The Truth about Abundance

Abundance. The word has a life of its own. It is the promise that urges us onward toward a golden horizon. 

Thoughts of abundance can trigger visions of standing with arms outstretched as $1000 bills rain down from the heavens or jumping up and down as lottery numbers flash across the TV screen.

In prosperity workshops, the word abundance glows with the promise of “more,” which is always around the next bend, like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

It’s been my privilege to work with people over the past 40 years as they discover the true nature of abundance. Of course, when I say “true nature,” you would be expected to ask: “Who says this is the true nature of abundance?”  But please stick with me as we examine the conventional conversation about abundance, comparing it to a more expansive, exciting, and growth-enhancing description.

It might help if you grabbed a piece of paper and a pen so we could go through a thought experiment together in a few moments. 

We begin with the conventional description of abundance. According to Google Dictionary, abundance means a massive quantity of something.  

What went through your mind right now as you read that definition? If you’re like most people I’ve asked, you might have thought that abundance means a lot of something “good,” like a massive quantity of money. Many of us believe this is a sufficient definition of abundance. However, there’s a possibility that  “more” could be associated with a considerable amount of difficulties, problems, or concerns. 

The desire for more is often a conversation about scarcity. That is, one reason for wanting more is because we might be experiencing that we don’t have enough of something. This could include insufficient time, money, opportunity, or health. 

To imagine a different experience of abundance, take that piece of paper I asked you to get and draw a circle on it. Next, fill in the circle with examples of everything we experience in life: happiness and sadness, good and bad times, joy and sorrow, play and work, scarcity and plenty. You could spend the rest of your life filling in the circle, couldn’t you? Our experience of life is infinite in its variety, isn’t it?

This circle represents abundance.  Abundance is everything. Every possible aspect of life’s experience. All of it, including scarcity.  From this perspective, you can see that scarcity is one of the manifestations of abundance.

We increase our power by embracing life’s abundance–by saying yes to all of it. By activating our capacity to be willing!

Abundance in Ancient Wisdom Teachings

The idea of abundance as the totality of life is famously expressed in the Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8: “To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted….”

Life teaches us that comfort and discomfort, joy and sadness are all qualities that will be expressed in the fullness of time.  Abundance is all of it, even the bitter moments that serve to teach us and wake us up.

A well-lived life is a conscious life. When we are conscious, we’re aware of everything, living fully. We don’t choose what we want to become conscious of. We don’t say, “Let me be aware of this aspect of my life, but not that.” As the veil lifts from our perception, we see the miracles and lessons surrounding us. 

Whenever you are willing to say “Yes” to everything on your path, you express the courage in your heart. And the moment you say “Yes” to it all, you prosper. Therefore, prosperity occurs when you participate fully in every aspect of your life.

I’d love to complete this piece on abundance with a quote by Pema Chodron, a Tibetan Buddhist monk and author, who heads an abbey in Nova Scotia. She is well known for her simple yet profound insight into the life challenges that we all face. As you read this, let what it says wash over your heart.

Comfort and Pain

“There’s a common misunderstanding among all human beings who have ever been born on earth that the best way to live is to try to avoid pain and just try to get comfortable.  You see this even in insects and animals and birds.  All of us are the same.”

“A much more interesting, kind, and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop our curiosity, not caring whether the object of our curiosity is bitter or sweet.  To lead a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out on our own terms, to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life than that, we must realize that we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what this world is, how we tick and how our world ticks, how the whole thing just is.  If we are committed to comfort at any cost, as soon as we come up against the least edge of pain, we’re going to run; we’ll never know what’s beyond that particular barrier or wall or fearful thing.”

Pema Chodron
The Wisdom of No Escape
And the Path of Loving kindness

I hope you enjoyed this issue of the newsletter. I would enjoy hearing any comments. Please be well.

Wishing you all my best,