Just as the plants in our house or garden need our support to grow and flourish, we must decide and make the effort to flourish ourselves. It doesn’t happen simply by growing up and older. 

"Flourishing is the product of the pursuit and engagement of an authentic life that brings inner joy and happiness through meeting goals, being connected with life passions, and relishing in accomplishments through the peaks and valleys of life." as per Psychologist Lynn Soots.

Soots emphasized that flourishing is not a trait or a characteristic; it's a choice. She says flourishing is a process that requires action. It takes effort.

That’s why the JUSTBLiSS Team have chosen to make “Flourish!” our word for 2024. Me and the team decide a word each new year rather than make New Year’s resolutions. Instead of a quickly forgotten list of do’s, don’ts, and want-to’s, we boil down our aspirations and hopes for the year into a simple phrase or single word we can call upon, as needed, to keep our self on track. Last year it was “Embrace", and two year's ago it was “Shine!”

So, flourish. What exactly does it mean? As a lifelong lover of green growing things, I often use images from nature and the garden to illustrate concepts that can seem abstract. In this case, botanical references are most apt because the word flourish is from the Latin word for flower, flōs. Think about how a plant, when flourishing, shoots out new stems, leaves, and, eventually, flowers or fruit. Something that is flourishing shows ample evidence of its health and success. So it is with people who are flourishing.

Psychologists typically agree that flourishing includes well-being, happiness, and life satisfaction. But it's more that that. It also includes optimism, positive relationships, mastery, self-determination, resilience, personal growth, vitality, and self-esteem. Virtue and health also have been proposed to be components of flourishing. Financial stability and spiritual health may be part of it, too. 

Soooo..., I hope you, too, will choose, and take, action to flourish. You can start by drawing deeply and deliberately from the nourishment of your own roots, the richness of your life's experiences, and the wisdom your struggles (or suffering) teach you.