Mari Craig, LCSW-C, CCDC, CPC

Posts Tagged ‘Intentional Life Power’

Step Eight: Manifesting Your Intention

In Living on January 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm

In previous entries I went through the first seven steps of my 8-step Intentional Life Power program using the case of Barbara, a coaching client of mine, who wanted to transition from a stressful job as a full-time teacher to a more flexible part-time role as a high-school English tutor.

After taking each critical step in my ILP program and envisioning her intention, as described in Step 7, Barbara was ready to move on to Step 8 and take the action necessary to manifest her intention – to do the work to become the person she wanted to be.

Manifesting intentions starts with owning the mindset of where you want to be.  Barbara began to act the part of the tutor with confidence, courage and the unshakable belief that she could do it. With this mindset she was able to take concrete steps towards realizing her intention.

Barbara began to network fearlessly with friends, peers and successful tutors to learn more about the work she wanted to do.  She researched the position fully and took courses to help her get recognized as a tutor. Soon she happily started to take on tutoring work in local high schools and initiated a private tutoring service.

Today, she is thrilled with the flexibility and freedom that comes with her chosen profession. Barbara’s experience with the ILP program has also given her additional tools to help her achieve other goals in her life.

When you begin manifesting your intention you start to let go of self-imposed limitations and create more options and possibilities for yourself.

The 8-step Intentional Life Power program is your personal program for success and you have my support to guide you as the need arises. Now is your time to become one with your inner power with great courage, confidence and joy.


Step Seven: Envisioning Your Intention

In Living on January 14, 2011 at 3:04 pm

When we plan a trip we envision the destination and the experiences we want to encounter. When we arrive we can enjoy being present and satisfied with our efforts. Step seven is about using our imagination to envision what it would be like to achieve our goals and creating a picture of what we want our life to look like.

To help Barbara envision what her life would look like once she became a high school tutor, I had her create a dream board with drawings and pictures that were associated with her intention.  She drew pictures and pasted magazine cut outs of how she wanted her life to look. She even added a few amazing photos of times when she had felt the most confident in her life.

Every morning after Barbara awoke she studied her dream board for a few minutes and then meditated on her goal. Before long she could easily visualize herself confidently taking the steps to achieve her intention.

The power of your imagination is boundless and when harnessed can take you virtually anywhere your heart desires.


Step Six: Developing Your Personal Power Statements

In Living, Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 8:26 pm

In past entries, we’ve been looking at the ILP case of a coaching client of mine named Barbara who wanted to transition from her job from being a full-time teacher to a more flexible role as a high school English tutor.

After completing step five in which Barbara created power circles to visually represent the mindset she needed to achieve her goal she proceeded to take the sixth step and develop three Personal Power Statements.

Barbara’s Personal Power Statements would become both an action plan and a mantra that would help guide her towards her intention.  For each statement she would use the following prefixes: I deserve, I intend and I follow through.  Her statements read as follows:

  • I deserve to believe in myself and have contentment in my profession
  • I intend to be courageous by taking the steps required to tutor part-time
  • I follow through with determination and confidence

By developing power statements that echo your building blocks, power words, and power circles you are shifting from ideas towards more action oriented thinking. Taking this step instills a firm belief in your mind that you can actualize your intentions.

Step Five: Developing Your Power Circles

In Living on December 18, 2010 at 5:06 pm

In prior entries I take you through the first three steps of my Intentional Life Power program using the case of Barbara who wanted to transition from a stressful position as a teacher to a part-time high school English tutor.

In step one, Barbara admitted she lacked the courage to take necessary the steps towards becoming a tutor.

In step two, she defined her intention – to move past doubt and fear and take the steps required to fulfill her goal.

In step three, Barbara selected the building blocks she felt would give her energy to accomplish her intention.  She chose the Mental and Emotional building blocks. She then chose Personal Power Words to further define her Mental building block (courage, belief, tenacity and determination) and Emotional building block (satisfaction, passion, contentment and confidence).

For step five of my ILP program, the objective is to transform your building blocks and personal power words into a visual representation of the mindset you need in order to achieve your goal. This is best done by drawing Power Circles, which symbolically represent the infinite nature of energy and the capacity of energy to achieve intention.

