Thrive in Life: Finding Purpose & Meaning in the Good and the Bad

True understanding is to see the events of life in this way: “You are here for my benefit, though rumor says otherwise.” And everything is turned to one’s advantage when he greets a situation like this – You are the very thing I was looking for. Truly whatever arises in life is the right material to bring about your growth and the growth of those around you. This, in a word, is art and this art called ‘life’ is a practice suitable to both men and gods. Everything contains some special purpose and a hidden blessing; what then could be strange or arduous when all of life is here to greet you like an old and faithful friend? ~ Marcus Aurelius

This week’s #ThriveOCourse is all about finding purpose and meaning in all experiences. Gratitude and grace have the same latin root, gratus. Whenever we find ourselves in a chaotic mindset, we can remember that there is a way to open up to grace and this typically involves taking a moment to be grateful. Remember that with over 65,000 thoughts a day, we can talk to ourselves in ways that we wouldn’t talk to a baby or best friend. So, why would we talk to ourselves in any way other than a loving one?

One of the things that’s important as we talk about good and bad experiences is forgiveness. Specifically, self-forgiveness. One tip Arianna has to help overcome the negative is to write down your fears. Bear with me. It’s actually a great exercise. Take a piece of paper and write down everything you can think of that you are afraid of. Work, money, relationships, health, whatever you can think of. Now, I want you to write down something you used to be afraid of that didn’t come to pass. Now, think about all the fears you listed and reconcile that none of this will likely happen. We are giving into our fears. Now, burn this paper! Alternatively, you can rip it up and throw away, shred, or toss in the toilet. The important thing is you get rid of your fears list; knowing they no longer serve you.

What about the real stuff? What about the bad and the ugly… the experiences that weren’t so great? One of the beautiful things about life is we always have a choice about how we view experiences. Many times, after a hardship of some kind, we are so wrapped up in the negativity and drama, trauma, karma of it all, we can forget to find the blessing in the experience. Sometimes, the blessings can’t be seen for awhile; like after something good happens and then we get the ‘ah-ha’ moment of clarity and grace to move forward. I invite you to think about the good, the bad AND the ugly and find  gratitude and blessings in the situation. Find forgiveness. You are a growing…evolving being and every experience, like it or not, is here for a reason.

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Gratitude is one of my favorite topics. It has helped me heal from many things. It has increased my happiness ten-fold and it has helped me stay grounded and connected to myself and to source. I encourage you to find TEN things to be grateful for and write them down. Next, I encourage you to share your gratitude list with someone else. Watch as the gratitude ripples across everyone you share it with.

I’d love to hear from you. What gratitude practices do you have? How do you get through difficult times?

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Tandy Elisala

Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer at Center for Inspiring Greatness
Tandy Elisala is passionate about bringing hope and wholehearted living to people going through cancer and their caregivers. Tandy went through cancer four times and learned how to heal using conventional, complementary, and alternative therapy. She left her 23-year corporate career to take care of both parents simultaneously for 2 ½ years. She now teaches what she learned on her journey and how to thrive during and after cancer using the true sources of health and healing: hope and mindset, spiritual connection, relationships, alignment and mind, body healing. Tandy is a multiple best-selling author, radio show host, mother of three grown kids and her precious dog, Roxy. Learn more about Tandy at

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