Affirmations for personal growth

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As people grow through their life they can use affirmations appropriate to the situations they find themselves immersed within. The problems faced by a child age three are not the same as an adult of thirty, and the child will be helped most by affirmations that will stimulate effective habits that help them explore their young life. Adults would find affirmations helping their productivity and family welfare more useful. There are some affirmations that will be appropriate to all ages, such as: – Live long and participate. – Pay attention to what you are doing. –

A natural progression of maturation is through — Infant, Child, Adolescent, Adult, Mature, Sage, and Ourora. They are loosely based on the time base and inclusiveness of the individuals, in the moment, but most adults can intentionally move into any level with a little thought. What will be developed below are statements that are most appropriate to those who find themselves confronted with problems that fit that typical life situation. Let us start with adolescence, because most people reading this will be familiar with that emotional state of maturity and can relate to it, and yet have access to adult modes of thinking.

Huffington Post has a list of Dr Carmen Harra’s  affirmations that are used below to illustrate moving from an “I” ego-centered method of self-growth to an “our” adult method for personal, family, and friends type of growth. Adolescent affirmations are in “normal text,” and the modified Adult affirmations are in “bold italic text.”


Adolescent affirmations compared to Adult ones.

1.) I am the architect of my life; I build its foundation and choose its contents.

I happily perform actions that build my and my family’s measurable worth.

2.) Today, I am brimming with energy and overflowing with joy.

I am using my energy to do productive things.

3.) My body is healthy; my mind is brilliant; my soul is tranquil.

I am cultivating a healthy body and mind by walking with a companion and having a creative conversation.

4.) I am superior to negative thoughts and low actions.

I am seeking out potentially negative thoughts and inspecting them for their potentially positive aspects.

5.) I have been given endless talents which I begin to utilize today.

I am now applying my efforts and skills to work toward my and my companion’s worthwhile goals.

6.) I forgive those who have harmed me in my past and peacefully detach from them.

I am finding common ground with people with whom I have had problems.

7.) A river of compassion washes away my anger and replaces it with love.

I empathize with other people’s viewpoints, and find and emphasize those parts that are respectable.

8.) I am guided in my every step by Spirit who leads me towards what I must know and do.

My guidance is my creating value in everyone and everything as I approach them.

9.) (If you’re married) My marriage is becoming stronger, deeper, and more stable each day.

Our marriage is choosing to actively help the other person to do their self-chosen tasks.

10.) I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful.

I am now doing what needs to be done to move along with continuing productivity.

11.) (For business owners) My business is growing, expanding, and thriving.

How may I help to give you all of what you expect from me?

12.) Creative energy surges through me and leads me to new and brilliant ideas.

I pay attention to new ideas, participate with them, and give them what they need to grow.

13.) Happiness is a choice. I base my happiness on my own accomplishments and the blessings I’ve been given.

I cultivate what I have and help it grow from temporary happiness to long-term contentment.

14.) My ability to conquer my challenges is limitless; my potential to succeed is infinite.

I realize my limitations and know the opportunities available at this moment and work to do what can be done now.

15.) (For those who are unemployed) I deserve to be employed and paid well for my time, efforts, and ideas. Each day, I am closer to finding the perfect job for me.

I seek employment where I can help to make good things happen.

16.) I am courageous and I stand up for myself.

I look at the reality of the situation before me and seek to help everyone achieve their healthy goals.

17.) My thoughts are filled with positivity and my life is plentiful with prosperity.

I am choosing to help you develop a positive approach, and helping you to good life goals.

18.) Today, I abandon my old habits and take up new, more positive ones.

I am paying attention to what is happening and choosing the best actions available.

19.) Many people look up to me and recognize my worth; I am admired.

My goal is to open people’s doors so they can see what they need.

20.) I am blessed with an incredible family and wonderful friends.

Everyone is family, and all living things are friends when you relate to them and their needs.

21.) I acknowledge my own self-worth; my confidence is soaring.

My worth is demonstrated by my presently adding to the worth of my family’s world.

22.) Everything that is happening now is happening for my ultimate good.

Good is a value judgment founded in present perception, but things are what they are.

23.) I am a powerhouse; I am indestructible.

I exist in this moment, and participate with the people and world here in this moment to help us all live more abundantly.

24.) Though these times are difficult, they are only a short phase of life.

All moments are filled with opportunities, and we may choose the ones that help us all live.

25.) My future is an ideal projection of what I envision now.

Our future is contingent upon many things, most of which we know nothing about, and over which we have no control; we live in the present.

