Alive and Thriving or just surviving?


I am alive

Regardless of where you are on your journey right now and what you may have been through, feel that heart beating in your chest…feel that warm breath inhaling and exhaling…you’re still Alive. The question is are you surviving or thriving? As we proceed along our journeys of growth, there will be times when everything is going extremely well, there will be balanced times and there will be times when you could feel like each day seems to be endless with troubles. And it’s at these times that it’s so easy to play the victim role and survive to push through it all. Or you could choose to step into your power and grow from the learning experience, moving closer towards feeling alive and thriving. And whether we choose to succumb to the pain or rise above it to thrive, that’s all a choice. How can we rise above our challenges and thrive?

Express Gratitude and Appreciation

When we express gratitude and appreciation for that is, we change our feelings within from feeling hopeless to a feeling of balanced unconditional love for life. Take a minute to breathe and think about all the wonderful treasures life has blessed you with. Perhaps you have beautiful children or amazing talents or people who love you…or even a beloved pet who is by your side no matter what. Sit with these for a moment and truly feel how thankful you are for them. And express gratitude and appreciation to the people you love and support you too. Feeling grateful and appreciative for what is, as it is, moves us from a state of fear to a state of love for everything that is, brings us to the present moment; giving us the strength to not only keep going but to keep growing too.

Grow through the emotions

We are all human and therefore we all have emotions, both positive and negative. If someone says they don’t feel emotions, they’re either lying or hiding them. The secret with emotions is to allow them to come, feel them, sit with them, acknowledge them and then release them. We need to feel it to heal it. And when we allow ourselves to feel the emotions, we are healing on a deep level. Allow yourself to have “growing” days and to cry freely and then find the gratitude, rise above the challenges and keep walking.

Go for a walk

Walking?! Yes, real walking. When everything gets too much, pick yourself up and take yourself for a walk. It doesn’t matter if it’s a slow, leisurely walk or a brisk walk at high speed. And it doesn’t matter if you walk for miles or even just around the block, as long as you walk. Walking is great for clearing our minds and for connecting with our inner wisdom.

Connect to Self

When the pressure is on and challenges seem endless, it can be so easy to disconnect from ourselves and get sucked into the drama around us. Take some time out and connect with yourself. Take a few deep breaths and ask yourself what you need to know. Connect your enthusiasm. Commit to loving yourself through the challenges. Recommit to yourself. Remember your truth. Express appreciation for yourself, all you are and all you do. Writing in a journal, walking, meditation, bathing, even gardening…are all great ways to connect with yourself to realize your strength is still there within.

Self-care is vital

Taking care of ourselves is vital when moving through trials and tribulations. Eating nourishing food, drinking loads of water, taking time out to breathe, speaking kindly to ourselves…these are all acts of self-care. Take a look in the mirror and listen to how you speak to yourself. Are you being hard on yourself? Or do you encourage yourself with kind, loving words. It’s so important to support ourselves with loving words instead of harsh critical words which just break us down and make us feel bad. As we speak to ourselves with loving words, we feel better about ourselves and we find the strength to do our best, as well as attracting loving experiences to match our words.

Stay in your Power

Let’s face it, when things don’t seem to be going well, we have emotions hovering under the surface and that’s the most challenging time to face people and experiences around us. And when we react to people and experiences from a place of fear or anger, we are actually giving them our power. We are giving them power over our inner world. Everyone goes through challenges at some point or another and when someone triggers our emotions, it’s time to step away, take a few deep breaths and feel the emotions, acknowledge them, learn from them, appreciate them and let them go. Fill your love tanks and then reply to the person with loving assertiveness. And that’s where the power lies, in our ability to choose whether we react in fear or anger… or respond in Love.

Shift your mind’s focus

It’s easy to focus on everything that is ‘wrong’ and that just keeps us attracting more of what we don’t want. Shift your focus onto what you would love to have. Think about how the experience is serving you and your growth, express appreciation for that, then shift your thoughts to a place of the truth of what you’d love your life to look like.

