Box? What box? – Day 266 of 365 Days to a Better You

This photo was shared by my friend, Becky Sivley, over on Facebook this morning.

We’ve all heard the phrase – think outside the box. It’s generally regarded as a positive aphorism. However, there’s a subtle but powerfully negative assumption in that phrase.

It assumes you’re starting in a box or that there is even a box to start in. Sure, society is constantly trying to put us in various boxes. What if we simply choose not to play?

What if, instead, we see ourselves and the people around us as genius creatives and empowered agents of this universe capable of just about anything?

Lose the box and your other limits. You don’t need them and they were likely never more than societally planted control mechanisms to begin with.

In case no one else reminds you today, you’re AMAZING you boxless wonder.

Ray

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Cultivating Equanimity – Day 264 of 365 Days to a Better You

The standard dictionary definition for equanimity is mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation.

In Buddhism, equanimity is one of the four sublime states of being. The Buddhist teacher, Gil Fronsdal, describes it this way.

Neither a thought nor an emotion, it is rather the steady conscious realization of reality’s transience. It is the ground for wisdom and freedom and the protector of compassion and love. While some may think of equanimity as dry neutrality or cool aloofness, mature equanimity produces a radiance and warmth of being. The Buddha described a mind filled with equanimity as “abundant, exalted, immeasurable, without hostility and without ill-will.

Sounds like a quality I’d like to develop more fully, but how?

Broadly speaking, meditation, prayer, or communing with nature can gain you temporary equanimity. The goal, though, is to bottle it so you can take with you into life’s adversity and, “Keep your head when all about you are losing theirs,” as Rudyard Kipling put it.

Buddha described seven qualities that create equanimity. These are qualities you and I can develop with or without Buddhist practice.

  1. Virtue or integrity
  2. Faith
  3. Well-developed mind
  4. Well-being
  5. Wisdom
  6. Insight
  7. Freedom

If this topic interests you and you’re wanting a little deeper dive, I’ve outlined the seven qualities and how to achieve them here.

Have a fantastic evening, my friends! Thank you all for your support of this blog and my work.

Ray

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A Greater Consciousness Arising – Day 263 of 365 Days to a Better You

Today’s Affirmation
Life Affirmation: Today I contribute my unique and irreplaceable spark to the great bonfire of life.

Today’s entry is a multi-paragraph affirmation I wrote over 20 years ago. It captures the essence of a dream I had in 1997. I awoke in the dream to a world with eternal sunlight. Bigotry and want were no more. People pursued their highest potential rather than another dollar.

Utopia? Perhaps. I can tell you this. I was a dream I was a little sad to wake up from. That’s partly because I have had such a vision for humanity in the real world for many years. It’s almost like it’s right there through a thin, but impenetrable, veil. We are separated from that by our lowest impulses. I’ve often wondered what our world and our civilization could be, if a critical mass of people raised their vibrations. Could we pierce that veil?

Here’s the affirmation. It’s a reminder that the world we live in is a choice not a prison sentence. We can have a world rooted in peace and driven by the potential alive in each of us, if that is world we expect and demand.

If we continue accept less, then that is the reality we will continue to experience.

This affirmation calls on us to expect more of ourselves, each other, and our leaders. It reminds us that a new and better day is right here ready for us to awaken to it. Some have. Some are. Some will. Some are fighting to hold on to the old world. Which are you?

The sun is rising; the clouds have passed away. And in the minds of at least a few, a greater consciousness has arisen. Tradition is no more. There is only awareness: an awareness of radiant possibilities and transcendent hopes for a world about to be born.

A world in which our fondest dreams shall come to pass. Where the greatest potentiality of humanity is realized: that each member of the human family will awaken to the inner light that opens one’s heart and frees one’s mind to look across culture, race, gender, religion and vast distance and see oneself.

Be of good cheer, o patient ones, for this new day dawns; a day of wonder and hope. A day, when filled with joy, all people shall attain their full potential. Long has been the night of toil and pain. Too long have brothers and sisters lived according to their fear of each other rather than their love for each other. But no more, the blinders have come off.

