While the first two videos provide two cornerstone ideas about what it means to truly thrive–being content with what “is” while being pulled toward the possibility of something even better–this video provides five essential practices to help you sustain on this journey.
Here’s why practices are critical:
It’s really easy to talk about being content and embracing possibility when everything is going smoothly. But then reality hits–life gets crazy, things don’t go according to plan–and you think, “the hell with being content… the hell with possibility… this sucks!!!”
You see, ideas will change your life immediately. But, an idea is like a spark and can quickly flame out when you encounter tangible circumstances that are stronger than an intangible idea.
Practices, on the other hand, will change your life permanently. Think of practices like roots going deep into the soil… allowing you to tap into something that’s stronger than the circumstances swirling around you.
Let’s look at how this applies in a relationship, just as an example.
Maybe you would say, “I want to be in a passionate, loving, thriving relationship.” Beautiful. Great idea. On a good day, it’s 🥰(“smiling face with three hearts”). Bliss! But what happens when your partner is not living up to your definition–or expectation–of what that kind of relationship looks like? Now is it 😡(“pouting face”)? Or worse?
That’s what happens if your good ideas–or good intentions–aren’t anchored by some grounding, centering practices.
When you encounter circumstances that aren’t aligned with your desires or expectations–and you will, as you know–it’s easy to feel frustrated, disappointed, angry, sad, discouraged, or many other unpleasant feelings. Feeling those feelings is natural. The question is, will you let those feelings dictate your life experience? Or will you be able to return to your core intention and choose your life experience? You have that power within you… but you need practices to tap into it on a consistent basis.
There are many practices you can integrate into your life over time, but let’s get you started with five simple ones that I’ve found to be extremely helpful on my own journey from surviving (just getting by) to thriving (being present, on purpose, and living with passion). Here’s a summary of what you’ll find in the video:
1. Manage Your Energy
As you go through the day, the people and situations you encounter are going to have an effect on your energy. At any given moment, you might feel an elevated energy (like being anxious or angry) or you might feel a depleted energy (like being tired or sad). You can allow yourself to stay in that state, and let that energy dictate how your day feels, or you can have the awareness to ask, “Is my current energy level supporting me in living the kind of life I want to live? Or do I need to make a shift?”
You have the power to shift your energy at any given moment, and two of the best ways I know are meditation and movement (and the two can be combined, by the way, with practices like yoga and Qigong, for example).
When you’re feeling anxious or angry or frazzled or distracted, that might be a cue to meditate for a few minutes. Meditation, by the way, can be as simple as taking a few deep breaths–inhale for the count of five, hold your breath for the count of five, and exhale for the count of five. Set a timer and do that for two, three, or five minutes, and see how you feel.
When you’re feeling tired or sad or depressed or discouraged, that might be a cue to get up and move. Go for a walk around your workspace. Walk around the block or the building. Jump up and down for a few minutes. Or, my favorite: put on your favorite playlist and have a One-Person Dance Party!
Meditation and movement will change your energy almost immediately, and you can use these tools to put yourself in the state that serves you best at any given moment.
2. Live with Gratitude
It’s very easy to look around and notice everything that’s not what you’d like it to be, or everything that’s “missing” in your life. And how does that make you feel? Does that feel like thriving? Of course not.
If you’re always focused on what’s wrong or what’s missing in your life, that’s a setup to live in a state of just surviving, just getting by, waiting, hoping for better days ahead. But remember, this moment matters. Life happens here, and only here.
You’ve probably heard of the value of writing down three things you’re grateful for, or keeping a gratitude journal. That’s great, but the practice I’m talking about here is simply learning to live with gratitude–learning to see life through the lens of gratitude.
As an example, when I take the dog for a walk, I often think about how grateful I am to be able to walk. I think about my grandfather, and how in his later years, he was confined to a wheelchair. No longer could he go out and walk the land on his farm. Instead, he would sit inside, looking out at the field through a picture window. I don’t know what my future holds, but I’m grateful I can walk right now.