However many Power Circles you have chosen, draw each of them on a blank sheet of paper so that they all overlap and intersect with each other – do this in a way so that you have a clear center. Label each power circle the same energy as each of your building blocks and draw an image inside each circle that captures the essence of that circle.  For example, if you have a Spiritual building block create a Spiritual power circle labeled Spiritual with image of a lotus flower. Finally, in each power circle include the corresponding personal power words you’ve chosen to help fuel your intention.

Barbara took her building blocks and personal power words and created her power circles. She also added beautiful images to each of her circles to help anchor them in her thoughts. In the process of doing this she was able to visualize her goal and believe in her ability to achieve it.

By actively working through this step, you begin to shift your mind away from abstract rumination and intractability towards a concrete intention and more directionally appropriate thinking.

Steps Three & Four: Selecting Building Blocks and Personal Power Words

In Living on November 15, 2010 at 8:47 pm

The Intentional Life Power (ILP) Program is much like peeling the layers of an onion to discover the truth of who you are and the actions you need to take to lead a more fulfilling life.

Barbara, a woman who came to me for life-coaching, wanted to transition from being a full-time school teacher to tutoring high school English.

As indicated in step two of my ILP program, Barbara defined her problem – I lack the courage to take the steps to tutor part-time. Based on this problem I coached Barbara to define her intention – to be courageous and take the steps required to become a part-time tutor.”

Barbara was now ready to move to Step Three: Selecting Your Building Blocks.

Imagine arriving at the house of your dreams. It’s built in beautiful Georgian brick style practically glowing in sunshine and filling you with happiness.  Unexpectedly, you encounter a huge problem – there are no steps leading up to the front door. Without those steps it’s impossible to get into your house.

Just as building blocks are needed to construct the house of your dreams and, more importantly, the steps to the front door, they are also used define/build your goals and the steps you need to take to achieve them.

In Step Three, we choose building blocks to help us define our goals and those areas of our lives we want to improve. For example, if our goal is to be healthy, we choose Physical Building Blocks for eating right and exercising. If we want to be more spiritual, we select Spiritual Building Blocks for prayer and meditation. Other examples of building blocks include Mental, Emotional, Financial, Relationship, etc. These Building blocks may also be used in different combinations as needed.

Barbara chose Mental and Emotional Building Blocks because they felt the most appropriate for her goal. To accomplish her intention, Barbara needed to be courageous which she considered to be Mental Building Block energy. She also chose Emotional Building Blocks to construct the contentment and deep feelings of satisfaction she wanted.

Just as critical as the bricks themselves is the mortar that keeps them together. In Step Four: Choosing Your Personal Power Words, we are selecting the mortar.

The Personal Power Words Barbara chose to further define her Emotional Building Block were passion, contentment and confidence.  For her Mental Building Blocks, she chose believe, tenacity and determination.

Many of us have habitually looked outside ourselves since childhood for what we need.  As adults we learn that being autonomous and looking within is a healthy way of getting in touch with our personal power.  The practice of working with Building Blocks and Personal Power Words makes it easier for people to specify their goals while giving them the power and energy necessary to achieving the life they want.

In other cases such as with Angie, a recent divorcée, and Rick, an investment banker, Building Blocks and Personal Power Words have been effective

Angie began to look inside herself to discover the Building Block energy she needed to serve her intention, which was “to heal from her marriage and move on with her life”. She expressed the inner turmoil she experienced, “the thoughts and feelings that I have keep me stuck in my old rut.”  The Building Block Angie chose was “Spiritual” and the Personal Power Word she selected to define that spiritual energy was “Heal.”

Rick lost complete trust in his abilities as an investment banker. In Step Two, Rick’s intention was to trust his investing knowledge and expertise.  He selected the Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Building Blocks.   The Personal Power Words he chose to support his Mental building block was discipline, focus and knowledge; for Emotional he chose neutralize and patience; for Spiritual he picked  meditation, mindful and clarity. Rick had taken his power back, which increased his confidence to achieve his intention.

