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.

Off With the Training Wheels – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday July 1, 2008

 

Our society needs to be about developing better people not better laws. As long as we ignore the former, the latter will not matter.

Laws and the governments that write them are training wheels for the development of people. When you were learning how to ride a bike you needed the training wheels to keep you steady. The expectation was not that you would continue to need the training wheels forever.

The best preserved of ancient law codes is the Code of Hammurabi created around 1760 B.C. Since then we have had the 10 Commandments, the Buddhist Noble Eightfold Path, the Magna Carta, the United States Constitution, and many other secular and religious attempts to help humans behave properly.

Even in this brief catalog of these attempts, we cover every major culture on the earth and a span of nearly 4000 years.

The fact is that we can try to reform from the outside for another 4000 years and I predict we would find humanity in the same boat. Reform must come from within. We must look at ourselves and the world with new eyes. We must commit to wanting something different, something more for ourselves, for our children, and even for others.

That’s a difficult, very adult journey and there are powerful arguments against it.

Some say that human beings simply are not capable of that kind of reform; that we are victims of a design flaw that forever condemns us to our current status. It’s our nature, they claim, and it cannot change.

Others say that these are fine academic concepts, but they do not address safety and security issues. They point out that there are dangerous people in the world and we must be protected. We must have government and laws, they argue, to protect us from criminals, terrorists, and bad people.

There is some validity to both of these arguments. The problem is we are not addressing the root causes and so we are condemning ourselves to a repeating and self-reinforcing cycle.

Do the laws protect us? Have they ever? 4000 years….have all the laws and government that have evolved solved the root problem? Since Hammurabi first enshrined his code government has been one of the great growth industries on this planet. We’ve had monarchs and despots, democratically elected governments and collective governments.

These secular systems have attempted to establish government as the arbiter between misbehaving and unreformed people. They are band-aids – an attempt to create some justice and peace in an imperfect situation.

The one thing they all share in common is that they have failed to create a happy, peaceful world full of empowered people pursuing their hearts’ content. Instead, governments have been the organizing forces behind wars over resources, religious beliefs, and for sheer domination and control. They have used their power to increase dependence upon their existence.

At least the spiritual attempts have recognized that reforming the person is the central issue in the equation. Both the 10 Commandments and the Noble Eightfold Path focus on prohibiting or encouraging types of behavior that are destructive to the person and the society.

Yet, they are still external attempts to enforce what must be an internal process. WE THE PEOPLE must choose to think and act in new ways. We must recognize that all change in the world and in our lives begins within us. No government or religious institution can substitute for our own desire to have a different world. 

Am I advocating the overthrow of government and religion? No. They both still serve useful purposes at our current state of readiness for self-realization. Religion and government will never be completely obsolete, but their role will change and their control will be lessened.

Their top-down, centralized control approach is a relic of a previous era and must be replaced by a decentralized, democratic approach to life on Earth.

While many individuals are starting to realize what is possible, the overwhelming majority still live unaware of what lies within them.

I believe we are at a state where we can begin the transition away from the Age of the Institution and towards the Age of the Person. As more people begin to flower into their potential, this process will accelerate until we find our world in a place we never expected.

This change begins in you. No one else can do it for you. No one else can know the things you need to open in your heart and your mind to convert these potentialities into realities.

The world is changing and now we must change! Off with the training wheels! It’s time to see who we truly are.

Stay inspired!

Ray

The path to every change is Thoughts>Feelings>Words>Actions.

We Have it Pretty Good – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday June 3, 2008

 

Thank you for visiting The Affirmation Spot. Your comments on the blog or this article are always welcome. Please click here to comment on today’s blog.




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Today’s affirmation is:

“Today I am making the radical choice to be completely happy no matter what.” (four times)

“Today you are making the radical choice to be completely happy no matter what.”
(four times)

Hear an audio mp3 version of this affirmation right now.


“When I hear somebody sigh, life is hard, I am always tempted to ask, compared to what?”

~ Sydney Harris

My friend Bob sent this to me. What a great example of how much we have to be thankful for. The next time you’re having a tough day you can console yourself with the following.

In The 1500’s

June Marriages 

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baby with the Bath Water

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, Don’t throw the baby out with the Bath water.

Raining Cats and Dogs

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying “it’s raining cats and dogs.”

Canopy Beds

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house… This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

Dirt Poor and Thresh Holds

Most peoples’ floors were dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, Dirt poor. The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing.

As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance way. Hence the saying a thresh hold.

Peas Porridge Hot, Peas Porridge Cold

 In those old days, people cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat.

They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.  Hence the rhyme, Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.

Bring Home the Bacon and Chew the Fat

Sometimes people could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, bring home the bacon. They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Poison Tomatoes?

    Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of ! the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Upper Crust

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.

A Party to Wake the Dead

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

Graveyard Shift, Dead Ringers, and Saved by the Bell

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of  places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive.

So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.

And that’s the truth…Now, whoever said History was boring ! ! !

Life is good!

Stay inspired!

Ray

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