Psychology of Seasons – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday September 23, 2008

This morning at 10:44 US Central time the northern hemisphere passed from Summer to Autumn. Seasonal changes represent more than climatic transition. They also alter our psychology.

Our ancestors truly recognized and appreciated the meaning of the seasons. They celebrated and revered the cycles of the seasons.

The life that comes to be in the Spring and flourishes in Summer begins to dwindle in the Fall. Today’s post is a poem I wrote in 1993. I hope it captures the magic and meaning of the transition to Fall.

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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 lifeforms down below.

A chill permeates the air
and death is all 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.

Copyright 1993, 1997

Stay inspired!

Ray

Alan Cohen on The Truth – The Affirmation Spot for Monday September 22, 2008

Through the ages, poets and philosophers have sought to define truth. It’s unlikely that anyone will ever come up with a definition that will satisfy everyone. Words can only eat around the edges of the topic.

Today’s post is an extended excerpt from Alan Cohen‘s book, The Dragon Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.

“The real organ of truth is not the brain, but the heart.  …. Hafiz, the Persian poet, said, ‘ O you who would  learn the marvels of Love from the copybook of reason, I am afraid that you will never really see the point!’

We feel or sense Truth more than we think it. We know it more than we understand it. We can see it more than we can explain it. When we attempt to analyze Truth, we lose ourselves in the dead-end labyrinth of the thinking mind. When we love Truth, however, the storehouse of universal wisdom is opened to us. Our respect for Truth is our investment in its understanding, and our suffering the price of its denial.

The Truth, we discover, cannot be found in a book. We may find words and descriptions of the Truth in a book, but not the Whole Truth, for the Whole Truth is fathomless, ever free of containment, confinement, and conformity….

Truth re-creates itself by its own beauty. There is nothing secret about Truth it will find us where ever we are….

It is said ‘The Truth hurts.”  The Truth has never hurt anything; only illusion hurts. The Truth knows only how to heal. Those who resist Truth resist healing, and those in need of healing can find it by embracing Truth.

The Truth brings with it a peace and satisfaction that falsehood cannot imitate. The lover of Truth lives only for the vision of his ideal and he is nourished only by his awareness of it. ….

The Truth is simple … When we return to simple things the Truth reawakens in our heart like a long-exiled lover.  If you want to know what the Truth is, put aside your textbooks for awhile and walk along the seashore at sunset. Take a child to the park. Gaze at the stars. Observe the gentle rhythm of your breath. Listen to the sound of the bamboo flute.”

Cohen is talking about the timeless, changeless, yet uniquely individual Truth that flows through each of us at every moment. He suggests that by aligning ourselves with it, we will find peace and contentment. By living it we can become truly who we really are without pretense.

Are you living your truth or are you living according rules written by someone else? As long as you live by someone else’s rules, you will never be the person you are here to be. That would be a real shame.

Stay inspired!

Ray


www.theaffirmationspot.com offers downloadable mp3 affirmations, meditations, and visualizations for nearly every area of life – sports, sales, wealth and prosperity, health and fitness, personal growth – to name just a few. Our library is growing all the time. Remember your fifth affirmation on each order is always free.


The Financial Crisis and What We Can Do About It – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday September 18, 2008

Even in the face of great difficulty we have within us an ability cope, overcome, and succeed.

I’ve written a number of articles recently about going beyond positive thinking and happy thoughts on to empowered thinking. Empowered thinking includes being informed among its three elements. Being informed is about honestly assessing a situation – not candy-coating it – so that you can make sound decisions and take strong actions to deal with it.

We are quickly approaching a moment when being informed means looking honestly at the economic situation we are facing and recognizing that we must engage the other two aspects of empowered thinking – positive thinking and committed action.

The Situation

This evening a Wall Street Journal article declared the current financial crisis the worst since the 1930s. While the signs of trouble have been apparent for a couple of years, such statements can no longer be considered hyperbole against the backdrop of recent events.

  • Share prices plummeting
  • Home prices plummeting
  • The dollar plummeting
  • Companies exchanging debt and bets on debt and counting it as revenue on their balance sheets
  • Financial powerhouses gone in a day.
  • Great American corporations like GM and Ford hanging on for dear life.
  • A government already trillions of dollars in debt and borrowing every day to fight wars around the world acting as though it can bail everybody out.
All of this and our “leaders” still can’t bring themselves to even utter the word “recession”. The two major party presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain – awash in money and influence from Wall Street firms – are trying to “get their messages right” on the economy. They want to put the best face on it or make sure that the other side gets the blame for it.