What can you be grateful for in this very moment? If you’re struggling to think of something, are you breathing? There you go. This moment is a gift.
3. Get Consistent Positive Input
It’s not easy to manage your energy, and it’s not always easy to live with gratitude. You can “will it” for a short time, but if you’re relying on will, there will come a time when your tank is empty. That’s why it’s critical that you keep a consistent flow of positive input coming into your life: Wisdom. Insight. Encouragement. Advice.
You are not alone on this wild adventure of life, so don’t try to live as if you are. Tap into the positive people in your life (if you can find some!) and tap into books, audios, videos, blogs, and other positive resources. I make a point to get an injection of positivity in my life every day, and when I start feeling low–when I’m struggling to manage my energy, or find something to be grateful for–I just turn on an audio or video or open a book and let the words flow over me and through me. Even if I don’t feel like consuming the positive content in the moment, it never fails that within a short time, my state has changed and I can get back up and moving forward.
Are you getting regular positive input in your life? You’re getting some right now as you read this or watch the video, so congratulations! Good for you! If you’d like some more, I invite you to download my free Unstoppable ebook which includes my 3-step Recipe for Resilience, and then I’ll also support you with a weekly inspirational email.
4. Affirm and Feel What You Desire
This is a practice I really just got serious about a couple of years ago, and it’s been one of the most transformational things in my life.
I always ask audiences when I speak, what does thriving feel like to you? Said another way, what do you want to experience more of in your life? Do you want more joy? More peace? More love? More recognition? More adventure? What do you need to feel to feel like you’re truly thriving in life?
Now, what needs to happen in order for you to feel that feeling? Have you set up some rules or conditions, like, “I need [this] to happen and then I’ll feel [my desired feeling] and I’ll know I’m thriving”?
This is what we all do. But here’s the danger in that: The more rules and conditions you have, the more you make the life you desire conditional, or dependent on circumstances and situations that are outside of your control.
As we’ve said already, the state of surviving is a state of waiting or hoping for better days ahead–just trying to get “through” this moment to get “to” that moment… some day.
If you go back and watch the Power of Possibility video, you’ll learn how powerful your thoughts are to shape your life experience. One of the most powerful ways to leverage your thoughts is through affirmations–making present-tense statements like “I am thriving” with certainty–and feeling the feelings you desire as you speak them.
You see, you don’t have to wait to feel what you want to feel. Could you feel happy right now if you wanted to? Could you feel proud right now if you wanted to? Could you feel a sense of accomplishment right now if you wanted to? Could you feel love right now if you wanted to?
You can create your desired feelings now, and when you do, you become a magnet for the circumstances and situations that you ultimately seek.
“Plant” your intention. “Water” and nurture it with focus and feeling. And watch it grow. Don’t believe me? That’s okay. Be your own experiment!
If you’d like some affirmations to get you started, download my Four Affirmations to Thrive and speak them with feeling starting today. Speak them daily for the next seven days, and just see if you feel anything different in your life.
5. Do What You’re Doing
Everything you want to experience in life can only be experienced now, in this moment. Everything you want to give in life can only be given now, in this moment. You can’t feel something tomorrow. You can’t do something tomorrow. You can think about tomorrow and you can plan for tomorrow, but everything happens in this moment. All that matters right now, is right now.
To “do what you’re doing” is to practice being fully present in this moment. Can you do it all the time? No, that’s why we practice! You can start by setting your timer for five minutes or 15 minutes, and for that period of time, give your full attention to what’s right in front of you–this person, this project, this task.
Your attention is the conduit between you and this moment. Everything you want to transfer into this moment–your talent, your experience, your expertise, your perspective, your love–and everything you want to extract from this moment–the love, the joy, the peace, the fulfillment, the pleasure–flows through the conduit of your focused attention.
Don’t leave your life experience to chance. Put these tools in your tool belt and pick at least one to integrate into your life starting today. When you do, you’re claiming your power to choose your life experience.
Need some extra help learning to rise and thrive in your life or work? Reach out and let’s talk.
Thank you for being here. Grace and peace to you today.