For Rick, the keys that unlocked his power were in the particular combination of Building Blocks he selected and how he defined them with his Personal Power Words.  Rick discovered the secret within him by using ILP and in so doing had set himself free to take his power back to regain trust in his abilities.

You too can set yourself free to take your own power back, as well by working these steps on your own.

Step One: Defining Your Problem with the Intentional Life Power Program

In Living on July 18, 2010 at 9:30 pm

People often have great difficulty resolving problems in their lives because they are unable identify core issues deep within themselves. People tend to address problems that are symptomatic of their core issues and typically find themselves running into the same problems over and over again.

The Intentional Life Power Program (ILP), which I have honed over my past 20 years as a therapist and life coach, takes a more effective path towards identifying and resolving core problems and enable you to flourish.  Since what is on the surface may only be the tip of the iceberg, the concept of delving below the layers of possible reasons may lead you to discover alternative explanations that may be the true source of the problem.

In my previous post, Achieving Dreams with the Intentional Life Power Program, I gave an overview of the ILP process and used Angie’s experience as an example. Angie, who was transitioning through divorce, initally attributed her problem to her husband and in-laws. Angie found the courage to look deep within herself to discover that it was her perception of herself and her lack of confidence that were at the root of her problems. From there she developed the intention to work on her self-perception, confidence or interpersonal communication to build a new, more positive sense of her life.

One particularly effective way to get to the heart of a problem is by using the Downward Arrow approach.  This approach takes you through a series of “what else“ questions to help strip away the layers until the core issue or problem is revealed.

Consider the case of Rick, a former high-powered stock trader who bottomed out through a few poor choices and could no longer trust himself to make sound decisions.  Using the downward arrow technique to discover “what else” was really causing him enormous anxiety and self-doubt, Rick was able to peel away the layers to uncover subconscious motives and explanations.

After great introspection, Rick found a part of him did not believe he had sufficient knowledge and experience in investing despite having taken high-level investment courses his whole life. That might have held him back, but we continued to pursue why he felt this was the case.  Rick divulged that he trusted brokers more than himself despite the well-known fact that brokers aren’t any more successful at stock pics than the average investor.   As we continued to examine other possible reasons for this problem we found that Rick needed to practice investing by making regular paper trades.  For Rick, it was about building trust and confidence in his own skills and in timing when to enter and exit trades by having a back-tested system in place.  As I coached Rick through the layers in his mind to a clear definition of his problem he was able to gain the confidence he needed to do the work of developing an appropriate intention.  The more clearly defined your problem is the more you open the way for an effective intention.

Another coaching client of mine, Barbara, wanted to transition from her job as an English teacher. Barbara found herself stuck in a job burdened with heavy administrative duties and after school tutoring.  She was stuck because she felt disrespected in her job role yet had “gotten used to putting up with it”.

Using the downward arrow technique, Barbara discovered a few underlying reasons for her behavior.  She felt overwhelmed by the challenges of starting a new job and she let her anxiety dictate where she would put her teaching focus – test taking or writing skills.  She admitted that she was afraid that she would end up doing what she didn’t like because tutoring for test taking was in high demand.

Through further self-inquiry, Barbara realized there were other subconscious issues at play. She was having difficulty accepting the unknown and being able to rely on and trust her ability to take the risk and survive.  She exclaimed, “it’s been a long time since I’ve been out on my own and I need to find the courage to take the leap despite my fear in order to be fulfilled”.  Barbara’s came to acknowledge that a key issue was the lack of courage.

The process of discovering the true reasons for your problems is about continually peeling away the layers of possible explanations until you find the fundamental reason is for the problem you are experiencing. The process requires hard work and brutal honesty.  Once you have done this you will be able to make the shift to a more definitive way of solving your problems from a more practical perspective.

To get comfortable with this new shift on a deeper level may require just relaxing and being with it through regular meditation and/or deep breathing.  When you get to the heart of your problems your intentions will be right and resonate with you on a deep level.   Angie, Barbara, and Rick took huge steps on their journey through their ILP program.

Either by yourself or with the support of a life coach or psychotherapist, you can open the way for a whole new beginning in your life by using the ILP Program.

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.