By Arin Pitcher
Is there an area of your life that you want to THRIVE, like a garden ripe with vibrant colors and bountiful harvests?!
Perhaps your career, a romantic relationship, sex life, physical health or otherwise?
Due to evolution, our brains are actually hardwired for survival, which can make truly thriving (getting that raise, losing those last 5 pounds, sticking to healthy eating) difficult. But thankfully we are also conscious beings and thus have ways of rewiring our brain to naturally choose thriving over surviving!
There are THREE MAIN KEYS TO THRIVING, that I learned from my Tantra teacher Layla Martin.
When making any shift in one’s life, an inner shift usually must precede an outer shift. In order to create an outer world of thriving, with all the love, money, health etc. we could want, we must start by creating an inner ecology (mental, emotional, spiritual) of thriving.
The 3 keys to creating an ecology of thriving are LOVE, SAFETY and BELONGING.
As humans we are programmed by evolution to seek these three experiences of love, safety and belonging because for thousands of years an absence of one or the other would likely have cost us our life.
Today, an absence of one of those might not mean immediate death, but it also means that we may not be living out most fulfilling and inspiring lives, plus being in survival mode all the time is just not good for the body and our overall health.
Piece by piece, bit by bit it is absolutely possible to create a life in which you are thriving in every area: career, relationship, health etc.
AND you can start right now, by beginning to cultivate an inner ecology of thriving with the practice below which I’ve adapted from one I learned form Layla.
CULTIVATING AN INNER ECOLOGY OF THRIVING – 15-20 minute practice
- Begin by setting up a space that feels safe, cozy and secure. You may want to wrap up in fuzzy blankets or lock the door to your room. Whatever makes you feel fully safe and supported.
- Select an area you want to focus on and get as specific as possible (e.g. my relationship with my partner)
- Set an intention for your practice (e.g. to create harmony in my relationship with my partner)
- Lay down and get comfortable, close your eyes and begin to visualize the ideal vision you have for this area of your life.
- Let yourself move through each of your 5 senses when visualizing what you really want in order to signal to your nervous system that it is real (e.g. how does your ideal relationship feel: warm & connected. Smell: like his cologne and our favorite pizza….etc.)
- Now holding this vision in your mind’s eye, allow your body to simultaneously begin to inhabit the experience of love. Focus on how it feels in your body, what are the physical sensations associated with love.
- Now see if you can turn up the volume on this experience of love while continuing to visualize your ideal circumstance in a particular area of life.
- By doing these things simultaneously, you signal to your brain that they are not only linked but can coexist together. Subconsciously we are often blocked from realizing that which we want most, by a fear that we will not be loved, safe or belong if we were to get what we want, which therefore keeps us from taking action. By holding your ideal vision in your mind in the same experience as embodying the feeling of love, you let your brain know that both are possible simultaneously.
- Now let the feeling of love fade away and begin to inhabit the feeling of safety while continuing to hold your ideal vision.
- What sensations do you experience when you embody safety?
- Visualize any conditions that would need to be met in order to feel safe in your vision, as being real (e.g. if you would need to know that your partner was committed to you, envision and embody that as a truth…what would he/she have to say or do that would let you know this?) Add these things to your ideal vision while continuing to feel in your body what the experience of safety is like
- Turn up the volume on the feeling of safety, continuing to visualize
- Next letting the feeling of safety fade, begin to invite the feeling of belonging.
- Visualize your family or community of friends and colleagues surrounding you with smiles of love and acceptance on their faces as they witness you having your ideal vision.
- What sensations do you experience embodying this belonging?
- Turn up the volume on the feeling of belonging
- Finally, while holding your ideal vision in your mind’s eye, invite the experience of love, safety and belonging into your body simultaneously and repeat softly to yourself out loud…”I am loved, I am safe, I belong”
- Repeat this mantra 3 times slowly, feeling each word as truth, continuing to see your ideal vision.
- Once that process is complete allow your mind and body to rest and integrate, at this point you can continue to lay in the position you have been in, curl up into a ball, or get up and move…whatever feels most natural to you in the moment.
You’ll want to spend approximately 5 minutes each embodying love, safety and belonging.
I recommend doing this practice between 5-7 times in a single week in order to solidify the transformations being made in your body and brain.
Once you’ve done so, you can begin to experiment with ways of SUPERCHARGING the practice like:
- Using mantra throughout the practice by repeating “I am loved” while embodying love, “I am safe” while embodying safety, and “I belong” when embodying belonging.
- Self-pleasuring throughout the duration of the practice.
- Do not allow yourself to climax until you have completed the process, and only if it feels organic and natural to do so. Do not force an orgasm or climax simply for the sake of doing so, it is perfectly ok, and in fact much more beneficial to NOT climax if it doesn’t feel organic. Again, don’t force it 🙂
- Activate your other senses if there is alignment with your vision. For instance if you are working on your relationship with your partner, have an item that smells like him or her close by so you can waft in their scent during the practice.
- Repeat this practice by holding your vision in three separate stages: having, receiving and taking action.
- Do one round of the practice visualizing yourself as HAVING your ideal vision.
- Do another round of practice visualizing yourself as RECEIVING your ideal vision, or as you are just about to receive your vision/goal.
- Do another round visualizing yourself as just beginning to TAKE ACTION on getting your vision/goal.
While getting everything you want, and truly thriving in your life can take a lot of work and years of cultivation, it doesn’t always. Either way you can begin right now by laying a solid foundation of love, safety and belonging!
The most important thing to remember throughout this process and in life, is that there is absolutely NO ONE in the world, that can give you the level of love, safety and belonging required to thrive fully. Only you can create that for yourself, over and over again. It’s a practice not a perfect!