55 Things to Be Thankful For – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday November 26, 2008

Today’s Affirmation:

“I am blessed beyond belief in my life.”
(click the affirmation to hear it in mp3)

As we celebrate the American Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow, here are 55 things to be thankful for. Some may seem counter-intuitive. However, even the negative sometimes is worthy of our thankfulness. I’ve probably left some off my list. Leave a comment today and let me know what you are thankful for.

  1. Sun – without it’s warmth and light we could not exist.
  2. Earth – the beautiful planet that sustains us.
  3. Water – the sauce of life.
  4. Life – each and every morning we wake up is a new chance to be the person we want to be.
  5. Shelter – something to shield us from the elements.
  6. Children – the happy nature and innocence of children remind us how we are meant to be.
  7. Food – an absolute blessing for those who struggle for it and something to be more appreciative of for those of us who never worry about our next meal.
  8. Faith – our faith in ourselves and in something greater than ourselves.
  9. Minds – the power to think, to reason, to grow, and to adapt.
  10. Lines – for making us slow down and enjoy where we are.
  11. Compassion – for getting over ourselves to consider and understand someone else.
  12. Hope – reminds us there is a potential upside to every situation.
  13. Giving – when we give we remember that nothing truly belongs to us and it frees us from our attachments.
  14. Receiving – the opportunity to have our needs met while allowing others to give.
  15. Fear – for teaching us love, strength, and humility.
  16. Work – whether a career, a hobby, or community work; the sense that we have something to do when we get up in the morning is something to be thankful for.
  17. Friendship – those people who choose to spend key parts of their lives with us.
  18. Family – those people we wound up with by fate, but stay with out of love.
  19. Anger – for teaching us the benefits of peace.
  20. Peace – peace within and as much peace without as we can muster.
  21. Sight – the ability to see the beautiful world we inhabit.
  22. Love – the glue that holds us together.
  23. Difficulty – for making us strong and giving us something to compare with the heights.
  24. Stars – the wonder and glory of the night sky.
  25. Hatred – for reminding us to love (may we need ever-less reminding)
  26. Surprises – the wonderful things in life that we didn’t expect.
  27. Visionaries – people who see the world not as it is, but as it could be.
  28. Change – the ever-present possibility of improving ourselves and the world.
  29. Purpose – the plan to achieve something in this life and the firm belief that you can.
  30. Wind – a source of comfort, energy, and a metaphor for change.
  31. Music – the soundtrack of our lives.
  32. Possibility – the memory that something more and different is out there.
  33. Today – an opportunity to make the most of what we have.
  34. Tomorrow – the hoped for opportunity to continue our dreams.
  35. Joy – the deep and intense happiness about being alive.
  36. Freedom – the ability to think, act, and be who you are.
  37. Acceptance – the ability be at peace with how things are for the moment.
  38. Learning – the opportunity to enhance our potential.
  39. Success – the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of our work.
  40. Adversity – for reminding us how strong we can be.
  41. Grass – for carpeting our planet and being a nice place to lie and look at the sky.
  42. Soil – a medium to grow food and plants.
  43. Moon – the most beautiful object in the night sky and the timepiece marking our lives through its phases.
  44. Innovation – for improving our experience of life.
  45. Dreams – the fuel that drives us through tough times and gives a reason to aim high.
  46. Options – the ability to choose.
  47. Sharing – the opportunity to pool our talents and resources.
  48. Flowers – they add beautiful sights and smells to our world.
  49. Mountains – they provide beauty, challenge, and the ability to see a long way.
  50. Oceans – beauty, unimaginable power, source of life and transportation.
  51. Competition – the opportunity to test ourselves and to improve.
  52. History – for teaching us the lessons we need to learn over and over until we get them.
  53. Future – for giving us the opportunity to try again.
  54. Death – for reminding us of life’s value.
  55. Meaning – the search for which makes our lives the journey that they are.

If…By Rudyard Kipling – The Affirmation Spot for Friday November 14, 2008

Today’s Affirmation:

“Aging gracefully…I am aging gracefully. I am gladly trading youth for wisdom.” (click the affirmation to hear it in mp3)
 

Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936) was a British author and poet born in colonial Bombay, India – modern-day Mumbai. He was best known for his childrens’ books The Jungle Book  and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. However, he was quite an accomplished poet. Some criticized him later in life as a proponent of British Imperialism. That said, his writing was accomplished and has been read by generations of children and adults alike.

 “If…” was written in 1910 and is every bit as motivational and true today as the day it was penned. It’s simply timeless. It is one of my absolute favorite poems. Parts of this poem have proliferated greeting cards for many years.

Absorb the message and you will be empowered.

If…

By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

 

Stay inspired!

Ray

Accept Your Greatness – The Affirmation Spot for Monday November 10, 2008

“Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us.”

~Wilma Rudolph

Your greatness lives within you whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. Why wouldn’t you choose to acknowledge it? How does anyone benefit from you being less than you are? You don’t. The people around you don’t. The world doesn’t.

There is a bright light inside of you. It gets brighter the closer you come to fulfilling your purpose. Some of you are very close to that purpose and the light is intense. If you find yourself casting about in the darkness, you may have moved away from your highest intentions in this life.

I wrote this at a time in my life when I was searching in the darkness:

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.

The light is there, if you look! No matter where you have been. It is still there!

Stay inspired!

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

The Rules for Being Human – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday October 23, 2008

Today’s Affirmation:

“I am working consciously toward a greater opening of my heart and my mind.” (click to hear it now)

Some of you may have seen The Rules for Being Human before. For others, this may be new. This humorous and down-to-earth manual is very practical and full of wisdom when looked at deeply. As far as I know, this originated in the hard copy of The Spiritual sometime in the 1990s.

The Rules for Being Human

  1. You will receive a body – You may like or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
  2. You will learn lessons – You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid.
  3. There are no mistakes only lessons – Growth is a process of trial and error; experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works”.
  4. A lesson is repeated until it is learned – A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the next lesson.
  5. Learning lessons does not end – There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
  6. “There” is no better than “here” – When your “there” has become “here”, you will simply obtain another “there” that will look better than “here”.
  7. Others are merely mirrors of you – You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects something you love or hate about yourself.
  8. What you make of your life is up to you – You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.

Read this several times and give it some thought. The wisdom is obvious, but what if you really chose to look at your life this way? How much more patient would you be with yourself and others knowing they are going through the same thing.

Stay inspired!

Ray