Radical Happiness in a Negative World – The Affirmation Spot for Monday December 10, 2007

happiness.jpgToday’s affirmation is:

“Today I am making the radical choice to be absolutely happy.”

Being happy is a radical choice. It takes work and it requires strength to be happy in our world. The news is filled with the negative. There is a camera, it seems, ready to record every negative event happening on the planet.

Sometimes I think these broadcasts would be more accurately called “negs” rather than news.

Fox News likes to call itself “Fair and Balanced” because, it claims, it provides both sides (apparently meaning left and right) to a story. To me, fair and balanced news would include equal time for the positive and the depressing news.

Hey, there are really bad things and really bad people in this world. It would be naive to stick your head in the sand and not be informed.

The fact is, though, that the overwhelming majority of people on this planet get up, go to work, raise their kids, try to set aside a little bit for a rainy day, and try to get along with their fellow human beings.

This is true of Asians, North Americans, South Americans, Middle Easterners, Europeans, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, men, women, rich, and poor. It is true of the educated, the uneducated, techies, farmers, doctors, managers, ministers, secretaries, and, well, you get the idea.

All these people get up every day and want to be happy. Instead, their leaders and their information brokers work overtime to present them with a world filled with threat – people wanting to kill them, steal from them, cheat them, and rape them. In short, they work to create an ambient fear that makes happiness tough.

This atmosphere is the reason the affirmation says “the radical choice” to be happy. You, the individual, have to make a radical choice to distance yourself from the matrix of negativity and find a positive place within you to achieve happiness.

The good news is you are fully capable of doing just that. Look for the positive things in your day. Remind others of the positive things going on around them. Spend time each day in prayer, meditation, or using tools like affirmations to counter the prevailing current.

I don’t necessarily encourage you to turn off the negs unless it really causes you distress. To be a rock and a resource to others caught in the negative whirlpool, it’s helpful to know what is being discussed.

I would encourage you to find ways to counter those messages and check them against your own experience of life. Is the world really on fire all day long everywhere or is that an exaggeration?

Are there things happening everywhere all day long that redeem the character of your fellow human beings and demonstrate that the world is, in fact, a miraculous place full incredible opportunity for you?

My answer is yes, if we make the radical choice to recognize them and find happiness.

The choice is yours. Will you get radical today?

Be peaceful Be prosperous,

Ray

anunnaki_cover_full_colorRay’s 2015 speculative fiction novel, Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation, is turning heads. Where did humanity really come from and where is it going? This is Book 1 of a trilogy. The Awakening has begun!

Learn more about the trilogy and order your signed copy today at AATrilogy.com.

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8 Ways to Reduce Holiday Stress – The Affirmation Spot for Friday December 7, 2007

Welcome to The Affirmation Spot. If this is your first time to the site, be sure to click one of the subscription options (top left) to be notified each time the blog is updated. Thank you for visiting. If you enjoy what you read here, help us spread the word about The Affirmation Spot.

There are direct links to downloadable mp3 affirmations at The Affirmation Spot.com on the right menu. They are set to music and allow you take positive thoughts with you wherever you go all day.  

There are new affirmations in the Christianity section, the tennis section, and the Personal Empowerment section.

Enjoy today’s post.


Friday greetings,christmas_blue_ornament.jpg

We normally think of red and green as the traditional colors of the Christmas season. In our modern world, we can often add the color blue. Blue as in stressed, depressed, down, or burnt out. Even if Hanukkah is your holiday, you can do without this kind of blue.

Despite its uplifting and inspiring aspects, the holiday season seems to have a way of exasperating  normal stress levels in our lives. The season pushes normally even-keeled people to the brink and chronic stress sufferers to the breaking point.  I could probably write a week’s worth of posts on the things that create that situation, but today’s post focuses on ways to reduce your stress this holiday season. 

 Here are a few ideas for making this holiday season less stressful and more meaningful for you. Believe me, I am working right along with all of you on many of these.

