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Guided by Divine Design: Living with Intention and Shaping a Purposeful Life

Tonya Cox

March 7, 2024

Guided by Divine Design-Living with Intention and Shaping a Purposeful Life

Each morning, I awoke with a familiar sense of dread, as if it had become a constant companion in my daily routine. The life I found myself living was far from the life I had imagined for myself. The course of my life had veered off in unexpected directions, diverging from the path I had once envisioned and desired, and I was not happy or thriving. I also knew that my thoughts were the beginning of all creation and that I am the co-creator in my life with my God. I had continued to pray and read my scriptures and seek to be spiritually driven and spiritually directed, but I was still rather miserable. I was not living a life I love to live.  

About that time a friend of mine shared a youtube video with me by a man named Hal Elrod.  Hal shared some of his personal experiences of also living a life that had veered off the course he imagined for himself and how he began living his life with more intention starting with his morning routine.  Hal’s message spoke to me as it brought a practical application to principles I knew to be true.  He calls it the Miracle Morning.  I got his book and read it and made a conscious choice to begin my morning with more direction and intention, to stop playing the victim to other people’s choices, and get busy creating and living a life I love to live!!      

Here are the six elements to starting your morning with intention: Meditation/prayer, Affirmations, Visualization, Journaling, Reading,  and Exercise.  

When we wake up in the morning we are immediately met with the temporal world and all it brings!  Stopping and taking time to meditate and pray helps us get recentered in the divinity of who we are as sons and daughters of Heavenly Parents and to “think Celestial!”  As we take this time to get spiritually centered and spiritually directed we invited the Holy Spirit to be our guiding influence for our thoughts and the work of the day ahead.  All the problems live in the temporal world and all the answers are in the spiritual world.  Meditation is a popular concept in our day and studies show a positive impact on our mental wellness, particularly in terms of reducing stress and promoting overall emotional health.  Combining these two concepts in a few minutes for our morning is a powerful way to set the tone for the day. As you center yourself through meditation, cultivating mindfulness and inner calm, you create a receptive space for prayer. This harmonious blend allows you to align your thoughts, intentions, and gratitude with a higher purpose. It becomes a sacred ritual that not only nourishes your soul but also empowers you to face the day with a grounded spirit, compassionate heart, and a deepened connection to the divine.  

With this connection we can move into Visualization.  In order to live a life you love to live you first need to imagine it!  Taking time to vividly imagine your life as you desire it brings your goals into view and acts as a motivational tool to work towards them.  We cannot create something we have not first imagined. This practice of intentional thought begins to lay out the plans for your day and thus your life!  Also what we focus on grows.  We can’t plant seeds of corn seeds and hope to harvest carrots!  So taking time to  visualize a life you love to live plants the seeds of that life. 

Affirmations are an opportunity to speak out loud the truths you hold for yourself and bring those seeds you planted through your visualization into the physical world.  “What we speak about we bring about!” Speaking affirming words, that represent our positive beliefs and goals, brings the thoughts of our mind and intent of our heart together bridging the gap between intention and manifesting.  Since our mind cannot compute negatives, for example if I say, “don’t think of a pink elephant” your mind automatically thinks of a pink elephant, affirmations need to be said in the positive and present tense.  For example, “I am safe and loved.” Through the intentional practice of affirmations we align our words, thoughts, and actions towards living a purposeful and fulfilling life.

Next, taking a few minutes to journal gives you another form of bringing thoughts, words, and actions into the physical world thus supporting manifesting your heart’s desires.  Journaling can help us process our thoughts and feelings and bring clarity to the life we desire to live.  Journaling also helps us record the spiritual impressions or guidance we receive through prayer to direct our actions for the day.  I also recommend as you journal that you take time to write down several things you are grateful for.  Since what we focus on grows, and what we think about we bring about, then focusing on those things we are grateful produces more things to be grateful for!  I personally have one journal for spiritual guidance, impressions, and processing my thoughts and feelings, and another one that is primarily my gratitude journal.  Taking time each day to focus on the gifts and blessings of my life helps me see God’s hand in my life even if it isn’t exactly the life I had imagined for myself.  Journaling helps me align my will more fully with God’s will for me supporting us in being “one.”  

Now that I am more centered in myself and in the light and truth of heaven I can open a book and read. I choose to read my scriptures first and foremost every day and keep the word of God always before my eyes that it may be rooted deep in my heart.  This is a priority for me and my day. I then choose to read about 10 minutes in another book of my choosing about a topic that I want to learn more about.  Taking time to read fosters a growth mindset.  Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve a problem with the same mindset that created it.”  As I read I gather valuable insights and perspectives that support my learning and growth so I can make new choices and support living a life that brings healing and joy to me and those I love. 

The final step to an intentional morning is exercise.  Moving the body supports overall well being. It gets the happy juices in the brain flowing: brain chemicals called neurotransmitters and endorphins which are associated with feelings of happiness and well-being.  Many studies show that exercise can boost our energy levels too and increase mental acuity, lift our mood, and promote a healthy lifestyle.  Choosing to exercise is a practice of self discipline and mastery over our physical bodies and thus in a way over our physical worlds. The kind of exercise and length of time can vary depending on your personal interest and fitness level. The most important thing is to move your body! Move your body even if it is just a brisk ten minute walk, a fifteen minute yoga routine, or a seven minute routine found on youtube.  Your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health will drastically improve as you make exercise in some form a part of your morning routine.

This is a brief outline of each of the steps.  There is definitely room for a more in-depth study.  On an ideal morning I take my time doing all these and it takes an hour or even two!  But most mornings I take 30 minutes and some mornings I can only take 6-10 minutes.  Even giving each step one to two minutes of my time and attention in the morning starts my day off with intention and power.  I no longer wake up with that sense of dread, but with genuine excitement to embrace the day and live a life of intention and purpose.  A life I love to live!


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