Inspired by a few recent conversations and the overflowing fullness of the festive season, here is the list of my favourite practices to feel and create more abundance in our lives.
This is at the top of the list, as I REALLY believe gratitute is the key ingredient in living a fulfilling and abudant life. There are so many ways in which we can express appreciation for what is already in front of us, rather than feeling stuck on pondering what has not appeared yet. Whether it is making gratitude lists at the beginning or the end of the day, writing down positive aspects about situations or people – it all trains our minds to focus on what we can be grateful for already, and fine-tunes our ability to allow more of such expriences into our lives.
Years ago, I started a ritual which is still part of my daily life. I obsessively write down “Thank You” on every single receipt, bank statement or expense slip before filing it or throwing it away. Even just those few seconds spent feeling genuine appreciation for the experience or thing represented by each piece of paper, have really helped me to become more mindful about money and the flow of abundance in my life. It is a way to retrain the mind from perceiving bills as a drain of resources to welcoming them as a representation of the luxuries – big and small – that we have enjoyed already or are yet to enjoy.
Straighten out the wallet
We often associate our wallets – empty or full – with the financial abundance. And yet quite quickly they get filled up with old receipts, expired cards, and similar clutter. Being mindful about this and creating a small ritual to declutter the wallet as often as possible will transform it into an object that is more pleasant to touch and engage with. Taking out everything that no longer needs to be there, straightening out and organizing the bills will make those moments when we use our wallet just that little bit lighter and more enjoyable. All I know is that if I were a banknote, I would definitely rather choose to frequent a tidy wallet!
Declutter your home
Nearly a year ago, I shared a little bit about my experience with Marie Kondo’s method for home decluttering and organizing. Fascinatingly enough, 11 months on everything has stayed pretty much the same – our home still remains spacious and sparks joy, things have their place, and we have acquired very few new objects (all of which were very deliberately chosen).
Decluttering allows taking stock of the abundance that we already have, creates space for new flow, allows becoming more mindful about what we want in our space, removes items that sap our energy because we don’t enjoy seeing them around, helps release the memories that we are ready to let go of. I would even go as far as saying that the process for me was one of the most powerful experiences of 2017. Not only did it change and create a more enjoyable immediate world around me in the physical sense, but also in that it made me more aware of the power I have to change and create other experiences in my life.
Clean that car
Since we are on the subject of decluttering, it only makes sense to extend this to our cars (most of which in this world seem to be stuck in some kind of limbo dimension between a storage unit and a garbage bin). Because we have to stay quite focused, driving for many people can be quite a meditative experience that allows us to enter into a very receptive state. It can be a space where an abundance of creative solutions or inspired ideas arrive. It’s also where we often feel just that little bit more free to be ourselves (you know – all those pep talks you give to yourself and the singing out loud!). Therefore, a car can really be a space that we enjoy stepping into not only as a physical way to move around, but also as a mode to enter more flow and freedom in our lives. (And no, having kids is not an excuse.)
Make peace with money
A wise man once told me, “If you have money, what’s there to fight about? If you don’t have money, what’s there to fight about?”. While this might be simplifying matters a bit, it touches on an issue that many of us might be familiar with. Whether it was witnessing our parents fight about money or stress around it in our own adult experience, it is so important to find a way to soften and elevate the conversations about money if we are to create a mindset of abundance. In the book that I am currently reading – The Abundance of Less – there is a lovely little story about how one of the protagonists, who was living in India, realized how much of his time, energy and wellbeing was wasted on constantly squabbling over tiny payments and price changes. He decides to stop these arguments and even starts going beyond the payment requests by inviting taxi drivers and other vendors to have tea with him. It’s a beautiful story about how other forms of abundance begin to enter and transform his life when he decides to choose peace as a priority.
Allow, allow, allow
This is probably one of the most difficult practices for most of us. I, for one, watched my entire childhood adults refusing to receive money from each other, and often involuntarily ended up playing the part of a “smuggling mule” between my grandparents and my parents. After some arguing on the adult part, money would be snuck into my pocket at the last minute with a hushed voice telling me to keep it quiet until we were on the bus. At this point, it would all be discovered by the other party but it was too late to return the money back.
It took me years to figure why I felt so uncomfortable about receiving money as a gift, but now I am simply DONE fighting over it. I will always offer to pay for my share or pay in full when I am feeling generous, but if someone really insists on paying for my share – well, I will gratefully accept. It may take a while to recognize this as abundance arriving into our lives, but that’s exactly what it is. Whether it is gifts or money, we can learn to allow the other person the huge pleasure of giving while we practise the grace and gratitude of receiving.
