Are You Surviving or Flourishing?

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour and some style.” 

Maya Angelou

Are you flourishing or simply surviving? What is the difference?

By definition, surviving means you continue to live your everyday life but you are simply existing; flourishing on the other hand, is defined as being in a state of growth, development and prosperity.

If you are meeting the basic necessities of life, if you have food and shelter then you are surviving. If you get up every day and carry out the same mundane tasks, following the same routines, again you are surviving. If you exist within the confines of your physical reality and go through life without joy, you are surviving.

By contrast, to flourish means you are free to explore and to expand, viewing life as a field of opportunity rather than viewing it from the fragility between making it and not. In its essence, flourishing is a state of mind. It means your health is vibrant, you have abundant energy to do the things you want and you make choices that expand your awareness, opening you up to a life of joy, peace, love and happiness. People who thrive have the ability to overcome their environment, their life’s circumstance, while survivors do only what they must to stay afloat.

If you find yourself always wanting something more, you will never be satisfied with your current life. As long as the mind remains restless and dissatisfied, it won’t be able to thrive. When you see yourself as separate from the whole, from others, you see limitation, failure, fear and frustration, so you try to improve your life by looking to external fulfilment which the ego believes will be provided by a higher income, a bigger home, a successful career. But as is only too evident, you can acquire all these, yet still feel unfulfilled because the restless mind can never be satisfied.

In life you are either expanding or contracting in your conscious response to any situation. If you aren’t aware of the present moment, you react impulsively and often with fear as opposed to reacting with love, peace and harmony, responses which belong to an expanded consciousness.

When faced with challenges, the majority of us react automatically from our ego which believes that life is uncertain and painful. The opposite of this is a mind firmly rooted in present awareness, a mind that is open, accepting and resilient. A mind that sees challenges as opportunities is a mind that discovers new resources and the power that lies within. Difficult challenges are seen as gifts; gifts that allow you to flourish, thrive and grow.

So how can you change this? Here are some practical tips to help you move from living a life based on surviving to living a flourishing, thriving life.

  • Develop a resilient mind set. Instead of letting life happen to you and viewing life’s challenges as problems and things to bemoan, think instead of possibilities and opportunities. Learn to embrace challenges and grow stronger because of them.
  • Live in the present moment. Don’t spend your time worrying about tomorrow when most of what you worry about exists in your false-self and will never happen. Make the most of today, valuing time as one of your greatest resources.
  • Use positive language and thoughts. Train yourself to use positive language about yourself and others. It’s like learning a new language. How you think impacts your life. There is overwhelming research which suggests that positive thinking leads to greater happiness and fulfilment. People who are happy have higher quality relationships, are more successful in their careers, and live healthier, longer lives.
  • Cultivate physical wellness. Making physical health a priority can help you in body, mind, and spirit. Good choices in diet and exercise, can help you truly thrive.
  • Practice forgiveness. Nothing is served by holding on to blame and resentment; it only serves to keep you stuck in the pain of the past.
  • Daily gratitude. Whether gratitude is expressed through journaling or during your mindfulness practice, take time each day to be grateful for what you have today, especially for the people in your life.
  • Daily spiritual practice: prayer and/or meditation. Taking time each day to meditate allows you to clear your mind, be still and listen to the wisdom and guidance your higher self is communicating to you.

Wishing you all a blessed week.

In love and light

Patrizia x

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