Can you imagine leaping out of bed each morning with a raging surging feeling of joy ripping through your body telling you that you're living the most incredible, most amazing, most inspirational life possible?
Nope? Well you're not alone.
Every day millions of people go through the motion of living. And that's it. They go through the motions. Unfortunately, life has a 'get-what-you-give' philosophy and without much giving there aint much getting.
Kick-starting that internal engine of yours can be a little tricky if it's a bit rusty or low in fuel - so let's have a look at 3 simple ways to jump start it.
#1. Setting Intentions Changes Your Brain
If you've done the e-course on Creative Mindfulness you'll remember that for each exercise, I ask you to set an intention about:
- What you want to do
- How you want to be and
- What you want to have more of in your life as a result of doing the creative activity.
If you did just this one thing, you would have initiated a chain of events that sends a provocative message to your brain which in turn signals that a change is going to happen and your mind and body responds accordingly.
Whether this is because of the ‘observer effect’ – a scientific notion that just by observing or watching something can alter the outcome – or whether it is due to us being more aware and asking ourselves the sorts of questions that open curiosity and insight – I don’t know.
What I do know is that neuroscience research is proving unequivocally the power of intention setting.
It's in the small, often micro changes of self-perception that our mindset seems to shift ever so gradually from one of negative self-talk to a more positive one of self-acceptance.
Our mind sets new thought patterns in motion, each time reinforcing the neural pathway that is forming. And all this is fueled by endorphins surging through your body and creating a sense of wellbeing and motivation to do more of this ‘good thing’ for yourself.
Ever so gently your mind and body are becoming more in tune with each other.
The result is often:
- Greater focus
- Improved clarity around what you do want more of in your life (not what you don’t want)
- Enhanced insight into your potential and
- A sense that you can ‘trust’ yourself because you’ve ‘owned’ what you want to tip out and stated publicly what you want more of.
- An awareness of being more 'genuine'.
Self-talk is powerful. Most of us know this at an intuitive level, yet science is now proving what our senses have been telling us for a long time.
2. Setting Intentions Helps You Become The Observer Of Your Life
The ‘observer effect’ is a phenomenon that has to be seen to be believed. The idea that observing something can change it is extraordinary. If we can ‘observe’, create or imagine ourselves as the best version of ourselves – then we have made the first step into acting in a way that attracts confidence and courage in what we do and how we do it.
Imagine, simply by observing yourself from a mindful perspective you could alter the outcome of a meeting with a boss or team member, an experience you may be feeling anxious about, asking for a raise, engaging with a new client or earning the income you deserve.
Setting An Intention: Priming Your Mind and Body
Setting intentions primes our body and mind for change – once this powerful force is set in motion, all we need do is continue the process by setting small goals and daily actions that will help us reach our desired place.
Yet, if this was all it took, why are so many people still struggling to do it?
When we run our e-course and people upload their images onto our private Facebook page I hear so many voices of hope - reaching me through creative images full of colour and intention. They fill my imagination with all the possible changes that may be occurring in people's lives. Yet I know that this mini-endorphin rush will be short-lived for many because ...
Set An Intention By Giving Yourself A Magic Wand
While we’ve had thousands of people on the Creative Mindfulness e-course since it began, and I receive hundreds of emails from people taking the course describing what would happen if they had a ‘magic wand’ (which is one of the questions I ask people when they first begin) and they visualise themselves waking up tomorrow morning after a good night's sleep with everything just as they wanted it to be.
Overwhelmingly, the comments come back describing what I consider the most important thing we can do to help ourselves – and that’s the ability to move past the biggest obstacle in our lives – our attitude towards ourselves.
If we believe that life is full of possibilities, then that is what we’ll observe and take hold of.
If we believe that life is dull, boring, routine and that things won’t change, then that is what we’ll observe and sadly reinforce.
All of this comes with choice. And this was a choice I had to make as well – to choose a successful life - not a life of victim hood where I watched over my shoulder for the next ‘trust issue’ to be broken, the next person to mentally vilify if I thought they didn't like me or the next event where I couldn't stand hearing the internal whine of my ‘ho-hum’ existence any more.
3. Set An Intention: Choose To Educate Yourself
I chose change when I chose to educate myself to think better. This one decision has led me to study the things that I believe matter the most – and for me that is the ability to tap into the natural well of creativity that each one of us was born with.
If we clog the well with putrid negativity, it dries up. If we put a lid on it and pretend it doesn't exist, it goes sour.
If we keep it fresh with variety and a sense of purpose then it will offer in return a wave of opportunity for one reason – because we’ve taken the time to observe it, feel into it and express it.
If for no other reason alone, the observer effect is a powerful reason to take notice of what we do and how we do it, who we want to be and what we want to have more of in our lives.
Perhaps you're at a cross-road at the moment, wondering whether to continue the way you have been for years or whether to do one thing differently - one thing so that today becomes a date in your diary where you chose 'you'. Do this, and you will have created a memorable moment where set an intention to show up in your own life.
BONUS INSIGHT: Here's some tough love:
My thoughts are that if you were going to make the choice to create a difference in your life you would have done it by now. This may sound harsh, yet in my experience it is usually true. Unfortunately, for many who do the introductory course it offers an interlude – a break from the busy routines we all live before re-creating yet another year of endless to-do lists.
For some though, the e-course offers a life-changing point where the decision to continue with Creative Mindfulness will offer breakthroughs in personal mindset, physical wellbeing and soulful connections to what is really important.
For others it's the beginning of a new career, or the gaining of skills they can use in their work to amplify the effect they have with working alongside children, clients or team members.
- We cannot change others.
- We cannot make them give us opportunities.
- We cannot expect others to make us happy.
- We cannot ask for solace to that which rumbles like an unsettled beast in our stomachs when we won't listen or see opportunities as they present.
Only you can choose your path and only you can choose to turn up as the best version of yourself - or live in its shadow.
Setting An Intention: Time To Make A Choice - What Will It Be?
Tough love or head-in-the-sand I'll-think-about-it-when-I-have-more-time?
You can start today - with one small step, by setting one intention, by observing yourself 'living' not 'existing'.
Here's the link for the full 12-week Creative Mindfulness course if you're ready to start your breakthrough and set solid intentions today.
Mindfully yours, Barbara Grace