Led by the 4 stages of creativity and...a feeling
Giving more attention to feelings is a good motivator for achieving goals
I have always been fascinated about where ideas come from and how, when we’re most relaxed, they arrive. Steve Jobs famously said; “Creativity is just connecting things.” It sounds so simple but quite often we're not even aware that our creativity and ideas are just waiting to be connected. Or otherwise referred to as the four stages of creativity: preparation (collect information), incubation (mulling over information), illumination (the ‘a-ha’ moment), and implementation (action).
Focusing on feelings as a motivator It’s only now, when I look at the four stages that I realise I have been inadvertently preparing to be an empowered mindset coach (incorporating my skills as a writer and mindful meditation teacher) but hadn’t connected all the other pieces yet. That is, until an idea was formed, the second stage of creativity; ‘incubation’, while interviewing author of Futurize Yourself, and Tedx organiser, Tom Meyers for the podcast The SlowDown, which I co-host.
He talked about what he had discovered from what he called ‘the great pause’ this year and how he had been reflecting on ways to create his future by thinking about what he wanted to feel and, using that as a motivator to achieve his goals, he said; “I have learnt that if I focus myself and my life towards a focal point that represents everything that I want to experience and feel, then my experiences and feelings become richer. So, more attention is being given to feelings so that feelings become a motivator, an objective or goal.”
I found this intriguing because I hadn’t really thought about factoring in my feelings when planning my goals. It immediately it got me thinking; what constant feeling do I want to bring into my career, my experiences and my life? Initially I was thinking ‘joy’ and then I thought this would be a good idea to turn into a theme for a series of workshops – it was the third stage of creativity, illumination (definitely a ‘a-ha’ moment). My plan was to focus on ways to achieve different feelings through mindfulness, writing prompts and meditation. But first, I wanted to do some research and find out what other feelings people wanted to bring more into their lives. This would inspire a second illuminating moment, brighter than the first.
Becoming the feeling we want to feel The first person that came to my mind was chef and friend, Oddny Edwards who had just launched her own business called Oskuhus, creating Icelandic inspired products. I was curious to know what feeling, someone at the beginning of launching something new would want to feel. There was no hesitation when she told me; “I want to feel empowered. I want that feeling in my career and personal life, especially when I make decisions and not to feel doubt on whether it’s the right choice or not.” To be honest I was taken aback because the word ‘empowerment’, made me feel, if I am honest here, a bit scared! All those images of fists in the air, a salute to power. It felt in some ways aggressive and not relatable for me, especially as a mindful meditation teacher with a focus on inner peace.
Straight away I looked up the definition of ‘empowerment’ which according to the Oxford dictionary is defined as “the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one's life and claiming one's rights.” However, it was the sentence after that intrigued me the most; But empowerment can also have many different meanings to different people—depending on their experiences, circumstances, hopes, and dreams.
Empowerment is anything you want it to be I saw this word like plasticine which could be moulded into anything you wanted it to be, the possibilities were limitless. This was exciting, especially as a teacher. So, the first online workshop was created, which incorporated discussion around what is empowerment, who we thought embodies empowerment (author, Brene Brown came up a lot!) and, how we can bring in that feeling of empowerment more into our lives. I also introduced writing prompts which encouraged discussion and then we relaxed at the end with a meditation…naturally on visualising feeling empowered! It was, I realised, a workshop that people needed, especially in a year which has seen us all feel disempowered, and I also realised this couldn’t be just one workshop, especially after the positive feedback and reactions I received.
Hence, I am bringing women together regularly via a series of workshops called B.E.A.M (Be Empowered Adjust the Mindset) with themes connected to empowering ourselves more (such as challenging our self-limiting beliefs) as well as group and individual coaching, with membership options. It’s also become the theme of a new podcast ‘Empowered Thinking at Play’ in which guests candidly self-explore and divulge what skills have been fundamental in feeling empowered, how they have created a stronger mindset and, their interpretation of what empowerment really is. It has already been quite a journey in my own discovery of empowerment and opened my mind in so many different ways. Not to mention connecting with people who are as interested in this topic as much as I am (well, almost!).