Segment Intending (aka trying to live in the moment)

As you guys know, I am a big fan of Jess Lively. I’ve followed her for over 5 years now, from her original blog, Makeunder My Life, through to her Life with Intention work and for the last couple of years, her fantastic podcast, The Lively Show.

In the past few months, Jess has started speaking quite a bit about the Law of Attraction and Abraham Hicks. Now, I never saw The Secret and am still not sure how much I believe in the Law of Attraction, but after Jess’ recommendation, I listened to the audio book on a 6 hour drive over the holiday season.

One useful concept I did take from the book was what Abraham calls segment intending. So what exactly is it and how can it help you?

What is segment intending?

Essentially to me, it means living in the moment or the activity you’re undertaking. Abraham defines it a little differently as setting your vibration and pre-paving your path before moving into an activity, but let’s go with my definition for now.

So if you’re getting up in the morning, having breakfast, taking a shower and getting ready, you go into that phase of the day aware of the activities and concentrating on each, one by one.

It may seem obvious but how often in the morning, instead of focusing on your routine, are you spinning out on your to do list, checking your email or social media, or already trying to think of what to have for dinner?

Why is it useful?

If we’re not conscious about the activities we’re undertaking, depending on how you’re built, you’ll often be living in the future, constantly thinking about what’s next on your list, or dwelling on the past, overthinking past conversations or worrying about something that happened yesterday.

Those simple morning activities may not seem that exciting day in, day out, but, let’s remember, you’re only going to get a certain number of mornings in this lifetime, so let’s not wish them away.

What if you concentrated on your breakfast, preparing it slowly, exactly how you like it, and enjoying it at your kitchen table, staring out at your garden?

What if you bought amazing scented shower gel and luxurious moisturiser and enjoyed your shower routine each morning?

What if you filled your closet with clothes you love wearing, picked out your outfit and accessories and shoes, and dressed feeling fantastic for the day ahead?

Suddenly your mundane, rushed morning routine doesn’t seem so bad right?

Where have I seen benefits?

As I’ve been more aware of segment intending in my life, I’ve mainly noticed benefits on my commute, at work and surprisingly, at the gym.

Commuting often seemed boring to me or (quite obviously) a means to an end (i.e. hurry up and get me there!).

Rather than wishing this time away, I’m much more relaxed in traffic or on a busy train, listening to my music, looking out the window and just being where I am at while travelling. I know I’ll be busier once the commute is over, so enjoy the down time.

At work, I’ve talked about getting easily distracted by email, chat and urgent requests.

I haven’t nailed this by any means yet, but I’m trying to just do one task at a time or work on one project at a time. I then try and let there be a specific time or times for checking emails and chats. Wish me luck continuing this one as it’s a toughie...

Last but not least, my visits to the gym have seemed much better and worthwhile since hearing about segment intending.

I do enjoy working out but was often rushing through exercises, keeping an eye on the clock so I could get out of the gym within a certain time and planning my dinner and to do list in my head for once I got home. Sounds pretty stressful right?

Now I still distract myself a little with music or podcasts (no one wants to focus that much while lifting weights) but I’m much calmer, working through each exercise, making sure I have all the equipment I need set up, and taking it easier on the clock watching.

I focus on what I’m listening to or the routine at hand and actually leave the gym feeling kinda rejuvenated and chilled now.

Can you work segment intending into your life this week? Even trying it for your morning routine, commute or work day will likely help. Let me know how you go in the comments below. 

 

Why You Should Do A Thought Download Every Morning

As I mentioned here, I spent most of 2016 trying to get better and more consistent with journaling my thoughts.

I have to admit I really only dabbled - I preferred doing yoga and some meditation in the morning and by the time I was ready for bed, the thought of writing pages on my inner most musings sounded exhausting.

Even though I saw benefits from journaling, including more gratitude and better sleep, it never really stuck.

So far in 2017 I have been much more consistent with the practice and am using Brooke Castillo’s strategy of thought downloads.

So how does my thought download routine work?

