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Forget about Learning to Cope. Let’s Thrive!

How do we arrive at our very own picture of flourishing health, at a place where we can say and truly feel that we are blossoming and thriving?  How do we go from mere stress management and coping to feeling vital and fully alive? In a caffeinated world with one demand after another shuttling toward us, it might not seem within our reach.

Each one of us has different needs that can go unmet and we face different sets of demands  that seem to hinder us in the process. But despite our individual differences, there are some basic steps that most of us will find helpful in turning the tide toward creativity, vitality and growth.  It is a path that Danish author Jesper Bay-Hansen charts in his forthcoming book, The Art of Living Bright: A Path to Empowerment in Your Own Life.

First, we need to get in touch with what we need to maintain our own unique form of balance. This ability requires us to take time out and unplug from the constant stream of external stimulation of modern life. To check in with ourselves, to open our hearts, the flow of emotions and the sensations of our bodies. To reflect while sitting in a place of acknowledgement, acceptance and love. A practice like meditation helps us do all these things.

Meditation also encourages us to maintain inner awareness when we go back into the world, allowing us to feel centered and connected to ourselves in the midst of activity. Self-awareness is essential in being able to shift from an experience of the world as being stressful. We find ourselves in better stead to make choices that nurture and sustain us, that are authentic to us and that in turn allow us to channel our energy in the directions where we feel effective.  This also makes us infinitely more capable of achieving our goals. Events become opportunities for creative engagement, expansion and contribution. We find our passion and can connect to something we care about. We turn creative! Next thing you know, we are off and making the world a better place.

Even a major loss can be transformed into something powerfully enlivening and meaningful when we have the tools to experience ourselves in dialogue with it and to maximize its value and role for our development. The event becomes something that helps us clarify our own lives and deepen in our sense of self.  Instead of being depleted or needing to protect ourselves from that possibility, we embrace what the world has to offer us and emerge with a real sense of ongoing growth, vitality and strength.

Read an excerpt from Dr. Bay-Hansen’s newest book, for an even bigger picture of what it means to thrive and to live “A Bright Life”.