New Year’s Day 2009 – The Affirmation Spot for January 1, 2009

Today’s Affirmation:

“I constantly look for new ways to use creativity to enhance my work.”
(click the affirmation to hear it in mp3)

fireworks1As 2009 begins, 2008 and all its memories slip into the past. There they join memories from other years. It’s easy to allow our present to become a place where we long for the past. The past always seems somehow noble and safe from a distance. As long as we don’t live in the past, there is no harm in remembering it.

The past, though, has a lesson for the present. All those fond memories were once a “right now”. Did we enjoy them to their fullest when we were there? We remember them fondly now, but did we truly and fully experience their miracle then?

2009 is now full of potential and memories to be created. As we create them, let us pledge to live each one to its fullest and experience it to the max.

So what does 2009 promise? The words that come to mind are Transformation and Renaissance. There are some very hopeful and inspiring possibilities on the horizon.

Global – This year, I believe, has the potential for a Renaissance on so many fronts. It’s becoming apparent – as we’ve seen in recent months – that many of the ways we think about, see, and interact with the world no longer serve us.

Transformation is in the air as outmoded institutions and systems struggle to survive.  Renaissance is happening, but we must ensure it is the kind of Renaissance that leads to a freer, more enlightened humanity.

Bottom-up empowerment must win out against Top-down control. Centralized authority and control – be it governmental, economic, military, spiritual, or corporate – are the problem not the solution. These systems stifle the creativity and collaboration needed to advance.

However, these systems are going to try to hold on to power with white-knuckled determination. Their power and control are what they know and what they are comfortable with. In my opinion, it is not global recession we are witnessing, but global transformation.

That new posidigm is coming into view, but the existing negadigm is going to drag its feet. Wisdom and empowered thinking will be at a premium, but they will see us through.

Personal – Changes in the global system necessitate change within us. As we seek to grasp new models for universal advancement, we also have inner work that we know needs to happen.

Resolutions are great, but if you’re bold enough this year; replace your resolutions with revolutions. Your life can be transformed by this time next year, if you choose. You are the deciding factor.

There is no throwing the baby out with the bathwater here. What still works for the world and for us will remain. We are simply going to see a shedding of old paradigms created for another era. 2009 seems poised to be a pivotal year in this shift.

We are, indeed, living in interesting times.

Stay awesome!
Ray

Drinking Life and Tasting Life – The Affirmation Spot for Monday November 3, 2008

I enjoyed lunch with a friend today and he was telling me about a beer tasting he recently attended.

The person conducting the tasting informed the group that, “Today we are not going to drink beer we are going to taste it. You can go out to the grocery store and get x brand lite beer, if you just want to drink beer. With these hand-crafted brews, it’s all about tasting.”

As I listened to my friend describe the beer tasting, I began to see a life metaphor. You can “drink” your way through life or “taste” your way through life. Each has its inherent advantages and drawbacks.

“Drinking” your way through life is about having fun and a carefree attitude. It’s the experience of “living for the moment.” Without these moments, life would be dull and lack a certain thrill factor.

There are times when you have to cut loose and really “drink” life in. There is no consciousness of anything between the lips and the stomach. The experience is marked by a satisfied unawareness.

Always “drinking” and never “tasting” causes you to lose perspective and meaning and can lead to excess. This approach creates a situation where you tend to consume ideas and experiences without the careful attention and evaluation they deserve. It can lead to a life completely unexamined and you might wake up one morning and wonder how you got where you are.

Meanwhile, “tasting” your way through life is about “being in the moment”.  These are the moments when you have a heightened sense that there is something more to life than its surface appearances. Without these moments, life would lack meaning and purpose.

This is the approach that causes you to “stop and smell the roses” and appreciate the meaning and significance of people, events, and experiences. It is the approach that causes you to stop and savor the “bubbles” of life as they tickle your tongue on their way to the stomach.

“Tasting”, really “tasting”, involves conscious awareness of what you are consuming and how it affects you.

The “tasting” approach has its drawbacks too. If we experience everything as having ultimate significance, then all experiences actually cease having significance. You lose your sense of fun when everything is meticulously evaluated. You can become too tentative and cautious and lose your sense of adventure.

Finding the right mix of awareness and fun in your life, it seems, is about achieving a premium mix of “drinking” and “tasting” as you consume the great brew of life.

Stay inspired!

Ray