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News & Article Archives > Grab Bag Articles > INDIVIDUALIZED POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS FOR IMPROVING SELF-ESTEEM

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INDIVIDUALIZED POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS FOR IMPROVING SELF-ESTEEM
Posted by on 01 December, 2005

Positive self-esteem is very important if not crucial to our happiness and well being as a human being. Having positive self-esteem can make the difference in that which we take on in life, in that which we go about achieving and creating. Having positive self- esteem also allows us to have healthy and joyous relationships with others, to experience true intimacy. One could also assert that having positive self-esteem gives us access to genuine spirituality.



Positive self-esteem is very important if not crucial to our happiness and well being as a human being. Having positive self-esteem can make the difference in that which we take on in life, in that which we go about achieving and creating. Having positive self- esteem also allows us to have healthy and joyous relationships with others, to experience true intimacy. One could also assert that having positive self-esteem gives us access to genuine spirituality. Poor self-esteem, on the other hand, creates the space for us to experience a great deal of negativity in life including depression, anxiety, fear, stress and loneliness. Negative or poor self-esteem is also highly correlated with alcohol and drug dependency. Some even believe that a negative or poor self-image is the source of such addictions.

While it appears that the importance of positive self-esteem is somewhat understood, the unanswered question has always been about how to improve or enhance a person’s self-esteem. Some belief that a person’s self-esteem rests upon them being successful, in accomplishing that which they take on in life, of achieving goals that they have set for themselves. As a result much effort is put into assisting others in effectively and efficiently planning their doing in life. Others believe that our sense of self-esteem is determined by the type of relationships that we have, that by surrounding ourselves with positive people who will appreciate and acknowledge us that our esteem will be positively impacted. To this end training is given to help a person improve his interpersonal skills, how he communicates and relates with others. While both of these endeavors are important, it is not the having or doing that creates positive self-esteem. Ones self-esteem is not given or to be obtained from without, external to the person.

One very effective way to improve self-esteem is through the use of positive affirmations. Positive affirmations are very powerful for transforming how a person feels and thinks about himself, ultimately influencing how he views and acts within the world and towards others. The fundamental reason why positive affirmations are so effective is that their nature or structure reflects what already exists in our mind. Our identity or who we think we are, our current thinking patterns, are also a series of affirmations, composed fundamentally of mere words or language. Everything we think, all of the thoughts that we have, are merely affirmations. Positive affirmations, when used consistently, begin to alter our prevalent internal language pattern, as negative as it may be, our inner self talk or dialogue that exists within us. The end result of the consistent use of positive affirmations is the transformation of an inner negative language pattern into one that is positive in nature

The most effective way to use positive affirmations is with the individual’s own voice. While a person can have a beneficial result from listening to a commercially developed product that employs positive affirmations recorded by another, the transformative power of this technology is enhanced or strengthened by the positive messages being delivered in the person’s own voice. By using a person’s own voice to transform the inner dialogue, there is less resistance to the transformational process due to the fact that the voice itself is the same or identical. It is as though the negative voice or language pattern that one hears repeatedly in life is altered or transformed by the consistent exposure and listening to that same voice but with the structure of positive enhancing affirmations. Eventually the structure will transform from one that is negative to one that is positive in nature.

The process of using ones own voice in doing work with positive affirmations can be strengthened with the use of therapeutic relaxation music. While the use of ones own voice is very powerful for creating change in a person’s life, the use of specially designed therapeutic relaxation music assists in creating the audio space for this process to be very powerful. We tend to be more open or suggestible to positive affirmations or language when we are in a state of relaxation. When combined with binaural audio tones the relaxing affect of the therapeutic relaxation music is greatly enhanced. When used with the combined effect of the therapeutic relaxation music and binaural audio tones and consistently, the positive enhancing affirmations that are delivered will have such a profound affect upon improving and transforming a person’s internal, self-talk and eventually his self-esteem.

The technology of utilizing positive affirmations that are recorded in a person’s own voice and therapeutic relaxation music is currently being employed in the treatment of those suffering from substance dependency problems. At the Holistic Addiction Treatment Program in North Miami Beach, Florida, clients are given access to this powerful technology. Clients have the ability to create personal affirmations that empower them and support their recovery and also are able to record these affirmations. The recorded positive affirmations are then mixed with specially designed therapeutic relaxation music to create a powerful audio product to assist the individual in his recovery. Once created the client is trained in the most effective manner in which to utilize their personal CD as part of their overall recovery plan. Those clients who utilize this powerful technology tend to improve their self- esteem, stay in recovery and improve the quality of their life in general. When a person feels and thinks more positively about himself he tends to be more positive towards everything that he is taking on in his life, including and most importantly his recovery.

