A college professor was asked what he did on his summer vacation. He talked about the adventure, drama and amazing plants and insects he’d seen. Then he said, “And next summer, I’ll go to the other side of the backyard!”
I remembered that story one spring day and spent the afternoon in my backyard on a blanket under the shade of a 50-year-old oak tree, experiencing a bit of that same wonder. Just looking up through the limbs I could not count the leaves, and further up, the clouds. Then I turned my attention to the grass, watching birds hopping about and then insects, in, on and around the green blades carpeting the yard. It was an afternoon of abundance on a basic, yet profound, level. And it was free, to boot. It helped to change my definition of abundance.
For most of us, abundance is financial wealth, but that is only one meaning. Driving along streets and highways, I am reminded how very abundant our world is, just in trees and grass. The number of leaves and blades are numberless. So are clouds, stars and all life that lives on the planet below them.When I can truly see how very much there is on such a minute scale as grains in a bag of sugar, I can see the world as an abundant, plentiful, bountiful place.
It is easy to focus on lack — not having enough…time, money, love, parking places, friends, clothes, etc. But in doing so, I am negating the generous and never-ending supply of everything in the Universe. When I go to lack thinking, I ask myself, “Have you ever gone to bed hungry because you have no food? Have you ever gone to the grocery store to see empty shelves — no food to buy?”
I listen to what I say and what those around me say that expresses what is called a lack consciousness. I remember worrying about money to the point that I had very little. I have seen others focus on money, how little they make and how long they have to work to get something. Then their child gets sick and they miss work and lose money.
Someone I knew focused on lack, saying, “I worry I’ll get sick. If I get sick, I can’t work. If I can’t work, I won’t have the money to pay my bills and will lose my house.” The litany of negative possibilities was recited over and over. That person eventually got cancer and all of their worries became reality. I’ve worried about my car and sure enough it would need not only repair, but costly repair.
Now, I think of my paycheck as, “Well, that paid for my phone bill, or my rent.” It takes conscious effort and I’m not always successful, but it does make a difference in how I see things, changing work into an exercise in gratitude.
I also practice tithing, which at first scared the financial pants off me. But, when I did it regularly, I saw an improvement in my bank account. I don’t pretend to begin to understand how it operates, but like the engine in my car (which I also don’t know much about) it does work. All I have to do is practice it.
I’ve begun to become better at receiving, a hard one for me. I took to heart the “it is better to give than receive” concept. That statement says that receiving is okay, it’s just better to give. When I refuse, then I signal, “Don’t send more here. There is enough, thank you very much,” stopping the flow. Allowing myself to receive help, a compliment, praise or an unexpected gift sends an energetic “signal” that I am open to having more, thereby allowing flow.
Our culture values giving to the extreme. A paradigm shift is in order. We forget to receive, which is not illegal! We don’t want to be perceived as a “taker,” and in doing so, we negate both gift and giver. When we accept, we activate abundance, of which there is an infinite supply. Giving and accepting creates an energetic cycle in which flow is created, keeping the good coming!