Thrive to survive. To feel alive. To not compromise. To glow from the inside out.

Survivors are attuned to the wonder of the world. The appreciation of beauty, the feeling of awe, opens the senses.” ~Laurence Gonzales

Thriving happens when we don’t force, control, or otherwise manage ourselves. We are drawn, magnetized, and mobilized to action instead…with a freedom to express ourselves authentically. This is where our true power resides…in the essence of who we are. Thriving is a feeling inside and it’s most importantly an inner recognition that steps away from the self-deception that we somehow don’t measure up.

I don’t have any willPower. That’s why I’m here. I’d rather be home eating.” ~ Anonymous

Getting to a 5am BodyPump involves setting the alarm sometime between 4am and 4:45. I know this because I’ve subbed the 5am time slot four times over the past two weeks. One of the members in my front row became a friend after I commented on how visibly she loves class. (It’s 5am and she’s cheering when I announced jumps in the lunge track!) She lit up and told me about losing over 90 lbs from her 5am BodyPump habit over the years. It struck me as so odd then that she made the comment above. How could she NOT see her willPower in being at 5am BodyPump? Everyone else on the planet would! But, that’s exactly it. In order to thrive, we have to self-recognize and…perhaps, file a divorce. We realize that we are held back from thriving. Fortunately…(unfortunately?), there is only one divorce lawyer you can hire.

Put down your phone and just locate a mirror. Take a look. The divorce lawyer has to be you.

Eckhart Tolle purports that 80-90% of our thinking is unnecessary and potentially harmful. When you “think” about it, it sounds pretty accurate. Thinking is beneficial when we are thriving…that is, when our thinking is inspired thought and geared toward creating and manifesting. However, most of our thinking is not inspired or geared in this direction. Instead, we are consumed with two places we will never return to or reach…the past or the future.

If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things, you are in the best season of your life.” ~Wu Men

Interestingly, the word, thrive, is most commonly used in reference to babies, flowers, industry, and…cancer cells.

These beings or entities know they measure up. They require optimal conditions and an optimal environment in which to grow…and they demand it…or are so compelling, we give it to them. Our mind works in much the same way, but the nourishment comes from our thoughts. Our thoughts create our mental environment. To deliver optimal nourishment to our minds, we have to train ourselves to think differently…and that means staying present…the only place that life actually happens.

I do not fix problems. I fix my thinking. Then problems fix themselves. ~Louise Hay

Here’s where things get real. We are the ones holding ourselves back from thriving…not the conditions we impose on our happiness, such as “when I get that job”, “when my spouse does this”, “after I retire”…blah, blah, blah. If we can’t accept ourselves and our situations right where we are today, we will never thrive tomorrow…because tomorrow will never arrive. New conditions will replace old ones. To thrive, we have to journey deeper into ourselves…to a source of intelligence greater than thought. To access this place, we must feel centered and safe. In other words, we must be present.

An old Cherokee told his grandson: “My son, there’s a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It’s anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego. The other is Good. It’s joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, and truth.”

The boy thought about it, and asked: “Grandfather, which wolf wins?”

The old man quietly replied: “The one you feed.”

Take some time this week to contemplate which wolf you have been feeding the most. If you are ready to get into the best season of your life, let’s practice feeding our presence, not the excess thinker…and empower ourselves to thrive.

Top 10 Time to Thrive Exercises

1. Get “into” brushing your teeth. When we do daily tasks, such as brushing our teeth, our minds tend to wander away from what we’re doing. By bringing ourselves back to the act of brushing our teeth, we are connecting to the present moment and heightening our awareness.

11272182_10205614146185967_1410025627_n2. Mirror, mirror on the wall… Repeat the following, “[Your name], I love you. I really, really do.” Sounds crazy, but mirror work is super effective in reversing a bad habit…that habit of self-criticism and self-loathing. It connects you with your inner child…the one who so desperately wants to be loved and has been suffering from years and years of neglect. If you’ve been told you are too trusting, you are gifted in seeing other people’s inner child. To thrive ourselves, though, we must become gifted in seeing and loving our own.

3. Surround yourself with thriving things. I have a personal preference for a certain baby…but flowers work nicely, too.

4. Pause throughout your workday for a mindful breath. While you’re there, sip some water. Focus exclusively on both. Set reminders spaced 15-60 min apart to assist.

5. Put yourself in an environment where you don’t know what will happen next. Unpredictable environments force us to be present. We’re literally or figuratively at the edge of our seats. Japan and fitness classes are my environments of choice…what are yours?

6. Beyond meditation. Meditation is the art of focused breath…but if focused breath is not your thing, how about focused doodling, cooking, gardening, dancing? Focused attention to something that soothes you is a meditative practice in staying present and will fuel your creativity.

7. Don’t overdo it. Productive thought is creative thought, but understand that to be creative can involve feet up on the couch, walking along the beach, and enjoying good device-free dinner convo.

8. Manage your notifications. When you are in a creative process, perfect the art of single-tasking. i.e. turn off the damn phone!

…the ability to be in constant contact, and our growing reliance on technology are all conspiring to create a noisy traffic jam between us and our place of insight and peace. Call it an iParadox: our smartphones are actually blocking our path to wisdom.” ~Arianna Huffington, Thrive

9. Select foods that assist in thriving. Food has an energy about it. To raise your energy, look at what is on your plate. Is there enough variety in texture, color, and type? Veggies and sprouted foods deliver a unique form of energy, detoxification, and aliveness into our being.

When you’re the conscious captain in your kitchen, you’ll feel better mentally and physically. ~Kris Carr

10. Chew. Bring your attention to it. The beauty of this is you enhance self-awareness and digestion in one activity…i.e. acceptable multi-tasking!

Do you want to explore THRIVE further? Click here for quotes, mantras and our willPower dedicated weekly exercise.

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah Ingmanson

Sarah is a studio owner, fitness instructor and competitor. She is a former investment banker and equity research analyst with her MBA from the Wharton School and her MA in International Affairs from the Lauder Institute of the University of Pennsylvania. Sarah is fluent in Japanese and consults with Japanese companies on corporate governance, finance, and investor relations. Sarah's interest in Japan stemmed from her first tour with Disney On Ice as a professional figure skater. For more info on Sarah and her studio, visit www.starslocker.com.