I’ve been thinking about abundance lately; about what it actually means, what my relationship is to it and how I can align myself with an attitude of it.
A-bun-dance (noun) a very large quantity of something.
When I reflect on my own journey with abundance, I can see the shifts I’ve made in my attitude to money and possessions and in my relationship with myself.
For most of my life I have operated out of the idea of lack. Growing up in a single income family, I was always taken care of, yet I knew I wanted more.
More is okay, in fact, more is the law of the universe, which is always expanding and growing.
But my desire for more didn’t come from an acceptance of abundance as truth, but from the idea that I was lacking and therefore had to work very hard to achieve more. It was a struggle I believed I was winning when over the course of many years and many jobs, I made more money.
But when you operate from a sense of lack, as though ‘there is something missing within me which I am going to fill,’ then no matter how much money or possessions you have, they are never, ever enough.
I remember that feeling of lack most keenly when I was making the most money I ever had. Nothing I had or owned felt like a reflection of who I was, because it came out of that lack mentality.
I realised that while I was making more money, I was poor. Time poor, fulfillment poor and happiness poor.
The shedding of my home, possessions and job was a necessary step for me.
Strip it all away and see what’s left, I thought.
What was left was me following a dream which felt in direct opposition to what my culture dictated.
But I knew, deep down, that there was more for me and that ‘more’ did not necessarily have a monetary value.
For a while I looked to travel to fill the void that shedding a job and a house and a lifestyle left, but because I was still operating out of that lack mentality (and a lot of fear and insecurity) it didn’t fulfill me.
I had to go within to find wholeness and over the course of some amazing, joyful, painful, confronting, exciting experiences, I came to know who I really was.
What I have discovered is this: the closer I come into alignment with who I really am (whole, loved, divine, worthy, provided for), the more abundance I feel.
Initially we were staying in $5 per night bungalows in South East Asia because we were terrified of spending all our money. While we had more money in our bank accounts back then than we do now, we felt the sense of lack more, which I think was because we were weening ourselves off familiar systems of ‘security.’
Koh-Tonsay, Cambodia, our first destination (and so much fun!)
Since becoming clearer on how we want to live in the world, we’ve had some pretty amazing experiences. We spent a year in a studio apartment in Playa del Carmen, a month in a colonial house in San Miguel De Allende and three months in a hotel with a roof-top pool on the Pacific coast of Mexico. We’ve stayed in a treehouse, a yurt, a teepee and a luxurious ‘smart home’ (it has an electronic toilet) in Whitefish, Montana.
I have come to believe that there is always going to be something amazing coming down the chute, and I have developed trust that I’m always provided for. At the same time, I am not attached to what that something is.
While we are making less money than we did working full time jobs, it seems that the laws of abundance dictate that we feel richer.
I don’t think this is news to many people and I think most of us do value experiences over money, but in my recent delving into the concept of abundance, I have come to believe that we can, in fact, have it all.
We can have both money and time. We can have freedom and wealth.
We can make a living by doing things we love, but we need to define what ‘a living’ means for us.
Abundance doesn’t have a set monetary figure. It is different for everyone and I think if we have any chance of allowing ourselves to feel the bliss of that, we have to define it in general terms for ourselves.
How does abundance feel to you? Free? Luxurious? Simple? Whimsical? Adventurous? Cozy? Warm? Creative?
We cannot look to society as it is right now for our queues on how to do this. We have to continue to shed old ideas and cultural narratives that no longer serve us.
Basically, we have to release ourselves from the global lack mentality which economic ‘experts’ purport as the truth and which media outlets seem to like to shout about.
Take a look around at your own life rather than looking to others.
Think outside the box a bit.
Realise the intrinsic abundance available in each moment, no matter your circumstances. Even if you don’t believe that, surely you can concede that it is preferable to feel better about your situation rather than resistant to it?
The fact that you are reading this means that you have survived out there.
There has been enough for you. You’ve been taken care of.
You’ve probably worked jobs you didn’t like to pay the bills because most of us have. You may have piles of debt that seem insurmountable, so I get it if abundance is not a term you have much faith in.
But I think it’s the story we have been told and have bought into which creates the feeling of lack endemic across the world.
I believe with everything I am that abundance is the natural state of the earth. I do not believe we are destroying the planet, or ourselves, but that we are finding balance out of the perceived imbalance.
A forest must burn to the ground before it rejuvenates itself.
Old structures we used to accept mindlessly are falling away and I think we are learning new, better ways to thrive and be happy. I strongly believe that there is enough for everyone and that ‘enough’ never runs out.
Greed arises out of an attitude of lack, not more, so I believe service is the key to thriving in the new economy.
Our motives are going to dictate how we are going to feel about that service. If we are serving others out of a sense of lack (in ourselves or others) which we are trying to fill, it won’t do us any good (I’ve tried it).
When we learn who we really are, what we love and how we want to help others, however, whether it is by designing a new computer game or giving massages, then I believe we are on our way to attracting the abundance which is our birthright.
Your cup was designed to runneth over.
In the face of the fear-mongering of mainstream news media, I encourage you to allow an attitude of abundance to rise within you in relation to your own life, the economy, the environment and humanity.
And why would we do such a crazy, out-there thing? ‘Cause it feels really, really good.