him. He lives only in the hearts of determined, hopeful, compassionate dreamers willing to suspend disbelief long enough see what is possible.

Be peaceful Be prosperous

Ray

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Laughter Medicine – The Affirmation Spot for Friday December 21, 2007

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 Take our brief (less than 5 minutes) affirmation survey and download any three affirmations from The Affirmation Spot.com for free.

After taking the survey, simply go to The Affirmation Spot.com and select any three affirmations. Type survey in the coupon field and download your affirmations. Thank you for helping us with our ongoing affirmation research.

Enjoy today’s post. 
 


Today’s affirmation is:

“Today I am experiencing complete joy by seeing the humor amid all the world’s seriousness.”smiley_face.jpg

They say laughter is the best medicine. Here’s an extra dose this Friday sure to make you smile, if not laugh out loud. There is nothing in this world more life-affirming than a hardy laugh. Be careful, though, for in humor there is sometimes also great wisdom.

“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.”

~ Herm Albright

“A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”

~ Douglas Adams

“The optimist claims we live in the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimists fears this is true.”

~ James B. Cabell

“Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer, but wish we didn’t.”

~ Erica Jong

“When I hear somebody sigh, “Life is hard,” I am always tempted to ask, “Compared to what?”

~ Sydney J. Harris

“Genius may have limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.”

~ Elbert Hubbard

“What is a committee? A group of the unwilling, picked from the unfit, to do the unnecessary.”

~ Richard Harkness

“Is there another word for synonym? And why is the word abbreviation so long?”

~ Anonymous

“If all the world’s a stage, where is the audience sitting?”

~ Anonymous

“There’s no trick to being a humorist when you have the whole government working for you.”

~ Will Rogers

“Success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm.”

~ Winston Churchill

“If you want something in life, you have to work for it. Now, quiet, they’re about to announce the lottery numbers.”

~ Homer Simpson

Be peaceful Be prosperous

Ray

The Affirmation Spot

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