When I first started using intentions, I did so because they felt good. They were positive, uplifting, and shifted my perspective to one that was more open. It wasn’t until I started exploring neurolinguistic programing as part of my life-coaching education that I realized what I was doing was conditioning these beliefs to who I was. In fact, when you explore this process, you discover it actually is quite mechanical, despite the free-flowing nature of meditation and inner reflection.
Neurolinguistic programing (NLP) is an approach to communication and personal development that was created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder in the 1970s. It focuses on connecting neurological processes within the brain, language patterns, and behavioral patterns through experience. As I explored NLP, I made the connection that the intentions I was setting and the methodology behind them was a form of conditioning.
The intentions that I set though writing them down, reading them, thinking about them, and saying aloud began to not just become something that I did, but a part of who I was. The more often I practiced intention setting, the easier it became, and soon it was ingrained as a part of me. My intentions became a daily part of my life by writing them in the morning, saying them out loud in the shower, repeating them while walking my dog, or surrounding myself with them on Post-its throughout the house and in my car.
Sticking to Your Intentions
As you explore your own intention setting, you will create a similar experience. With time, it will become natural to have a morning and evening routine to take you inward. But remember, any new habit we will do when it is easy and convenient; doing it when it is hard is the key to success.
There will be days you will not feel like reading your in10tion or writing in your journal. I have experienced this multiple times throughout my life, going through “droughts” of personal development.
The key to making lasting change is making the change a part of your identity. Conditioning this change requires repetition. The uniqueness of inward meditation, reflection, and journaling, along with the emotional intensity of owning the in10tion as a part of who you are, will condition these new positive beliefs to your very core and your true authentic self.
Changing Your Mindset Changes Your Life
Meditation shouldn’t be intimidating. Sure, I love mudras, chanting, and the traditions of meditation but not everybody does or feels a little out of place when they first start their practice.
All of us have experienced some tough times, have limiting beliefs, or have made some poor choices and are feeling beaten down, unhappy, and worst of all, unworthy.
As you change your mindset to one that is more positive, affirming, and happy, the world around you shifts towards one that is more positive, affirming, and happy. You can create the life that you want and deserve with the power of your intentions.
Resetting Your Mindset in Ten Minutes a Day
So what does the 10 mean in In10tions? 10 represents ten minutes of your day that you will be resetting your mindset. Traditional meditation can go on for much longer, even hours at a time, but if you are the average person, balancing work, family and other obligations you may not have this luxury or you may not have yet committed more time to your practice.
When I first started my meditation practice I was gung ho. I was going to have an amazing, transcendental, and enlightening experience! I was going to meditate for an extended period of time and it was going to be beautiful.
Well, it turns out, that every day doesn’t allow us to have these ideal situations. Rather than beat myself up for not spending a massive amount of time with self-reflection, I wanted to set myself up to win with a smaller amount of concentrated meditation, which is just as powerful. Ten minutes is a great starting point and an ideal amount of time to reset your mindset.
What Goes Into an Intention?
What do you want out of life, what do you want to create and how do you want to feel? Put all of these desires into your intention. Go into your heart, breathe it in, feel who you truly are, and with intention, put this into your practice, so that the results will reflect in your everyday life.
Feel the words that you say within your heart and own the in10tion as part of who you are. Set your timer for ten minutes, close your eyes, and allow it to settle in. You may have urges during this time to fidget or think about doing other things. This is not the time to plan your grocery list!
You may experience something, or you may experience nothing. Trust your unconscious mind that you are exactly where you need to be. Just know that taking ten minutes at the beginning of your day is a fantastic starting point for the reset of your mind and to set the tone of your day.
At the end of your day, revisit your in10tion. This is a time for self-reflection, to see if you were able to practice this in10tion. Every day is going to be different; some days you may be able to rock this new mindset and others you may struggle and run your old, limiting, and undesirable patterns. Each day is a practice, so don’t be so hard on yourself if you are having a challenging day.
