The 7 VIBRANTs are the heart of what I’ve learned to maintain my vitality living with a disease that wants to stop me in my tracks. The VIBRANTs are the perspective through which I view the world. They were a motivating factor behind my memoir, Shadow Summit, and they are the focus of my work as a speaker and coach. I’d appreciate hearing your reaction to the 7 VIBRANTs; do they resonate. Would they be useful for you in your life? Why/Why not? What might be missing or need a second look? As a member of my blog community, I value your thoughts and insights.
When first diagnosed with MS, I thought a vibrant life meant living in denial and pushing the accelerate button to live a “great life”. That worked for a number of years, but it eventually ran its course. My ego and the force of my will drove me into a ditch and caused life to crash down around me. While laying in the ditch, trying to put my life back together, I realized the true inciting incident guiding me toward a VIBRANT life was not the diagnosis; it was the understanding that I have the power to change my life by changing my thoughts, actions, habits, and desires to live in harmony with my surroundings.
As I worked to create a new life philosophy, tapping into my intuition and truth, I have come to understand there are seven principles that allow me to remain enveloped in a VIBRANT environment and live my best life. They are my mind, body, spirit, emotions, professional pursuits, financial abundance, and social community that I refer to as the 7 VIBRANTS.
I realize these encompass a broad swath of life. You don’t need to maintain an active focus on each in the moment. I have found it best to focus on one at a time. Though I focus on one at a time, the philosophy of each informs my thoughts, actions, habits, and desires in the moment. Each person has their own take on how to nurture these in their lives. Below, I explain what I mean by them. My conviction is that if any of these are omitted, then unwanted imbalances can develop.
Depak Chora says an individual has roughly 60,000 thoughts a day. Christopher Alexander says there are a dozen patterns that routinely happen over the course of the day and make up our existence—being in bed, having a shower, having breakfast in the kitchen, sitting in my study writing, walking in the garden, cooking and eating lunch at the office with friends, going to the movies, taking the family to eat at a restaurant, going to bed again (There are a few more and the events will differ by individual.) This context leads to the question—are you leveraging your thoughts, actions, habits, and desires effectively during the routine activity of the day to create the existence you want? You have the power to change your thoughts whenever you want.
Our body is the medium through which we experience conscious existence. That body is the result of the things put into it whether that’s food, water, thoughts or emotions. Put the right stuff in and you get the outcome you need to most effectively move through your day. The question is whether your body allows you to have the energy, drive, and endurance needed to do what you want and need? If not, you can change things by changing the inputs.
There is no one definition for spirituality. It means something different to everyone. For me, spiritually is all about having a sense of connection to the universe as well as all living things; its the understanding that what’s happening around me is bigger than me. It means having an appreciation for the miracle of life and seeing the beauty in all things around me. It means having a sense for my unique gifts and how I can make life better for those I come in contact with. It’s big and lofty, but that’s how I see things. How does your spiritual view influence your life?
Emotions are the thoughts and more importantly feelings that arise in my body in response to my experiences. My appreciation for emotions was realized after a number of years living in denial of the fear and anxiety about the potential impacts of multiple sclerosis. I came to understand that the act of trying so hard to deny things I was fearful of happening might have actually led them to come true. Regardless of whether my state of denial caused things to happen or not, the point is that it’s important to express feelings. That doesn’t mean they have to guide your actions, but feelings need to be expressed in a constructive way to fuel the realization of what you want but also so they don’t manifest an unwanted result.
Social community is all about the people around me being a source of support and encouragement. Having those around me congruent with the beliefs and ideals I’m pursuing, reinforces how I want to live, be, feel, and do. Having those around me in tune with what I want to see and make happen allows them to assist me to make it happen. People want to help that’s human nature. As a number of people say, I’m the average of the people I surround myself. Make them count.
The question I ask myself regarding my profession is whether the work I do is aligned with my inherent purpose or truth. It can mean following a calling to help others in the practice of medicine or could mean being an elementary school teacher because of an innate desire to teach and the enjoyment of seeing a child’s face light up when learning something new. It could also mean playing the role of a customer service agent because you enjoy assisting people solve problems. My purpose is to assist others lead their best life. Being aligned with my inherent internal drive allows my efforts to flow from my being. Are you living in authenticity with who you are, so you’re aligned with your inherent internal drive which fuels your efforts? These pursuits are tied to financial abundance.
A perspective of financial abundance means having the sense that you have enough money. It means not holding on too tight to money or being scared that you don’t have the financial resources required to support your needs. It also means having a perspective of abundance regarding your financial future so that your current habits and desires will be supported in the future.
Again, my conviction is if any of these are omitted than unwanted imbalances can develop.
What do you think? I’d appreciate hearing your reaction either below on this blog or by contacting my at firstname.lastname@example.org.