Mari Craig, LCSW-C, CCDC, CPC

Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

Achieving Dreams with the Intentional Life Power Program

In Living on June 17, 2010 at 4:41 pm

We all go through periods when we’re aimlessly drifting from one day to the next – one job, one relationship, and perhaps one poor excuse after another for procrastinating on projects that could move us forward in our lives in substantive ways. During these times we know we’re not living up to our fullest potential and dread knowing our dreams linger unfulfilled.

Maybe we’re being unrealistic in wanting too much or even too little for ourselves, but whatever it is we want to achieve it needs to be done with intention.

Intention is when we make a conscious choice to identify and work towards what we want. Living intentionally is about being fully engaged in our lives and continually taking the correct steps and actions necessary to actualize our dreams and the life we desire to live.

As a therapist and life coach, I teach people how to live with purpose and intention. I know what it takes to move from aimless to focused, from being a wandering victim of circumstance to a master of intention.

Through my twenty plus years experience of working with people, I have developed what I call the Intentional Life Power Program (ILP) – an effective program that helps people actualize their personal and professional goals.  My eight-step program is easy to follow and can help anyone develop the clarity of intention needed to achieve goals with laser-like focus.

To give a general sense for how my eight-step program works, I’d liked to share the case of Angie, a woman I worked with who was transitioning from an abusive marriage and bitter divorce to establish herself as a happier, independent and confident woman. In subsequent blog postings, I will go through each of the 8 steps in greater detail.  These steps are detailed in my book, Awaken the Power Within You.

The 8-Step Intentional Life Power Program:

1.  Define Your Problem – Using color pens, markers, or crayons, write on a large sheet of paper a clear and specific definition of your most pressing problem. The act of doing this makes your problem much more vivid and tangible.

Angie defined her core problems as insecurity and low-self esteem. She wrote this in purple across the top of her sheet.

2.  Define Your Intention – Under your defined problem, write a specific, measurable intention that is directly related to your stated problem. Working within a simple scale of 1-10 provides you with a measurable baseline for where you are currently with issues in your life so you can see how you improve over time.

Angie’s intention was to improve her confidence and self-esteem from a 2 to a solid 5. She wrote this measurement and where she wanted to take it on a sheet of paper under her problem.

3.  Select Your Building Blocks – From among six core Building Blocks, choose what you intuitively believe most appropriately represents your intention: mental (M-cognitive), physical (P-body), emotional (E-heart), spiritual (S-metaphysical), social (Soc-people), and financial (F-money). Draw the Building Block/s on your sheet of paper labeled with its energy type.

Angie chose the mental-M and emotional-E Building Blocks to accomplish her intention.  On a sheet of paper under her measured goal, Angie drew an M and an E.

4.  Choose Your Personal Power Words – Expanding on step 3, reflect on what I call Personal Power Words (PPWs) that capture and define the explicit nature and energy of the building blocks you have chosen. These power words are meant to anchor your intentional Building Blocks in your mind.

To enhance her Mental Building Block, Angie chose competent, confident, independent and successful, and for her Spiritual Building Block she chose prayer and meditation.

5.  Create Power Circles – Write your Personal Power Words under your Building Blocks and draw what I call Power Circles around them (one for each type). Oftentimes, there are words that support both Building Blocks – these intersections are magnificent anchors and are written in the middle ground where your power circles overlap. I encourage people to get creative and mix up colors. Doing this tethers your PPWs to your Power Circles in a way that further defines and enriches each in your mind while supporting your intentions.

On her paper, Angie added her Personal Power Words under her Building Blocks and drew intersecting Power Circles around them (one for the Mental and another for the Emotional). Angie not only wrote her words in a rainbow colors, she also drew each word with stylistic flair.

6.  Create Power Statements – Using your PPWs, develop three Power Statements that define what you Deserve, what you Intend, and how you will Follow through. Write these statements under your Power Circles. These statements will become your daily mantra and will accelerate your Intentional Life Power program.