26.) My efforts are being supported by the universe; my dreams manifest into reality before my eyes.

We are immersed within a vast Universe which within our human space is wonderfully consistent, and from which we can choose what we need.

27.) (For those who are single) The perfect partner for me is coming into my life sooner than I expect.

The world is filled with opportunities, and all people and things can become wonderful companions.

28.) I radiate beauty, charm, and grace.

When we are good companions we automatically radiate beauty, charm and grace in their perceptions of us.

29.) I am conquering my illness; I am defeating it steadily each day.

I accept that I live with creatures that want to eat me, but not kill me; I live with them and they with me.

30.) My obstacles are moving out of my way; my path is carved towards greatness.

I welcome obstacles. I am like Sisyphus, and my work is to do the task set before me.

31.) I wake up today with strength in my heart and clarity in my mind.

I wake up and wonder what fantastic thing I will get to do today.

32.) My fears of tomorrow are simply melting away.

Tomorrow will bring new problems and new opportunities for me to participate with them.

33.) I am at peace with all that has happened, is happening, and will happen.

I accept everything that went before, exists now, and will exist, and I will seek to participate.

34.) My nature is Divine; I am a spiritual being.

My nature is to live and to help my friends to flourish. I am an adult human being.

35.) My life is just beginning.

My life expands through my interactions with my friends.

Reasons to worry about death.

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There are reasons to avoid dying, and high among them is that there are things you want to get done that would be impossible to do if you were gone. If you have developed to an adult level you will have social relationships that can only be done by you personally. Only you can be the father to your children, so you must live to do those things that only a father can do. Only you can fulfill the responsibilities of significant other to your significant others, and only you can be you to your friends, because there is nobody else like you. Of course if you are gone all of those other people can and probably will eventually find replacements for the places you filled in their lives, but at best they will never be you, and where you were there will be a permanent emptiness.

There may be roles in life that only you can fulfill. Many routine roles, like a designated role in a company or the government, will be instantly filled by another person. That person may be momentarily less qualified, but a year later you will not be missed. One easy test of your uniqueness is this: if you called in sick a day before you were supposed to be someplace, would you be replaced?

However, there are physical things that only you can do, and if you don’t do them they will never be done, but only you can know what those things are. These are things in the former paragraph, such as being a father or friend.

We need not worry about the personal eternal vacuum presented by our missing personality after death, which Epicurus stated clearly over two thousand years ago:

Whatsoever causes no annoyance when it is present causes only a groundless pain in the expectation. Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and when death is come, we are not. It is nothing then, either to the living or to the dead, for with the living it is not and the dead exist no longer.

Therefore, from a personal point of view there is no reason to worry about our suffering after death, and usually pain is manageable before death, and if it isn’t you die and needn’t suffer anymore. So it’s not worth much worry.

The things to worry about are the things that you will have left undone, that you really wanted to do, but what are they? Some people make so-called bucket lists of things they want to do before they die. That makes some sense, but the lists usually seem to be adolescent experiences of self-indulgence that can be purchased, but I’m favoring those things that only you can do. The more I ruminate over this it seems:

The best you can do for the world is to help your friends to realize their potentials.

 

 

Why and how to learn to work with joy !

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I was developing the idea of moving from an adolescent lifestyle into an adult one, with a group of twenty people; the proposed technique was related to personal relationship with physical things. At the mention of the word WORK, a mighty groan went up, at least from some members of the group. The stated feeling from one person was that they hated work, that they worked far too much and gave far more than they got back. They came to this group to learn how to be a happier person and get more stuff, and not how to work for other people. To that person at that time the word work was identical to slavery. And in an Adolescent mind-set their activities were slavery. They were working on something which had no value to them to pay for things they thought were valuable.

What I had in mind for WORK was much closer to what my post in Philosophers Squared quoted from James Charles Collins (1958-   ), American statistician of business success from Stanford University. “The greatest pleasure life has to offer is the satisfaction that flows from… participating in a difficult and constructive undertaking.”

That is the kind of work that a person should seek, because it will elevate them to a better place. By better place I mean one where they live longer, healthier lives, participating in things that are meaningful and fun.

You might get to that kind of work by randomly stumbling upon it, but that method is unlikely to the point of rarity. What makes more sense is to actively seek meaningful work – and what does that mean? It is stated clearly – to seek to participate in a difficult and constructive undertaking. That’s it!! Look around and find people doing wonderful things that are making a real difference in making your world into a better place, and join up with them and participate fully. Join at any level available, because it doesn’t matter what you are actually doing at any given moment, if it is helping to make real the constructive thing.

