Hey darlin, it’s great to see you again.

How many times have you heard the phrase “just live?”

So many people have said those words to me in the past. I’ve been told to “just live” pretty much my entire life; and I’ve pretty much done just that.

Until recently, I thought that living was enough. To just sort of do what I’m supposed to do, what I was programmed to do. Grow up, check. Go to school, check. Get a job, check. Be happy… here’s where the issue with just living comes in to play.

I did all of the above. I did what my parents and family suggested. But to be wickedly honest with you all (I promised I would be), I was far from happy. I realized that living the way everyone else wanted me to, just wasn’t enough.

For those of you who don’t know, I recently turned my life around; seriously, a complete 180. I decided to live the way I wanted to. But before I could do that, I needed to figure out what made me happy, not only what made me live, but what made me thrive.

To thrive means to grow or develop very well. To do things that nourish yourbody, spirit and mind; rather than the body, spirit and minds of others. To do what makes you the happiest and healthiest version of yourself.

Practice gratitude daily; be sure to be mindful of what you have and to be grateful for it. Make time for relaxation, meditation and worship. Nourish your body with the nutrients it needs through organic and whole foods. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Think positively; every time you get a negative thought, reverse it with a positive one. Never be afraid to be yourself and more importantly, love yourself. Give to close ones, strangers and your community; buy locally, support charities, donate clothing. Keep an eye out for inspiration and beauty; there’s beauty in everything! Listen to your body and your mind; respect your limits. Experience nature and all it has to offer. Agree to disagree. Remove the idea of perfection from everything it’s attached to. See new things. Travel. Do what you love. Do what makes you thrive.

I will admit that it’s not easy to follow all of these, especially if you are used to doing the opposite. But these are a few concepts I’ve been practicing daily. My views on life have changed drastically since I began to walk on this path. A good day for me is any day I fully thrived, rather than just lived.

Published by Alicia Blaine