Hundreds of scientific studies have concluded that meditation improves our overall health and quality of life in many ways. But it is also a great tool to have in our tool box to help us with specific situations that arise in our lives, such as finding guidance to handle a problem at work or home or in making important decisions. Quieting our minds allows our inner guide to be heard and, more often than not, provides some of the best solutions and ideas.
One way it is very useful is to help discover your passion. The process of clearing your mind allows your true feelings and desires to float to the top, providing assistance with brainstorming ideas for your future. Try this simple brainstorming process to guide you to find your passion.
Start with a Clean Slate
Our lives are so busy, our minds are cluttered with things that we need to do and we are constantly in a multi-task mode. In order to begin your brainstorming session, you need to start with a clean slate. It is an important step in the process to create a space where you can relax, feel comfortable and have the peace of mind that you won’t be interrupted while you focus on you. Here’s how you can clear your space, time and mind:
Space – Make sure the space you have designated for your brainstorming session is clean and de-cluttered and has room to spread out. Create a fun environment that allows you to open up, get creative, and a little messy. Bring out your favorite pen or pencil, colored pens, highlighters, notebook and/or poster size paper. The goal is to make it fun, comfortable and inspiring.
Time - Give yourself time to focus on you. We would recommend blocking out about 2 hours on your calendar. Schedule it ahead of time so you can let people know you will be out of pocket for a couple of hours. Turn off all electronics and be in a space where no one can just pop in and interrupt you.
Mind - Start your session off with a 15-30 minute mediation. This allows your mind to start to clear out all the noise so you can focus on the task at hand. For this mediation practice, focus on your breath, breathing in and out of your nose. As thoughts arise, place them into one of two categories, thoughts of: 1) planning or 2) remembering. That is generally what our thoughts are doing. Once you have labeled the thought, let it go and return your focus to your breath. Keep repeating this throughout your meditation. Pretty soon your mind will start to settle down and ideas for your brainstorming session will start to reveal themselves. Once the mediation session is completed, jot down these ideas right away.
Now the fun begins! But, before you start, remember this is a brainstorming session and no ideas are bad ideas. Write down everything that sounds interesting to you without judgment. This means don’t get into the details (i.e., how much money you could make or not make, list the pros and cons, etc.). There will be time for that later, this is just an exercise to get your creative juices flowing.
During your brainstorming session create 3 lists in the following order:
- How you want to feel - Create a list of adjectives that describe how you want to feel in a new career. For example, do you want to feel creative, feminine, empowered and expressive? Danielle LaPorte, author of The Desire Map, believes that knowing how you want to feel “is the most potent clarity you can have.”
- What you love doing - This is the heart of the brainstorming session. Write down everything that comes to your mind and remember: no editing. This is a free flowing exercise. Have fun with it. When you think you are done with the list do a short mediation. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths and mediate for about 5 minutes. You never know, a few more ideas may just pop up!
- Top 5 – Now is the time to edit your list. Review list number 1, then start to highlight the items from your “What you Loving Doing” list that resonate with you the most. Try to narrow it down to 5 items. If you can’t narrow it down to 5, then don’t---this is your process so do what feels right to you.
Excellent work! Now it’s time for a break!
Meditate on it
Put your Top 5 list somewhere you can see it each day and let your subconscious take over. Try meditating each morning for one week (read our blog on How to Meditate for helpful instructions). Keep a journal nearby as ideas will most likely pop up. Your inner guidance will give you direction as you start exploring your Top 5 list.
Take Heart-Based Action
As ideas start to come to you start taking heart-based action. This means explore what feels right, not what you think you should do. Explore without expectations or judgement or the need to make something happen. Just enjoy the process and see where it leads. The famous poet Rumi says, “As you start walking the way, the way appears.” Things will begin to fall into place.
For example if you really love cooking and you love the way it makes you feel creative, nurturing, giving, etc., then take action. Maybe take a cooking class, research what types of careers you could have based around cooking, and interview people in the culinary field.
If you realize that a career in cooking may not be “the one” then move on to the next idea on your list. Albeit you had a lot of fun in the process, learning new things and meeting new people. When you are having fun you will attract good things to you and eventually the right opportunity will come along. Enjoy the journey!