Where do you experience the flow of life without interference

Where do you experience the flow of life without interference? Go there when you wish to feel the sensation of effortless effort.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Mathew Schwart

How often do you feel you are swimming upstream, against the current? Where in your personal and professional life do you experience the greatest resistance to your best intentions and efforts?

What strategies and approaches are helpful when you feel you are about to go under?

With these examples in mind, shift your mental and emotional compasses 180 degrees to some of the effortless flow states you’ve experienced in the past.

EXERCISE:

Envision yourself as an eagle or another majestic bird soaring on the warm updrafts of air from their surroundings.  How can you revisit this and other sensations of effortless effort when the world gets you down?

Summon your best intentions like arrows from your heart

Summon your best intentions like arrows from your heart and let them fly into your days.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Amazon

Living with intention is described as a way of living consciously and deliberately according to one’s passions, purpose, goals, and values.

It can include simplifying your environment, engaging in mental and physical practices, and choosing where to invest your time and energy.

Today’s reflection points to our hearts as the source of their power. It is still up to us to aim them, pull back our life bows, and let them fly.

EXERCISE:

It has been over 20 years since Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book The Power of Intention was published. Consider reading or re-reading this classic and learn some of the enduring lessons of co-creating your world your way.

 

“Clarity about what matters provides clarity about what does not.”

“Clarity about what matters provides clarity about what does not.”

Cal Newport, Professor at Georgetown University

Image from Unsplash by Claire Mueller

Someone once said that life is like a toilet paper roll — the more sheets you use the faster it spins.

Let’s say you begin life with 1,000 sheets. That’s 12 sheets per year, one for each month. How many of your sheets are left given your current age?

When you take a look back over your life, how much of it is a blur — or worse yet — was wasted on people and things that did not really matter?

With this hindsight, what intentional adjustments do you intend to make moving forward?

EXERCISE:

Create two list for yourself:

  1. What truly matters
  2. What doesn’t

With this clarity, sort your items into the categories of More, Less, Start, and Stop, to guide your future efforts.

Consider sharing your intentions with a family member, friend, colleague, or coach to support you now and in the future.

“You should have something to show for each day you were lucky enough to live.”

“You should have something to show for each day you were lucky enough to live.”

Ryan Holiday, American marketer, podcaster, Stoic philosopher

Image from Unsplash by Guille Álvarez

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that the new year is off to a great start!

Beyond the gifts you received—and perhaps a few extra pounds—what else do you have to show for these days?

How lucky and grateful do you feel each day you roll, step, or leap out of bed?

In the year ahead, how will you bring greater intention and purpose to your days to contribute even more within your various communities?

EXERCISE:

Consider setting up a show-and tell time with family and friends.

How can your individual and collective efforts help everyone to feel even luckier to be alive?

I try to be available for life to happen to me

“I try to be available for life to happen to me.”

Bill Murray, American actor and comedian

Image from Unsplash by Alexander Grey

What does it mean to be available to life?

What qualities would you possess if life entered and soaked you, body and soul?

Consider all the experiences we have with our five senses. How fully do we use them?

What if we had super senses like certain animals or plants, and how they magically take in water, minerals, and mix it with sunshine to make food.

How alive might we feel?

EXERCISE:

Where are you even more active as you happen to life?

Where do your intentionality and efforts infuse the world with your special gifts?

What are you bringing to the party?

Beauty is a free spirit and will not be trapped within the grid of intentionality.

“Beauty is a free spirit and will not be trapped within the grid of intentionality.”

John O’Donohue, late Irish poet, author, priest, and philosopher

Image from Unsplash by Kelly Sikkema

Have you ever tried to be intentionally creative?

Putting your head down and trying to focus on new possibilities is like trying to create breakthrough ideas in a group brainstorming session — it rarely works!

Alternatively, when we relax and have access to a lighter touch and a freer spirit, beautiful things often emerge.

EXERCISE:

Where has the power of intention held you back and limited your creative efforts?

Where might an unfocused or less rigorous approach act as a catalyst for new and wonderful things to occur?

 

“The drop hollows out the stone, not by force but by falling often.”

“The drop hollows out the stone, not by force but by falling often.”

Ovid, ancient Roman Poet

Image from Unsplash by Gert Boers

What’s working and going well in your life?

What aspects of your world are not going as you wish?

Where can and do you look for the answers?

Too often, we point to things outside our control for why we feel stalled or stopped. When we do, how often do we appreciate the three fingers in our palms pointing back in our direction?

When we force things in our lives with heroic efforts and they don’t get the job done, we often give up.

It’s us stopping that stops us.

When we explore the aspects of our lives that are working, they work because we do.

It’s our drop by drop, moment by moment, day by day efforts that help us carve out a life of significance and success.

EXERCISE:

What areas of your life would benefit most from your drop-by-drop persistence?

Share your intentions with a coach, colleague, family member, or friend to help you keep your efforts going when things stop flowing.

“A firm commitment to do something today will always best an exuberant promise to act tomorrow.”

“A firm commitment to do something today will always best an exuberant promise to act tomorrow.”

Stephen St. Amant, author of Savenwood Blog

Image from Amazon

Most of us enter our days with good intentions. We have much to do and we set out to be highly productive, serve others, and leave things better than how we found them.

Benjamin Zender, who co-authored The Art of Possibility, uses an exercise with his musical prodigies when they work with him.

Since virtually everyone he works with has first chair talent, he asks them to write an essay titled How I Got My “A”.   Through this exercise, students focused on their own efforts and the actions they took, rather than their hopeful efforts and intent. The element of comparing their own efforts against themselves versus others also let them set their own bar of excellence.

EXERCISE:

What promises do you make to yourself and others that sometimes fall by the wayside?

What commitments will you keep today to deserve the “A” you desire?

Consider reading The Art of Possibility to discover more nuggets of wisdom to achieve and be your very best!

Ring the bells of your days and sit in their reverberations

Ring the bells of your days and sit in their reverberations.
—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Manga Vitriolic

The days go by in a blur for most of us. Whether we’re rushing around like chickens without their heads or the world around us is speeding by, it’s all a bit dizzying.

Living with greater mindfulness and intention slows things down so that we actually notice our surroundings and reflect on what is going on, moment-to-moment.

With our best focused efforts, we take in and appreciate the bells we ring and the whistles we blow to signal the marks we make in our communities.

EXERCISE:

Take some extra time throughout your day — or just at day’s end —to feel the reverberations of your efforts and the impact you’ve had on the world around you.

Consider giving yourself a quiet celebratory high five to acknowledge the good you’ve done before you head to bed.

Life is like skiing. The goal is not to get to the bottom of the hill

“Life is like skiing. The goal is not to get to the bottom of the hill. It’s to have a bunch of good runs before the sun sets.”

Seth Godin, American author and former dot com business executive

Image from Unsplash by Banff Sunshine Village

Do you or have you participated in winter activities such as skiing or sledding? Although I tried my hand at skiing in my late teens and made it down a few bunny slopes, sledding was my thing as a kid.

When our wintry prayers were answered for snow days, I was out the door with my friends to visit venues we named Suicide Hill and Dead Man’s Drop.

As fast as we would race down each run, we would immediately dart right back up each incline again and again, holding on tight to our flexible flyers, snowboards, and toboggans.

We couldn’t get enough and only frozen toes, growling stomachs, and looming darkness would have us head home.

EXERCISE:

How many good runs have you had in your life?  What intentions and actions are you planning and taking to make the most of every day you wake up to see the sun?