Category Archives: Positive Thinking

The Power of Intention – Living on Purpose

I spend each December with my a cappella quartet, Fandango, performing throughout Vancouver.  On a particularly cold and rainy day this year we were tired, and not getting the reaction we wanted from the preoccupied shoppers.  We started feeling a bit grumpy – so we took a break to recalibrate.  We chatted and said “OK, let’s create an intention to really focus on connecting from our hearts with each person that walks by”.  We started caroling again, holding that active intention in our minds.  Incredibly, every person walking by shifted from aloof to engaged – smiling, involved, reacting.  That’s the power of intention.   We didn’t “do” anything different – we simply held a mental “intention” or purpose.

Intention is a mental tool that focuses your attention which in turn shapes the structures in your brain. When we act with intention we act with purpose. Considering, and then adding intention to an action or situation creates a different level of consciousness and sets energy in motion to get the results you want. 

You can apply the Power of Intention to any part of your life and supercharge your year, your day, or a specific activity or conversation.

Creating Magic - Female open hand appearing to send out a stream of sparkles and glitter on a golden and black flowing background

5 WAYS TO USE INTENTION TO SUPERCHARGE YOUR LIFE

1/ Holding an Annual Intention

Supercharge your year by holding a single intention or purpose for it.  Think of this as your annual “Theme”. Get away from the list of “goals” and “resolutions” and create one or two words that will be the foundation for your year.  Keep your theme present throughout the year (write it down, put it on a post in note on your office wall or fridge, add it as your screen saver).  Notice how approaching the year with your theme in mind will inform what you “do” without you even thinking about it.

2/ Creating a Daily Intention

Focus and supercharge your day by spending a couple of minutes in the morning to think about that day’s intention. What will the day be about? Is it joy? Is it connection? Is it efficiency?  By simply mentally focusing back to that intention throughout the day, you will feel an energetic shift in results (all without you having to actually do anything different).

3/ Being an Intentional Leader

How you show up as leader has a dramatic effect on a group atmosphere and holding a clear intention will shape results.  Experiment with holding a single intention for a day at the office – or a meeting – or a rehearsal.  e.g. / “Today is about spreading joy”.  “Today is about teamwork”. “Today is about respect”.   Write out your intention, and refer back to it. It doesn’t matter what the specific activities of your day are, you will be approaching them with a different underlying intention. One simple thought will focus your energy and makes things shift.

4/ Being Intentional in Conversation

Think about being intentional in an important conversation.   As an example – consider the age-old conversation you have with your teenager when they forget to phone and tell you that they will be coming home later than expected from the party. What if the intention you held for that tricky conversation was “love and respect” for your teenager? You don’t need to think about changing what you are going to say. Your words and your tone automatically will change if you change your intention. Imagine how differently your teen might hear “Tommy, I need you to call me if you are going to be late” if your intention is to show how much you love and respect him.

5/ Being Intentional about a Specific Activity or Event

Being intentional for any activity or event has a powerful focusing effect on the experience and its outcome. As an example, let’s take the dreaded “networking” event.  What might happen if you held a mental intention of “connecting” with people instead of “getting business”?   How might your actions change as a result?  Intention gives us a sense of control and allows us to “create” our conditions vs. simply “reacting” to them.  Instead of life “happening to us”, we are shaping it.

 

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Top 3 Ways You Can Supercharge Your Rehearsal Experience in 2018

Top 3 Ways to SUPERCHARGE YOUR CHORUS REHEARSAL EXPERIENCE IN 2018 (2)1. BE INTENTIONAL

Being intentional when you perform or rehearse has a powerful focusing effect on the experience and its outcome.  Considering, and then adding intention or purpose at rehearsal creates a different level of consciousness and energy. Adding intention fires off neurons in the brain that sets energy in motion to achieve/or give you the result.   Intention gives us a sense of control. We are “creating “our conditions vs. simply “reacting” to them.  Instead of rehearsal “happening to us”, we are shaping it. Wow!

How: Before you begin each rehearsal, think about what your intention will be for that rehearsal.   Is it spreading joy? Is it having fun? Is it being confident? By simply focusing back to that intention throughout the night, there will be an energetic shift (without you having to actually do anything different).  You can also consciously add intention and purpose to a single action – to a musical passage, a song, or even a Choreography move.  Experiment with this, and feel the difference intention makes!

2.  BE PRESENT

Being present at rehearsal means more than just physically showing up.  It means eliminating all mental interference so you can be fully and mindfully present in each moment of your rehearsal.  Why do we care?  Well – being present in each moment allows the space for the most inspiration and grounded energy, creative flow and performance connection.

