How do you thrive in times of survival? The push to survive can create beauty. Yet only living to survive undercuts a person over time.
There is a big difference between surviving and thriving. We want to keep this in mind as we examine our own lifestyle. More deeply, we need to be aware of this difference because it’s very easy to get manipulated into falling into survival mode.
Repression is used to push people into survival mode. But we the people are resisting. In standing up a person starts to go beyond survival, it’s the beginning upward push to reclaim life.
The first simple truth of thriving is you have to step out of survival mode. To hide from our times is to be defined by the times. In order to thrive we must instead turn this around:
Our actions define our times.
When a person is in survival mode, they are cut off from others. Worse: they are then within a process that limits their options. At moments we have no choice but to be in survival mode, but never ever make it into a lifestyle.
The Path Towards Thriving
Thriving is a process of growth. So we must remember to grow, to use our challenges to improve against.
Thriving is an ever shifting process. It’s the long walk through our life.
Traps that Undercut Thriving
Don’t confuse thriving as a life of comfort.
Comfort is a form of stasis. Stasis undercuts your life as others push to grow against your comfort.
Don’t try to fix everything.
Focus your attention towards what matters most to you. If you try to fix everything, nothing will change and you will feel spent and wasted from the efforts.
Determine what actions you CAN take in your life. (Don’t loose energy in worrying about what you can’t do) Focus instead in how to live more simply. Balance in what actions to take in helping family and friends. Then add to the mix when and how many phone calls, emails, visits, protests CAN you do to support the causes that matter to you. Focus first on simple levels of action. Then as you get more proficient in being proactive, grow out your actions.
Let me re-state how to balance out your actions because this is so important:
Don’t over commit when trying to save the world. The world cannot thrive if you are not thriving. First start in small steps in how you live, then expand those steps in helping / supporting those near you. Then expand out with larger actions. Balance out how you act in 3 small groupings. Take some actions for yourself, some for friends/family and some for the world. In this manner you will keep your energy growing to thrive rather than draining yourself too fast.
Don’t obsess over the news or the facebook / twitter / etc feeds.
To only focus upon a Facebook feed, ironically disconnects you from personal action and the larger world. Proactively join with some physical community based projects and efforts. While reading facebook feeds will help keep you informed about your friends: it doesn’t physically connect you to the real world either. Electronic community is not enough of a connection to thrive against. Be plugged in enough to stay informed, share enough to keep information flowing, but don’t become a prisoner in an electronic cage either. Don’t loose your action in a haze of electrons.
Don’t just vent
The times can feel quite depressing. People like to share their depression as a way to escape it. If you are depressed from the times only venting to another person who is depressed only creates a deeper shared state of misery. Socially induced depression is contagious. Rather you have to work towards positive acts.
To only vent to someone who is also venting, means you both will stay at the same spot. If you need to vent find someone who will listen without judgement. If you both need to vent then take turns. Take roughly two minutes each to vent and non judgmentally hear each other. After the venting is done, do a positive action to firm up feeling better.
Steps to Thriving
Work on yourself!
The times are going to stir up insecurity, anxiety and old emotional injuries. Don’t be afraid to get help. Work with teachers, learn practices such as yoga, Qi Gong, dance or martial arts to calm the nerves.
If I Can’t Dance, I Don’t Want To Be Part of Your Revolution”
The whole reason I because a teacher 15 years ago was exactly for this reason. To help people be strong during times of greater change, so they could be part of the greater change. Ironically in being stirred up, it gives you extra energy to heal yourself fully now against the times. Be brave enough to work against this and you will discover a greater personal healing for your own life.
Never Give Up.
This is your life we are talking about. It doesn’t matter what set back happens. We learn from everything, we refine each step to improve how we live. The basic difference between those who thrive and those who don’t is a simple one. Those who thrive, never give up.
Keep a positive attitude.
Be proactive in your steps. The times feel dark and politicians are focusing on this darkness to push people into survival mode. Instead we must focus on proactive changes to live better. It’s critical to keep our eyes to the prize: the prize of a better world.
Thriving as the Light
Every person is connected, part of the weave / awareness that we call consciousness which is both universal & personal at the same moment from a Taoist perspective. Modern science is now seriously considering that the roots of consciousness could be universal in nature. If this is true, it literally means we are the universe’s voice in speaking up and out.
We are the universe’s agents of change.
For change to happen it’s then up to us to strive towards it. We can only change and thrive if we stand up in our actions.
Kala is the Hawaiian word that means to bring one into the light. Our consciousness is considered the “light” of spiritual awareness. It might feel as if we are living in dark times, but hold to this truth: you are the light. Don’t suppress yourself in the face of challenge. We don’t have to let others who shout out their darkness trap us in that darkness. Our voices & actions can counter and bring light to the darkness others try to push upon us.
In accepting we are part of the light, it’s possible to switch out of the darkness of only surviving and then push into thriving.
Our path , that Tao, our journey is a wonderfully long one. Don’t drag along stones of despair or darkness. Release unnecessary drama / judgment. When we stand up to improve life, at times our own hidden judgments can be the seed that sparks conflict. Releasing personal drama/judgment makes it easier to stand up against outside judgment. Also our personal energy gets sapped when we maintain hidden judgment / drama.
The less we drag with us, the easier it’s to thrive in our life.