  1. Be aware of your schedule – one way to reduce stress during the holidays is simply to know your schedule. Most of the year events are few and far enough between that we can handle them without a calendar. During the holidays, things can sneak up on you. Last minute events can create stress because they often involve finding a gift, cooking a dish, or both. This is avoided by simply knowing when and where you commitments are and planning for them ahead of time.
  2. Stay within your budget – giving is integral to the meaning of the holiday season. With all the marketing and the genuine impulse to give, spending beyond our means to get that perfect gift or enough gifts for loved ones can seem virtuous. There is nothing virtuous about setting yourself up for the January credit card crunch or December blues knowing that January is coming. Stay within your means and be honest with yourself and others. If you can’t afford to buy things, don’t. Consider giving your time to someone else to help them with a project or using your creative talents to make a gift. Most of your family and friends are not really desperate for more things anyway.
  3. Remember the real meaning of the season – I’m not here to tell you what that meaning ought to be for you. However, most of us agree that this time of the year has a significance that transcends the commercialism that permeates it. Get back in touch with what that meaning is for you and stay focused on it during the holidays. That concept is sure to be more peaceful and less stressful than the go, go, go…shop, shop, shop mentality.
  4. Prioritize your activities – you may not be able to fit every party or every activity into your holiday schedule. Rather than stressing out by trying to make room for every single event, prioritize and select.  Learn to graciously say, “thank you, but no thank you.” You’ll have more time for the most important people and activities.
  5. Focus on people not things – the holidays are a time to spend with people – family, friends, colleagues. The spiritual teacher Ram Dass used to say, “Be here now.” Work on being fully present with the people and enjoying that experience. When you are spending time with others forget about the “to do” list and all the other commitments. Just enjoy being here now.
  6. Be with other people – the holidays are particularly hard when you are down on your luck. Nothing is more stressful than being alone for the holidays. If you are in that position, make an extra effort to find ways to be around people and share the season.  You may not “feel like it” and may not believe you have anything to offer anyone else. If you can push past these two thoughts, you will experience more holiday happiness than you expect.
  7. Make time for you – this one is particularly for those of you always place the needs of others ahead of your own, but it applies to everyone. Make time for yourself during the holidays. Take a day and go shopping by yourself or for yourself. Make sure to schedule some time to read, write, scrapbook, work on the car, or whatever gives you personal joy. The feeling that you haven’t had any time to “just be” can be very strong during the holidays. The effect of that is often stress. Remember to be good to others by being good to yourself.   
  8. Stay on track – use affirmations, prayer, meditation, and other practices and tecniques to stay on track with these other goals. Take a moment each day to see make sure you are monitoring your stress and keeping it under control.

A great affirmation for the holiday season is:

“I am committed to reducing my stress this holiday season. I am reducing stress this holiday season by gaining maximum enjoyment from my time with family and friends. I am reducing stress this holiday season by remembering and focusing on why this time of year is important to me.  I am reducing stress this holiday season by recognizing and addressing my own needs so that I have the energy to be there for others.” 

No offense to Elvis, but you can do without the Blue Christmas this year. Try each of these ideas or just pick one and watch your stress go down and your enjoyment go up. 

Peace…

Ray
The Affirmation Spot

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Give The Gift of Positive This Holiday Season – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday December 5, 2007

Wednesday greetings,

world_in_hand.jpgToday I am going to shamlessly promote a series of affirmations that I am very proud of. The holidays are coming, why not give your friends, your family, and yourself the gift of positive?

I am pleased to announce that The Affirmation Spot’s My World affirmations, our most popular series, are now available as a single downloadable zip file.

This series includes 11 affirmations that inspire you to envision and choose a more positive world in many areas of your life. Each affirmation comes in three varieties which means you actually get 33 different affirmations.

These affirmations were designed to be used in tandem and to address multiple areas of your life.  These affirmations are a part of my personal daily routine. I have found them to be very effective at getting me pumped and ready to go for the day or a big event.

The three varieties are:

Exercise version – set to an inspring piece of music entitled To Fly With A Dream, this version of the affirmations are designed specifcally for times of activity such as during exercise. Listen while jogging, biking, lifting, or any other strenuous activity. This version are recorded a slightly higher volume to handle noisy situations.

