Psychology of Seasons – The Affirmation Spot for Friday November 2, 2007

autumn_leaves1.jpgA pleasant good morning to all my friends around the world who are sharing our tiny planet with me on this Friday.

I took my black lab Mia for a short walk earlier this evening. As I’m prone to do, my eyes wandered upwards to take in the beautiful sight of the pitch black skies of Autumn. The stars seemed especially bright this evening and Jupiter was like a beacon…almost close enough to touch.

We live on an amazing planet orbiting within a magnificent solar system that thrives in a wonderous universe. It’s so easy to forget how miraculous are the workings of our world. We are spinning around at a tremendous rate and flying through the galaxy at break=neck speed and yet we often forget to take the time to just reflect on this mystery.

I’m always struck by the significance of the circle in it all. The circle figuratively and literally represents the cycles great and small that make up our existence.

Today I’m going to be a bit indulgent by sharing a poem I wrote some years ago. It ponders the part of our annual cycle we call Autumn or Fall in the northern hemisphere. It’s a time of death in the natural world as we transition from life-giving Spring and vibrantly alive Summer to the seasons of dying and death. It strikes a hopeful chord, however, reminding us that the cycle will come around again in due time, if we have the patience and the wisdom to wait and watch.

Here is the poem. Have a peaceful and productive weekend!

“Psychology of Seasons”
 

A sun-drenched sky
on windy autumn day;
out across open fields
passing clouds make shadow play.

Silent beauty in multi-hues
but ominous in a sense;
for though today be delightful
darkness soon gains precedence.

Shortly days will end too soon
as the leaves of autumn blow.
The gods withhold their aid
to the life-forms down below.

A chill will permeate the air
and death will be around.
Evidenced by dying trees:
their leaves spread on the ground.

Depression need not be our course;
all things must come to pass.
Death is an integral part of life;
perennial as fields of grass.

For very soon rebirth takes place
and all springs back to life.
To our hearts the glow returns,
bringing end to stress and strife.

Given time we come to find
and perhaps appreciate
the coming of darkness and death
who’s end gives cause to celebrate.
Peace…
Ray
The Affirmation Spot.com 

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A Little Good News – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday November 1, 2007

Hello and welcome to November.

You might be old enough to remember the Anne Murray song entitled A Little Good News. Here are some of the lyrics. I’m sure you’ll agree with the sentiment.

I rolled out this morning
Kids had the mornin’ news show on
Bryant Gumbel was talkin’ ’bout the fighting in Lebanon
Some senator was squawkin’ ’bout the bad economy
It’s gonna get worse you see, we need a change in policyThere’s a local paper rolled up in a rubber band

One more sad story’s one more than I can stand
Just once how I’d like to see the headline say
“Not much to print today, can’t find nothin’ bad to say”, because

Nobody robbed a liquor store on the lower part of town
Nobody OD’ed, nobody burned a single buildin’ down
Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain
We sure could use a little good news today

I’ll come home this evenin’
I’ll bet that the news will be the same
Somebody takes a hostage, somebody steals a plane
How I wanna hear the anchor man talk about a county fair
And how we cleaned up the air, how everybody learned to care
Whoa, tell meNobody was assassinated in the whole Third World today
And in the streets of Ireland, all the children had to do was play

And everybody loves everybody in the good old USA
We sure could use a little good news today

You know, there actually is a lot of good news in the world today. For some reason, our friends in the media don’t believe it sells. So we get a steady diet of rape, murder, abduction, war, and fear. If you are what you eat applies to the information we take in, we’re in sad shape.

We have to be careful, though, not to paint the media with too broad a brush. There are news sources out there, not the traditional ones, that are committed to finding and reporting the good that you might have suspected might be happening somewhere on planet earth.I wanted to share a few resources I’ve come across in case you need a reaffirmation that the world and its people have not all lost their minds.I really recommend these two magazines:

  • Ode Magazine – Ode is a news magazine along the lines of Time or News Week that focuses on positive happenings in the world and people solving problems.
  • Positive Thinking Magazine – PTM’s website About Us page states, “We are people like you—presumably—who believe that how we think about our lives pretty much affects how they turn out. That living a positive lifestyle is the best way to avoid living a negative one.

The following websites also focus on positive news stories and provide a great change of pace from the mainstream fear injections.

