Do You Want to Thrive or Survive?
Do you want to thrive, or survive?  Ask yourself this simple question? Without much thought, the answer is obvious. We all want to live a healthy, happy, vibrant life. We all want to drink every last drop we can from this great life and this amazing Earth energy that we possibly can, and grow from it.

But what I come to find is that most of us are barely getting by, physically, mentally and emotionally. We are barely functioning inside and out and our insides are not happy. Most people are just surviving, and in this economic drought, most will say they have no other option. But let me ask you this, if a building was burning and you were locked inside would you just sit back and say, “well I have no other option other than to die in here”. Or would you say, “I’m not going to die today; the only way I’m going to die is trying to get out of this burning building”. My point is that when we are truly faced with a crisis we can do anything. And each person reading this right now is faced with a crisis; I’m faced with a crisis at this moment as well.

Most of us are:
  • Dehydrated
  • Either over exercise or don’t exercise at all
  • Have a distorted concept of what healthy eating is
  • Have more negative self talk and thoughts than positive ones in any given day
That being said things can change, and I am living proof of that. Am I perfect? Hell no! But I do work each day towards balance. Having been so out of whack for so many years in all of these areas, I totally get what it means to just “survive”.

So let me ask you this, “what is healthy?” What is your idea of a healthy body and a healthy lifestyle? Now ask yourself who told you this, where did you get this information, what amount of media science has sold you this concept, and what amount of this is true to you as an amazing being of life and energy. Here are some examples: Juicing, we can’t just juice once a day for added health, we have to juice 24/7 -and only juice - for days on end.  News flash: the body can’t survive on juice people! How about the FDA food pyramid? Twelve grains a day? Were they saying this before agriculture became an industry in America?  Or what about this: To lose weight you need to exercise more? Now don’t get mad! These are just questions to get you reflecting. No I don’t have a Ph.D., and no, I’m not a scientist, but I am a living, breathing being and I like you, have access to the tons of information available out there. I do my best to not get to narrow in my thinking and beliefs. And just know that experience is the best education you will ever have. 

So are you sick of feeling like crap? Sick of being tired? Sick of the mountains of pills you take? And then more pills for the side effects of pills? Sick of feeling like your body is no longer yours and like you know you need a change, but look out and feel overwhelmed? Like me, are you blown away that for the first time in history, those born in 2000 (this generation) will not outlive their parents (statistic put out by the CDC).  Are you saddened that when you look out at society most kids are overweight, obese or strung out on processed foods and sugar?  That most children (adults too) don’t eat more than one to two fresh fruits or vegetables a day and think that is O.K! That many inner city children have never eaten a fresh green bean, never tasted an apple that is not a sauce out of a jar, and didn’t know that potatoes don’t come from a can already peeled? Now you might be the acception, and no one is perfect, I am surely not, but do you see my point?

Now keeping your idea of healthy in mind, ask yourself, “how do I measure health?” Do you base it off a person, a standard, or a socially accepted norm? Have you ever once stopped and asked yourself what is health and how do I measure health for me or for my family? What is important to me? What is vital? Because most of us are barely getting by; most of us are in need of a bit more self-care.

So know this:

1. Health is an energy exchange between you and everything in creation. Now step back and make some notes as to your relationship in this state.

2. As long as we learn from our bumps (some call them mistakes) then they are healthy, it’s when we keep doing what we are doing without change or effort that we then are keeping ourselves from health.

3. Dis-ease is not just the obvious. It’s anything in your body and life that is threatening to the health and happiness of your entire being. Your hip hurt? Dis-ease. Chronic asthma? Dis-ease. Mental fogginess? Dis-ease. Rapid aging? Dis-ease.  It’s not just cancer; are not all these issues listed (and more) reducing the quality of your life, giving you dis-ease? See my point?

4. Ask yourself are you cultivating energy or expending it? Are you doing all the “right things” but still exhausted? Know you are expending too much energy and not cultivating. As a yoga teacher, I ask my students this all the time. If you are leaving yoga and feeling exhausted, it may not be the right style for you or not the right choice at this time in your life.

Finally, life is about balance, health needs to incorporate 306 degrees of the entire self- body, mind and spirit. Figure out what is essential to you, and reflect on who told you this and if it’s really right for you. Is being a vegan really for you? I myself have spent the last five years slowly editing my eating and what I have, and what I’m currently basing choices off of to make sure I am putting in food to thrive, not food based on a concept that leaves me barely surviving just to say I live that way. I like to think I am a fairly conscious vegetarian, and last week for the first time in sixteen years I ate wild salmon because I felt like my concepts as to why I am not eating things like fish are maybe not my real truths anymore. Will you see me eating like this anytime anywhere, probably not? Am I going to go out and eat a side of beef now, unlikely but I hope you see my point.

You deserve to thrive in the most spectacular way possible and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Take some time and meditate on your essentials to live, what nourishment is to you, healthy behavior patterns, and healthy movement to thrive in the body, and give yourself permission to rest and recover regularly. This is a life long journey and we have the opportunity to evolve as a people each day if we choose. So do you choose to be healthy? I hope so.

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About the Author

Hope is a Yoga Teacher, Trainer, and Functional Fitness Expert. Creator of Core Functional Fitness, Hope specializes in yoga, core work and functional movements; she helps Yoga students, Yoga teachers, and a variety of fitness professionals experience a true mind-body connection through Yoga & Core Functional movement and Principles. Connect with Hope via TwitterPinterest or Facebook or visit her website and blog where she posts articles and videos regularly, at hopezvara.com.

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