Relaxation version – set to a beautiful guitar piece called Ponce’s Preludo in E Major, the relaxation version of the affirmations are designed for times of relaxation, meditation, or as background during work. Listen while meditating, relaxing, before bed, first thing in the morning, or at other times when you want to relax. This version is recorded at a slightly reduced volume for quiet times.

No music version – allows you to listen to the affirmations without music or add your own.

Best of all, you download the files once and you are then free to send them to as many people as you like. In fact, I want you to spread them around. Give them to clients, friends, or colleagues. Embed them in PowerPoint presentations or e-cards. Use them as a background for your website or blog. The possibilities are endless.

Downloading the entire series also saves you time and money by allowing you to download a single file while saving you 60% as compared with downloading all 33 affirmations individually. You can listen to the affirmations on computer, burn them to a CD, or play them on your MP3 player or iPod.

Thank you for the continued support and words of encouragement for The Affirmation Spot and what we are doing.  It is my sincere hope that you, your friends, and your family will find these affirmations a helpful tool for creating a fantastic 2008!

Download My World Affirmations Series

Peace…

Ray
The Affirmation Spot

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Challenging Yourself to Be Great – The Affirmation Spot for Friday November 30, 2007

Welcome to The Affirmation Spot. If this is your first time to the site, be sure to click one of the subscription options (top left) to be notified each time the blog is updated.

Thank you for visiting. Tell your your positive-thinking, motivated friends and your not-so-motivated friends about the blog. There is something for everyone.

There are direct links to downloadable mp3 affirmations at The Affirmation Spot.com on the right menu. They are set to music and allow you take positive thoughts with you wherever you go all day. Enjoy today’s post.


green_leaves_sunlight.jpgToday’s affirmation is:

“Your life is coming together in a complete and perfect way. You are doing all that is necessary, accepting all that is necessary, and releasing all that is necessary for your life to come forth and blossom. Give yourself credit for your accomplishments; cut yourself some slack for your mistakes. Know that all leads to your growth and healing. Be happy an enjoy life!”

When you accept that your life is coming together just as it should, you are free to challenge yourself to stretch beyond your limits. 

On my journey this day, I follow in the footsteps of the immortals. The imprints they have left behind on the Earth are large and their strides are a stretch for me. Yet, if I dare not encounter them and measure myself by them, how shall I ever know the true immensity of my own being?

So, I step consciously into the light; walking the path they once walked. Leaving it, occasionally, and improvising. Adding to it qualities uniquely my own.

Breathing with the trees and conversing with the clouds, as once they did. Our collective wisdom grows until no distinction remains among the path, the immortals, and me.

 

“Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” ~ Henry Ford

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” ~ John Ruskin

 

Right now is the time to open yourself to the possibility of ignoring limitations and going beyond self-imposed boundaries. For the fear and anxiety you experience are nothing but the shadow of unfulfilled promise.

arms_stretched.jpgThe world is full of opportunity and peril and a little of each in the other. It is ever forming and reforming; manifesting in precise accordance with our expectations. For your world lives in your mind long before it becomes visible; shaping itself to your perception of what is possible.

What is set in stone today is the dust in tomorrow’s breeze. Remember you are creating tomorrow’s results with every thought, word, and action today. Change is the catalyst for your betterment and your imagination its only limitation. Make the most of this blessing given you to personify the fruition of the promise that dwells within.

Each moment is a gift providing you with a fresh start on which to build a life filled with things more precious to you than your problems.

Peace…

Ray

The Affirmation Spot.com

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A Self-Confidence Manifesto – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday November 29, 2007

Welcome to The Affirmation Spot. If this is your first time to the site, be sure to click one of the subscription options (top left) to be notified each time the blog is updated. Thank you for visiting. Tell your your positive-thinking, motivated friends and your not-so-motivated friends about the blog. There is something for everyone.

There are direct links to downloadable mp3 affirmations at The Affirmation Spot.com on the right menu. They are set to music and allow you take positive thoughts with you wherever you go all day. Enjoy today’s post.