The bottom line is that the people we elected to protect our interests have not done so. Companies we trusted to be responsible with our savings and our investments have not so either. And, we have all been guilty of thinking that perpetually rising home values and easy credit are a norm.

Let me be clear. Wall Street turned into Las Vegas over the past few years while both parties in Washington turned a blind eye and even poured gas on the fire. Bluntly, Wall Street bet our collective house and lost. Now they are coming to the government (the American taxpayer) and saying, “You have to save us because the whole ship will sink, if you don’t”.

So far the bailout has nearly doubled the stated federal government debt and its not over yet. When the federal government owes money guess who that means really owes it – yep the taxpayers.

Some in Congress are finally responding against the move by the Treasury Department and The Federal Reserve to rescue the financial giants. That is a good, if belated, thing. After all, The US Constitution clearly gives only Congress the power to appropriate government funds. Here we have the executive branch and the central bank overstepping their Constitutional authority. Congress needs to act and act swiftly to stop these actions.

What We Can Do

Being informed allows us to use positive thinking and committed action to create change. There are several things we can do right now and several things we can learn for the future from this situation.

  • Don’t panic – markets are all about human psychology – i.e. “the herd mentality”. In good times, the herd grazes until it is full. In bad times, the herd gets spooked and does things as stupid as running off a cliff. When panic takes over a bad situation becomes a spiraling cycle of negativity. We need to stay calm and carefully consider our moves.
  • Demand Congress assert itself – Congress has the Constitutional authority to appropriate funds – not the executive branch and not The Federal Reserve. Congress has direct responsibility to the people and they need to reassert that Constitutional authority.
  • Demand oversight – we probably thought our government was doing due diligence in overseeing the financial markets. Purely and simply it was not. We need to demand a return to sensible oversight of the markets and not double-talk from politicians beholden to those markets.
  • Reduce or eliminate debt – with markets and credit tightening, it is not going to be a good time to owe people money. We should all do what we can to reduce or eliminate as much debt as possible.
  • Demand justice – people who have been irresponsible and even criminal in bringing about this crisis need to held accountable.
  • Decentralize the economy – this is paramount. The keys to our economic fate lie in too few hands and in hands that do not have the peoples’ best interest at heart. This must change. I’ve had recent dialogue with a number of people promoting a new wave of entrepreneurialism. The idea of independent business ownership has given way to giant box stores and massive government and extra-governmental organizations (i.e. The Federal Reserve) managing the economy. This has taken peoples’ economic destinies out of their hands and given it over to these entities.
  • Control what we can control – we cannot control the macro situation, but we can do everything in our power to make things better as we can affect them. Evaluate your own situation and take positive steps forward towards expecting the best and preparing for the worst.
  • Focus on the best possible outcome – we can align our thoughts with the best possible outcome for ourselves and the nation. We severely underestimate the power of our individual and collective thoughts to alter the reality we receive. If we focus on the best possible outcome that is what we can expect to experience.
We may be in for some stormy seas in the short term. The key is that with empowered thinking – positive thinking, being informed, and taking committed action – we can change course and push towards a better future for us all.
Stay inspired!
Ray

Mind, Body, Spirit Beautiful – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday September 16, 2008

Remember this about yourself all day long today. Every time the world starts to pick on you or you doubt yourself remember this simple affirmation. (Run time is 1 minute 43 seconds)

Challenging Yourself to Be Great – The Affirmation Spot for Monday September 15, 2008

green_leaves_sunlight.jpgToday’s affirmation is:

“Your life is coming together in a complete and perfect way. You are doing all that is necessary, accepting all that is necessary, and releasing all that is necessary for your life to come forth and blossom. Give yourself credit for your accomplishments; cut yourself some slack for your mistakes. Know that all leads to your growth and healing. Be happy an enjoy life!”

When you accept that your life is coming together just as it should, you are free to challenge yourself to stretch beyond your limits.

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.

Breathing with the trees and conversing with the clouds, as once they did. Our collective wisdom grows until no distinction remains among the path, the immortals, and me.

