Things I Learned from My Dog Part 1 – The Affirmation Spot for Friday October 19, 2007

mia_snow.jpg

Today is the first in what will become a recurring series on things I learn from my dog. We humans may have the opposable thumb and a larger brain, but animals can actually serve as very good teachers for us.

 

I’ve always been a dog lover and I especially love Labrador Retrievers. They just seem to be the ultimate optimists in the dog world. They are fun, playful, and affectionate.

 

Take our three-year old black Lab – Mia. The whole world – me included – can be against me on a bad day, but Mia is still for me. When we need to feel better about ourselves or other people it always helps to take a dog’s point of view. Dogs teach by example and then there are those things we can learn by observation.

 

One humorous thing about Mia, though, is that she is a ferocious Squirrel Warrior. In fact, I’d have to say she is a little neurotic about squirrels. We are very fortunate to have a house with a significant number of windows. Mia – when she’s not sleeping – can usually be found patrolling the windows…waiting…watching for movement in the yard or a gray bushy tail in the grass that might indicate the presence of a squirrel.

 

She takes this very seriously and she can drive herself crazy over the squirrels. Some of the older, wily squirrels will do things to really annoy her like sit on the deck rail or the patio (in full view) and munch on a nut. While inside Mia is having a conniption fit, the squirrel is calmly watching.

 

They also seem to have a very good idea of exactly how far her chain will reach in the back yard and they love to sit just beyond it. Sometimes when we let her out she will sit up by the door for half an hour or more waiting for one to wander too close and then she is OFF. Chasing the squirrel for all she’s worth and almost catching it, but not quite. She is the Wylie Coyote of the neighborhood. Another brilliant trap foiled.

 

Much of Mia’s day is consumed with the pursuit of squirrels she’s probably never going to catch. She just cannot relax as long as there are squirrels around. They torment her and she lets them.

 

You know, we all have our squirrels. We all have things that drive us up the wall and refuse to let us have peace. It might be a habit of your spouse, e-mail spam, traffic jams, the project at work, or, well, you fill in the blank.

 

Even the language we use to describe our “squirrels” is backwards. We often say, “That traffic really annoyed me.” Did it? The traffic was just sitting on deck rail munching a nut. You were the one in the car losing your sense of peace.

 

There was a story I remember reading once about a young man who had decided to take up meditation. He was working with a teacher. The man lived in a big city apartment. He was explaining to his teacher that he could not meditate in the apartment because there was a bus stop right outside his apartment.

 

“The constant noise,” he complained, “will not allow me to meditate. It’s too distracting.”

 

The teacher leaned forward and smiled, “Ah yes, but is the bus coming into the apartment and bothering you or are you going outside and bothering the bus?”

 

The teacher’s point, of course, is that it is not the things that bother us; it is our thoughts about them that create the stress.

 

Today, make a list of your “squirrels” – those things that really annoy you. Think about how each can be addressed. Is there something you can do to change the situation and make it better? Or, is this something you just have to accept and get better at dealing with it?

 

Don’t try to take them all on at once. Work on one or two at a time. Over the course of the next few weeks or months –depending on how many you have – you will have more peace by setting them down.

 

When you encounter something really annoying you remember Mia. If it’s a real problem that needs to be dealt with, deal with it. If not (and so many things we get worked up about are not), visualize yourself as Mia going crazy and the source of your annoyance as the squirrel calmly munching the nut and enjoying the show.

 

I promise a smile will come to your face and you will recognize how silly it is and let it go.

 

Have a peaceful and prosperous Friday!

Ray

The Affirmation Spot.com

I’d like to personally invite you to come by The Affirmation Spot today and try a couple of our free affirmations or download affirmations in a category of interest to you. We are constantly growing and expanding with the goal of offering affirmations for your specific life needs.

New affirmations are available in the Wealth and Prosperity, Personal Empowerment, and Sales sections of the website.

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Positive Thinking Without the Rose-Colored Glasses

rose_colored_glassesToday’s blog may seem strange coming from someone who runs a website selling mp3 affirmations. However, this topic has been on my mind for sometime and an article I read today on Slate.com entitled Think Negative! seemed like the perfect opportunity to address it.

In the article, writer John Gravois takes Oprah Winfrey to task for her promotion (and darn near creation) of The Secret craze. Gravois argues that, if anything, we have our rose-colored glasses on too much in modern America. He blames “the positive thinking crowd” for this problem.