Giving Yourself Permission to be Imperfect
Give yourself permission to be imperfect and forgive yourself if those outdated beliefs of guilt, unworthiness, and self-doubt slip into the forefront of your mind. It is through the challenges and struggles we encounter that we truly begin to grow. Unfortunately, personal development isn’t rainbows and butterflies! But the reward of your personal self-discovery makes all the heartache and challenges well worth it.
The conclusion of your day is a ten-minute journaling session. You may be thinking: “That sounds like a lot of work,” or “I am not a very good writer.” Journaling has become something that I have learned to appreciate. It reminds me of that diary that many of us used to have, the one with a lock and key built in where we wrote all of our secrets with truth and vulnerability.
Like anything else, journaling takes practice and consistency to see the benefits. You can’t train for a marathon in one day; you must start off with small intervals and build your way up. This is the same with journaling.
Write for the full ten minutes without stopping and just allow the mind to let go. Write whatever comes to your mind, even if it doesn’t make sense. It is at that point when the most astounding and insightful thoughts can appear.
The Power and Impact of Journaling
I love the power and impact journaling can have on a person, because it gives you an opportunity to put your thoughts to paper. To think of an idea is one thing, but when you place it visually on paper for the eyes to see and interpret, that is a powerful tool, especially with conditioning these new beliefs to your identity. Some of the greatest breakthroughs I have personally experienced have been when I have openly written what my fears and hopes are, and what needs to happen in my life, openly, freely, and truthfully on paper.
I suggest you get a journal that is visually appealing to you, something that you would love to see every day. It is the same concept as creating your space for your meditation, to surround yourself with calming and uplifting things so that you can experience the moment on all visceral levels, from what you see, hear, and feel. Take the full ten minutes of journaling and use it to put all your thoughts to paper. The experience is yours; do what feels best for you.
So there you have it, your in10tions plan. Ten minutes of meditation in the morning, focusing on an intentional thought and ten minutes of journal reflection of how you brought that thought to action that day. Ninety days of practice leading to a transformation towards your authentic and true self.
My Hope for You
I believe that we are all powerful beings, and have more power that we give ourselves credit for. We have the ability to change our life, for better or worse, within an instant...just with the power of our thoughts.
The quality of our life is our choice. We can choose to think small, to live a life of suffering, which we induce upon ourselves. We can choose to work the job that we absolutely loathe day in and day out, feeling frustrated that we are not contributing or growing to our greatest capacity. We can choose the relationship that is unfulfilling or toxic because we are afraid of change or are uncertain of what the future will hold if we open ourselves up.
We can choose to hold back our deepest thoughts and feelings of vulnerability and not love fully with an open heart. We can choose the thoughts that we are undeserving, unlovable, and we are not enough. Or we can choose to think higher thoughts focused on love; mind-boggling love for that matter!
We can live a life that is abundant, vibrant, and beyond our wildest dreams. We can be in a career where we love what we do and are rewarded both financially and spiritually. We can live our purpose, giving and loving to others through courage and faith with and open heart. We can have relationships of pure happiness, not based on jealousy or conditional love. We can choose thoughts that we are love, we are abundant, and we are enough.
We have the ability to create our own reality, filled with love, purpose, and passion. We have the choice, what will you choose?
Today is a brand new day. Let your intentions ignite and excite you as you start your journey of passion for life and self-discovery!
In10tions: A Mindset Reset Guide to Happiness
by Melissa Escaro.
About the Author:
Melissa Escaro is a writer and life coach who teaches individuals mind and body connection and personal development skills. Melissa attended the University of Delaware obtaining her Bachelors degree in Psychology and then Widener University, obtaining her Masters in Clinical Social Work. Her experiences expanded to include mind and body connection through yoga, massage therapy, reiki, meditation, and life coaching, focusing on Neuro Linguistic Programming and Ericksonian Hypnotic Language. Melissa's integration of modalities, with her positive outlook, allow her to connect with individuals on many different levels, helping them to make their own connection with their mind and body. For free meditations and updates visit Melissa's website www.in10tionsbook.com. To read Melissa's Huffington Post blogs visit huffingtonpost.com/melissa-e-kirk/