Excerpt from The Abundance Project: 40 Days to More Wealth, Health, Love, and Happiness
I wasn’t always this optimistic about abundance. I wasn’t raised in a home with an abundance mindset. Even when my family seemed to have a modest amount of one thing, it would cause a shortage of something else.
When we finally started having enough money, there wasn’t enough time to enjoy it as a family. When we had the time to be together, there wasn’t an abundance of love and connection, which often led to conflict. It always seemed like a zero-sum game — two steps forward, three steps back. And it only got worse with time.
Eventually, my parents divorced and I ended up living in a house with no electricity or water, taking sponge baths, ashamed to have friends over. Then we lost everything and ended up staying in a friend’s garage — my mom, sister and me, all living in a 10-by-10 space, sleeping on the same mattress. Everything was in short supply: time, space, money, patience, and the bathroom. It got so bad sometimes that I would sleep in our friend’s boat in the driveway, under a tarp, breathing in the stale, putrid odor of dead fish. And things didn’t get much better from there.
At the age of 16, I ran away from home and lived under a friend’s staircase, my whole life’s belongings in a pineapple box beside me. Then in my early twenties, I survived off of 19-cent boxes of Kraft Mac & Cheese in a one-room apartment.
The worst part about all of this wasn’t only the lack of abundance; it was the fear, powerlessness, shame and confusion. I didn’t know how to make enough or keep enough of what I made; and even when I did make it, I often felt guilty for having it. Feeling like I had a lack of freedom and space led to a sense of isolation.
My childhood experience of being controlled by my parents and their constant conflicts had me believing that I never had enough time to do what mattered to me, creating a hyper vigilance to make the most of every minute I had. Because there never seemed to be enough of anything I could count on at home, I developed the perception that I constantly needed to protect what little I had.
This was my reality for several decades. I scrimped, scratched and clawed my way through each day, trying to stay afloat and just survive. Then a near-death experience in my twenties cracked me open, shattering that old reality, leading me to explore and discover a radically different view on life that revealed the true substance and source of abundance and how it’s generated, without limits. I call it the Awakened Abundance Principle, because it’s not so much that you achieve, attract or even create abundance; rather, it’s like opening your eyes and realizing you’re already surrounded by it.
Imagine thinking you’re running late, then discovering you have all the time in the world; or feeling like you’re all alone, then waking up to find the love of your life sleeping next to you; or believing you’re broke, then getting a call that there’s a trust account in your name that’s always been there, with more than enough to meet all your needs for the rest of your life. Imagine all of this abundance being available no matter where you’ve come from, what you’ve been through, or what circumstances you find yourself in.
What would you do differently?