On a daily basis, I talk with people who feel like they’re sleep-walking through life. They just don’t feel like they’re thriving. Most of them can’t understand why because they have so much to feel grateful for.

This past weekend I was doing some research on how to care for my small salt-water fish tank. I read something that stopped me in my tracks. It helped to explain what may be going on with people that feel like they’re not thriving. The article explained that most people with fish tanks focus on the wrong things. Who knew that to keep the fish, coral, and other litter critters healthy that you need to focus on the water and not the fish?

It’s all about creating an environment in which the fish will thrive and not about the fish themselves.

Take a look at nature and you’ll realize that the same thing applies to us humans. After all the laws that govern nature, also govern human beings. This means that we need to develop a keen awareness and understanding of the conditions that each of us will thrive in.

Because we’re all unique, the conditions that I need to thrive are going to be different than the conditions that you’ll need to thrive.

For example, I am a shade girl who prefers treed environments where I can hear the rustling of the leaves. I like small, intimate gatherings with deep, meaningful conversations. I like periods of quiet and silence. You, on the other hand, may prefer the feel of the desert with its dry, hot weather or the sounds of ocean waves. You may thrive in large crowds with lots of friends and light, fun conversations. You may dread silence and prefer continuous background music. If you put me in the desert for an extended period of time, I won’t feel like I’m thriving there. Conversely, you may feel like you’re not thriving if you spend too much time in the shade.

When we try and convince ourselves and go against the environments that nourish us, we will feel like we’re not thriving in our lives.

We don’t expect a shade plant to thrive in the sun, so why do we believe that we’re meant to thrive in all conditions?

When we don’t create the right conditions for ourselves there is no way that we’ll thrive.

Many of us have an inner knowing that we’re not thriving when we feel like something is missing; we’re lost and get a sense that some aspect of our life is not in alignment.

Outer manifestation of not living in alignment are health issues, emotional suffering, relationships that aren’t nourishing and soul-sapping jobs. Problems arise in our lives when we don’t know the conditions that we need in order to thrive. In addition to this lack of awareness, our society and conditioning have taught us that we need to look outside ourselves for the answers.

We’re taught that the conditions for us to thrive are based on how beautiful we are, how much money we have, how many achievements we’ve accumulated, and how successful we are at fulfilling our many roles. If we have all these conditions in place, then surely we’ll be on the road to pure happiness. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

In reality, in order to feel like we’re thriving, we need to get intimately aware of who we are at our core. We need to get to know that part of ourselves that is our blueprint for who we’re meant to become. Then we need to bring the outer expressions of our lives into alignment with our inner truths.

Most of us spend the majority of our energy attempting to manipulate our inner world to fit into an environment that we were never meant to thrive in. Using the fish analogy, we try and change the fish and ignore the water and then wonder why the fish isn’t thriving.

What you can do if you feel like you’re not thriving:
  1. Create space on a regular basis in order to calm your mind. A busy and distracted mind will prevent you from tapping into your deeper truths.
  2. Listen to your body and pay attention to what expands you and what constricts you. Create opportunities for more expansion in your friendships, relationships, work, and health.
  3. Realize that your health will be the first thing that signifies something isn’t in alignment. Look for the deeper cause of your health issue.
  4. Be willing to make some changes without having it all figured out.
  5. Learn to tap into your heart and gut for guidance and then trust it.
  6. Be willing to go it alone. In other words, know that no one else can tell you what is right for you.
  7. Become an expert at distinguishing the inner voice of your Soul and the outer voice of other people’s opinions and your conditioning.

When you learn who you are at your core, what your unique contributions are, and how you’re meant to live that is in alignment with your truths, you will begin to thrive in your life.