Gravois refers to a book by Rutgers University professor Karen Cerulo entitled Never Saw It Coming: Cultural Challenges to Envisioning the Worst. Cerulo apparently details Gravois’ point about how we Americans only see the good in things and do so to our peril. He calls on Oprah to use her powers of persuasion to reverse support for The Secret.

First, I want to say that Oprah has been a hugely positive force in our society for a long time. For many years, I didn’t “get” her show. I thought it was just another afternoon show for the shrinking ranks of stay-at-home moms. Once I realized what she is all about, I became a great admirer.

Her message, it seems to me, is a pretty simple one…”you can do it!” I think she and her staff work very hard to find tools and information that support that mission. The Secret certainly falls into that category.

I think what is needed in this discussion is balance and context. 

To an extent, Gravois has a point. There are some purveyors of The Secret that go overboard in their assertions. This does have the tendency to promise susceptible people things that probably are not possible. It also has fairly been criticized for promoting the a “blame the person” defense when the system fails to yield the desired results.

On the other hand, Gravois seems to be falling into the common trap that assumes that a negative view of the world is somehow more realistic than a positive view. While he recounts instances where positive thinking falls short, he fails to look at the fact that most of the negative things we worry about never come to pass.

Yet, those negative thoughts and worries have a very real impact on our lives and on how we interact with the world whether they ever come true or not.

We live in a world that has a lot of negativity. We have a government and a mainstream media that maintains control by spreading a great deal of fear, negativity, and divisiveness.

People, in my opinion, have a right – even a self-obligation – to fight back or they place their outlook, their confidence, and their very self-hood at risk.

Positive thinking is a tool. Like any tool it can be misused. Its benefits can be overstated. It also has very real, tangible, demonstrable benefits over being negative. Skills, mood, behaviors, and many other aspects our lives can be improved (if not perfected) through the power of the way we think about them.

It’s foolish to walk into a rattle snake den or fail to seek medical attention for a serious condition on the hope that your positive thoughts are going to protect you. It is equally foolish to go through life only seeing the gloomy; never experiencing the good; and allowing others to form and control your potential by controlling your thoughts.

Only you have that right, but you can certainly hand it to the government, the media, your mother, or your friends. You have to take the bull by the horns and manage your own thoughts.

That is why I created The Affirmation Spot. Affirmations are a spark that lights the flame of the positive thinking engine. I call them mind vitamins because they do something similar for your mind to what vitamins do for your body – maintain health and help battle stress and disease.

Use of affirmations cannot guarantee perfection, enlightenment, a worry-free life, or the big shot in your career. They can, however, help you improve incrementally and prepare your mindset to handle life’s stresses and maximize life’s opportunities.

May each of you have a peaceful and prosperous day!

Ray

Ray Davis is the Founder of The Affirmation Spot and focuses on empowering minds to think positively, achieve goals, and live dreams.He’s spent the past 21 years in sales and sales training for major companies.

He is the author of the Anunnaki Awakening series (2015). Book 1 – Revelation – is now available in paperback and on Kindle. This trilogy takes Ancient Aliens out of the past and into the present. An interstellar, interdimensional journey ensues with humanity’s future hanging in the balance.

Letting Go Tips – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday October 17, 2007

woman_eyes_closed_sun_rs.jpgToday’s affirmation is:

“I hold on to those ideas, things, and circumstances that serve my growth and freely release those that no longer do.”

Letting go is something many people have a difficult time doing. As human beings, it is natural that we grow attached to the ideas, things, and circumstances that have added value to our lives. We get used to the way things are and, at times, will go to any extent to keep them that way. This is simply loyalty until it becomes destructive to our well-being.

The ability to let go and move on is a key factor for success in life. Successful people recognize when a situation has yielded all the benefit possible (or enough punishment) and they willingly accept the next challenge.

Many situations begin in our lives as fertile rivers that nourish us and help us grow. However, when we hold on longer than we should we wake up one morning laying in a proverbial dry river bed and wondering what in the world happened.

Now, I’m not advocating a bottom-line cost-benefit approach to life, where you dump your spouse because you “don’t feel it” today or change jobs every six months. Commitment is an important characteristic of successful people as well. 

