Are you thriving? Or merely surviving?
Are you thriving? Or merely surviving?
The first is not as hard to achieve as you might think.
Lessons from a cactus garden
In 1999 I bought my first house – in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California.
Earth lover that I am, I was excited about landscaping and, since the San Fernando Valley is a bit of a desert, that meant using native plants that would grow with the rainfall and sun usual for that area. Or so I thought.
My friends Bob and Laura were professional landscapers and offered to give me a landscaping consultation as a housewarming gift.
When I told them I wanted drought-tolerant plants and a cactus garden, the last thing I was expecting was the suggestion to put in a sprinkler system. But that’s exactly what they recommended.
Bob and Laura explained that, even with drought-tolerant plants, having a sprinkler system would make the difference between my garden thriving versus merely surviving.
Of course I wanted my garden to thrive, so I followed their advice, put in sprinklers, and never regretted it.
So what does this have to do with the rest of our lives? Plenty.
Getting your house in order
I know everyone wants money, because how to pray for money is my most popular post ever.
But having enough money is still simply surviving if you don’t have your emotional and spiritual houses in order.
My teacher Bear Heart, while a traditionally trained healer of his tribe, was also an ordained Baptist minister. So when his wife of 50 years, Edna, passed away, a memorial service took place in the Baptist Church they had attended in Oklahoma.
The service was rousing and moving, and the eloquent minister ended his message by reminding the congregation that, “Edna’s here with us today. And she’s asking us, she’s begging us, imploring us to get our houses in order. Because we’re all going to join her someday.”
I do believe that getting our houses in order is part of leading a life in which we thrive spiritually, emotionally and physically.
Thriving versus surviving
Surviving financially might mean we just barely are able to pay our bills each month. And perhaps incurring greater and greater debt.
Thriving financially means we can pay all our bills, as well as save and comfortably give some away.
It doesn’t mean we have an excess of money. Native Americans teach that anyone who has excessively more money than they needed has a mental illness. Hoarding is a mental illness, whether it’s money or things.
Surviving physically may mean we are alive, can function, walk and talk, but not play, run, skip or jump.
Thriving means our health is vibrant, we have plenty of energy to do the things we want, eat a healthy diet, and exercise because our bodies are fully functioning.
Surviving emotionally and/or spiritually may mean we go through life without joy.
Thriving means we find joy in every day.
Which spectrum do you find yourself on?
Keys to thriving
Here are some things I believe are key to living a thriving life:
- Daily gratitude practice
- Daily spiritual practice: prayer and/or meditation
- Daily deep breathing practice
- Daily exercise
- Practicing forgiveness. Nothing is served by holding on to blame; no one is hurt but you.
- Get healing: find whatever healers, mentors, counselors or courses will help you heal from the pain of the past so you can live fully in the present.
- Getting a good night’s sleep – every night.
- Tithing: regularly giving away 10% of your income to those causes or people who inspire you is the classic prosperity teaching.
- Healthy eating: real food that you make yourself is far superior to manufactured food products. Eat organic as much as possible and avoid genetically modified foods.
- Being a responsible caretaker of the earth – recycle.
- Positive language and thoughts. Train yourself to use positive language about yourself and others. It’s like learning a new language, but it’s totally doable. I did it, so I know anyone can. And avoid gossip at all costs.
- Balancing work with play and fun!
If you make an effort to incorporate these into your daily life, you will be getting your house in order.
And just like my cactus garden, with a little bit of extra water, you will thrive.
Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman” and other books on health. She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes, healing practice and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com