Recently I put together a survey for my mailing list so I could to get to know you a little better – I want get a better sense of your personal goals and dreams. And I want to know more about what you believe gets in your way. One of the things that came up over and over again was money. Not having enough or fears around it.
I am excited to tackle this, because money was such a big block in my own life and not worrying about money all the time feels so freeing. The truth is, the money thing is much bigger than just money. We focus on the money, or lack thereof, when what we really want is an abundant life, which includes money, but is so much more than that!
So let’s talk about what it means to live an abundant life and how to get there, shall we? But before we can really get into this, we need a little contrast. Let’s first talk a little bit about what living an abundant life isn’t.
I believe I’ve shared before that I used to live in a constant state of fear and anxiety. If I haven’t, well, I there you go. I did. Only, I didn’t realize it. Because I had been living with fear and anxiety for so long, they were just the fuel that ran my life. I feel like this started for me as soon as I gave birth to my child which changed my purpose in life. All of a sudden I was responsible for this tiny being… and being only 24 years old at the time, I hadn’t even figured out my own stuff yet. Oh my word. The weight of this responsibility kicked me in a way nothing else had. And I had two beliefs around money at that time - you had to work hard to get it and there was never enough.
But I was determined to get this parenting thing right, and I came from being raised by a mom who was still figuring it out… well, I didn’t have a clue. So without realizing it, I became a bit of a control freak. And I was hard on myself. Oh bless my heart, I was soooooo hard on myself… and therefore, of course, I was hard on everybody else.
My daughter was born while I was living at the Lama Foundation in New Mexico focused on meditating and living in service and learning about spirituality. I had a lot of spiritual tools in my life toolkit when I left at age 26. Then I went back to school and finished my undergraduate and graduate degrees. Then I married an engineer/mega-athlete at age 30. And by the time I was 35, I seemed to have it all. The credentials, the husband, kid, financial security, health, beautiful home. And yet, I was miserable.
Have you ever had this experience? Where you pursued a life that you thought would make you happy and then you checked all the boxes and nothing really changed?
The truth was that even though I had all of these things, I was still living a life of lack. I was still experiencing fear and anxiety even though I seemed to have everything I could ever want or need.
There is a parable that demonstrates heaven and hell. In both scenes guests are seated at a table with the same food and the same ridiculously long eating utensils. In the heavenly scenario, the guests are feeding each other. In the hell scenario, though they have the same food and the same utensils, they are starving. The point being, we have everything we need to create a life of heaven or a life of hell. We get to choose.
When I left the marriage, I took nothing but our debt. The truth was, I felt bad about breaking the vow, but I just wasn’t happy. I needed to start over. So I did. And there I was, suddenly a single mom with no money, with debt in fact. With no plan about what I was going to do. The interesting thing, though, is that this state of lack I was experiencing matched how I felt inside in that marriage. So I had some work to do.
And from that place, my purpose in life changed again and I began my journey to get where I am today.
Now I didn’t bring you all this way to talk about lack. No. I actually brought you here to talk about living an abundant life. It’s not just about the money, because trust me, I’ve had enough extremely wealthy clients still living in constant fear of not having enough or losing it all to be confident an abundant and happy life is not just about the money.
I can assure you from my own experience, an abundant life is not the job, because you can have the best job on the planet and feel like a fraud every day when you walk in, hoping no one notices. So yes, in a superficial way, you have the job. But do you really have that job if you are living in fear and anxiety every day that you might fail and get fired? An abundant life is not the partner, because you may be committed or married to someone who is driven, smart, funny, and cares about you, but if you don’t feel worthy of their love, you will push them away.
So what does living an abundant life look like to you?
When I talk about living a life of abundance, I am actually talking about a state of feeling. Abundance is not about how much you have, it is actually about feeling! The feeling is the opposite of anxiety, fear, guilt, contraction, judgement, unworthiness, or shame. The feeling contains a deep gratitude, self-love, worthiness, joy, generosity, freedom and expansion.
Wouldn’t it feel good to look at every area of your life and feel truly grateful for all of it? Not in a superficial way, but in a deep, meaningful way. Can you imagine reflecting on your career and your colleagues with tears of gratitude, because you feel that blessed? I know! Right? And I am talking about feeling that way in every part of your life: family, relationship, friendships, finances. Even navigating the more challenging areas of your life. ALL OF IT.
So, how do you get there? Well, it’s really very simple. So simple, in fact, most of us miss it.
Have you ever heard the saying, “Prosper where you are planted”? I believe it’s rooted in the Bible. But here’s the thing. That idea is the KEY to living the life you want! The only way to get from where you are now, to where you want to be, is to change your relationship with what you already have and where you are. As we’ve discussed before, the thoughts you choose about the life you have are constantly affecting what your life is becoming. So the thoughts in your mind are like seeds and there are all kinds of seeds to choose from. Some seeds will generate an abundant life and some will create a life of depravation. You get to choose which seeds to water. In other words, you get to choose which thoughts to focus on. And whatever you focus on expands and grows. This is a spiritual law.
So first, in order to have the life you want, you have to choose to pay more attention to the thoughts that are in alignment with the life you want. For instance, when negative thoughts come up telling you how everything is wrong and you suck, try to find the thoughts that make you feel better about who you are and what you are doing. Try to find a kinder thought, a more loving thought. You might not be able to jump right away into gratitude for everything you have, but is there one thing to be thankful for? Start there and use that to step yourself up incrementally. Make sense?
And second, you have to tend to your life every single day by offering your loving attention and care to the people you love and live with, the living world around you … maybe it’s your family, your cat, your housemates, your plants. By doing this you are nurturing your relationships. And don’t stop there, take deep care in nurturing your environment where you live. Take care in how you treat your things. Take care in how you prepare your meals. Tend to the lighting. Maybe you like lamps or candles. Maybe there is music that brings the space to life for you. What can you do in your yard to give it love and which brings you a positive thought?
Don’t stop there, take this level off attention and care everywhere you go. Nurture your relationships at work, extend yourself a little more just to see how it feels and what you notice. This kind of care brings a higher level of vibration to all areas of your life. And everything else will grow from that.
To have a rich and abundant life, you have to tend your garden. Every day. Checking in with your own mindset throughout your day will help you stay on track with keeping your mind where it needs to be to create the life you want. There are watches that will vibrate to remind you to breathe throughout the day. You can also take that moment to scan your mind and offer an affirmation to bring yourself back in alignment to where you want to be. Or just set a timer. Or commit to do a check-in on the hour every hour. To bring yourself back. This is a great exercise to keep you in alignment.
Over time, as you consistently tend to your garden, your life will grow and expand in all areas. You will be building an abundant life, including the money.
And listen, remember not to give yourself a hard time if you find yourself wandering off in a mindset that is not in alignment with who you want to be. Judging yourself for not being enlightened or in alignment all the time is just a distraction that will keep you off the path even longer. Be kind to yourself. Falling off is just a part of the journey. Instead, feel grateful that you caught it and you are now moving forward again. Why do you think you need multiple check-ins throughout the day? Because you are going to get off track. This is human nature. Moving forward into your best life is a practice. The idea is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Oh my word, I have gotten off track for days at a time! Months even. And in my past, I fell asleep for years!!! It’s fine. It’s fine! The important thing is here you are. And you get to start again. Right here. Right now. Cultivating your garden. Yes. You get to begin again and again. And each time, you will be a little further down your path. I guarantee it.
By the way, I have a monthly drawing for a free 45-minute coaching session with me. All you have to do is fill out this short survey here that offers me blogpost/podcast ideas that are relevant for you! All answers are confidential.