About Dr. Harry Henshaw



Dr. Harry Henshaw earned his doctoral degree in Human Development and Counseling from Boston University and has designed and implemented mental health and substance abuse programs in outpatient, residential and hospital settings in Illinois, Massachusetts and Florida. Dr. Henshaw is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida, a certified Clinical Supervisor and a member of the American Counseling Association & American Psychological Association. Trained in neuro-linguistic programming, Dr. Henshaw is also certified to practice and teach hypnosis in the State of Florida. For more information visit www.enhancedhealing.com


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Cultural Creative´s - A Growing Phenomena of the Holistic Community
Posted by on 05 November, 2004

The Cultural Creative’s are 30 - 55 years of age. They represent about 30% of the total population and are growing rapidly. In Toronto with a population of 4.5 million, this would suggest 1.3 million are possible Cultural Creative’s. Ten years ago, they consisted of only 10% of the population. They are well employed in the middle to upper classes, and are university educated. They are less concerned with success and income. They are tolerant of others, and curious about life and people. They want the adventure of different experience. They seek connection; value equality, justice, and sustainability; environmental and humanitarian concerns are their focus. They believe they are living at a ‘higher’ level of psychological and spiritual development. They are broader than the baby boomer generation, more diverse, more economically aware and wary.





The Cultural Creative’s are 30 - 55 years of age. They represent about 30% of the total population and are growing rapidly. In Toronto with a population of 4.5 million, this would suggest 1.3 million are possible Cultural Creative’s. Ten years ago, they consisted of only 10% of the population. They are well employed in the middle to upper classes, and are university educated. They are less concerned with success and income. They are tolerant of others, and curious about life and people. They want the adventure of different experience. They seek connection; value equality, justice, and sustainability; environmental and humanitarian concerns are their focus. They believe they are living at a ‘higher’ level of psychological and spiritual development. They are broader than the baby boomer generation, more diverse, more economically aware and wary.

"Cultural Creative’s are not yet aware of themselves as a collective body, they do not recognize how powerful their voices could be." --Paul Ray and Sherry Anderson

In the early 1990s the name "Cultural Creatives" was given by Paul H. Ray, Ph.D., a macro-sociologist concerned with the evolution of culture, to the growing numbers of people in the United States who are literally creating a new culture in America. His findings are based on the 13 years of his own research on values and lifestyles and the surveys and focus groups which showed that an important and new subculture was emerging.

In 1995 Paul designed and analyzed a national survey on the role of transformational values in American life. In 1999 he helped design and analyze a study of the role of values and concerns for ecological sustainability in American life, sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency and the President´s Council on Sustainable Development. In 2000 he and his wife, Sherry Ruth Anderson, Ph.D., a psychologist focusing on the qualities of inner experience, published The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People are Changing the World (Harmony, 2000).

Paul H. Ray calls this new population the "Cultural Creatives," because;

"they are the ones who are coming up with most new ideas in American culture, operating on the leading edge of cultural change."

Ten years ago, Ray notes, there were so few people in this subculture that no one bothered to measure them. Today, his research indicates, there are some 44 million Cultural Creatives in North America, an astonishing growth.


Who are the Cultural Creative’s?

The survey shows that Cultural Creative’s are fairly well distributed over the whole country, of median income and of median age, and have higher than average education (30 percent are college graduates).

About half are focused primarily on the environment; Ray calls these the "Greens." In the Greens, there are slightly more women than men. The other half, whom Ray calls "Core Cultural Creatives," share a strong interest in environmental sustainability, but are also seriously concerned with spirituality, psychology, and person-centered values; in the Core group, women outnumber men two to one.

But Cultural Creatives face a dilemma. Ray says: They don´t know there are so many others out there who think as they do, and there is no central clearing house where they can encounter each other. Ray hopes that members of this new subculture will form themselves into a cultural revitalization movement, something he believes modern society needs in order to survive.