How:  This will take some practice, as there are an infinite amount of external and internal interferences to take us out of the present moment.  First step is to let go of any mental interference getting in the way of your being able to be 100% present.  Stuff in your head before rehearsal?  Leave it at the door!  Interference happening during rehearsal?  Say “How Fascinating” and allow yourself to defer the thoughts for later.  Re-focus to your director.  Re-focus to your breath. The point of power is in the present moment! RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!

3. SHOW UP AS A LEARNER

This is why we rehearse. To learn.  To improve.  To grow.  Even our Queens of Harmony agree that chorus rehearsal is about improving their craft.  Yet how quickly we revert to our “judging” mindset when perhaps we sing a wrong note, run out of air, miss a choreo move etc.   At rehearsal, we want to adopt a growth mindset and show up as a learner to open up creative possibilities.  Our journey to personal mastery is a lifelong process.  If we have finished learning, we are dead.

How: Accept that your skill level right now is merely your starting point – and that you are at rehearsal to improve.  Mark your starting point so that you can measure each small increment of improvement. When we show up as a learner, we are in effect saying we do not know everything; that we are open and willing to grow.  The pressure lifts and the space opens up when you relieve yourself of the burden of having to know everything. Think of mistakes as opportunities to improve instead of self-judging failures that shut down your mind

Adopt the mantra “I am a Learner” and feel how your rehearsal experience positively shifts.

 

Prepping for competition? Reasons to keep a positive mindset

This is a critical period for those who are preparing to compete at the International competition in Houston, TX  Oct. 17 – 22 . Beside your rehearsal work toward technical mastery, your mental mindset is a huge contributing factor to your performance potential. 

It is critical for all chorus members to begin now to develop and nurture a positive mindset.  How you mentally approach the next 6 weeks and the competition week  will have a dramatic effect on your ability to achieve your peak performance onstage.

A positive mindset can directly affect your performance and the performance of those around you by literally helping to grow your energy field.   Positivity breeds possibility and if you are stuck in a negative mindset, you are stuck in the land of scarcity thereby severely diminishing your capacity to grow,  learn and improve. And, as a pretty cool by-product, you and your chorus will have a lot more fun creating and working in an atmosphere of positivity!  

 I encourage you to incorporate the techniques in my document Ten Strategies for Nurturing a Positive Mental State Pre-Competition over the next several weeks.

Positively yours,

Jan Carley, Inner Coach of Barbershop and author of Harmony from the Inside Out – Creating and Maximizing your Performance Potential   on sale at http://www.harmonyfromtheinsideout.com

jan@innercoachofbarbershop.com

Harmony from the Inside Out at Men’s International

Heading to Kansas City? Be sure to pop by Harmony Marketplace and pick up a copy of the book barbershoppers are raving about – Harmony from the Inside Out. Directors and chorus members world-wide are embracing the principles in this popular book.  

Harmony from the Inside Out comprehensively outlines how to add the Inner Coaching piece to your barbershop toolbox not only to leverage successful competition results, but also to shift your chorus culture to one of possibility and positivity.  

Clay Hine (AVP, A Mighty Wind): “The more I see what incredible results Jan’s program produces, the more convinced I am of how important her book is to any ensemble’s success.”

Tom Metzger (REALTIME, Groupanizer) “Jan’s book cuts through the usual superficial acceptable wisdom and gets right to the fundamental causes of success and failure. Stop rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic – read this book.”

Sandy Marron (Master 700 director of the SAI 2010 International Silver Medalists, Lions Gate Chorus): “These inner coaching principles will positively change you and your chorus culture (or any team you might work with) forever”

Lisbet P. Kline (Director, Song of the Valley Chorus) Your book made the difference for my chorus this year for contest. In spite of using the Art of Possibility approach by Ben Zander for years, they for the first time were able to take what they are capable of onto the stage, and we improved 40 points to become the second most improved chorus.”

On Sale at HARMONY MARKETPLACE, or On Line at www.harmonyfromtheinsideout.com 

Bulk Sales for choruses – please email jan@innercoachofbarbershop.com

Best of luck to all competitors!

Cheers,

Jan Carley, The Inner Coach of Barbershop www.innercoachofbarbershop.com

Author, Harmony from the Inside Out www.harmonyfromtheinsideout.com

Jan Carley Interview on Webcast at SAI International Convention

Here’s the link to an interview with me about my book, Harmony from the Inside Out,  on the Webcast at the SAI International Convention in Seattle, WA . Interviewers are Britt-Helene Bonnedahl and Kim Wonders. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2uxSGrIIjc

You can purchase the book at www.harmonyfromtheinsideout.com   OR  Bulk Orders with great discounts are available through me personally at jan@innercoachofbarbershop.com

Cheers,

Jan Carley, The Inner Coach of Barbershop