  1. I spend 5 minutes in the morning writing down all the thoughts in my head so I can start to look at them.
  2. I run the self coaching model on one of my overriding thoughts. I identify the circumstance/fact that has brought on the thought, then note down my feelings, actions and results from here. I often do this once for the default way I’m thinking, then once for how I would like to be thinking.
  3. I note down the dominant emotion I felt the day before, and the desired emotion I want to feel today (for example, today’s proposed desired emotion is ‘inspired’).

And what have I noticed?

  1. I am grumpy in the morning! At first I felt a little worried by my thought downloads, but now I go back and have a little snicker at how irritable I was and how I didn’t continue feeling that way throughout the day.
  2. In line with the first point, I’m learning again that my thoughts are not the truth. So if I feel a certain way when I wake up, or am thinking certain thoughts, I don’t have to carry those same ideas with me throughout my day.
  3. It’s great to have an anchor emotion to focus on. I’ve been pretty good at sticking to my desired emotion for the day but I have had a few days where ‘overwhelmed’ was my number one emotion. I can then go back and look at how I got to a less desired emotion, and how I could have thought and acted to get to the emotion I wanted instead.

I’ll keep you posted on the progress of this practice but so far I’m enjoying being more conscious about my thoughts and the day ahead. As Brooke says:

Let me know in the comments below if you try the thought download practice of if you have another journaling technique you use.

 

The Cat Lady Post: What My Cat Has Taught Me About Life

Day 1 with Pickles

Day 1 with Pickles

I’m going to start this week’s post with an incredibly depressing but profound quote.

I read a Guardian article about crime writer Henning Mankell who was facing his imminent death from cancer in 2014.

The quote goes:

“Fear is natural and based on the simple truth that what distinguishes us humans from other species is that we know we are going to die. The cats I have owned during my life have never been aware of their own death. They haven’t even been aware that they were alive. They have simply been there, day after day – hunting, lying around, miaowing. Acknowledging one’s fear of the unknown is realising what it means to be a person. Our existence is basically a tragedy. Throughout our lives we strive to increase our knowledge, our abilities, our experiences. But the bottom line is that all of that will be lost in oblivion.”

Heavy going right? But an interesting comparison of humans and their pets. I am a huge advocate for having pets – particularly rescue animals. 

Two years ago, my husband and I went looking for a cat to add to our family and were led to Pickles, a black cat who had been found very sick on the streets with cat flu.

He was taken care of by the Lost Cats' Home and now us and we can’t imagine life without him.

I’m sure you’ve heard the theory about why pets are so good for humans and in particular why it is so hard to ever lose them.

Relationships with pets are usually all positive, for a number of reasons... and here is what Pickles has taught me about life so far:

Accept people as they are

Our relationship with pets is so special because they accept us just as we are.

They don’t try to change us, they don’t mock us or put us down.

They love us just as we are.

Pickles is there for me through good times and bad and his love for and acceptance of me never wanes. His behaviour towards me stays consistent and it’s always positive. Whether I've I'm grumpy in the morning, have had a hard day at work or am just feeling glum in general, he's there for me in a consistent non-judgemental way.

Slow down

I remember when we first got Pickles, one of his major demands (!) of me was that when I got home from work, I was to lay on the bed so he could lie on me and purr and cuddle after a day away from me.

I must admit this was a struggle for me to start with – I was very used to coming home and getting on with cooking dinner, or cleaning up, or doing something else on my to do list.

Instead I’d come in the door and Pickles would demand I relax and cuddle with him. A pretty amazing way to end the work day and start my evening.

Don’t forget to be silly

Pickles loves to sleep a hell of a lot (did you know cats sleep for 16-18 hours a day? Inspirational really) but he also loves to be silly.

He did this even more so as a kitten, but one of my favourite times of day, is when Pickles will run around the house like a maniac, leaping off furniture, tearing up the hallway or bouncing across our bed.

It never fails to make me laugh and reminds me how much I love to make jokes, be immature and take a break from the seriousness of everyday life.

Thanks Pickles, I owe you so much.