The Flow.

The Flow.

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Life energy flows through us like a swift stream, when there is nothing to obstruct it.

The essence of all being is energy. Our physical and ethereal selves depend on the unrestricted flow of life energy that is the source of wholeness and wellness. Though the channels through which this energy flows are open systems and influenced by factors outside of our control, we ultimately choose what impact these will have in our lives. It is up to us to identify and clear blockages in the energy field to ensure that flow is maintained.

A healthy, grounded individual absorbs some portion of the energy emitted by other people and the environment, but this does not interrupt the continuous stream of balanced energy sustaining them. The same individual copes constructively with stress and upset, and they are not subject to the stagnation that frequently goes hand in hand with negativity. When we keep the energy in and around our bodies flowing harmoniously, we are naturally healthy, vibrant, and peaceful. 

Life energy flows through us like a swift stream when there is nothing to obstruct it, but various forces such as trauma, downbeat vibrations, and disappointments act like stones that impede the current. If we allow these to pile up, our life energy is thrown off its course or blocked entirely, causing illness, restlessness, and a lack of vigor.

If, however, we take the time to clear these forces away, we rob them of the power to impact our lives. When we cultivate simple yet affirmative habits such as taking regular cleansing baths, practicing meditation and breathing exercises, smudging, and self-shielding, we protect ourselves from outside influences that might otherwise impede our energy flow. Likewise, we lessen the impact of inner influences when we clear our auras of unwanted attachments and divest ourselves of blocked emotions. 

A strong and fluid energy field is the key that unlocks the doors of self-healing and peace of mind. Your awareness of the flow of energy sustaining you empowers you to take charge of your own well-being by taking steps to unblock, correct, and enhance that flow. Fear will likely be the culprit when you cannot identify the source of stagnation–you may simply be afraid to let go of what is obstructing the flow.

Letting go can be challenging, but the exuberance you will feel when the flow is restored will be a welcome and blessed reward.

The Adaptability Quotient

The Adaptability Quotient

By Rebecca Muller | THRIVEBRAIN WAVES

An IQ can help measure your intelligence, and an EQ can help measure your emotional intelligence  but you likely haven’t heard of identifying your AQ  also known as your “adaptability quotient.” According to tech investor Natalie Fratto, adaptability plays a vital role in success, and as the future of work continues to evolve, acclimating to change can be stressful when you’re not prepared for it.

“Adaptability refers to how well a person reacts to the inevitability of change,” Fratto says in a recent Ted Talk. “We’re entering a future where IQ and EQ both matter far less than how fast you’re able to adapt.” Fratto explains that with the accelerating rate of technological change, we’re facing more change than ever before, and we can train our brains to better adapt to those changes. “Adaptability itself is a form of intelligence, and each of us has the capacity to become more adaptable,” she adds. “Think of it like a muscle… It’s got to be exercised.”

There’s no question that change can feel stressful, but Fratto says you can stave off that stress by working on how your mind processes new information. Here are a few ways to improve your adaptability quotient:

Ask yourself “what if” questions

One of the most helpful ways to cope with change is to think about what could happen before it actually happens, Fratto notes. That’s why she suggests constantly asking yourself what could possibly shift going forward in your job. “Asking ‘what if’ instead of asking about the past forces the brain to simulate,” Fratto explains. “Instead of testing how you attain information, it tests how to manipulate a situation, given a constraint, in order to achieve a specific goal.” Not only does this exercise help you prepare for future changes, but it helps your mind adapt faster to those changes if and when they happen. “Change is inevitable,” she adds. “Practicing simulations is a safe testing ground for improving adaptability.”

Become an active un-learner

When change comes your way, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed by the idea of taking in new information while “un-learning” old information, but Fratto believes this process is key when it comes to managing your stress levels. “Our adaptability is not fixed,” she notes. “Active un-learners seek to challenge what they presume to already know, and instead, override that data with new information.” Fratto recommends returning to a beginner’s mindset when you’re notified of a change, and reminding yourself that you’re entirely able to let go of old information, and absorb new information. “It takes dedication,” she adds. “But each of us has the capacity to improve our adaptability.”

