Maya Angelou once said: “Survival is very important, but we are living in a time and age where we can practice the elegance of thriving.”
We want to see so many things manifested in our lives, but if we are in a state of survival, there's not much that gets done other than surviving.
So, how do we go from surviving to thriving and why is it important?
Let me tell you a story...
A lady once said to Reverend Michael Beckwith during one of his classes:
“Reverend, I hear you talking about manifestation, reaching your goals, and fulfilling your dreams. I want that for my life. But I also hear you talking about forgiveness, and I don't want to forgive. I'm not ready. So what do I do? Can I still fulfill my dreams even if I don't forgive?”
To this, the Reverend responded with a story.
At the beginning of Agape times (The reverend's spiritual center in LA), the community would go on bicycle rides. For some reason, he would be the last one to arrive back from the rides, and this made him a bit embarrassed and confused. After all, he was a strong and healthy person.
By the second or third ride, someone said: Michael, let me check your bicycle.
Guess what was happening? He was riding the bike with the brakes on! He was arriving like everyone else, but he was arriving last, and exhausted because there was so much resistance in the middle!
This was a brilliant way of answering the lady’s question who was resisting to forgive. He told her: You can get to your destination, but you're gonna get there so tired and so resentful.
Isn't this a great analogy?
You have so many dreams. You want to reach our goals. You want to manifest prosperity, good relationships, health. You visualize where you want to go, you know the steps to take and you are ready to go.
But are you forgetting this important part?
Not letting go of your fears, the resentment, the judgment you pass onto yourself, and others works as having the brakes on.
You keep riding the bike, you keep living your life, you show up and do the work. But by the time you arrive at your destination you're tired. You're more resentful and you feel you need others to see all the sacrifices you've made to get there. Or, you make it to your destination but it doesn't fulfill you. You get disappointed because it's not what you expected.
This is what happens when you ride your life through survival mechanisms.
So how do we move from surviving to thriving?
What's the story you need to let go of? Is it… I'm not enough. I'm not worthy of… I've had a horrible life experience. Life has been hard on me. This person did this to me...
Every time you replay the story in your head, you are reliving it. Your mind can't distinguish whether it happened in the past or if it's happening right now. So you put yourself in the same circumstance over and over again. The same feelings arise, your body goes through the same reactions and you get into a survival state.
Now, if you have been or are going through a very tough situation, this isn't about erasing it. It's not pretending it didn't happen. It's about bringing awareness to it. Why? Because otherwise we become addicted to those stories, and that puts the brakes on in our lives.
So what do you need to let go of? Perhaps it's a person, a toxic relationship, the news, an old story. Or maybe it's an old habit that doesn't do you well and deep down you know it.
There are a few ways that have worked for me to remove my blocks.
Recognize what's blocking you. So first, become aware of the things that no longer serve you.
Then, bring compassion. Compassion is understanding that hurt people, hurt people. Whatever another person did to you in a harmful way, they did it because they were hurt. And if you hurt yourself in any sort of way (negative thoughts, bad habits, etc) it's because you are hurting inside. So bring some compassion to the situation, starting by yourself.
I know it can be hard to feel compassion for others when terrible things happen, but compassion opens the door for healing. And it then evolves to forgiveness.
Compassion and forgiveness are a whole other topic. Here you can read more on how to bring compassion and find freedom in forgiveness.
In the midst of darkness, when you're not feeling the energy to create, when life feels difficult, when you're not feeling good enough, or like a failure. When the lights are off and you feel the darkness ask yourself: How can I turn the light on?
Sometimes your higher self will say… Reach out for help. Talk to someone you trust. Get some rest. At times it's as simple as taking a nap and giving yourself a break to change your vibrations.
Ask yourself: What do I need right now?
A lot of what we do, it's an attempt to meet our basic needs, conscious and unconsciously. Whether it’s attention, love, stability, or nurturing.
Sometimes when I feel exhausted I know that I need to give myself some grace and let my body rest. So ask yourself what is that you need.
You will see that the more compassion you have, the more you turn the light on, the more you love and nurture yourself, the blocks will start to dissolve and transmute into your biggest lessons.
So what's putting the brakes on in your life?
If you're not experiencing love, creativity, energy, and health, there's something blocking you. You are a whole being, you are a representation of life's miracle. You already have all these amazing things, you just need to learn how to see them.
When you let go what doesn't serve you, you start to navigate life with a lot more grace. You still face all your life's challenges but you do it with trust and elegance. You thrive.
Miracles happen all the time, all we need to do is to take the blinders off to see them.