Writer: Stella Mac AKA Mary MacDonald
Abundance is all around us. It’s the hot water flowing over our bodies after a day planting the garden. It’s the laughter we share with friends. It’s finding the perfect pair of jeans that make our butt look fabulous. It’s in the air and earth and water. Acknowledging the good that is already in our lives is the foundation of abundance. If the only prayer we say is “Thank You” that can be enough.
Gratitude is the first step in creating abundance for ourselves. Gratitude is not just an emotion, it is a way of being in the world – seeing from a place of awe and thankfulness for all that we already have. Gratitude is not about getting, but about looking at what we have already received and giving it back – our thanks, our smiles, our resources, our time, and our appreciation.
We keep seeking instantaneous gratification wanting what we want NOW, and when we have it we’ll be happy and live an abundant life. I have lived so much of my life that way – when I lose weight, when I make more money, when “they” validate my worth – then I will be happy. It was when I began my gratitude journal that my life changed in glorious ways. At the beginning I struggled to even come up with five different things that I was grateful for every day, because for so many years I had looked at what was missing in my life instead of all the amazing gifts that were all around me. Yes, I was grateful for so much in my life, but it wasn’t until I made a decision to write it all down what I was able to see more clearly how I got in my own way of an abundant life.
Dr. Wayne Dyer tells us, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” The only control we have is over the way we perceive the world and the way we react according to our perceptions. When we put our attention on the things we want as opposed to what we don’t want, it changes how we feel and what we bring into our lives. When we are focusing on abundance, love, joy and harmony we behave differently. Focusing on what we don’t want can have as significant of an impact as our thoughts of gratitude and what we do want! How we feel emotionally and physically informs our inner guidance system. When we feel peace and inner calm we know we are on the right track. When we feel worried and anxious we need to examine what these feelings are telling us. When Mother Teresa was asked whether she would come to an antiwar rally she said no, but if they were going to have a peace rally she’d be there. It’s all about the focus!
From the beginning of time much has been said and written by wise sages about the laws of attraction. Some of the Wise Ones tell us that our thoughts become our reality and that whatever is coming into your life you have attracted. How does one attract health, wealth, wisdom, love and joy into our lives? How do we NOT attract poverty, illness, and unhealthy relationships? I don’t know why abuse exists or why the people in Darfur endure such atrocities. When we talk about abundance and the law of attraction I can only speak of it in the context of the world I live in – one of entitlement. I am often befuddled by how we in the West are riddled with depression, anxiety, addiction and hopelessness but people in countries who are struggling with violence, hunger and oppression can seem so much more hopeful. What I know for sure is that if I look at the privileged and abundant world I inhabit with deep and abiding gratitude, I have the unreasonable belief that I can contribute to the lives of others.
When we look around us we can’t help but feel the need for transformational healing, in our own lives and in the world we share. Accepting responsibility for our actions and ourselves allows blaming to fall away and takes us out of the role of victim.
Have you ever noticed the multitude of voices inside you that are continually nattering, judging, criticizing, cajoling, shaming and sometimes even cheering you on. I might be feeling absolutely wonderful and then one of the voices tells me I would feel better if I had some chocolate ice cream, immediately leading me to believe that something is missing which in turn causes me to eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and sabotage my healthy eating plan. And then my thoughts turn to others – she doesn’t like me, he thinks I’m not enough, if they really knew what I was like they’d fire me. Now my thoughts lead me to believe it’s someone else’s fault that I feel like this. We take the words or actions of others personally and make assumptions about why they did what they did based on how we look at the world. Anais Nin tells us “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.”
Living the life of a sage isolated high on a mountaintop may allow us to live peacefully but it is in relationship to others that we can learn the most about ourselves. When someone makes a statement about us or we respond defensively to a situation we can look at it as an opportunity to stop and examine why it sparked us and what we can we learn about ourselves.
Which voice is reacting to the comment?
Is it the rebellious teenager who was told constantly that she was unreliable? Is it the vulnerable child who never felt loved for who she was? What wisdom are these voices imparting? What needs are underneath those feelings? How can we get to know where it is coming from?
Become friends with all the “voices” that live within you – your inner critic may thinks she’s protecting you from being hurt – so thank her and let her know you need her to take a break!
Opening the door to your abundance is not about “positive thinking” that ignores your feelings of sadness, despair, anger, guilt or shame. Acknowledge those feelings, take them out for a walk and ask them what you can do to help and what can you learn from them to move on in a positive balanced way.
Our words are another way that put up barriers in our search for abundance. We say things like “I have to go to work.” Well actually you don’t. In the worst case scenario you could quit your job, not pay your rent, and become homeless. You choose to work because you want a home, food and to go to the occasional movie. We use catastrophic thinking and language almost by rote without realizing how much it affects the outcome of our actions.
To have abundance in the external world we need to feel abundance internally and not have an inner state of scarcity because that too will be reflected back at us in the big old world. Put out a specific intent that includes clearing the obstacles that obstruct your path. Don’t tell yourself you are uncreative, or not enough because you will believe it and it just isn’t true – you are perfect exactly as you were created. If what you believe or say about yourself is negative – work to change it. Creative action is a very powerful way to become clear about what you want and then work to create it. Use words, pictures, drawing, and visualization to help you become clear. Learn to use the right word for what you’re going through. When you can sing and shout and pray and laugh your thanks out loud and the world will thank you back. Most of time anyway!
Be clear – what do you want that million dollars for? So you can travel? Not ever have to work again? Put your kids through college?Ask yourself why you want those things. If you had everything you wanted – a loving partner, healthy and happy children, a beautiful home, fabulous friends – would you need that million dollars? Maybe it isn’t about the money but about how it makes you feel. So figure out what you can do at this moment to make you feel that way. Pay attention to how you interpret the world, how you make sense of it and how you give meaning to it.