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Ryan Stefan's Micro Blog

Using Deep Truth to Maintain a Positive Focus - Powerful Positive Thinking

May 282019

Affirmations have always been a really effective way to intentionally change my mental state regardless of my external influences. I’m a pretty overly sensitive person (I used to say I was tweaked wrong) and I have a lot of trouble keeping myself balanced. I even used to have constant panic attacks, sometimes multiple in a week, which made my life a constant struggle that only I could see. I really needed a way to fight back and gain some control over my own mental state. I chose to dive into philosophy with all of my being and I didn’t find out until much later that the part of the brain that lights up during a panic attack is the same part of the brain that lights up when contemplating the infinite or “oneness”, thank you Alan Watts. I haven’t had a panic attack or any anxiety in years.

About Affirmations

The general idea behind an affirmation is that if you repeat something enough, your mind will incorporate it into your personality. While I was searching for ways to control my mental state, I realized that affirmations were a lot more effective if they were something that I actually believed was true. After this realization, I set out to find the perfect set of affirmations that were both true (at least, for me) and maximally empowering. Once I did this, affirmations became a way to guide my focus on positive powerful thinking rather than trying to force myself to believe something by simple repetition. Now when I repeat these affirmations, it’s like wanting to buy something and not having enough money, but then you remember you had a $20 bill stashed in your pants pocket. “Oh yeah now I remember, and everything is fine.” The real trick with my affirmations, besides actually finding the best ones to use, is understanding them to such a deep level that there is no doubt to their validity.

I'll briefly explain the philosophy behind my affirmations, but the most important thing to focus on is the emotional response behind each one.

What truth will cause you to feel the deepest gratitude in your life?

What idea will fill you with wonder for the future?

My 4 Affirmations of Deep Truth

  1. I am always on the right path
  2. There is always something wonderful happening
  3. My love and value is always making an impact
  4. Reality is both responsive and limitless

1. Purpose

I am always on the right path

The first mantra has been the same since their inception and does a really good job of setting the frame for the rest of them. It’s true because you were born with the neural network you had and reacted to the first thing you interacted with and have been reacting ever since. Therefore, you’ve been on this path since the beginning and there was never any other path. In a negative light this might feel like the universe is random and that there is no real point to existence, but in a positive light, you imagined yourself into existence and you meticulously chose this path because it offered the most entertaining experience to watch. On top of that, it can set up the view that your entire life leads up to this moment of meditation where you had this epiphany and saw the reason behind all of the past struggle.

2. Gratitude and Growth

There is always something wonderful happening

The second one has changed a bit over time. The previous edition was “something wonderful is always coming”, but this creates a state of anticipation and you become the hopeful rather than the grateful. I’ve since realized that not only is there almost always something wonderful in my own life happening at any given moment, but there are always wonderful things happening all over the planet and it helps reinforce the fact that our reality is a friendly and wonderful place.

3. Self Confidence and Love

My love and value is always making an impact

This one has been really tough to nail down, but I knew it needed to reinforce the knowledge that I was making progress with my efforts regardless of how it seemed on the surface. Whether it be wasting time on a failed relationship or sinking tons of effort into a failed business venture, I always showed someone love with my efforts and learned from my struggles, making waves into the universe. Eventually these waves combine and come back into my life to help me overcome something I haven’t even considered in my future endeavors.

4. Possibility and Conviction

Reality is both responsive and limitless

It’s really easy to believe that the physical laws that surround our lives are the only laws that affect us, but the real truth behind reality is virtually unimaginable. I wanted a reminder that the reality we live in is an infinite collection of moments that respond to physical geometry (ours starts with the big bang) and that our thoughts can tap into this geometric pathway on which these moments combine into consciousness (time as we know it) and manifest changes that defy observable physical laws.


I don’t think there is really a wrong way to do affirmations, but I do think just repeating the words in your head isn’t very effective. I think that it’s very important to understand why each one is true. When I do them, I get in a meditative state somewhere quiet and I take my time with each one. I’ll repeat the affirmation and start thinking about why it is true. Once I remember why it’s completely true, I start to sink into a state of resonance with that belief. I really feel the emotion behind it and apply it to all the things that have been happening in my life that I’d been dealing with or worrying about. “Oh yeah now I remember, and everything is fine.”

I feel the relief of knowing I’m on the right path and that I didn’t screw my life up and go down an unrecoverable path. I feel the joy of all the wonderful things that have been happening that I was too busy to appreciate. I feel the love hiding behind all of the guilt I built up from fighting or spiteful behavior. I feel the satisfaction of seeing my efforts making an impact on my friends and on my own wisdom. I feel the wonder surge through me as I consider the possibilities my future holds in an infinite reality.

How to set up Thunderbird with Gmail

Dec 262018

I've been just checking my Gmail using the web email client for a while now, but after finally switching back to Windows on my home computer I decided to give Thunderbird another go. Unfortunately, without the convenience of Google category tagging in my IMAP client, my inbox was so cluttered with crap that it was unbearable. So again, I had Thunderbird configured, but stopped using it in favor of browser Gmail. 

Well today I finally snapped and resolved to solve this problem. I looked for solutions for a while thinking that since this is likely a very common problem there should be guides all over the place. After looking around for a good 20 minutes with nothing to show for it I was starting to get worried. I finally found a solution with the search "gmail show categories in imap" on a backwoods forum. Latley I've felt like it's getting harder and harder to find answers on the internet and I think Google is actually taking us backwards by not letting any small sites rank for anything, but anyways I'll shut up about my conspiracy theories and get to the setup.

Category Filters

Google straight up does not expose their category tags to anything and explicitly omit the feature from IMAP exposure. It's seriously ridiculous and kinda pisses me off. But at least they give you a way to identity them in the filters. Simple create a filter and add Category:Social or Category:Promotions in the "Has the words" box. Now that you have them all identified you can do whatever you want with them. Personally I just archive them because I never check them anyways, but if you wanted to you could apply a label to the filter and then expose that label to IMAP. Pretty simple to be honest, I'm just annoyed that I had to try 30 different search queries to find it. I'm very happy now though, my Thunderbird client or any client for that matter will give me the same information as Gmail. Now that I can rely on Thunderbird again, I decided it was time for some add-ons.


Thunderbird Add-ons

I was going to split these up into two sections, but they are just my preferred task management tools with Google and I'm just happy I can actually use them with my email client. First I downloaded Provider for Google Calendar and imported it into Thunderbird's lightning calendar feature. To do that go to File -> New -> Calendar and select On the network. Then just choose Google calendar and log in and you should be good to go. 

After that I downloaded the Google Keep add-on. This one auto logged on for me, but it took me a second to figure out how to enable the tab. Just click your Inbox tab and there should be a big yellow button (I expected it to be in the alt file menu).