Under her Power Circles, Angie wrote the following statements:

I Deserve to be independent, confident and successful.

I Intend to be feel competent by building my self esteem from a 2 to a 5 in one month.

I Follow through with daily prayer and meditation.

7.  Visualizing – Hang your sheet in a place where you can see it every day and on a daily basis (a.m. and p.m.) review it for few minutes and use it to visualize your intention/s in detail. Doing this will further help you internalize your intention/s so that you can begin to manifest them.

As Angie did this each day, her self-esteem grew and her confidence became more palpable.

8.  Manifest Your Intention/s Using the blueprint of your inner vision as a guide for correct action.

With each passing day, Angie’s outer reality became more and more a reflection of her inner reality. With this she was able to continually formulate her decisions and take the steps she needed to actualize her intentions. Today, she is a successful career woman, happily remarried, and living the life she deserves. She applies the principles of the ILP program to her life on a daily basis.

The Intentional Life Power program is a simple yet powerful tool to help awaken the power within you to achieve dreams and live the life you want.

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Attracting Prosperity by Getting Out of Your Own Way

In Living on June 7, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Nearly everyone is feeling some degree of stress and uncertainty over the state of economy. Some see a bleak future while others who are facing financial challenges see the possibility for a prosperous future. Hope is what separates the pessimists from the optimists.

Pessimists are those who are afraid to hope and see themselves as victims of the economic downturn. These people tend to fall into three categories: victims, avoiders and dreamers.

Victims are like Charlie, a financial executive, who sees himself as a victim after his layoff from a major corporation. His self-defeating attitude perpetuates a cycle of fear and negativity and stymies his ability to find a new career.

Avoiders such as Marge, a stay-at-home mom, avoids returning to work because it is far easier than weathering repeated failures to land the job she so desperately needs to help support her family.

And there are the dreamers like Harry who are stuck in dead-end jobs out of necessity and dreaming that someone would recognize their true talents and rescue them from their misery.

What these three types of people have in common is that they have trouble getting out of their own way to overcome self-defeating patterns of thinking and behavior. Like many of us, they haven’t discovered the secrets of attracting prosperity into their lives.

These people need to realize that hope emerges once they can take ownership of their lives. Hope and optimism are what open the doors to prosperity. They are the engines that drive us towards what we want in out lives.

If you see yourself as a victim, avoider or a dreamer below are a few tips to help facilitate the hope and optimism you need to move forward:

1. Make the choice to release fear and embrace hope.
Choose to let go of what has held you back in the past. It is an old chapter from an old book. Choose to write a hopeful book on your new life.

2. Keep a positive focus on you and what you are doing now.
That on which you focus increases in power. Make it a point to focus on your positive actions and notice how the positive energy exponentially attracts what you desire.

3. Be aware of your thoughts and only allow those that are positive, optimistic, constructive and loving to enter your mind.
These positive thoughts allow you to construct a new you, someone who is filled with a passion for building a life that reflects what matters most to you. As you go through your day screen for what you wish to integrate into your new way of living.

4. Focus on what is certain in your life.
Focus on the evidence of what is solid, dependable and trustworthy for you. It may be your family, your church, your faith in a Higher Power, or your community. Trust that it is always there for you as you go through your day.

5. Surround yourself with supportive friends and family.
The people who love and care about you keep you grounded and secure through good times and in not so good situations. Keep them on the forefront of your mind and stay in regular contact with them. Allow yourself to be loved and cared about.

To those of you who are mired in negative thinking, I recommend that you make a contract with yourself today to reposition yourself as a person who has the power to change by keeping in mind that you are a powerful person who deserves to attract prosperity into every area of your life. You may be able to make this shift in thinking yourself or perhaps with the help of a professional life coach or counselor, but NOW is the time to take the first step towards a more positive direction in your life.

May the wind be at your back and the road rise to meet you on your journey to prosperity!