I began an online course through En*Theos Academy last week with author and creativity coach Eric Maisel. He has developed a new psychological framework called Noimetic Psychology, and its focus is on the subjective experience of meaning, what exactly makes something meaningful to someone, and how to cultivate meaning in one’s own life. I am profoundly fascinated by this topic, both on a personal and professional level. Figuring out how to live a life that matters––one imbued with stories that truly hold value––is arguably the most important task we have on this planet. The truth is, every single moment can, and does, hold endless meaning: simply to be alive, in a working body with a beating heart, our breath moving in and out, able to carry out the activities we have been called to do is miraculous. We often get so busy, so stressed, so distracted that we just don’t notice.
In this first class, Eric described something called incantations, which he developed as a way to pause and create space for meaning to come into our experience at any point in the day. They are simple, one-sentence phrases split between a five count inhalation and a five count exhalation. The phrases varied from affirmations to statements of intention, and he encouraged us to develop a few of our own incantations that resonate with us personally. One of my favorites that he gave us as was:
“I invest meaning here.”
Because life is what you make it, and meaning is wherever you look for it.
I am optimistic that if I can incorporate this statement both into my daily routine and my thinking about each task I am confronted with, I will get quite a return on my investment.