Prioritize exploration over exploitation 

When you think about reaching a goal at work, you probably reflect on what has worked for you in the past, and try to mimic the same process that helped you achieve success beforehand. Fratto says this thought process is common, but it could be holding you back from adapting to potential changes. “Collectively, all of us tend to value exploitation,” she explains. “There’s a sort of natural tension between exploration and exploitation.” Fratto says we’re too focused on exploiting our current workflow, when we should be using exploration  “a state of constant seeking”  to see what’s around the corner. “Never fall too far in love with your wins,” she urges. “Our previous success can become the enemy of our adaptability potential.”

Everyone has a story to tell.

Everyone has a story to tell.

Every person on this planet has a story to tell, something that makes them unique, adding to the whole.

It’s easy to forget sometimes that everyone has a story to tell if we take the time to listen. We are so accustomed to hearing the stories of people in the news that we sometimes lose track of the fact that the random stranger on the bus also has a fascinating story about where they came from and how they got to be where they are. The sheer variety of paths taken in this world, from farmers to CEOs to homeless people to world travelers, is indicative of how much we can learn from each individual. Sometimes the shy, quiet person at work has the most amazing life story and the biggest dreams, it is up to us to take the time to find out. 

Some people travel a path of wealth and privilege, while others struggle with only themselves to rely on, and both have great stories to tell. Each person learns lessons, makes choices, and develops a unique perspective, which only they can claim and share. Even two people who have had very similar lives will have slightly different experiences, leading them to a different point of view, so each person remains a treasure trove waiting to be explored. When we take the time to ask questions and listen, we find that every person has a fascinating story to tell and an utterly unique perspective from which to tell it. 

Bearing this in mind, we have the opportunity to approach the world around us in a new way. There is never any reason to be bored at a party, or on the bus, or in a conversation with a stranger. When we retain the spark of curiosity and the warmth required to open someone up, we always have in front of us the makings of a great story. All we have to do is ask.
Making Choices from a Place of Balance.

Making Choices from a Place of Balance.

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

It is important to make decisions from a place of balance in your life, by taking a breath and checking in with heart and mind.Each of the myriad decisions we make every day has the potential to have a deep impact on our lives. Some choices touch us to our very cores, awakening poignant feelings within us. Others seem at first to be simple but prove to be confusingly complex. We make the best decisions when we approach the decision-making process from a balanced emotional and intellectual foundation. When we have achieved equilibrium in our hearts and in our minds, we can clearly see both sides of an issue or alternative. Likewise, we can accept compromise as a natural fact of life. Instead of relying solely on our feelings or our rationality, we utilize both in equal measure, empowering ourselves to come to a life-affirming and balanced conclusion. 

Balance within and balance without go hand in hand. When you are called upon to choose between two or more options, whether they are attractive or distasteful, you should understand all you can about the choice ahead of you before moving forward. If you do not come to the decision from a place of balance, you risk making choices that are irrational and overly emotional or are wholly logical and don’t take your feelings into account. In bringing your thoughts and emotions together during the decision-making process, you ensure that you are taking everything possible into account before moving forward. Nothing is left up to chance, and you have ample opportunity to determine which options are in accordance with your values. 

Though some major decisions may oblige you to act and react quickly, most will allow you an abundance of time in which to mull over your choices. If you doubt your ability to approach your options in a balanced fashion, take an extended time-out before responding to the decision. This will give you the interlude you need to make certain that your thoughts and feelings are in equilibrium. As you practice achieving balance, you will ultimately reach a state of mind in which you can easily make decisions that honor every aspect of the self.

Here to Learn.

Here to Learn.

Most people reading this will want to be happy and successful, however you wish to define it. Fair enough.

So it stands to reason that most of us will need to ask the question eventually, what that actually takes, what are the actual building blocks.

And of course, there are many variables. Where one went to school, who your parents were, whether or not you do your homework, whether or not you let your vices get the better of you, whether or not they let you into Stanford.

But there’s one interesting thing we’ve noticed: that super successful people are never-ending, perpetual learning machines. Somewhere along the line, they got the learning bug, and it’s still with them to this day.

You meet these people and you can tell, be they seventeen or seventy. They’ve got the bug, they’ve got the vibe. You just know.

