Saturday, February 28, 2015

Vision: The Fuel for Motivation

"When the soul wishes to experience something she throws an image of the experience out before her and enters into her own image." --Meister Eckhardt

When people are feeling lost, aimless or unmotivated, it is often because they lack a vision of what they want, where they want to be or what activities or work will bring them meaning and purpose. Vision can be like a flame of desire: once our passion catches on fire, there is lots of light and fuel for making it real.

How do we build a sense of vision?

A good place to begin is to ask our hearts what we care most about, what really matters and what gives us a sense of meaning, purpose and connectedness. You can do this through closing your eyes, taking a few deep breaths, feeling the physical support of your seat, the floor or whatever is supporting you, and bringing your focus to your heart, noticing where you feel your heart in your body. Placing your hand on your heart helps bring your focus to your heart. And once you have brought your focus to your heart ask yourself the following questions:

1. If I could create my life the way I really wanted, what would my life be like?

What would I be doing?

Who would I be spending my time with?

Where would I be spending my time?

What would be different than the way things are right now?

2. What brings me the greatest joy and fulfillment?

What kinds of activities can I do that bring me joy and fulfillment?

Are there any activities that are particularly joyful and fulfilling that I really want to do now and in the near future?

Of the activities that bring me joy, which ones would I want to spend focused time doing?

3. What activities feel most purposeful and meaningful?

Of these activities, which ones do I feel most drawing to pursuing right now?

If I were to be pursuing these activities, what would be I doing? where would I be doing them? who would I be spending my time with? What would be different than the way my life is right now?

By meditating on these questions, and writing down thoughts and ideas that arise upon meditating, you can begin to develop a sense of vision that feels connected, meaningful and motivating.

Rather than expecting to get everything complete and clear in one meditation, make it a practice regularly (once a week, at the beginning of the day, at the end of the day…)and note your insights and thoughts each time you meditate. And look for themes and patterns that arise as you continue to meditate on these questions over time. Once you've identified themes and patterns, that will give you the direction you need to put together an action plan, detailing goals, and specific steps you need to take to reach each goal, and first steps you can take today or tomorrow to move towards your goals.

Once you have an action plan, it is good to review how things are going regularly--be it daily or weekly, or at whatever frequency feels right to you. The clearer your vision, the easier it is to take meaningful action steps towards your vision. And if resistances arise, taking time to do a heart meditation being with the resistance, and seeing what it needs, can help you mine the lessons in your resistance rather than being frozen by resistance.

As you make a practice of tuning in to your heart, and building a heartfelt sense of vision, you may find more energy, clarity and direction to help you both identify clear goals, and take meaningful steps towards them.