  • HeroicStories.com – This site publish true stories about ordinary people being heroic in everyday life.
  • Happy News.com – We’re obviously different from most news sites in that we’re looking for happy stories only. We’re a news supplement, or online magazine, if you will, that seeks to add to a newsreader’s experience. So we’re not going to be interested in some stories, including some very newsworthy ones. Our basic belief is not that people should be insulated from bad news. Far from it. We encourage people to be fully engaged, fully informed citizens. That means we need to know the good and the bad. We just believe much of the traditional media has strayed from this course, and reports a disproportionate amount of negative news. We are trying to balance the scales back out. Plus, let’s be honest, there are some days when we have just “had enough” and need a pick-me-up.
  • Good News Network.org – “Our mission,” reads their website, “is simple. Lots of people hunger for positive news in their lives and sense this need in society as well. The birth of positive news programming was inevitable in today’s media landscape and it will become a permanent fixture in the culture of the 21st century.”
  • Upbeat.net – Upbeat is dedicated to promoting the positive, optimistic, and inspiring good news stories in the world.”
  • Daryn Kagan.com – This website is run by CNN news anchor Daryn Kagan and focuses on presenting postive, hopeful stories.
  • Hope you are able to find a little good news today.

    Peace…
    Ray
    The Affirmation Spot.com 

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Positive Thinking Myths – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday October 31, 2007

pumpkins.jpgHappy All Hallow’s Eve!

There are two destructive myths circulating around positive thinking today. Unfortunately, these myths are making it difficult for many people to buy into positive thinking as a tool and reap its benefits in their lives.

The first myth is the Kiss the Frog and it Becomes a Prince myth. Fueled by the popularity of a few books, this myth tells people that all they have to do is think happy thoughts and everything they want will manifest in their lives.

People know, instinctively, that this is not true. It leads many people to label all positive thinking as chicanery.

The second, and I find pervasive, myth is that somehow thinking negatively is more “realistic” than thinking positively. I don’t know where this idea comes from, but I wish I’d been there to stamp out the first few sparks before it became the mental forest fire it is today.

This myth claims that the world is an aweful place and thinking positively is unrealistic delusion bound to create heartache. For people who believe that, I have no doubt it is true.

The world is what it is. Thinking positively or negatively about the world does not change the world. It does, however, have a profound effect on a person’s experience of the world.

Positive thinking is not about changing the world it is about transforming ourselves into more capable, caring, compassionate, productive, and successful people. It is about becoming people better able to cope, adapt, and deal with life’s ups and downs. It grants us no immunity from trial or tribulation. Simply put, positive thinking gives us a fighting chance in a world that wants to tell us, “It can’t be done.”

There is a very real price to be paid when we think negatively. Our actions follow our thoughts and when our thoughts lack confidence, conviction, or positivity our interactions with the world will mirror that reality back to us.

All balance is lost and the problem magnified when someone follows this pattern over and over in his or her life. By projecting negative expectations onto the world and getting negative results repeatedly over years, the person’s experience of the world is all negative. The tendency is to think that negativity began “out there” and to react against it.

These people become known as unhappy, miserable, malcontented, criminals, or even terrorists. They believe their unhappiness comes from outside of themselves and so they create negative acts and spread negative energy in the world.

I suppose the debate over the significance of positive thinking will rage on regardless of what I say here. However, there is one truism and there is no escaping it.

Positive thinking is not a cure for all ills, but choosing to think positively will yield better and more consistent results in life than thinking negatively.

Thoughts are free, but the consequences cost. I can’t see any benefit to thinking negatively, though we all do it at times.

My conviction is that we can see the glass as half full without compromising reality.

May you have a peaceful and prosperous Wednesday!

Ray

“On The Pulse of Morning” – The Affirmation Spot for Monday October 22, 2007

maya_angelou1.jpgThis morning I am sharing what is, in my humble opinion, among the greatest poems ever written. It was written for and read by the poet Maya Angelou for President Clinton’s first inaurgural on January 20, 1993. If this doesn’t get you inspired for the day, nothing will.

“On the Pulse of Morning”

by Maya Angelou

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon.

The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.

I will give you no more hiding place down here.

You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.

Your mouths spilling words
Armed for slaughter.

The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide your face.

Across the wall of the world,
A River sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.

Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.

Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.

Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more. Come,

Clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I and the
Tree and the stone were one.

Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your
Brow and when you yet knew you still
Knew nothing.

The River sings and sings on.

There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing River and the wise Rock.

So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the Tree.

Today, the first and last of every Tree
Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the River.

Plant yourself beside me, here beside the River.

Each of you, descendant of some passed
On traveller, has been paid for.

You, who gave me my first name, you
Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, you
Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, then
Forced on bloody feet, left me to the employment of
Other seekers–desperate for gain,
Starving for gold.

You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot …
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought
Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.

Here, root yourselves beside me.

I am the Tree planted by the River,
Which will not be moved.

I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree
I am yours–your Passages have been paid.

Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.

History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.

Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.

Give birth again
To the dream.

Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.

Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.

Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.

The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

No less to Midas than the mendicant.

No less to you now than the mastodon then.

Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes, into
Your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

As beautiful as it is to read, it is more wonderful to hear to watch the poet recite it. This will be the best 6:21 of your day.

 Video of Maya Angelou deliverying the poem in 1993.

You may be struck by how innocent that time seems compared to now, but if we heed the words of this poem there is hope for a still-more innocent future.

Peace…

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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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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