"It would be similar," he explains, "to a values-based social movement in its appeal to deeply held values, but it differs strongly in that it seeks to move off into the new, rather than to return to an idealized past, or to restore old ethnic or religious ´purities.´"

Beliefs and Attitudes of CORE Cultural Creative’s

In defining the beliefs and attitudes of Core Cultural Creatives, Ray includes the following which are held by at least 60 percent of the group (in descending order of importance):

LOVE OF THE FOREIGN - travel to other countries, different cultures, the exotic
FEARS/CONCERNS about violence and abuse of women and children
NEIGHBORHOOD AND COMMUNITY - affirmation of the need for society to rebuild neighborhoods and communities
SENSE OF NATURE AS SACRED - redwood groves, planetary stewardship, etc.
ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY - concern for the global environment, for extinction of species, for overpopulation, and a willingness to pay for remedies
FAMILY ORIENTATION - family should come first in peoples´ concerns
FEMINISM - equal pay for women, women as managers/leaders, not confined to traditional roles
VOLUNTARY SIMPLICITY - live simpler lifestyles, with fewer possessions
RELIGIOUS MYSTERIES- interest in the paranormal, reincarnation, afterlife, meditation
DISTRUST OF BIG BUSINESS - too much power/wealth, too profit-oriented
CONCERN FOR RELATIONSHIPS - creating/maintaining them in all situations
SELF ACTUALIZATION - self-discovery, creativity, psychological growth, personal uniqueness
ALTRUISM - helping others, volunteering, wanting to create a better society
ALTERNATIVE HEALTH CARE
DESIRE FOR TRADITIONAL VALUES

These are shared values, Ray emphasizes, believing that studying peoples´ values is a much better way of predicting their behavior (lifestyles, purchasing habits, social concerns, spirituality), than analyzing demographics (age, education, income, racial background, etc.).

Also, Ray points out that the other two major subcultures in American society - which he defines as "Traditional" and "Modern" - share some of the values that rank highest with Cultural Creatives. But he makes it clear that this new group is moving a step beyond values the other two subcultures hold that have ceased to be useful in today´s world and, in fact, now cause serious societal problems.

Cultural Creatives - and Integral Culture

On a centuries-long time scale, we have seen the rise of modern cultural forms; and also the decline of the Modernist paradigm. There is an emergence of a new cultural form, Integral Culture - a new, constructive synthesis of Modernism and its antithesis, Traditionalism - a synthesis which moves beyond both while not rejecting either. A defining characteristic of Integral Culture is that in synthesizing these other two value systems it simultaneously legitimizes the Western world’s deepest, common past and aims toward a transformative future.

Compared to the rest of society, the bearers of Integral Culture have values that are more idealistic and spiritual, have more concern for relationships and psychological development, are more environmentally concerned, and are more open to creating a positive future. This group comprises about 24 percent of the adults in the US, or about 44 million people.

The Traditionalist’s

The roots of today’s Traditional stream can be traced to Medieval Europe, through traditional Catholics and Protestants reacting to the rise of secular Modernism after the Enlightenment, up to the anti-democratic Right that persists today. In more recent times in the US, Traditionalism can be traced also to rural and nativist (racist, anti-foreign) movements from which 19th century fundamentalism arose in reaction to Modernism in its North American form. Today’s Heartlanders - those who carry forth the Traditionalists views - believe in a mythical image of a return to small town, religious America, corresponding to the period 1890 to 1930.

The Heartlanders are a subculture of traditional and conservative values and beliefs. Heartlanders are 29.6 percent of the adult population, or 55.6 million persons. On average, their incomes and educations tend to be lower, and they tend to be older, than the other two subcultures.
They have difficulty in handling complexity and the modern world, combined with a reactivity against change. The ones who die are not being replaced by nearly as many younger Heartlanders, so it is a population in slow decline over time. The intense recruitment and publicity by the religious right may well represent a sunset phenomenon, a desperate attempt to recoup past losses.

This subculture gains a sense of strength and coherence in the face of a modern world it doesn’t like or understand by rejecting the "other" and using the political mobilization of traditionalism and xenophobia.

The Modern subculture

The beginning of Modernism dates from around 500 years ago in Europe at the end of the Renaissance, and continued to spread beyond Europe to its colonies throughout the period. While Modernism may in part be seen as an overthrow of authoritarian political and religious controls, it has important roots in the urban merchant classes and in other creators of the modern economy, in the rise of the modern state and armies, and in the rise of scientists, technologists, and intellectuals.