Moving from an adolescent lifestyle to an adult one takes place when the adolescent is feeling emotionally good, and at that time gets involved in doing some adult-level activity. With some active participation at the adult level they will come to see the greater value to themselves. They will be owners of their situation, and responsible to themselves, rather than renters obligated to other people, and functionally slaves to the system. This kind of slavery to the system creates value, but it does so by making slaves out of those people who don’t have the foresight to move their lifestyle into the adult mode.

Moving from an adolescent lifestyle to an adult one involves changing the focus of one’s attention from self-aggrandizement to self-production and ownership of value.

 

Live long and participate !

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Here I am escaping from David Hume’s tomb. That is interesting, at least to me, because he is one of the few philosophers who ever wrote positively about the virtues of suicide. I didn’t know that when I visited his tomb in Edinburgh, Scotland.

David Hume's tomb Edinburgh, Scotland

Charles Scamahorn, Aug 9, 2008, escaping from David Hume’s tomb.

David Hume's tomb, Edinburgh, Scotland

Okay, so I’m a ghost, and my body has vanished.

My personal view on homicide is that it is a bad thing to do; and without thinking too hard on it, I can name six friends who have been murdered, two by unknown assailants because of their occupation. One was a drug dealer, which was unknown to me, and the other was a dance-hall owner who offended a patron, and the four others were self-inflicted murders. I consider them murders because the victims were decent law-abiding people who were healthy, happy and had plenty of kindness to give to their friends, but they were murdered by their evil twins. All of these murders were from gunshots. I knew several others who died from gunshots, but they were accidents, and a few who survived the bullets that came their way. Every single one of these people were friendly, and none were depressed. They all had plenty of life force, but an evil fate caught up with them.

I am not suicidal at all, and am very careful to preserve my safety, especially when driving, and I avoid risky sports. Here in Bend, Oregon, a resort town, most people do all sorts of what I consider risky sports, like skiing, rock climbing, river kayaking, bike riding, long distance trips, etc. All of those things I avoid on the simple principle of self-preservation and avoiding unnecessary risk. Okay, in my youth I was an Air Force pilot, a risky occupation, but I wasn’t bothered by the risk because I regarded it as part of the duty I willingly accepted. I am saddened to discover that some of my friends got killed, but I don’t feel overly grieved by those deaths, because we knew what we were doing. From my eighty-year-old body and mind, I am so very glad that I got to live those six decades, and a couple of thousand hours of importance-filled flying, which from this geriatric perspective, I am now willing to forego. Someone else could step in and fulfill those jobs, and did, but nobody could have lived my life, and did what I did.

As a twenty-year-old Air Force pilot I was probably considered a fine male sperm donor, for fathering their children, and so I had some truly wonderful girlfriends, but I now believe that the proof that they were right is that I have survived many years in good health, and that is an excellent measure of worthiness too.

My current motto to myself is “Live long and participate !” Of course to live long comes first, because without the time there is no participation. Therefore, avoid unnecessary risk with little benefits for success and a big downside for failure, and seek positive risks where there are big benefits for winning and little loss for failure. It is the difference between sky-diving and chatting with billionaires. Both are readily available.

When it comes to risk the goal is not to be smart but to avoid being stupid.

What legacy do you wish to leave after you’re gone?

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Why should we care what our legacy might be after we have died? After all, we will have passed into oblivion, or on to a remotely possible Heaven, from which we don’t have any effects on this world’s happenings. All our cares should be limited to the here and now, and even the thoughts of a happier world for our children and their children should be limited to what we feel and do in the present moment.

How you want to be remembered becomes a question of the people you know, or at minimum the people who knew you from afar, or online. This limitation means those people must be alive to appreciate you and your qualities, and after they die even that modest legacy dies too. Or, as Shakespeare said, his writings were the better part of him and would live on.

Shakespeare – Sonnet 74:

But be contented: when that fell arrest
Without all bail shall carry me away,
My life hath in this line some interest,
Which for memorial still with thee shall stay.

When thou reviewest this, thou dost review
The very part was consecrate to thee:
The earth can have but earth, which is his due;
My spirit is thine, the better part of me:

So then thou hast but lost the dregs of life,
The prey of worms, my body being dead,
The coward conquest of a wretch’s knife,
Too base of thee to be remembered.

The worth of that is that which it contains,
And that is this, and this with thee remains.