I plan to record this and add it to the website in the near future, but decided to share the text today. If you read this to yourself, you can feel your confidence rising and your stress melting away. Why a manifesto? This self-dialogue is full of self-declarations of your readiness to move forward to healing, success, peace, or whatever your immediate goals are.candle1.jpg

The first key is to realize that you have the courage, the wisdom and the strength within you to make the changes you want to make in your life; to bring about the healing you seek. For, in truth your healing comes from within. Others may facilitate or act as mediators, but it is the healer within you that is bringing about the miracle you are receiving right now. Know this deeply.

Focus your healing energies on bringing about an end to your suffering. This healing is occurring within you right now. It is not far off in the future. Your healing is a reality right now in this moment. You are experiencing a complete healing. Your mind, body, emotions, and spirit are all benefiting. Joy is increasing and expanding in your life exponentially. Your horizons are growing brighter and brighter.

You are opening your heart and your mind to possibilities you had never before considered. Right now you are accepting that anything and everything is possible for you. You understand that the circumstances in your life are always perfect to create the highest version of yourself. Your tools, your gifts, and your talents are more than enough to create a life of abundant success and happiness. Feel the joy increasing in your life.

Feel your confidence rising. There is no situation you cannot handle. There are no limits to what you can achieve. Nothing can occur that you can’t learn from and turn to your advantage. As your joy increases and your happiness manifests; there is less room for fear in your life, less room for self-doubt. These aspects of yourself are clearly decreasing in your life.

In fact, you are, as I speak, releasing your fears, releasing your self-doubt. They serve no purpose in your life. So you are releasing them and letting them go. You are successful. You think like a success, you talk like a success, you act like a success. You are a success!  Your success is complete; encompassing all aspects of your life.

Your spiritual life is a success, your career is a success, and your relationships are a success. You are a success. And success means progress in every area of your life. You are releasing the habitual patterns of thought and action that have held you back in the past.

You are releasing thoughts and actions that limit you in any way, shape, or form. By releasing these limiting patterns in your life; you are now completely free to live your life in this moment and to create your highest good in the here and now. You are determined to be fully present in the experience of now. You are intuitive, creative, and spontaneous in creating your new life – each moment, each day.

Feel the harmony, strength, and confidence this knowing creates deep within you. You are becoming the person you always knew you could be right this moment!

Peace…

Ray

The Affirmation Spot.com

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Interview with Andreea Ayers of Tees for Change – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday November 28, 2007


Thank you for visiting The Affirmation Spot. Your comments on the blog or this article are always welcome. Please click here to comment on today’s blog.




ray_launchpad.jpgWhat Ray’s reading right now:

April and I are reading A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. This is the latest Oprah’s Book Club selection. Oprah and the author Eckhart Tolle are hosting a 10-week online course covering this book beginning Monday March 3. They recommend reading the book before the class. You can register for free at Oprah.com



March Affirmation Sale!

Beginning February 28 Download any two affirmations during March from The Affirmation Spot.com and get a third affirmation free. There are no limits! You can download 20 and get 10 free. Simply type the word “blog” into the coupon field at checkout. Thanks for getting your audio affirmations at The Affirmation Spot!



Today The Affirmation Spot begins a series of interviews with and articles about inspirational people. These are people making a difference in the world by demonstrating the courage to share their gifts and pursue their dreams. My hope is that their stories will inspire you to begin taking steps in the direction of your dreams.
tees_for_change1.jpgThe first installment is an interview with Andreea Ayers, Founder of a Boulder, Colorado company called Tees For Change. Andreea started the company in early 2007 and it is already transforming her life and the lives of everyone wearing her products.

Her company is something special. Tees For Change is very eco-conscious – all their products are organic, they use low-impact eco-friendly dyes, and they plant a tree for each t-shirt sold. Her t-shirts proclaim emphatically positive messages such as, “today matters”, and “choose happiness”.

In a recent interview with on makethemostofu.com, Andreea is quoted as saying, “I am hoping that my tees will impact the person wearing them and also the many people he/she comes in contact with. Words are so powerful, as are thoughts, and a slight shift in your thoughts can make a difference in your day.