As examples Ray lists the three top characteristics of those in the Modern subculture as; materialism (greed, doing it for the money, wanting to own more property), financial problems (spending beyond one´s needs and means), and cynicism (anti-idealism, political alienation, refusal to believe in caring. Bearers of Modernism are 47 percent of the population, or 88 million adults

The Modernists represent the current cultural mainstream: their current malaise about "what this modern world has come to" is what the media emphasize, since that is where the media themselves are centered. There are more men than women. They include a wide range of incomes from lower-middle class to rich. They include not only conventional factory and office workers, but the technological Creatives of American culture, such as engineers and doctors, as well as business people. Among them are various subgroups, some with a strong leanings toward spiritual and personal growth concerns, others - such as the Alienated Modernists - feel disheartened by modern culture as their own prospects for the future slide.

The Cultural Creative’s

Cultural Creative’s, a new subculture, is an emergence of an "Integral Culture" as a successor to Modernism.

The roots of today’s Transmodernism appear to be in part in the esoteric spiritual movements that grew out of the Renaissance and continue today in the rise of new religions, and also in the transcendental movement of the early to mid-19th century. They are also found worldwide in the writings of various intellectuals of the mid-20th century, in the New Age movement, in the humanistic psychology and transpersonal psychology movements, in the ecology movement, and in the women’s movement, which all date from the 1960s on.

While Ray believes Cultural Creatives hold the values society needs in the coming years, he is not sure they will prevail: "In the next two decades, our world will either be dramatically better or dramatically worse. The one thing that cannot happen is just ´more of the same.´ Most trends of the past are simply not sustainable. The era of the obvious steps to progress is gone, and we face the Great Divide. It really could go either way: Our future is not foreordained.

Cultural Creatives (CCs) are called that because they are coming up with most new ideas in US culture, operating on the leading edge of cultural change. They tend to be middle to upper-middle class. A few more CCs are on the West Coast than elsewhere, but they are in all regions of the country. The overall male-female ratio is 40:60, or 50 percent more women than men.

CCs have two wings: Core Cultural Creatives and Green Cultural Creatives.

Core CCs (10.6 %) have both person-centered and green values: seriously concerned with psychology, spiritual life, self-actualization, self-expression; like the foreign and exotic (are xenophiles); enjoy mastering new ideas; are socially concerned; advocate women’s issues; and are strong advocates of ecological sustainability. They tend to be leading-edge thinkers and creators. They tend to be upper-middle class, and their male-female ratio is 33:67, twice as many women as men.

Green CCs (13 %) have values centered on the environment and social concerns from a secular view, with average interest in spirituality, psychology, or person-centered values. They appear to take their cues from the Core CCs and tend to be middle class.

The CCs subculture represents the appearance of new values and worldviews that were rare before World War II and were scarcely noticeable even a generation ago. Faced with those other two cultural forms, the CCs’ response is also a withdrawal of belief in the old forms. But unlike the alienated Moderns, the CCs are well on their way to creating something new.

The CCs are synthesizing a new set of concepts for viewing the world: an ecological and spiritual worldview; a whole new literature of social concerns; a new problematique for the planet in place of the old set of problems that Modernism set out to solve; a new set of psychological development techniques; a return in spiritual practices and understandings to the perennial psychology and philosophy; and an elevation of the feminine to a new place in recent human history. In short, it is a good beginning for a new cultural era.

"We are at a tipping point in civilization. This means we have to be ready to choose a good path. The quality of our ´image of the future,´ and the quality of our creative efforts based on it, will determine which way our future develops over the next generation or two. All that is certain is that the stakes have been raised."

A Long Anticipated Moment

When we say that a quarter of Americans have taken on a whole new worldview, we are pointing to a major development in our civilization. Changing a worldview literally means changing what you think is real. Some closely related changes contribute to and follow from changes in worldview: changes in values, your fundamental life priorities; changes in life style, the way you spend your time and money; and changes in livelihood, how you make that money in the first place.

As recently as the early 1960s, less than 5 percent of the population was engaged in making these momentous changes - too few to measure in surveys. In just over a generation, that proportion grew steadily to 26 percent. That may not sound like much in this age of nanoseconds, but on the timescale of whole civilizations where major developments are measured in centuries, it is shockingly quick. And it´s not only the speed of this emergence that is stunning. The extent of it is catching even the most alert observers by surprise. Officials of the European Union, hearing of the numbers of Cultural Creatives in the U.S., launched a related survey in each of their 15 countries in September of 1997. To their amazement, the evidence suggested that there are at least as many Cultural Creatives across Europe as we reported in the United States.

