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Thrive, not survive! 3 ways to live positively in a negative world

It might seem hard to live positively in today’s world, but there are ways that you can.

With stories of hardship and tragedy both locally and globally, it can be difficult to lean into light when the world feels dark. But there must be a way.

We asked a woman who exudes light and goodness to share her personal reflections on how we can live positively in a negative world.


How to Live Positively in a Negative World

Meet Rt. Rev Phyllis Spiegel

The Right Reverend Phyllis Spiegel is the Episcopal Bishop of over two-dozen congregations stretching from Utah to northern Arizona. She was elected the 12th Bishop of Utah in 2022. She is passionate about helping others deepen their discipleship through daily practices of faith.

“It’s the daily practice that gets it into the fabric of our being,” Bishop Spiegel said, “We call it spiritual muscle memory.”

In addition to her passion for daily displays of faith, Bishop Spiegel, alongside other Episcopalians, believe “God loves you. No exceptions”.

“Welcoming everyone at the table means a constant resizing, shaping, and placement of the table itself,” she says. “Then you start looking for good questions to ask.”

Bishop Spiegel points to social media as a reason people can find and forge closer connections.

“We are no longer separated by six degrees. Social media has made our world smaller and more connected,” Bishop Spiegel explains. “That means within a very short conversation, you and I can find not only a person that we know in common, but rather a core value that we share. That’s connectivity.”

She added that if we make it our goal to give people a safe space to share their story, we’re far less likely to dehumanize and categorize one another.

Find Purpose in the Everyday

Bishop Spiegel believes one of the most common reasons for a decline in health later in life is lack of purpose.

“Everyone needs a purpose in life, up until literally our last breath,” she said. “Even if that purpose is as simple as taking your neighbor’s trash can to the curb on a weekly basis, it’s enough purpose to help you find more joy in life.”

“Grand purposed are wonderful,” Bishop Spiegel continued, “But sometimes we put those off because ‘it’s not the right time.’ But a daily purpose? A daily purpose we can always find.”

Rely on Community

Bishop Spiegel learned from the recovering community that in order to recover, you need to surround yourself with those who support a recovery lifestyle.

“If you want to live a life of purpose, that uplifts you, and fills you with a sense of connected wellbeing…you need to find that community that will help you grow,” she explained.

Develop an Internal Relationship with a Higher Power

Bishop Spiegel says that deepening our daily walk with God profoundly changes the way we walk in the world. She believes that we must have a power beyond ourselves to lift us when our world feels like it’s crashing down.

“The Christian life is one lived where if the bottom drops out, we know there is a bottom because God’s all-loving arms are right there to catch us,” she added.

Bishop Spiegel believes God goes where people can’t.

“It doesn’t matter what a person names the higher power,” she said. “It matters that we are in a relationship with something greater than ourselves that gives us purpose, meaning, and that compassionate and loving support.”

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