Our tees really make you think. What does “live mindfully’ or “today matters” mean to you? It’s probably different than what it means to your friend, sister or co-worker. My goal is to get people to at least stop for a moment and think “hmmm…” I want people to have conversations (with each other or even within themselves) about what the words on our tees mean to them.”

The following interview was conducted with Andreea by e-mail.

The Affirmation Spot:  Andreea, thank for your time. Can you share with us a little bit about your professional background and how your path led you to create Tees For Change? And, please tell us about Tees For Change and your goals for the company.

Andreea:  My background is in marketing for ‘green’ companies. I have a degree in Marketing from Cornell University and my first few jobs out of college were in market research and analysis. In 2001 I started to work for a non-profit publication called The Green Guide and, because the company was so small, I did everything but editorial and fundraising.

That was a great way for me to learn all aspects of online and offline marketing, customer service and the publishing industry. Then in 2004 I branched off on my own and self-published a book called The Green Apple: Organic coupons for healthy living in NYC. It was a guide and coupon book to everything eco-friendly in the Big Apple. However, I felt that I wanted to do something more national in scope and reach out to more people, so I did not re-publish the guide in 2005-2006.

In late 2005 I became a marketing consultant for Ideal Bite, a great company that sends out free, daily eco-living tips by email. I did their affiliate marketing, online marketing, and set up marketing partnerships, so I had the chance to learn more about ‘green’ marketing and building an email list.

Then, in 2006, after a brief stint in direct marketing at New York University, my husband and I moved out to Boulder, CO. I got the idea to start Tees For Change while I was in a prenatal yoga class. My goal for Tees For Change is to grow the company and reach out to as many people as possible. Right now our tees are available for sale in nearly 50 yoga studios across the US, but it would be great to have them available in every state and hopefully, one day, to have our own Tees For Change storefront or showroom.

tees_for_change_men.jpg

TAS:  Unfortunately, we live in a world bathed in a lot of fear and unhappiness. I’m sure you’re aware that many people see “positive thinking” as somewhat unrealistic in the face of realities like war and famine. In your experience, what tangible difference does thinking positively make in our lives and in our world?

Andreea:  In my opinion, thinking positively has a huge impact on our lives and decisions. I grew up in a communist country where people were constantly afraid and did not trust anyone. Then there was my grandmother who always instilled in us to think positively and look at the bright side. She lived her life that way, despite all the hardships she encountered during communism and despite the fact that her husband died when they were still very young. Today, she is 95 years old and still looks at the bright side of things. She taught me by example that positive thinking is the way to go.

I learned that you can’t be creative if you are constantly afraid. And if you can’t create, then you can’t advance. So, in order to grow as a person, a company or a nation, you can’t be afraid.

I don’t watch the news because all they report on is what is wrong with our neighborhoods, our schools, our roads, and our security. Can you imagine how different your evening would be if you turn on the news and you hear about all the good things people are doing in our communities and in our country? Just by being aware of people doing good things you feel better. Imagine if you walked around all day thinking good thoughts! I constantly challenge myself to think positively, even if I might not feel it at the moment, just to see what happens. It makes a huge difference!

TAS:  You’re a new mother with a new and growing business, I’m sure there are tough days. Who and what keeps you inspired and motivated? Do you have any role models, mentors, or heros?

Andreea:  There are definitely tough days, but I love what I do, so that makes my challenges a bit more manageable. I am definitely inspired by my family and by the natural world around me. I am inspired when my customers write to tell me about the difference that one of our tees has made in their lives. I am inspired by people who follow their dreams, whether it’s to be a doctor, entrepreneur, teacher, musician or plumber. I am constantly inspired by children – they naturally ‘think big’ and it’s amazing to see their drive and determination.
 
Everyone I meet is a role model, in one way or another. The ‘positive people’ teach me what to do and the ‘negative people’ teach me what not to do. Sometimes I feel that we all start out as role models and then, somewhere down the line, life takes over and we forget what it’s like to have dreams and ambitions. I think I’ll add two new tees that will say “be unrealistic” and “reclaim yourself.”