Visionaries and futurists have been predicting a change of this magnitude for well over two decades. Our research suggests that this long anticipated cultural moment may have arrived. The evidence is not only in the numbers from our survey questionnaires but in the everyday lives of the people behind those numbers.
The sheer size of the Cultural Creative population is already affecting the way North Americans do business and politics. They are the drivers of the demand that we go beyond environmental regulation to real ecological sustainability, to change our entire way of life accordingly. They demand authenticity - at home, in the stores, at work, and in politics.

" Cultural Creatives, despite high levels of education and good incomes, feel alienated from the dominant culture.”

According to Paul Ray, one of the ways of comprehending Cultural Creatives is looking at their Cognitive Style. "While they take in a variety of information from a variety of sources, Creatives are good synthesizing into a big picture... They want whole-process stories instead, and are likely to want the stories behind the stories."

Who Is Speaking to Cultural Creatives?
The focus on "story" in part explains the phenomenally fast growth of One Spirit Book Club, one of the specialty clubs of Book of the Month Club. Billing themselves as a "lifestyle club," former club director Robert Welsch says [of Ray´s research], "[The book club marketers] articulated what I had been thinking, and crystallized it using the nomenclature of market research and business. One Spirit... legitimized what we were about." Part of what the club does is offer a wide variety of products (beyond books) that appeal to Cultural Creatives, and tell the story behind those products. (Robert Welsch is now president of Utne Reader.)

Joseph Kotler, founder of Whole Life Expos in the USA, and now president of Sage Associates, a marketing firm, acknowledges the validation he felt, hearing that Cultural Creatives comprise 24 percent of the adult market. "But they´re not on any mailing list. The problem is how to reach them, how to find them." According to Kotler, only between five and seven million names are available on mailing lists. This further confirms Ray´s research that shows that standard marketing methods don´t appeal to this cohort.

Eric Utne, founder of Utne Reader, bills his magazine as "The Voice of the Emerging Culture." Utne acknowledges, "Cultural Creatives are craving a sense of community. They want to connect. Our opportunity as a business is to help create community." To that end, the Utne organization encourages subscribers to meet locally and create "salons," just as the magazine has used this method to create itself. They also encourage readers to meet online for dialogue.

There are other ways to communicate, as well. New Dimensions Radio encompasses a worldwide listening audience of more than seven million Cultural Creatives. It has just celebrated 25 years on the air, and is now available webcasting as well as via shortwave. Co-founded in the Bay area by Michael and Justine Toms, New Dimensions shares with its audience dialogues with leading edge thinkers in the ecological, spiritual, psychological and self-help arenas. "The power of radio," observes Michael Toms, "is its invisibility. There are 6 radios in the average American household, and it reaches more adults than TV and newspapers combined. Cultural Creatives watch significantly less TV than the average, and they listen more to classical radio and public radio."

Cultural Creatives have to start coming together in small local groups to talk, and perhaps to take action beyond the talk. Isolated, the power in the numbers is vastly less powerful than when people come together.

Change is millions of footsteps in the right direction. It is each one of the 44 million doing his or her part, making the connections locally, and taking action, locally. It is trusting the altruistic instincts, and not believing that everything served up by mainstream media is all the whole story. The media represents three to four percent of what´s going on. It is resisting pessimism and fear and making conscious, constructive changes. It is taking the responsibility to act responsibly.

We need a step-by-step dailiness, dialogues and conversations on a local level, that help to create and envision the changes needed to achieve a sustainable future.

The potential for an Integral Culture is very real. The requisite population base (of Cultural Creatives) is in place; global communications and transportation systems are in place and developing rapidly; advances in the "new sciences" of quantum physics, holistic biology, and complexity theory are already dismantling the old Modernist paradigm; in addition, a host of new developments in humanistic and transpersonal psychology, eco-sciences, and feminism, as well as a burgeoning psycho-spiritual consciousness revolution, are all contributing to a Transmodern culture and a new kind of world.

The transformation is happening right in front of our eyes, right now in the last decade of the 20th century. In short, all the ingredients required to make a truly Integral Culture are already with us.







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