The Power of Gratitude and Intention
For me, giving gratitude and making intentions are key practices for aligning with Life Flow. Like most of us in this thriving creative community, I want to do good work, to be more creative, to be of benefit and to fulfill innate potential. And simultaneously, I aspire seek those qualities without unnecessary effort or wasteful urgency.
The Power of Gratitude
Efforting and urgency are kryptonite for creativity. And the effects of kryptonite are always felt first in the body, so we must be attuned to that unique feeling of depletion. When that feeling comes over us, we recognize that we're holding the mind (and the body) in a contracted state. We fatigue more easily; we become frustrated or defeated.
One antidote to a contracted state is gratitude, a simple practice of placing the mind/attention on those things we appreciate, admire, and love. The mind draws to us whatever we focus on. So if I’m paying attention to the things that I don't like, guess what? I get more and more of the things I don't like. But if I am increasing (through a gratitude practice) my ability to focus on things that are good, productive, rewarding, joyful, then, guess what? That's what I get more and more of.
I try to watch what my mind tends to dwell on. Are these thoughts good for me? rewarding? giving me the results I want in life? With practice, I recognize my mind’s habit patterns and change them when appropriate.
I write my gratitudes every day in an 8x10 hardbound Cachet sketch notebook with unlined pages. The lists build and build as the days go by, and as these gratitudes pile up, my heart feels more and more joy, ease, and contentment.
The Power of Intention
Once the gratitudes are listed, I turn to my intentions for the day. Another list. I’ve found the practice of making intentions is the mind’s way of igniting my capacity for creating. We make large intentions for our life, but then we also make intentions for our work, or for our summer, or all kinds of small aspects of daily living. We are always making intentions, whether we know it or not. (It's called intending by default.) And if we’re not conscious about the intentions we are making, it could be that we are holding negative intentions for ourselves. Thus, we get results we're not so happy with. We call this "bad luck." It's not bad luck; it’s bad intending!
So every day, I get clear about how I might like certain questions to be answered: How do I want this day to go? What effects am I striving for? What would make me happy when I put my head down on the pillow tonight? My intentions incline my mind (and my spirit) toward what I want and the feelings I want to experience.
Write It Down!
I highly recommend this short daily practice. Key word: short. Don’t make this an ordeal in your morning ritual. Take five minutes to decide what you want to be, do, have, and offer. Write these intentions down, just below your gratitudes. And then begin to note how the days go as a result of this clarity. You’ll think it’s magic. It’s not; it’s your skill. Use it wisely.
Come in for a Creative Momentum Session
If you would like to learn more about these and other practices for shaping your days to support your best work, please remember that your first visit to LifeArt Studio is free. Come in for a Creative Momentum Session to talk about your goals, yearnings, your hopes and dreams. It might change everything.