TAS: What does owning and operating your own business mean to you?

Andreea:  It means that I can be creative and follow my dreams. But it also means working long hours and taking risks (good and bad) that I would not normally take if I was working for somebody else. Having my own business has allowed me to constantly challenge myself and to question my decisions and actions.

TAS:  Many people have creative dreams or business ideas they want to pursue. Often, they feel paralyzed by the perceived risk or by other peoples’ opinions. If you could speak directly to one of those people sitting in a cubicle in corporate America reading this interview or to someone working a job that’s not advancing their dreams, what advice would you give him or her? What words of wisdom can you offer to persuade that person that following your bliss is worth it?

Andreea:  Well, I think that there is definitely a place for corporate America in all of us. I learned a great deal from working for other companies, small and large. There is value in learning from other people who know more than you do. But, having said that, I think that if the spark is there, you’ll know when you’re ready to pursue your dreams. For some people it might not make sense to quit their job and start their own business, but what if those people start their own business (part-time), while holding on to their job?
 
About five years ago I read a great book called Kiss Off Corporate America : A Young Professional’s Guide to Independence by Lisa Kivirist. I highly recommend it to anyone who is thinking of leaving the cubicle life. It inspired me to leave my corporate job and start my own market research firm. Even though the market research firm didn’t work out (there was still so much more that I needed to learn!!!), it was a great experience and it gave me the courage to start other things later on. I personally feel better when I know I tried something (even though it might not have worked out) than when I don’t try it at all.

tees_for_change_women2.jpg

TAS:  Finally, what’s on the horizon for Tees For Change? Do you have any new lines coming out? Where can people find your tees? Are you expanding beyond tees into other products or apparel?

Andreea:  I am currently working on sourcing the tees for the Spring 2008 line and I will be adding more styles (tank tops, sweatshirts) and colors. I want to expand to other products, especially eco-friendly ones like canvas bags and reusable water bottles.

Right now, people can find the tee at Tees For Change and at nearly 50 yoga studios and boutiques across the country. For an updated list, they can visit http://teesforchange.com/retailers.
 
Thanks so much for allowing me to share my story!

TAS:  Thank you, Andreea, for generously sharing your time and your insights on positive thinking and pursuing your dreams.
With the holidays fast approaching, there is probably someone on your list who could use or would appreciate “the gift of positive”. Tees For Change is ideal for that person. Here is a quick FAQ on shipping and the logistics of ordering a shirt from Tees For Change.
 
Peace…

Ray
The Affirmation Spot.com

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A Traveling Poem – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday November 21, 2007

Welcome to The Affirmation Spot. If this is your first time to the site, be sure to click one of the subscription options (top left) to be notified each time the blog is updated. Thank you for visiting. Tell your your positive-thinking, motivated friends and your not-so-motivated friends about the blog. There is something for everyone.


airplane2_rs.jpgThe week of Thanksgiving, they say, is the busiest travel week of the year. Millions of Americans are traveling to be with family for the holiday.

However, millions more are going to be separated from their loved ones this weekend. Some for financial reasons. Others because they or their loved one is serving the nation in Iraq, Afghanistan, or somewhere else around the world. Still others, because of emotional distances that separated family or friends over time.

I wrote the following poem a few years ago when my wife was on the road for business nearly every week. Occasionally, I still send the poem to her…just because. It speaks to the distance between us when we are separate, but affirms that no number of miles can ever truly keep us apart when we are connected at the speed of love.

If you’re going to be separated from someone you love this weekend, I hope you’ll send this poem to them as a reminder that you are thinking about them.Enjoy the poem and your Thanksgiving

love1.jpg“A Traveling Poem”

Even when you’re far away,
My heart is still nearby.
Even if the world should fall,
not a thing could break our tie.

There is nothing of time or space
within our special bond.
It transcends all the eye can see;
born of truths that lie beyond.

Take my love with you today
and know that I’m right here.
When, tomorrow, we meet again,
in my heart you’ll be more dear.  

Peace…

Ray
The Affirmation Spot.com

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