Finally and forever the Human Race will stand in the radiance of the truths that have lived within each of us all along. Truths that can no longer be ignored or distorted. The truth of our UNITY and our place in this planet’s web of life and in the greater cosmos beyond.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

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10 Things No One Can Steal from You Without Your Permission – Day 261 of 365 Days to a Better You

You’ve probably heard the famed Eleanor Roosevelt quote, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”

Another way of saying this is no one can steal your self-worth without your permission. It got me thinking, what are some other things no one can steal from you or make you do without your consent?

  1. No one can limit your ability to love without your permission.
  2. No one can steal your joy without your permission.
  3. No one can deny you your success without your permission.
  4. No one else can upset your peace and well-being without your permission.
  5. No one can push you off your life’s path without your permission.
  6. No one can compel you to hate without your permission.
  7. No one can force you to choose fear without your permission.
  8. No one can stop you from becoming a better you without your permission.
  9. No one can divide you from other human beings by superficial differences without your permission.
  10. No one can steal you vision of a better future without your permission.

When we begin to master our mindsets and control our energy, we are less susceptible to forces who would take from us things that are ours to decide for ourselves.

Have an amazing day, my friends. As always, thanks for taking a few minutes to read the blog today. If you’re ready for more, please check out the links below.

Ray

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The Sage Who Sees – Day 260 of 365 Days to a Better You

Thank you so much for taking a few minutes to read today’s post.

Do you ever feel different; like you don’t quite fit in with the ways of this world? I do. It’s not something I came to as an adult. It’s who I’ve been my entire life. It’s like what’s intuitive to me is counterintuitive to our civilization. My polarities are reversed.

My own mother once asked, “Why can’t you just fit in?” Do you vibe with that?

There’s a great quote in the Bhagavad Gita that explains why you and I might feel this way.

“In the dark night of all beings awakes to Light the tranquil man. But what is day to other beings is night for the sage who sees.”

    • The world lusts for war. You seek only peace.
    • The world strives for bottom lines. You believe people are the bottom line.
    • The world adulates at the alter of fear. You have always known love is the answer.
    • The world wants to be cool. You’d rather be wise.
    • The world looks without. You have always gone within.
    • The world sees the dark clouds. You see the bright sun behind the dark clouds.
    • The world clamors for instant gratification. You opt for sustainable gratitude.

    I’ve long suspected something. While you and I see ourselves a unique, I’m not so sure we’re that unique. Maybe what comes natural to us is the secret yearning of most people. In fact, I’m certain of it. They simply can’t bring themselves to believe it’s possible. They retreat into the herd safety of the mass consciousness.

    As the sage who sees, I believe our mission is to light the path to this greater realization the same as our teachers and mentors have lighted it for us.

    Your poles are not reversed because there’s something wrong with you, Don’t give into the gravity of that thinking. Your poles are reversed because you’re here to be a beacon to the world that can be if only a critical mass of people would believe. And today, today, we’re one step nearer than ever before.

    You’re absolutely awesome just as you are! Keep following your bliss!

    Ray

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    20 Wise Nuggets to Shift Your Paradigm – Day 259 of 365 Days to a Better You

    I hope you had a great weekend! Sorry I missed posting yesterday. April and I were busy becoming grandparents for the third time. We spent the night in the hospital last night and we were rewarded this morning with s new granddaughter.

    In the pursuit of your best self, it’s expected that a premium is placed on action. After all, action is what ultimately carries you to your destination. Yet, as we’ve discussed before, your thoughts are the fuel. Better thoughts are better fuel. Deep thinking and insight can lead to better thoughts.

    Here are 20 insights from my eBook The Power to Be You. May they help you upgrade your fuel for the coming journey.

