Saturday, December 13, 2008

Affirmations: Life's a POOGI.

I mentioned in an earlier post that many of my internal conflicts result from having some goals that are at cross-purpose, so I wrote this one…

My goals are meaningful and in keeping with my core beliefs and values.

This assumes I’ve spent the time identifying my core beliefs and values, which I have. This affirmation helps me set the mark of the kind of person I want to be: genuine, transparent, and consistent. This affirmation helps me guard against hypocrisy as well.

Another problem I’ve encountered in life is trying to do too much at once. I protect myself from this now via this simple affirmation:

I enjoy moving forward towards my goals at a sustainable pace.

I also want to be a life long learner. I like being productive and achieving goals, but I’ve learned that often the journey is its own reward. So I wrote this enigmatic affirmation:

My life is an enjoyable POOGI.

The puzzle is clear to those who have read business guru Eli Goldratt’s books including: The Goal, It’s Not Luck, etc. He defines POOGI as a Process Of On Going Improvement.

Several years ago I designed and taught a junior high elective that I called Creativity and Design. The class motto was twofold: 1) Life’s a POOGI! And 2) CPSrs for life! (Creative Problem Solvers for life!). One of life’s pleasures is to walk down a hallway of a suburban junior high and have a group of three girls smile, pump their fists in the air and chant… “Mr. Evans; We’re CPSrs for life!”

Me too, and these three affirmations help keep me on course.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Affirmations: I enjoy living well...

I enjoy living well and prospering, now and in the future.

Why is the big toe important? It enables one to maintain balance. The following affirmation helps me maintain a balance in my world of personal finance. There were several years when I led my family into being a bit-cash strapped because I wanted to eliminate all personal debt, including my home mortgage. Hmmm... Why attempt that?

"...owe no man anything..." echoed in my mind. But another thought held a counter-reverberation, "...if any man care not for his own family..." Which was right?

Both perhaps, but they needed a balance point for personal application. I challenged some of my beliefs about debt, wealth, giving, saving, and present personal contentment. The result of this exploration of beliefs?

Balance: I enjoy living well and prospering, now and in the future.

I go out to eat with my wife once or twice a week, but at a very affordable restaurant. I usually pay off credit cards monthly (in full). I have a mortgage (eight years left on it). Balance. Responsible for the future without overdoing it. Enjoying the present, without overdoing it.

I have a budget and use it (Mvelopes -- check it out.) I rarely worry about bills. If I want some extras I'll sometimes pick up a summer job (but I don't have to. I'm budgeted for non-work summers.)

Many times stress for me comes by holding conflicting internal values. Balance is what helps. More on that... tomorrow.

In reviewing the post above, I think I've given the big-picture, but I wanted to supply some details. Here are some supplemental affirmations I use in the area of financial self-perception:

I feel good being fiscally intelligent.
My spending and savings plans are balanced.
I'm reducing debt and building wealth.
I enjoy supplementing and stretching my annual teaching salary.
I am wealthy enough to retire when I choose to.

Theses affirmations also serve as "work-orders" to my subconscious, the place where habits are managed. They serve as unconscious navigation instructions to direct the "self-guided torpedo" I call "me."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Affirmations: A Lightening Rod for Goodwill

Once upon a time, I felt unloved. I had people who loved me, but I felt unloved. Why?

At least one reason for these feelings was how I saw myself. I pictured myself as a "friendless American male." I had read the phrase and had appropriated it. I felt that it fit me. (It didn't, but I took on the self-image anyway.)

After reading Pscho-Cybernetics I began to look for false beliefs that I held. In a conversation with my wife she pointed out to me that many people loved and respected me. I knew many people respected me, and then I could see that love is just a step beyond that. Her comments helped me become aware of my false belief and its resulting feelings, but that didn't remove the self-image and feelings. But something else did: an affirmation.

Here is the affirmation I came upon that helped me re-script my self-image and my feelings: "I am so happy and thankful that I am alive and well, gainfully employed, loved, respected, and appreciated."

Because of this affirmation I not only started feeling better, but I became more happy, thankful, loved, respected, and appreciated. I became a "lightening rod" for these realities. Call it body language, personal vibe, or whatever you want, but what we think about ourselves is projected: for better or worse.

Why not make it for better? Why not program yourself to become a lightening rod for goodwill? It'll put a smile on your face, a lilt in your step, and you'll discover that you are indeed well-loved. (And you'll feel like it too!)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Affirmations: I can reach my goals...

Two years ago this February I "met" an e-book entitled Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle. The author, Tom Venuto, achieved natural body-building success as a result of using habit-changing, potential-busting methods he learned reading Psycho-Cybernetics. I burned some fat (30 lbs.), but more importantly I learned some methods to overcoming self-limiting thought patterns. I was taught to question false beliefs about myself, like "I have a bad memory," and to reprogram my self-image via simple affirmations, such as "I enjoy learning and using memory strategies."

One of the biggest challenges I faced was defining who I wanted to be. Affirmations are almost self-scripted "prophecies." Often we self-sabotage ourselves based on who we think we are or are not. Why not turn that around and set ourselves up success by creating a positive self-image that we "auto-magically" live up to? I've been doing it and enjoying the results for almost two years.

I'm going to share a few of my affirmations in hopes of inspiring others to self-script themselves into liberating habits. I've uncovered a few false, self-imposed limiting ideas about myself. Many of these self-perceptions were "lies" told to me by others. Unchallenged, these untruths keep me from realizing more potential than I even knew I had. Go figure.