But, I would contend, why not keep living rather than transfer some future portion of life to the luck of the ever-evolving world? Why not stay here and create as good a presently living legacy as possible, while you have the power to influence things? Surely, you can do more good for people by simple little acts of kindness, things that demonstrate to them that you care for them personally. Just loving someone isn’t enough if that love isn’t communicated to them in a real way, and you can’t do that if you are not living with them in their present moment.

John Done – No Man is an Island

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.


Niccolo Machiavelli in the Prince,  (who some contend is the founder of “modernity” itself,) said that the people who leave a major legacy are: the founders of great religions—Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, the founders of long-enduring republics, empires, and civilizations—Romulus and Cyrus—the successful generals such as Alexander the Great, and lastly the great thinkers—Socrates, Plato, Aristotle.


I can’t do everything but I can do what I can do, and do it well.

A problem with my hot bath cold cure.

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Whenever I have a cold coming on I raise my body temperature to 102.0°F in a hot bath. I started doing this in 1993, and published it as Proba-Flu in a little magazine called Proba in 1994. Since that time I have successfully used that technique, and all of my colds have been very mild; so mild in fact that no one ever asked me if I had a cold. Very little coughing or sneezing or fever. Until today! I had a typical cold, and felt generally poor all day. Why?

When I took my first hot bath I started getting heart arrhythmias at about 101.0°F, and at 101.5°F they were pronounced and frequent, about one every five beats. Debbie brought me a calcium pill, because I know that when I eat a banana, which has a lot of potassium, I get arrhythmias, and when I balance my potassium with calcium I rarely have any more problem.

Today was different and more persistent, so I ate a small quinine pill, which is helpful for stopping leg cramps. That helped a lot, but it took several minutes before there was any effect. I don’t like taking pills, so when it came time to take another hot bath, I hadn’t taken any more pills, and started getting arrhythmias as the water temperature went over 105.0°F and my body temperature went up to 101.0°F. I think I got a full cold because I didn’t raise my temperature to 102.0°F

If I take another hot bath tomorrow I will take the calcium and quinine a half hour before getting in.

This Mona Lisa looks into your secrets.

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The pair of Mona Lisa paintings that I restored have been hanging at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Oregon for the last three weeks. That has given me the opportunity to guide about thirty people, one at a time, through the mysterious experiences, before and after the regular Sunday services. It takes several minutes for each person, and less than half can do the cross-eyed 3D visualization of the side-by-side paintings, but several have really enjoyed the experience. Everyone was able to see the more famous effect, that of having “her eyes follow you as you move.” This was not the usual “eye-following” effect that any picture will have if the painting’s eyes are pointed at the viewer. Mona’s eyes are not pointed at the viewer; if the viewer is standing well back from the painting, her eyes are pointed over one’s right shoulder. Because the painting in the Louvre museum in Paris is smaller than life-size, and is behind glass, and behind a guard rail, it is impossible to get up close enough to get the “real” Mona Lisa experience.

Mona Lisa in Paris, France

Detail of the Louvre Museum’s painting of Mona Lisa. Click for bigger.

What I have been guiding people through with my Mona Lisa will give them the “willies” most of the time. I illustrate the procedure by doing it myself, so they can see what I’m talking about. You can probably get the effect by following the procedure outlined below.

When looking at the image of Mona Lisa on a 25-inch screen (clicked on to expand), she becomes life-size, and it makes a difference how close to the screen my face is when viewing her. When I am more than four feet back she is looking over my right shoulder, but when I am closer than one foot from the screen she is looking into my eyes. That is, her right eye, (on my left) is usually looking into my right eye, but her left eye is also looking into my right eye. As I move from being close to the screen to further and further back, her gaze shifts from my eyes to further to my right side, and further into the distance behind me. And, as I come close again she shifts her gaze back into my eyes. As I repeat doing this, there is a time, while I’m moving back and forth, closer and further, where she is looking inside of me and thus into the back into my head. This is the time when I get the willies, because she seems to be looking inside of my mind, and knows my inmost secrets. She knows what I don’t know. She is mysterious herself, but she seems to know everything about everything, and everybody, and me.

Napoleon Bonaparte is reported to have had this painting in his bedroom, and he probably had these experiences, because when he would walk across the room to get close to her and have a conversation with her, Mona’s eyes would shift away from the background and over to him. I think that is where the legend of her eyes following the viewer comes from, and it’s not the usual eyes always looking at you effect that you get from any picture that is looking at the camera, or painter. In the companion Mona Lisa now in the Prado museum in Madrid, which was painted at the same time, she is looking at the painter, and so her eyes are always on the viewer.