    1. Sometimes you have to forget “the facts” and follow your heart.
    2. Your greatness is revealed not by the lights that shine upon you, but by the light that shines within you.
    3. Your mind is an information vacuum. Either you fill it with thoughts of your choosing or someone else will.
    4. You are here to bring the formless into form, make the invisible visible, and manifest the unmanifest. How cool is that?
    5. Nobody else’s happiness is your responsibility. Everyone else’s happiness is your concern.
    6. Following all the rules brings a completed checklist. Following your heart brings a completed you!
    7. Life’s first great revelation is you’re not perfect. Life’s second great revelation is you’re amazing any way.
    8. You are a one in a trillion miracle and so is everyone and everything around you. Together, we are one massive miracle in motion.
    9. When you act boldly and with belief, the Universe doubles down on you.
    10. THIS moment is a profound blank canvas that recurs all day long each and every day for you.
    11. Look up into the wide-open sky. Behold the distant horizon. Know your potential is as limitless as they are.
    12. Ask yourself this question daily. “If I was multiplied by 6.5 billion, would the world be a better place?” Adjust accordingly.
    13. Be flexible today. Remember your plan is a road map not a straight jacket. Don’t lose the dream by getting stuck in the steps.
    14. Happiness is a limitless resource not a zero-sum game. There is plenty to go around. Have yours and support others in having theirs too.
    15. The word “Yes” is the birthplace of infinite possibilities. Let “Yes” resonate through your life today.
    16. What is outside you can make a happy day. Only what is inside you can make a happy life.
    17. You are an amazing being full of light, if only you’d see it. You came here to be a game-changing miracle, if only you’d be it.
    18. Tomorrow’s world is born in your mind today. A better world lives just on the other side of your willingness to believe in it.
    19. Sometimes being happy means forgiving what you can, forgetting what you must, and seeing beauty in all.
    20. Doubt is a momentary forgetting of who you are and why you’re here. Confidence is simply remembering it.

    Stay inspired, my friends. Let’s create an amazing week on its way to an amazing world together.

    Ray

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    15 Buddha Quotes to Live By – Day 251 of 365 Days to a Better You

    Siddhartha Gautama, better known to the world as the Buddha, was born a prince in northern India about 2600 years ago. His father was told his son would either be a world king or a great spiritual teacher. Wishing his son to expand the power of his kingdom, King Suddhodana ordered that he be immersed in the richest worldly pleasures to prevent him from pursuing the spiritual path.

    However, at 29, Siddhartha was exposed to illness, aging, and death. These were all forbidden knowledge to him. His charioteer, against orders, explained that all human beings, including one day the young prince, experience these things. Then he saw a monk and was awakened to his true life’s purpose. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Beginning with his famous Fire Sermon, the Tathagata taught for 47 years. He left us a wealth of wisdom. Here are 15 quotes we can all apply to our lives.

    All these centuries later, these words are easy to read, but the challenge of a lifetime to live.

    1. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: we are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfish thoughts cause misery when they speak or act. Sorrows roll over them as the wheels of a cart roll over the tracks of the bullock that draws it. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: we are formed and molded by our thoughts. Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy whenever they speak or act. Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them.
    2. Let none find fault with others. Let none see the commissions and omissions of others. But, let one see one’s open acts done and undone.
    3. A mind unruffled by the vagaries of fortune, from sorrow freed, from defilements cleansed, from fear liberated — this is the greatest blessing.
    4. Therefore, bhikkhus, you should train yourselves thus: ‘We will develop and cultivate the liberation of mind by lovingkindness, make it our vehicle, make it our basis, stabilize it, exercise ourselves in it, and fully perfect it.’ Thus should you train yourselves.
    5. Radiate boundless love toward the entire world.
    6. Some do not understand that we must die. But those who do realize this settle their quarrels immediately.
    7. All conditioned things are impermanent’ — when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.
    8. Drop by drop is the water pot filled. Likewise, the wise man, gathering it little by little, fills himself with good.
    9. Irrigators channel waters. Fletchers straighten arrows. Carpenters shape wood. The wise master themselves.
    10. Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal.
    11. The way is not in the sky. The way is in the heart.
    12. Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
    13. If you understood the power of giving as I do, you would never let a meal pass without sharing.
    14. The root of suffering is attachment.
    15. The greats of the past only show the way. You must walk the path yourself.

    Namaste, my friends, namaste!

    Ray

    Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s been studying and practicing personal development for 30 years. He’s also studied many of the world’s spiritual traditions and mythologies.

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