As I was reading a book this morning it got me to thinking about what I consider to be the most important elements of a Thriving Life. So, I thought I would write about this today. I came up with seven elements. Let’s see where this takes us …
Self-care has to be the number one element of a thriving life, in my book. If we don’t take care of our own needs, if we don’t feel empowered and inspired, if we don’t have confidence, then everything else in our lives will be lacking.
How can we love and care for others if we don’t first love and care for ourselves? Oh, we can go through the motions to love and care for others but, I’m talking about thriving … we can’t thrive without loving who we are. We can’t become empowered and inspired unless we love who we are. We can’t have true confidence unless we love who we are. By taking care of ourselves first, the rest of the elements of a thriving life will come much easier. That’s why I put this one first.
Have you ever been in a bad situation, either in your life or at work, that you just wanted to ignore and you hoped it would go away? What happens when you do that? Does it go away? Nine times out of ten, I’ll bet it doesn’t.
I believe that facing my ‘boogie man’ takes away the power he holds over me. What or who is the boogie man in your life? Is it fear? Is it negative thought? Is it someone? Is it something?
Acknowledging the person, situation or condition is the first step to changing how you see it. There may be several tough situations that are hard for you to face. What would happen if you faced the truth of the situation and chose to not let it have power over you? Do you think you could change how the situation affects you? You can’t have a thriving life if you are not facing the truth. Acknowledge the truth and take back your power.
Expressing gratitude more and often is one of the keys to thriving. There are so many things to be grateful for—and the more we feel gratitude, the less we feel pain and fear and insecurity. The more we feel grateful the easier it is to have positive feelings and emotions about where we are in our life and who is in our life.
No matter your spiritual beliefs, if there is a supreme being for you, say thank you—for getting up this morning, for having a roof over your head, for having a computer to stay in touch with friends and family, for being able to make choices for yourself. I promise, if you practice gratitude daily, the positive thoughts will overtake the negative thoughts. Watch and see.
This is a hard concept for many people. Some say, “I could never forgive him for what he did to me.” I’m not suggesting you do that—that may take time. What I am suggesting is that you forgive yourself for any role you played in an event that brought out your anger, forgive the event that caused you pain, forgive the event that made you sad.
Forgiving yourself is an incredibly healing practice. When we harbor ill feelings and negative emotions about events in the past (no matter how recently in the past they may have occurred), it causes us to carry around unnecessary baggage. Don’t worry about forgiving anyone else. Forgive the most important person—YOU—so you can have a thriving life.
Once you have forgiven yourself, let go of that burdensome baggage. It no longer serves you to hold on to it. It just drags you down. Lighten your load. You deserve to be free of the negative thoughts that go with the baggage you’re carrying.
How do you ‘let go’ you ask? I’ve read about and tried several ways. Some practice deep breathing and meditation to clear their mind of the negative baggage. Some use visualization techniques, imagining their life without all that extra stuff. Others turn to their faith and pray—“Let Go and Let God.”
Personally, I do a bit of all those things when there is something I need to let go of which doesn’t serve me well anymore. I’ll actually try anything to get rid of stuff that just makes me feel bad. Once I acknowledge that there is something that has to “go” I’ll do everything I can think of to make that happen. This does take practice but, I’m here to tell you that I feel lighter and happier once it’s accomplished. It’s like magic.
Faith is a very personal thing. What is faith to you? Does it help you to explain that which you cannot see? Or, does it help you to bear pain and misfortune because you believe that things will get better? Does faith help you understand when good things happen as though they were meant to be? Is it magic again?
Faith is all of those things for me—and more. I have faith that God and The Universe wants us to be happy, wants us to be at peace and wants us to live a thriving life. So, I choose to believe that I’m meant to have all those things—happiness, peace and a thriving life. I trust that, if I envision what I want and work toward making it happen, the right things will happen for me. It may not be exactly as I envisioned it but, it will be exactly what I need. That’s the faith I have. I could have put Faith anywhere in this list of elements of a thriving life and it would have fit just fine.
Participating in life is important and, I believe, an essential element to living a thriving life. Are we treating those around us with love and compassion? Are we doing good things? Are we helping those less fortunate? There are so many great ways to participate in life, whether we look closely around us or more broadly at our community or expand to the world at large.
How do you choose to participate? When we give of ourselves, even in the smallest way, we are enriched by the giving. And when others give to us, we are enriched by the receiving. Enrichment is a good thing.
There you have it. I wasn’t entirely sure where this was going to lead us. I must say, I am grateful that I captured these elements because it reminds me to stay mindful, take care of myself, acknowledge the truth, be grateful every day, forgive so I can let go of the stuff that makes me feel bad, have faith that I am exactly where I am supposed to be and that everything will be okay, and keep showing up—because I want to thrive not just survive.
What about you?
Make this your day ~~~ Explore … Dream … Discover!
Chief Inspiration Officer | SafeHarbor Coaching | For women facing life transitions
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