Right now is the time to open yourself to the possibility of ignoring limitations and going beyond self-imposed boundaries. For the fear and anxiety you experience are nothing but the shadow of unfulfilled promise.

arms_stretched.jpgThe world is full of opportunity and peril and a little of each in the other. It is ever forming and reforming; manifesting in precise accordance with our expectations. For your world lives in your mind long before it becomes visible; shaping itself to your perception of what is possible.

What is set in stone today is the dust in tomorrow’s breeze. Remember you are creating tomorrow’s results with every thought, word, and action today. Change is the catalyst for your betterment and your imagination its only limitation. Make the most of this blessing given you to personify the fruition of the promise that dwells within.

Each moment is a gift providing you with a fresh start on which to build a life filled with things more precious to you than your problems.

Stay inspired!

Ray


www.theaffirmationspot.com offers downloadable mp3 affirmations, meditations, and visualizations for nearly every area of life – sports, sales, wealth and prosperity, health and fitness, personal growth – to name just a few. Our library is growing all the time. Remember your fifth affirmation on each order is always free.


September 11th: Seven Years Later – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday September 11, 2008

Seven years ago today the world witnessed what happens when hatred and violence shape human actions. September 11, 2001 was the world’s first truly global terrorist event. The scale, the number of people from around the world gone in a moment, and the planetary TV audience brought us all closer together, if only for a moment.

In the days that followed, I wrote the following open letter. It was partly an attempt to come to terms with my own feelings and partly an attempt to sway anyone who might have been reading that we must find better ways to live together on this planet.

Here is the letter in its entirety from September 14, 2001.

This letter is dedicated to the victims, their families, the rescue workers, and everyone who is a voice or a pair of hands for a more peaceful world.

The events of this past week have shocked and saddened all well-meaning people the world over.  As an American, my heart breaks for the people tragically victimized by this act.  As a human being my heart hemorrhages, that we still live in a world that believes killing each other is a solution to our problems.  How regrettable that we human beings still choose to address our grievances with each other in such destructive ways.

It is devastating to witness the results of such hatred, bigotry, and violence in action. No cause, no complaint against the United States can ever justify the actions taken by these fanatics.   Their misguided interpretation of their beliefs and their unwillingness to see Americans as fellow human beings, worthy of life, caused them to conclude that any action against America was justified.  The outpouring of human emotion and determination this week from around the world should let them know they have crossed a line drawn by all civilized societies and sane human beings.

In our effort to draw that line, we bring ourselves into danger.  Not only the physical danger of responding to their actions, but the psychological and spiritual temptations to become like the terrorists to defeat them.  If we allow our desire for revenge on groups of people to overcome our need for justice for the individuals responsible, we are in danger of becoming undifferentiated from them.  If we succumb to the fear resulting from the terrorist’s actions and curtail the basic liberties we hold dear in our society, then the very thing that sets us apart and is worth defending becomes a victim of these acts.  Ben Franklin, the wisest of our founding fathers, said, “Those who give up their liberty for a little temporary security, shall have neither liberty nor security.”   Our leaders and our citizens would do well to recall these words as we address what measures should be taken to balance our freedoms with our security.

This week has been a time for grief over the deaths of many of our fellow-citizens as well as a significant number of foreign nationals representing more than 40 countries.  By this measure, this was indeed an attack on the entire civilized world.  As grief turns to anger and then to action, it is important for us to measure our actions and do what is right not just what would make us feel better.   In the aftermath of these events, we might feel justified in doing almost anything.  We may believe that retaliating against innocent people or attacking our fellow citizens who might look or share the same religion, in name, as the terrorists is acceptable.  Such actions would only make us guilty of sinking to the same level as these criminals.   As Americans it is our responsibility in the world to set a different example and show the world different and better ways to solve problems.  Simply responding in kind will surely bring a cycle of violence, whose results we cannot predict, and leave us with the same long-term problems experienced elsewhere in this world when violence becomes the only means of communication.

There is plenty of suffering to go around.  The victims and their families are suffering, our country is suffering, and the world is suffering as we relive these events on videotape over and over again.  In this time of righteous anger, it is also important to contemplate the amount of self-inflicted suffering that must be necessary for any person to carry out this kind of terror.  It is a time to reflect on the ways in which we all bring suffering into our lives and the lives of others.  It can be a time when, in addition to justice, we seek new ways of relating to each other and working for a world where no one feels either the right or the impulse to inflict such things on others.  Suffering was brought by these attacks.  Killing more people in response will only increase suffering not bring solutions.