I’m advocating a wise, well-considered approach that honestly aligns with your deepest needs and intentions. Those are not fickle, flavor-of-the-day feelings, but they do change periodically.

One stumbling block encountered when trying to let something go is the fact that it is a mostly mental process. One way to put an exclamation point on the release is to do something physical to represent the release.

Not every situation needs this much attention, but situations where you are really having a hard time letting go; try the following.

Write the situation you are trying to release on a piece of paper. Be specific. Use names, dates, and descriptions. At the end of the note, write, “Today I am releasing you.”

Here are three ways to solidify your release of the issue.

1. Take your note and tear it into small pieces. Feed the pieces – one at at time -into a fire until it is gone. As you feed each piece into the fire, say to yourself, “I release you.”

2. Get a balloon and stuff your note inside. Fill the balloon with helium and release it. As the balloon sails up and away, say to yourself, “I release you.” The balloon gets smaller and smaller until it is gone. Visualize your attachment to the situation getting smaller and smaller until it is gone.

3. If there are very strong feelings associated with the situation, try this technique. Put your note in an empty aluminum can. Set the can in your drive way and roll over it with your car until it smashed flat. Each time you roll over the can say to yourself, “I’m done with this situation.” When you have crushed the can flat throw it a way and “be done with it.”

These techniques are helpful for situations involving strong emotional attachments. Not every situation requires such an extreme measure, but we do need to maintenance our lives occasionally to make sure we are surrounding ourselves with the people, things, and circumstances that benefit us and the people we care about.

Have an exceptional Wednesday.

Peace…

Ray 

The Affirmation Spot.com

New affirmations are available today in the Wealth and Prosperity, Personal Empowerment, and Sales sections of the website.

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Fill in the Blank Affirmation – The Affirmation Spot for Sunday October 14, 2007

Todays’ affirmation asks you to fill in the blank. Afterall, your dreams are yours and sometimes the words that create the actions that create the life must be very specific.

Use this template to create this affirmation for yourself. Write it down and post it where you can see it all week or say it to yourself all week. I’m willing to bet that by the end of the week, if you are consistent,  circumstances bringing you closer to achieving the goal will be have manifested.

“I dream of becoming/being ________. My dream is coming true.

I feel what it is like to be ___________. I can taste it! I envision my life as _________. I hear and see how others respond to me as ________.

My dream of becoming/being ________ is an unstoppable reality.”

Fill in the blank with whatever your primary goal is right now….a great football player, a famous writer, a great actress, a world-class dancer, or thin.

Have a wonderful Sunday! Fall has finally broken in Kansas. No colors yet, but the season has definitely changed.

Peace and prosperity,

Ray 

The Affirmation Spot.com

P.S. – Check out the new sales affirmations in the sales section at The Affirmation Spot. You will find the affirmations in the Sales Success and Sales Confidence sections of the sales page.

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Amazing NASA – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday October 11, 2007

rocket_night_launch.jpg The past two days have been absolutely amazing! April and I spent the day yesterday touring NASA and reliving much of the history and glory days of the U.S. space program.

We were honored to attend a lunch with retired shuttle astronaut Jon McBride who provided a hopeful outlook for the future of the space program with plans to go back to the moon for good and then on to Mars by 2030.

Today we were making our way through another theme park (the third in four days) and decided to leave and drive to the ocean. We didn’t set out to wind up at Cocoa Beach. It was one of those synchronicity things.

We had dinner and went out to the beach to enjoy the evening. There was rocket launch scheduled for this evening and we thought Cocoa Beach might be a good place to view, as it is only a few miles south of Cape Canaverel.

We were not disappointed! About 30 minutes after dark, the entire northern sky lit up and the rocket slowly rose into view. The rocket was moving so fast that the sound of the launch and all subsequent sound did not reach us until as much a 30 seconds after the rocket had passsed a certain point. In other words the sound in the sky was coming from well behind the visual on the rocket. It was astounding.

I speak about goals and dreams and such often on this blog. The Affirmation Spot is all about producing audio pieces to help people achieve things in life. I cannot remember the last time I was as inspired as I have been these past two days during my contact with the space program.

It is so much of what we need so much more of in this world. We need a bigger vision that is centered on pulling together to accomplish something bigger than ourselves. Space can do that! It has the potential to replace war as the world’s number one industry. It has the potential to expand our minds and our possibilities. It reminds us that our petty differences on this planet are miniscule in comparison to our common goals and dreams.