The eerie effect from the Paris Mona Lisa is that her eyes shift over to you as you walk toward her.

The Tao Teh Ching – #23 – Revealed by Lao Tzu – Rendered by Charles Scamahorn

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23

Nature does just enough, and then stops;
So whirlwinds do not last a whole morning,
Nor thunderstorms a whole day.
They limit themselves through the nature of their being.
If nature does just enough, and no more,
Shouldn’t you follow its example?

When you take care of your activities with voids,
The energy of the void remains intact;
When you take care of your activities with direct action,
The energy of the void remains intact also;
The energy of the void is always available.

When you use the void, the void will give you more.
When you use direct action, the void will give you more.
Even when you totally ignore the void,
The void stands waiting to serve you.
If you can use the secret void within your self,
You can elicit anything from the voids around you.

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Camus to the rescue.

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Albert Camus (1913 – 1960) — Wiki – Pic – the French existentialist philosopher suggested that the best option for humans is to accept the absurdity of life as the starting state and then to participate with what is available. That is my take, at present, on how to live the life of contentment suggested by the Stoic philosophers of Classic Rome like Epictetus (55 – 135 AD) — Wiki – Pic –, and Marcus Aurelius (121 – 180) — Wiki – Pic –.

There is a popular semi-religious Beatles song, “Let it be”Let it be, let it be; Let it be, let it be; Whisper words of wisdom; Let it be.” — “And when all the brokenhearted people; Living in the world agree; There will be an answer, let it be.”
That is a wonderfully sentimental song, and my spiritual friends still sing it at meeting quite often, but if you read the lyrics above, you see that it is directed to all the brokenhearted people. It makes the unsubstantiatable assertion that there will be an answer … and so the suggested life procedure is to just “let it be.” But  that is truly just groveling in despair and accepting a horrible life, without choosing to struggle.

That wimpy assertion is the opposite of what Camus asserts, that life and the universe are absurd and that there will be no answer, but rather than just wallow on in misery, as the Beatles’ song recommends, Camus tells us to accept the absurdity of it all and participate to the fullest with what is available. To intentionally choose the parts of the reality’s messes that are available, the things that you feel move you toward some attainable goal that you choose to value, and enjoy your participation in the here and now.

Ultimately, no matter what you do, it will make no difference to the Universe, but it can make a difference to the people with whom you associate, and for the time that you are here and conscious it can make life into an wonderful experience for yourself and those you affect. The value may be temporary, like taking a trip to the Louvre museum, but while it exists it is as real for you as anything.

Life is made of experiences and you can make those experiences meaningful, or you can choose to fantasize some incredible alternate existences, and let your present life slip from one uninfluenced disaster into another. If those postulated realities don’t come into existence after your death, your present life will have been less wonderful than it might have been.

Choose to live life in this world the way you want to live it in this world.

Do the right thing !

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Immanuel Kant writes that our highest good is to do the right thing. He calls this the Categorical Imperative“Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law.” This general law is impossible for me to comprehend because I can’t consider every possible action that I might do, let alone what action every other person could or should do.

The right thing to do varies enormously, and a wonderful action one second may be a terrible action a moment later. Because of this doing the right thing is dependent on time as well as on the action. It also depends on who is doing the action and to whom. Kissing your spouse might be a fine thing to do most of the time, but kissing your friend’s spouse is probably the wrong thing to do almost all of the time.

As we mature through the self-centeredness of adolescence into the adult mode of earning a living and providing for our families, doing the right thing changes from caring for ourselves to caring for the well-being of our family and friends. Caring for an orphan in a foreign land is important, but not at the expense of depriving your own child of the necessities of life, for then it isn’t the right thing to do even though it might be a wholly honorable act.

For a person who has fulfilled their adult duties and has grown into the mature form of relating to people, the right thing to do is to find ways and means for making those other people’s lives more meaningful. Sometimes the most mature thing a person can do is simply be there for the other person, hear exactly what they have to say, and respond appropriately to what they have said; and when the conversation is over to acknowledge their important place in humanity and to depart quietly.

Doing the right thing is probably invisible most of the time, because when viewed from outside it will usually be a simple act that fits the circumstances. So what’s there to comment about? No one will make a movie about the heroic action, and everyone who observes the action will find it such a common thing as to be bored with it, and probably with you.

Life is made of a lot of motivated actions, so make your motivations to do the right things at the right times for the right reasons.

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