Over the months I created a set of affirmations addressing who I want to be... spirit, soul, and body. (They are personal, positive, present-tense, and laden with good feeling words.) Here is my number one affirmation...

I can reach my goals, but I can't reach them alone: I need God and others.

This affirmation causes me to see myself as a potential success. It acknowledges my inter-relatedness with others who Providentially appear to assist me on my way.

A story is told about a man who drowned in a flood. He sat on the roof of his house and prayed, "O God, please save me." Soon a neighbor in a rowboat came by and offered the man a ride, but he turned it down. "God is going to save me!" Later, an empty canoe floated by, but the man continued to "wait on God." Later, the waters rose and the man drowned.

In heaven the man protested to God, "Why didn't you save me?"

God replied, "I sent a neighbor, and I sent an empty boat! Why didn't you accept the help I offered?"

I can reach my goals, but I can't reach them alone: I need God and others.

Watch and pray. Pray and watch!

Another one of my goals is...

"I enjoy writing to inspire and instruct. I enjoy the feedback I get from the readers."

I wrote this one at least nine months ago. Long before I knew about blogging. Yet when I followed my daughter into the world of blogging... a goal was reached. Auto-magically! That's how it works. "The difficult made easy."

I can reach my goals, but I can't reach them alone: I need God and others.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Why blog? A question revisited.

Yesterday Saphron left a couple of comments. (Thanks!)

She posed several good questions. First:

Hmmm, you do like to bring back those posts from the past, don't you? :D

In following several other blogs I've gotten to know the writers much like I "know" some the authors whose books I've read. I remember the earlier posts, as if they were the opening chapters in a book. Authors of books often provide foreshadowing. I'm good at picking that up. But on a blog, it seems as if foreshadowing still occurs, but it is more unintentional. Blogging is often a way of self-discovering what we really think is important. I like to point out to a blogger what they said in earlier posts. It shows that 1) I'm listening, and 2) Hey, you've answered your own questions!, and 3) You're achieving your personal goals!

What Saphron pointed out was that I even do it on my own blog. I check for internal consistency, personal growth, and inside jokes. ;-)

Her next question really got me thinking...

Did you ever think you'd be blogging this much? I'm glad you do; you're always ready with a good dose of truth and beauty.

I never thought I'd blog daily. I really started this blog so that I could comment on my daughter's blog. I still comment on her blog, but in blogging I've found an outlet for sharing my thoughts, pictures, poetry, and humor in an unanticipated manner. Like Moses and the shepherds, I was curious, involved, and subsequently blessed.

Saphron also provides the key to why I continue to blog: personal feedback. Writers need their readers. The positive feedback I get from my readers provides me with the motivation to keep writing. I've thought for some time that I'd like to write, but I could never get motivated enough to do the daily work involved, until I met "blogging." But it's not really blogging that provides the motivation, it's the response from other bloggers. So, here's a shout out Thanks for all who have read, and especially to those who have commented and in doing so have encouraged me to keep writing and sharing.

And Saphron's third "question:"

The poem is interesting. I always wonder about those tiny-slice-of-life poems, how the poet ever decides on that one moment.

"The Delight is in the Details!" (There, another self-referential comment.) I think poets, like all writers, pick the moments that they remember. That's how I do it. Much of writing is at least semi-autobiographical. What's important we remember. Since most writers want to write about what's important, they write about what they can remember: the details, the vignettes, slices-of-life that seem to contain import. Someone said, "I really don't know what I think about a topic until I write about it." I think that's a lot of what writing is: self-discovery.

A lot of what reading is then becomes co-discovery as we learn with fellow authors about being human, becoming more human, and enjoying the companionship of other like-minded travelers who are willing to "talk" as we walk shoulder to shoulder through life.

Short questions. Long answers. Thanks for asking.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Just for fun: Two surprises!

Photo by Cyndy

Today's writing is inspired by the photo above which was posted at Pictures, Poetry and Prose. The paragraphs below are based on an exercise suggested by Stephen King in his book On Writing. He says that often his inspirations come from encountering a scene. From the scene, he invents a scenario and some characters. From that... the story unfolds, often including snippets and pieces of "characters" he has known.

I give you...


It was our fifth anniversary. Despite the dire predictions of our friends, everything was working just fine for us in spite our age difference. I was 42 now: she was 31. It was a lovely day. I was surprised when she had suggested a picnic.

I wasn't sure if the sunburst in the distance signified the world ending or a new one beginning as her words echoed in my ears, "Honey? We're pregnant!"

~ ~ ~

Here's a poem with a surprise twist of its own... (From Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle, and other modern verse.)

I give you...


"A planet doesn't explode of itself," said drily
The Martian astronomer, gazing off into the air__
"That they were able to do it is proof that highly
Intelligent beings must have been living there."

By John Hall Wheelock

Life is full of surprises. Look for them!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Delight is in the Details


by Marcie Hans

by a million
wings of fire--
the rocket tore a tunnel
through the sky--
and everybody cheered.
only by a thought from God--
the seedling
urged its way
through the thicknesses of black--
and as it pierced
the heavy ceiling of the soil--
and launched itself
up into outer space--

Some people notice things, others don't.
And we don't all notice the same things. But some people allow themselves to be captured by their curiosity, and they discover things. Moses was captivated...

There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up."

Some shepherds were captivated...

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

What captivates you?

Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We're free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.

Stop. Contemplate. Be transfigured!