5 Keys to Thriving

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A hot bath or shower has the power to cleanse me, wash away my stress, make me feel better, and shift my perspective. Currently, it is an incredible analogy for thriving in my life.

When I turn the handle, water pours out and refreshes me. When I turn the handle off, the water stops. It is as simple as that. On/Off. But what if the faucet began to think of itself as the source of my thriving? What if it began to see how happy I am when I take a bath and believe it has control over the outcome of my joy? Would it began to fear it could mess up my enjoyment? Could it begin to worry it might run out of water or resource and not refresh me? If that were the case, might it be tempted to start holding back the water and trying to preserve what it has so it doesn’t run out? What if it began to question its purpose and wonder if it were actually meant to be something else, like the drain or the tub that holds the water? If it were to decide the tub was so much more beautiful than it and possibly the reason I enjoy my experience, might it begin to try and be more like the tub in hopes I would acknowledge it even more?

Craziness! I am so grateful my shower faucet doesn’t have a mind to think such things. Its ability to turn on and let water flow through it is wonderfully refreshing to me. It’s only job is to be the source water flows through. This analogy allows me to see I act as silly as the faucet and get in my way as I think more highly of myself than I should.

Nothing in this world brings me more joy than the experience of thriving! Those moments when life or love are flowing through me and I see the joy it brings to the people I love the most are powerful. Thriving is those times in life where I am simply a vessel, offering myself honestly and authentically, and love flows through me and creates magic. You know those moments when you know something bigger than you is occurring and you are just grateful to have been a part of it? That to me is thriving and is what I live for!

But just like the craziness of the faucet’s way of thinking, I can get in the way and create the very opposite of what I long for. I can start thinking from a place of scarcity, believing that I am not enough or there isn’t enough. That brings me to blame others, compare myself, self protect, and to live in scarcity. I become resentful, pessimistic, fearful, anxious, stressed out, overwhelmed, distrustful, offended, bitter, helpless, disrespectful, envious, and rejected. Rather than being a vessel that life flows through, I offer death from the inside out.

This is literally a moment by moment choice. I can be going about my day thriving and, before I know it, I am yelling at my husband or kids. It is easy to feel like I have no control over whether I am surviving or thriving, a common thought in survival thinking.

These five keys (resource author Richard Rohr) help me shift by noticing where I am off in my thinking, take ownership, and surrender so that I can get back to thriving in my life!

5 keys to Thriving

#1 Life is hard - I can easily think I don’t deserve the challenges in my life, like I deserve an easy life free of troubles. The moment I do, I am in scarcity when things don’t go the way I think they should. But, when I except that life is hard, I can see the challenges as love molding and shaping me for the bigger opportunities ahead. I stop complaining and embrace the obstacles that grow my ability to thrive and expand.

#2 I am not important - I like to think I am a big deal and the reason that life is good. However, as silly as it is for the faucet to believe it is the source, so it is with me. When I shower, water is the source of life and enjoyment, and while the shower head can add a uniqueness to how the water flows through it, ultimately, it is just the pass through or vessel. Water will flow with or without it and this is the same with me. Life/love have been here before me and will be here after me. I simply get to be a vessel it flows through, if I want to participate.

#3 Life isn’t about me - When I stop thinking I am the source, I begin to realize the source is bigger than me. Love is a powerful river that flows, moving mountains and carving out deep seas. With or without me, it creates beauty beyond my capacity. If I want to jump in the current, I can be in what it is up to. Life or God, however you chose to view it, is always up to LOVE and I am being invited to participate and partake, but it isn’t about me. It is about LOVE!

#4 I am not in control - The river is moving and if I start thinking like the shower head in the analogy, I start wanting to control the flow. I worry there won’t be enough or I am not enough and so I begin to start trying to control it or preserve it. So rather than trusting that all I will need to thrive is available, I start trying to control what I have as if I am the source. When I surrender and realize I have no control to take or let go of, but that control is a wacky mind trick I like to use, life/love flow through me and there is more than enough.

#5 I am surely going to die - I am but a wisp in the wind and a grain in the sand. This too shall pass. I have been blessed with an opportunity to be part of this flow of love for a short season. When I recognize I am temporary, I show up fully and make the most of every moment of the opportunity I have been blessed with.

Processing each moment of my life through these truths allows me to thrive as I see that good and evil coincide. One can’t exist without the other. The temptation to make life about me, self preserve, live in scarcity, compare myself to others, and get in my own way are all a constant pull to keep me out of the powerful flow of love that life is inviting me to be part of. And just like a faucet, I have been given the control of simply the off and on. I can turn the flow off by resisting what wants to happen through me or I can turn the flow on by surrendering to what is waiting to happen through me. It is literally a moment by moment choice to survive or thrive.

As I write this, my heart is racing and I am thinking, “Absolutely, sign me up! Thriving, thriving, thriving! I am all in!” Yet, what I am learning, is the choice between survival and thriving is subtle. I can be walking around in thick layers of self deception and say I am thriving and yet the results of my life don’t lie. There are areas in my relationships, finances, and work where I currently feel stuck. If I feel stuck, then I can know without a doubt that, somewhere in my thinking, I am choosing a survival mindset.  If I want the results to be different, a thriving mindset is the key to unlocking what I long for.

In my next blog post, I will reveal the subtleties and surrender what is occurring for me in some of those areas.

Would you consider the vessel you are in your life and where you might be holding back the power of what is wanting to happen through you? What could open up if you apply these 5 keys in your thinking?

Julia Woods1 Comment