If you ever have the chance, I hope you will visit NASA and that you will contact your elected officials to support this important program for the future of this nation and humanity.

May this Thursday find you peaceful and prosperous.

Ray 

The Affirmation Spot

P.S. – Be watching for a large number of new affirmations coming to The Affirmation Spot in November in December. Sports, Learning, and Personal Empowerment will be the key categories with many new additions coming.

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Maximum Impact Opportunities (MIOs) – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday October 9, 2007

Today’s affirmation is:

“I prepare so that I maximize my opportunities when they count.”

Good morning. We spent a beautiful day yesterday at Epcot at Walt Disney World in Orlando. We attended some wonderful shows and saw some amazing things!

One of my favorite attractions was a virtual ride called Soarin’. It was an ingenius combination of motion technology and IMAX images that created an exceptionally realistic experience of hang-gliding over scenic parts of the United States. It was breath-taking.

The experience itself was only about eight minutes, but the line to get in was almost two hours. It occurred to me that our lives are very much like that. We spend so much time preparing for those big moments and so we want to make them count.

Think about a major league baseball player who dreamed from the time he was 10 of being at the plate in the bottom of the ninth of game seven of the World Series with the game on the line. He prepared his whole life for that moment and when it arrives it is such a brief blip built on a lifetime of work and preparation.

For most of us the stakes are not quite that dramatic, but we all have these relatively few key moments – maximum impact moments (MIOs) – or experiences on which our lives turn. We work for weeks, months, or years on something only to have come down to a few minutes.

Maybe you’re a salesperson who has been working for two years to get an opportunity to pitch to this big client, or football coach who always dreamed of coaching in the big game, or an actor looking for his or her big break.

Each situation comes down to a few minutes in front of that client, a single game, or that big audition.

The difference between people who succeed and those who do not is that they prepare themselves to take advantage of their MIOs. They do the long preparation and are prepared to harvest it when it comes.

I waited two hours for that eight minutes on Soarin’. I was determined to take every second of it in and maximize my experience.

We can do the same in life. During the long hard work towards our personal MIOs, we can stay motivated by remaining focused on that one shining moment that will be the result. Once we are in that moment, enjoy, experience, and achieve. That moment is yours. You earned it!

Make today peaceful, positive, and prosperous Tuesday.

Ray 

The Affirmation Spot

P.S. – Be watching for a large number of new affirmations coming to The Affirmation Spot in November in December. Sports, Learning, and Personal Empowerment will be the key categories with many new additions coming.

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Believe! – The Affirmation Spot for Monday October 8, 2007

shamu.jpgToday’s affirmation is one word:

“Believe!”

I am blogging this week from Orlando, Florida. My wife (April) has a business conference here at the end of this week and we decided to make a vacation of it. Living in Kansas, as we do, we jump on any chance to get near an ocean. The Pacific is our preference, but we’ll take any ocean.

Today we went to Sea World Orlando and first thing this morning we attended Killer Whale show. The show was entitled “Believe”

They built a show around video set to music about a boy who loves killer whales and dreams of working with them. There are scenes of him going to the beach and having an encounter with one while kaiaking, creating wood cuttings of the whales, and studying about them.

The theme was if you believe you can achieve or become anything. I was sitting there thinking, “That really is a truism.”

That’s not to say opportunity comes knocking on the door of those who don’t make the effort, or that you won’t have to work, or that there won’t be bumps along the way. It might require many years of work and sacrifice, but at the end of the day the only person on this planet who can limit you is you.

If you want something bad enough, you can have it. The world works on a common principle thought > words > action > results.

It’s not a 100%. Nothing is. But everything that has ever been accomplished, happened as the result of this formula.

Belief is the result of focused thoughts, followed by an articulation of goals, followed by committed action. The more you continue to think about your goals, speak about them, and act upon them; the stronger the belief becomes and the more likely you are going to achieve the desired result.

Belief is one part emotion, one part intellect, and one part commitment. Deny your tendency, if you have it, to ignore emotion or intellect. Both are needed to fully pursue your dreams.

This week you can begin by believing. You might be surprised how much you can change your world in one week just by believing!

Make today peaceful, positive, and prosperous Monday. Most of all believe!

Ray 

The Affirmation Spot

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