Whether their schtick was finance, or business, or science or the arts, they just allowed their minds to be open to the universe and take it all in. And they never stopped. Eventually, this led them to an idea or an angle nobody else had, and BOOM. Rockstardom followed.

We may not be rich, we not be pretty, but as long as we’re learning, as long as we’re determined to keep it this way, our lives are truly incredible things. So bear that in mind, and Godspeed to you.

By Gaping Void

Got mantra?

Got mantra?

We all have those instances when frustration, stress, or negative rumination threaten to ruin our day — and it’s up to us to course correct and reclaim our mood and productivity. Sometimes, all it takes is a simple positive mantra to act as that little reminder that everything will be OK. 

Like with meditation, there is plenty of research to back up the power of a mantra on our bodies and minds. According to one 2015 study, mantras can be effective even if people don’t regularly meditate. The research found that when someone repeats a mantra, it causes a major shift in their brain activity — specifically in the part responsible for internal evaluation, rumination, and mind-wandering. When researchers compared results between participants in a resting state who used a mantra against those that didn’t, the ones utilizing the mantra reached a more advanced state of psychological calm.

We asked members of the Thrive community to share the thoughts or mantras that help them stay positive, even on a bad day. From phrases they created themselves to age-old sayings that have spread happiness for years, their positive words have helped them overcome stress and anxiety, and will help you, too.

“Everything happens right on schedule.”

“It’s the one mantra I cling to as I watch life unfold around me in strange and beautiful ways. I can resist or I can flow, and either way, this mantra remains in place.”

—Lois Melkonian, life coach, Denver, CO 

“Things are not being done to me, they are just happening.”

“When I am having a bad day I tell myself this. When something is going wrong, many of us think someone is doing it to us, but sometimes we’re just victims of circumstance. Instead of rolling up in a ball and letting the negativity get to you, you need to realize that things just happen and deal with it. It’s like anything in life — you have to decide to either make the most of something or make the worst of it. We all know which decision would leave us happier at the end of the day.” 

—James Philip, serial entrepreneur, Chicago, IL 

“Remember who you are.”

“I have discovered that the shorter the mantra, the more easily accessible it is. Mantra is most beneficial when you are able to remember it when you need it. Stephen Hyde is a pro cyclist who shared this mantra in his documentary film, Mindful: Stephen Hyde. It is short, sweet, and effective. I have personally connected to it and really enjoyed sharing it with others.”

—Julie Westervelt, yoga teacher and founder, Austin, TX 

“It will get done.”

“When my plate is full — which is most of the time — I tell myself this. I remind myself I am fully equipped to do all that I want to accomplish. Nothing will stop me from achieving my goals. Sometimes you have to remind yourself that you are all the motivation you need to keep going.” 

—Marla J. Albertie, life and career coach, Jacksonville, FL

“Your way in is your way out.” 

“This mantra helps me not only stay positive, but also realize that I have the power to manage things without external validation. Business issue to solve? I’ll dive in to jump out. Heartbreak to go through? I’ll work to understand the lesson and search for answers inside, trust my gut, and learn how to sit on it and accept it. To me, this mantra is as simple as breathing — to breathe out you shall first to breathe in.” 

—Alla Adam, blockchain solutions architect, Chicago, IL 

“Love the life you have.” 

“I make a mental gratitude list and I say this to myself. At 69 years old and after 35 years as a psychologist, I recognize that appreciation and gratitude water the different aspects of our lives, and what we water and feed grows. So, I try to feel positive and appreciative, and observe the types of experiences I want to expand and grow in my life.”

—Tian Dayton, Ph.D., author and psychologist, New York, NY 

“Nothing lasts forever. Not the good, and not the bad.”

“I repeat this mantra not only during stressful times to lower my stress levels, but also during good times as a reminder to live in the moment.” 

—Sonia Ruivo, marketing consultant, Montreal, Canada 

“No one can take your joy.” 

“Mantras are a magical meditative vehicle to occupy our conscious mind and allow our subconscious to connect to our universal truth. This one mantra helps me keep buoyant amidst life’s tumultuous waves. Once you tap into the understanding that what we feel is ours, independent of the surrounding circumstances, we can reclaim the omnipotent power of which we are all capable — to feel, manifest, and live all that what we desire.” 