Remember that life is all about experiencing the contrasts… pain and pleasure, challenge and support, highs and lows… these experiences all remind us that we are still Alive. When we can feel gratitude and appreciation for what is, as it is, find our centre of peace, stay in our power and listen to our experiences with Love, that’s when we grow through the challenges; and move from a place of surviving to a place of thriving ~ Alison Livanos

Flow with the Rhythm of Life…

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Balancing our responsibilities of raising children, work, finances, relationships… can sometimes leave us feeling exhausted and out of sync. As we connect and flow with the rhythm of life through nature…we are able to see the contrast of the experience, appreciate it for what it is and we can find our balance so everything just flows…

How could you connect with the rhythm of life today?

www.imspire.co.za

~ Alison Livanos

Loving Yourself in your Love Language

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As we learn to love ourselves, it is so important that we do things for ourselves to feel and grow our self-love and we all have unique ways that we can do this.

You may have heard of The 5 Love Languages (Gary Chapman). According to the book, there are five different love languages that we all use to express our love to others and to feel love from others. These include Quality Time, Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch and Receiving Gifts. When we show our love to someone else in our love language and their language is different to ours, we get lost in translation and they may be left feeling unloved because they didn’t realize that your action is a communication of love. And we are left feeling unappreciated. And the same for us in return. If your love language is Quality Time and your husband’s is Acts of Service, he may work extremely hard to show you that he loves you but because he is working hard, he may be spending less time with you so you may be left feeling unloved because your love language is Quality Time.

This same idea goes for showing yourself love, as you are learning to love yourself. Let’s say your love language is Quality Time and you are ignoring your need for Me-time, you could still be left feeling unloved, if you are only spending time working and not spending time with yourself.

If you haven’t realized what your love language is, you could check out www.fivelovelanguages.com and do the quiz to find out your love language. Then think about 5 ways that you could show yourself love in your own love language and commit to doing one of these at least once a day.

Translating your Love Language…

Quality Time – You could spend some time alone listening to music or whatever you enjoy doing.

Acts of Service – You could clean out your cupboards or cook yourself your favourite dish.

Words of Affirmation – Look yourself in the mirror and speak beautiful words of love such as, “I love and accept you exactly as you are.” (Louise Hay)

Physical Touch – You could indulge in a relaxing massage at a spa or a hot lavender bath while the children are sleeping.

Receiving Gifts – You could take yourself shopping for something you would love but wouldn’t normally buy yourself, it doesn’t have to be huge, only something you’d really love.

As we begin to speak our own love language, instead of other peoples, we begin to feel appreciation for ourselves and for our own magnificence and that’s where the magic is ~ Alison Livanos @imspired

The Gift of Self Care

treating-ourselves

As Moms we tend to give selflessly to everyone, including our children, our husbands or partners, our friends, just about everyone, except ourselves. The challenge is: how can we nurture and care for those around us if we are feeling drained and tired and unfulfilled ourselves? How can we expect ourselves to be the strong, supportive, loving Mom we love to be if we ourselves feel unsupported and loved? It all begins with us.

Imagine a big pot that you need to feed your family from. Now imagine the pot is empty. How on earth can we expect to feed our family from an empty pot? Now imagine you are that pot. Well how on earth can you give your family the love and nurturing they need if you are not first nurtured and loved yourself? How could you fill the pot today so that you can feed your family the love and nurturing they need?

Sometimes, we get so busy juggling the duties of Motherhood, work, relationships and all the other stuff, that some of us have even forgotten what we love to do. We spend our days finding ways to fulfill our families and make our bosses or clients happy and thinking about their needs and wants and we forget what our needs and wants are.

The best way to give your family the best is to find what is best for you too. Perhaps you could consider doing a bit of time travel and go back to a time when you were a carefree, fun-loving, happy child. Even people who have had the most challenging childhoods, had some happy moments and activities that took them to a place of happiness.  

Now take a piece of paper and write at the top: What did I love to do as a child? Now think of all the things that you have ever loved to do before, write down whatever comes to mind. It could be eating ice cream around the pool. Baking cookies. Writing poetry. Drawing pictures. Whatever comes to mind, write these down. It may be challenging at first but try to find five things to start with and then build on that list.

Now pick one of these things to do today. Just one small, simple act of kindness for yourself so that you can start filling your pot of love. And then tomorrow another. And then as you start feeling nourished yourself, you start building up the strength to be your best again so you can give your best to everyone around you. Now that is fulfilling ~ Alison Livanos.