Inspiration

How To Be Abundant In The Midst Of Lack

photo-14In the middle of the night as I lay in bed drifting off to sleep during a particularly humorous episode of Futurama, I had the idea to check my bank account and bills.  This one small thought, instantly acted upon, led me to attempt to figure out how everything is going to work out with a looming credit card bill, rent just having been deducted, and a future with a job funded by a grant that is a few months away from ending.

In unconscious moments the ego easily gains a strong hold on your attention. It presents thoughts that you already strongly identify with, in moments where you will follow those thoughts to the point of action, creating a reality not based upon real life, but upon a thought pattern.

It was all too easy to stay awake even longer with a train of thought that I kept running after as if it could somehow help me.

That is the illusion.  Identification with thought always seems like it will benefit you, because thoughts are created to promote themselves.  Thoughts are quite good at convincing your attention they are important and necessary often to the detriment of your actual welfare and living reality.

I could see, as the night dwindled, I was being taken in not only by thought patterns but also by negative emotions, and however attractive that negative energy may seem at the time, it cannot improve any situation.  The night eventually set me about sleeping.

SnowToday Chicago is a blanket of luminescent snow, a task to navigate through but incredible to behold.  The abundance of life is making itself impossible to miss.  It is everywhere and affects everything around it.  An abundance of snow is an outward manifestation of the nature of the universe, of life itself.  The fact of the outer existence of form is the evidence of the overflowing abundance of the ether, of God.

Creation, abundance, life begins in the formless, it begins within.  The formless is the foundation from which all outer form manifests. For all of the things in this world, like money, love, enjoyment, knowledge, we first must set the platform from which it will manifest outwardly in form.  There has to be an inner reality first.

No matter how many reasons your mind gives you to worry, and believe that your immediately perceived situation is your end-all be-all, you will not achieve change or prosperity until you experience the reality of abundance within yourself, as yourself.  You are living proof of an abundant universe where we have the opportunity to exist and thrive, and for our needs to be met and exceeded.

Experiment with feeling abundance in the present moment.  Look around and see the abundance of things, of electricity, of water, of snow, of people, and know that it is your reality.  For me, when I get into a place where all I see is lack I take a little while to snap out of it.  Listing in your mind what you are grateful for can help bring you into a prosperous state and give you a real experience of the abundant nature of the universe. Then with a clear mind and an open heart you can observe the transformation of your situation, however it may look.

Standard
spirituality

Are you giving away what you don’t have?

GiftsYesterday I cited the old adage, “The more you give, the more you get.”  While this is true, it requires a disclaimer: you can only give what you have.  In concrete terms, this means that if you are giving away heaps of money on a credit card, money that you don’t actually possess, then you will not end up receiving.  Instead, that which you borrowed will end up being taken from you one way or another.  Part of the accumulation of financial debt is simply giving what you do not have.

This principle also operates in relationships.  If you are always trying to help others, give them advice and a shoulder to cry on, but never ask for assistance yourself, you are giving away what you don’t have.  I love the way Brené Brown put it when talking to Oprah about giving and receiving help: if you give help freely, but consider yourself a person that doesn’t ask for help, then every time you are giving help to someone you are judging them.  You are saying, “It is okay for you to ask for help, but not me.  I’m not the kind of person that does that.”  To give genuinely, you must first possess.

This also comes up in love relationships.  I’ve heard many times that you must first love yourself before you love others.  But what does that actually mean?  To figure that out I look at the way I treat myself.  When I forgive myself for making mistakes, have compassion for my shortcomings, comfort myself in times of grief, and let myself laugh and be joyful every single day, I can see that I am truly loving myself.  It is a lot easier to refrain from criticizing your partner for gaining a couple pounds, than it is yourself.  That is where the practice of loving yourself comes in.  The more compassion you can exercise on yourself, the more genuinely your compassion will be experienced by others.

Yesterday at the grocery store my thoughts attempted to gain my attention by worrying about the price of my groceries.  Worry is a common pattern for the mind.  But going into the grocery store I knew I had enough money in my bank account to buy groceries.  I knew that I wasn’t borrowing money from the credit card company that I didn’t already have at my disposal.  Of course, that doesn’t matter to the mind, which attempts to use any situation to place itself firmly at the center of your attention, often through negative reactions. So I allowed myself to enjoy the exchange of giving and receiving.

The first step in giving is to check your bank account.  How much love do you have in your bank account?  How much gratitude?  How much forgiveness?  Your funds will only be depleted if you are giving what you don’t have.  Start with yourself.  Practice gratitude and self-forgiveness.  If it is physical money that is an issue for you in the exchange of energy, create some savings; pay yourself before you pay everyone else.  Whether physical or spiritual, you can only give what you already have.  And once you have, and start becoming part of the exchange, there is no end to the growth of giving and receiving you can experience.

Standard
Inspiration

Lighten Up!

As I stood in the line at the grocery store today I felt the tug of worry on my attention saying, “I wonder how much this is all going to cost.  What if it is more than I expected?  Will I be able to afford it?”  I smiled at the thoughts; they jockey so diligently for their position in my attention.

Smiling at yourself helps take away the seriousness of the constant stream of mind, which often turns to negative scenarios when left to its own devices.  I decided to choose a different reaction, rather than falling back on the comfortable pattern of worry.  I chose to be grateful that I was taking place in the exchange.

The more you give the more you receive; every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  So as I paid for my groceries I smiled.  Not only did the smile lead to a nice exchange with the man checking out the groceries, but it made me feel lighthearted and grateful to take part in the cycle of giving and receiving.  Lightening up leads to more joy, more reasons to smile.  I hope this video gives you as much joy and lightheartedness as it gave me!

Standard