Let’s play another word game, shall we?
The word of the day is a trendy, New Age term in modern lexicon: abundance.
Originating in the mid-14th century from Old French abondance and Latin abundantia meaning “fullness” or “plenty,” the word abundance has found renewed popularity in the common tongue. Yielding over 90 million results in a Google search today, the… abundance of the word abundance seems to be a sign of the times.
Society is slowly edging into the age of metaphysics, understanding that matter is not matter at all but energy, and scientifically grasping the incredible effects that mind and thought have on the energetic world.
In a time where “manifestation,” or producing what you want with thought, has been made popular by The Secret and countless resources and movements following it, it’s the word abundance that has come to represent a desired mindset through which we might manifest, acquire, achieve and embody good things.
Abundance also represents an ideal for many of us self-starters and live-well types.
From creatives and yogis to coaches, artists and writers, living from a place of “plenty” promises that there is much to be shared, given and served–not to mention, more than enough to be enjoyed without guilt, fear, worry or anxiety.
In short, it’s easy to see why abundance is a prism through which we aspire to see our abilities to give, create, work, love and relish life while we can.
And yet, you may well have a troubled relationship to the word abundance.
I know I have.
A large part of our lives are stretched around the desperate acquisition of more. Our culture thrives on a deficit-oriented mentality, where lack and not enough seem aplenty (ironically!) and the blind, neurotic pursuit of more is easy, natural, and even rewarded with kudos (see my piece on the word busy and why busy is a problem).
The social tendency is, if we structure enough thoughts, goals and daily lives around “lack,” that we’ll eventually produce “more.” Right? More stuff, more money, more comfort, more success… more joy? More peace? More happiness?
With the latter, we tend to discover a real disconnect.
So, how do we discover joy, peace and happiness in our lives through abundance?
How can we redefine our relationship to abundance so that it works for us–leading us into that ideal, reassuring mentality of “plenty”?
First, a story.
It’s a Friday morning and the daily calendar on my phone pops up to remind me of what’s on tap for the day. It’s a common enough routine for most of us, right? Wake up, recall the day’s duties, and have at it.
Some mornings like this morning, I start to feel a twinge of overwhelm. “There’s more,” a quiet voice within me says, “There’s always going to be more.” Remembering that there’s always more and more coming, I feel my heartbeat pick up; my breath shortens.
More stuff. More client work. More words to write. More work to do…
“There’s more…” I hear myself say, “There’s always going to be more…”
This is what I call my “There Will Always Be More…” narrative.
It’s a story–a habit of a narrative that replays on most mornings just as often as my iPhone calendar pops up with its reminders. It’s more automatic than conscious. The thought pattern is like any other– I partly assumed it or learned it from others, I made it my own, and now it’s a deeply grooved track or samskara that I tend to slip into subconsciously.
This “There Will Always Be More…” narrative is one of lack, fear and worry.
Why? Because the narrative says that I might lack the ability to accomplish, finish, perform. (You probably deal with this narrative too. Everyone does.)
The narrative is one of fear–doubting and questioning ability, worth, merit, and feelings of deserving.
The narrative is worry-based, spurring anxiety, tenseness and deficit-centric thinking that stops souls like ours short from really opening up and fully expressing themselves, or serving widely, or giving nobly. Worry doesn’t make a philanthropist, a leader, a giver. It makes a neurotic hoarder–an apocalyptic stockpiler of toilet paper and canned beans.
…That is not how I aspire to live out my days.
That narrative is a complete disservice to all the good things I’ve fought for, prayed for, invited and earned in my life (from good work to great clients, and the privilege of using my words in ways that matter). Beyond the work, on a personal level of soul, this narrative is one that threatens to undo the life of love, giving, and well-being that I strive for–the highest caliber of personal standards that make me feel like my worth is truly worth living.
Where does this narrative come from?
It’s really a fear-based one. Being deficit-minded is actually a pretty natural, albeit archaic outlook.
Being lack-minded is an evolutionary strategy.
It’s embedded in our subconscious minds. Lack-mindedness makes every concern one of life or death. Survival or destruction. Food or starvation. Money or poverty.
Without being lack-minded, we wouldn’t have the internal drive to survive.
We need to survive first, of course. That’s our base need.
But if we never escape lack-oriented living, we’ll never ascend to higher living. To thriving. To union with Oneness, God, all that we’re capable of.
Reworking our relationships to the word abundance, however, holds great promise–satiating the feeling that there is never enough, and focusing instead of what we good things want more of.
As an artist, entrepreneur and yogi, I’ve been working hard to catch this subconscious thought pattern when it crops up–so I can release it.
Being lack-minded is natural for human beings, but in the course of our everyday lives, the samskara or subconscious thought-habit erodes how I wish to live and move in the world.
It doesn’t honor me. It doesn’t honor you. Putting anxiety on our mental plates every morning is an entirely shitty way to live out our precious days.
Here’s what’s great.
You know that “There Will Always Be More…” narrative? The one that’s fear-minded, deficit-oriented?
The “There Will Always Be More…” narrative can remain a repeating habit of, “There will always be more stuff to do, more work to fulfill, more obligations to maintain, more stress, more anxiety, more unknown things coming.”
The narrative can stay the same and perpetuate thoughts like, “Am I ready for this? Can I do it? Am I capable? What if I can’t? What if I run out? What if there’s not enough? What if? What if…?”
But, just as much!, this dastardly subconscious narrative can be changed into a conscious declaration of the state of abundance from which we wish to live.
If you want to live from abundance, you can shift that same narrative–redirecting it away from deficit-minded thinking, and upon abundance-minded thinking, to consciously attract more of what we do want.
Think about it.
The thinking groove is already there.
The habit of noticing “more” exists in our minds, as it is.
If we can just start to shift from lack and onto abundance, we shed light on the good things, and invite more of them.
That narrative tells a very different story.
This version of “There Will Always Be More…” is one of gratitude, acknowledgment, faith, trust and joyful celebration.
It honors money coming in, and plenty of good words to write and express.
It screams Thank you! for the amazing foods we get to enjoy, and new and exciting clients to serve. It honors each and every wonderful reader whom we get to write for, great things to get excited about, new ideas and philosophies to learn, and books to read, and places to visit and sights to see….. all of it!
That is the narrative I choose.
That’s the relationship that I want with the word abundance.
How I want to feel when I hear it. How I want to live by it.
Abundance, a mantra of plenty.
In my yogic studies, I’ve been deepening my understanding this wild, beautiful life in the world that we share.
As a creative, a writer, a giver and a yogi, I’ve come to truly believe that the Universe–whom we may call God, or Oneness, or Spirit, or simply the energetic field to which we all belong–is overflowing with fullness and always-providing by its nature.
The nature of the Universe is abundance. There is only fullness. Nothing is lacking.
And when we receive good things–money or love or food or joy–we’re not taking from the Universe, but creating in conjunction with it. Hand in hand.
That’s exactly how I want to use my “There Will Always Be More…” narrative.
As a passageway to deepening my personal relationship to abundance.
All so that I can live, work and create art from a place of “plenty.”
So tell me, friend, can you start to redefine your relationship to the word abundance, too?
Might you start by by shifting your “There Will Always Be More…” narrative?
At the least, what lack-minded, deficit-driven ways does your “There Will Always Be More…” narrative subconsciously toy with you? Is that how you wish to live, love, work, play or create–from a place of lacking?
What if some mindset shifts can start to open you up to a world of possibility–a whole Universe of plenty?