So from tragedy comes opportunity.  We have seen this week the heroism of those working directly to help the victims, so there is opportunity to demonstrate our humanity one to another.  There is opportunity to reflect on a world that we all create everyday with each thought, word, and action.  There is opportunity for all sane and civilized peoples to work together to end the scourge of terrorist violence wherever it occurs.  It is justice we must seek, though, not revenge.

Finally, we have the opportunity to start seeing the other people we share this planet with, even those different from ourselves, as human beings just like us.  The temptation to divide the world into  “us” and “them” is the thinking that created justification in the minds of these terrorists for their acts. To the extent we have all perpetuated this concept of the world, we have all created a fertile field for the conflicts we continue to endure here on planet earth.  No religion teaches nor accepts acts like we saw this week.  Every religion, however, does teach us to love our fellow human beings.  To the extent we fail in the latter, we can all expect more of the former.

Let’s not permit this horrendous tragedy to occur and these deaths to be meaningless.  Let us commit, even as we seek justice for these crimes, to create a world where such acts are unthinkable ways of making a statement, even for the most radical among us. An event like this should fill us with hard questions, not easy answers.  Let us rally around our flag to seek justice, not as means of supporting a response yet more fierce and destructive in nature.  Blood for blood has never brought people anything but more blood.  May these events lead us to a greater self-awareness and a more reflective, just world.  In that way, we can honor the memory of those lost in New York and Washington D.C, and Pennsylvania.

Some may believe this to be an unattainable goal.  One thing is for sure, as long as we believe it to be impossible it will be.  Despite our best efforts, crazy people may persist, but as a civilization and as individuals we owe it to ourselves and our children to seek that kind of world.  May those who have suffered loss, find solace in their faith and the people around them.  May those who are responsible be brought to a civilized justice. May we all find peace in our hearts and greater peace in our world!

Focus on What You Can Do

Today’s thought is:

“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”
~ John Wooden


I often encounter people who look at the world in horror and say, in desperation, “I want a different world, but what can one person do?” Similarly, there are people who feel powerless to change their own lives for the better. They allow what they cannot do to stop them from doing what they could do.

The problems that face us individually and collectivley can be overwhelming at times. Their enormity depresses some, makes others apathetic, and still others angry.

The amazing thing is that these same conditions inspire others to strive for something better, more complete, more empowering. The key is to focus on what we can do rather than what we cannot.

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes

 John Wooden’s accomplishments, while not world-changing, are staggering in sports terms. He led the UCLA Bruins men’s basketball team to 10 NCAA national championships in 12 years between 1964 and 1975. In that span his teams, went undefeated four times. Only one team in men’s college basketball has completed an undefeated in the 33 years since.

As a revered coach, Wooden’s words have become legendary. Today he is 97 years old. Someone who has achieved that level of success in any field and that scale of longevity bears listening to.

Coach Wooden tells us not to let what we cannot do interfere with what we can.

  • Maybe you can’t end world hunger today, but you can donate time or money to those helping to feed the hungry.
  • Maybe you can’t create a more just political system overnight, but you can collaborate with others and take steps that will get us there one day.
  • Maybe you can’t attain your financial goals today, but you can begin making the changes and taking the chances that will lead you to that goal one day.
  • Maybe your life is too filled with stress and pain to achieve complete happiness today, but you can at least beging releasing the stress and the pain so that one day you can know that happiness.
  • Maybe your dream of being a world-class dancer has to wait another year, but you can still work on perfecting the dance in preparation for that day.
  • Maybe world peace is not in the cards for humanity today, but you can create a more peaceful world through every encounter you have today.
“Actually, I’m an overnight success, but it took me twenty years.”
~ Monty Hall

The fact is that you may not reach the mountain top today. That does not mean you stop climbing. For these days when you worried, stressed, and strove over your goal, will be “the stuff” the dream is made of when you do achieve it.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Stay Inspired!

Ray

Ray Davis is founder of The Affirmation Spot, a website offering downloadable mp3 motivation tools.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorRay’s 2015 speculative fiction novel, Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation, is turning heads. Where did humanity really come from and where is it going? This is Book 1 of a trilogy. The Awakening has begun!

Learn more about the trilogy and order your signed copy today at AATrilogy.com.