—Polo Reo Tate, author, artist, and speaker, New York, NY 

“You are a smart, powerful woman. You’ve got this.”

“I have a sticky note that says this on my bathroom mirror and I read it out loud to myself every morning before work. This mantra has helped me through many difficult times when I felt that I was completely out of my realm. The more I have looked myself straight in the eye and repeated these words, the more confident I have become.”

—Carrie McEachran, executive director, Sarnia, Ontario, Canada 

“Happiness is a choice, not a condition. I choose to be happy.”

“This mantra I, like many others, have suffered loss. At 40 years old, I lost my husband to an infection after a ‘routine’ surgical procedure. I was convinced I could never be happy again. In grief counseling, I learned that meditation might help me find peace. Meditating helped me discover that while I could not control feelings of sadness brought on by random memories, I could in fact, choose to be happy whenever I wanted to feel stronger. I found peace after all. Today, I allow myself to feel sad and I don’t judge that feeling or worry about any long term effects from it. I know that I can choose to be happy again.” 

—Raina Casbon-Kelts, chief experience office, New Orleans, LA 

“I step into my power regardless of what anyone else thinks.”

“This is one of my favorite mantras, even though I have a few! This mantra helps me win the war against the inner gremlins that try to shame me into hiding my gifts. It also empowers me to emit the light I feel compelled to shine. Since I do a lot of writing as a healer and coach, and am finishing up a memoir, this mantra is with me everyday. I feel a wave of courage each time I say it.” 

—Miriam Racquel (Meryl) Feldman, somatic healing, Chicago, IL

“Tomorrow is a new day.”

“This mantra that has seen me through many bad days. It serves as a simple reminder that ‘this too shall pass’ and a new day will bring new opportunities. It keeps the hope and light alive. It also reminds me of Scarlett O’Hara and her fortitude from the classic novel Gone with the Wind.

—Gia Ganesh, people and culture lead, Atlanta, GA 

“OK, next point.”

“I have received many mantras from meditation masters and enjoy them all. However, I created ‘next point’ as my signature everyday mantra. And It works every time. When I want to instantly shift my state from stress to serenity I say it to myself. It not only works for me — it also works for anyone I’m with in that moment. This mantra came about when I was taking tennis lessons; whenever I missed the ball, I would groan and grimace. My coach said to me, ‘Dianne, don’t have a mini-depression every time you miss the ball. Put your racket back, wait for the next ball, and swing!’ To me that meant: ‘OK, next point. Move to the next moment, Dianne. Every moment is fresh and new.’” 

—Dianne Collins, author and philosopher, Miami, FL 

“Inhale, exhale.”

“Repeating this phrase does two things: It reminds me to take deeper breaths and recognize that all energy is about circulation. Shallow breathing is often a negative impact of stress. Pulling in more oxygen creates more energy and allows you to release more toxins. You also cannot breathe in without breathing out and vice versa. This mantra helps ensure that I breathe in (receive support or help) and breathe out (take action or give support).”

—Beth Larsen, high performance and happiness coach, New York, NY 

“It’s all good!”

“I say this all day long with a smile on my face.” 

—Esma Deljanin, human resources manager, Westbury, NY

“I choose love.”

“This one simple mantra eases my heart, mind, and soul almost immediately, which still surprises me because it is, again, quite simple. My childhood is one of those that can be described as ‘complex trauma.’ Complex trauma can leave one with ‘scars’ of fear and self-loathing, yet I have learned that love saves and heals all. When I remind myself that ‘I choose love’ — and I might have to say it a few times for it to sink in — the fear, self-loathing, and negative thoughts that seem to overtake me lose their power and I am, instead, awash with love.” 

—Lisa Kohn, author, Wayne, PA 

“I am calm, cared for, and connected.” 

“My meditation teacher created this mantra for me as I prepared to visit my mother’s house for the first time after her death. I didn’t know if I could do what needed to be done, but these words were what I needed to regain my strength. They helped me through many difficult days, and  today when faced with stress, anxiety, or sadness, this is the mantra I still repeat to myself.” 

—Margaret Meloni, Ph.D., author, Long Beach, CA