Cherish the givers
Is there someone in your life that regularly contributes to your abundance – perhaps your partner, a close friend or a relative? It is so easy to take those people for granted. After all, they may have been around for years and it is just part of the deal of being together. You know what else should be part of the deal? Regularly expressing gratitude for their contribution. Whether it’s a little note or a tea ceremony to celebrate the payroll, be sure to thank for the abundance flowing into your life via other people.
Clean up the words
Words have power. Power to convince others, but also to convince ourselves. Power to become a filter through which we process and, therefore, create our own life experiences. That is why becoming mindful about things way say out loud in relation to money is an important practice. Unless we are willing to perpetrate the same narrative in our lives, phrases like “I can’t afford to”, “money doesn’t grow on trees” and similar should have no place in our vocabulary. When we continue to express this lack, we reaffirm this limitation for our lives, and also invite others to see it the same way for us. What’s more, for everyone who has kids – the repetitive hearing of such phrases is the beginning of their forming beliefs about abundance and relationship with money. Even if it is the case that some object or experience might be out of reach due to the financial reasons, let’s search for words that affirm abundance.
Play the role
Once in a while we visit an outdoors shopping centre which has a few luxury brands. I always feel so mesmerized observing the families who shop there because they appear to have this air of prosperity. It seems to have nothing to do with the branding of their clothing or the quality of their shoes, but you just know looking at them that they come from a background of abundance. It’s that something in their posture, something about the way they walk, their facial expression and their gaze. And so I have this game that every time we go there, in my mind I play the role of blending in among these families. I love it! It is so fascinating to watch how my posture changes, how I move my body or the way I look at things (you know that nonchalant and slightly bored expression of “I can own it all”?). I like to do the same in other beautiful or luxurious surroundings – hotels, museums, restaurants – even if it is just passing by for a second. I love to imagine what it would feel like to own a place like that, what I would say, how I would show it around to my guests. During those brief moments, it is as if all the enjoyment of that place really does belong to me.
There must be a reason why many people who win the lottery are not much better off just a few years after the winning, including many who end up filing for bankruptcy. I believe it’s to do with them simply not being able to handle such a change so suddenly. It is as if they enter the life of abundance while still carrying the same old beliefs and ideas about their lives.
So the whole point of this practice of playing the role is allowing the mind to relax into abundance. It creates ease, as well as takes out the seriousness from the subject of money and prosperity. Perhaps most importantly, it permits the bubbling up to the surface of all those limiting beliefs about money in general or about how we view other people’s wealth. Plus it’s really fun – try it, it might come in handy when you win that lottery!
This is another one that can be quite tricky for many of us. Perhaps we saw adults in our lives struggling with their own sense of worthiness, or maybe gifts and money were used to affirm our own “good behaviour”. But this sense of not being worthy can manifest itself when we desire something and even knowing how much delight a particular object or experience might bring us, and yet delay allowing it in. For example, despite being a huge paper lover, for years I kept writing on rather unsatisfactory low quality paper. Ah, you know – the old notebook that bleeds ink needs to be finished before I can get another one, and so on. For decades, I would not permit myself one of the greatest pleasures known to me which is writing with a fountain pen on paper that is suitable for it. And all that annoyance for a difference of just a few extra euros per month!
There is a rather fascinating book called The Science of Getting Rich written by W. D. Wattles over a hundred years ago. While it might be a little “out there” for some readers, for others it may offer a complete shift in how we see objects that we want. The book suggests that, in fact, there is nothing wrong with desire – we have physical bodies that engage with physical objects all day long. When we let go of labeling our desires as “bad” or trying to convince ourselves that we shouldn’t want something, we can really begin to sense the true calling or invitation behind that desire.
And that is not to say that we should go out and blow our life’s savings in some extreme way, but that there are areas in our lives where for an exchange of a small fee we can allow ourselves an immeasurable amount of pleasure. Whether it’s a better quality notebook, really comfortable shoes, cacao butter as a body moisturiser – whatever it is – allow yourself even those occasional moments of self-indulgence. That paint, that camera, that clay – or whatever it may be – are all objects that offer us a medium to greater ease, creativity and, ultimately, serve as a way to a fuller expression of who we are.
Tags: abundance gratitude limiting beliefs mindfulness
There is a lie that acts like a virus within the mind of humanity. And that lie is, ‘There’s not enough good to go around. There’s lack and there’s limitation and there’s just not enough.’
The truth is that there’s more than enough good to go around. There is more than enough creative ideas. There is more than enough power. There is more than enough love. There’s more than enough joy. All of this begins to come through a mind that is aware of its own infinite nature.
There is enough for everyone. If you believe it, if you can see it, if you act from it, it will show up for you. That’s the truth.