When I was out in Jamaica just over a year ago, I met a
happy, kind, & awesome soul named Charlie.
After jumping off cliffs into the ocean all morning
with Charlie, this humorous, kind Jamaican invited
me into his spacious, peaceful home for some Rum.
And since I was on a yoga retreat, eating Vegan and
drinking only water all week, I accepted without hesitation!
To my shock, this was his home (picture on the left)! I couldn’t believe it. I mean sure, he lived close to the beach and that was awesome, but HOW the heck could somebody who essentially lives outside and off the land be SO happy?! Just over a year later, I am now starting to understand HOW.
In this world of mass consumption and mass consumerism (i.e. the coolest car, the biggest house, the best food), we often become convinced that whatever we have is not enough. It can feel like we are constantly striving and even when we feel that we have obtained a foundation of comfort (that high salary, that promotion, that perfect position), we are still conditioned to long for more. To long for that newer car, that bigger house, that better meal or even that more attractive companion!
When a sense of scarcity or lack seeps into our consciousness, we often feel stressed or anxious! There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting nicer things, but it is unhealthy to move through life with a lack mentality, always fixated on what is beyond our reach and fearful of losing what is within our grasp. I once read somewhere “creation is an extension of thought. Think lack, and you get lack, Think abundance, and you get more!” This is often a tough concept for us to accept. It feels like we never have enough. There is never enough to go around.
Moreover, when we cultivate these feelings, it is hard to be happy, especially when others have or experience success. The problem is, it is impossible to find peace and contentment when we are always wanting more. And every time we act out of fear or scarcity, we reinforce a belief system of fear, lack, and inefficiency. Lucky for us, we can turn this around by challenging our “never enough” mentality. This can be done by shifting our focus from what we lack to what we have in abundance. Instead of rejecting our reality and grasping for something beyond it, we can practice acceptance. Rather than focusing on what is going wrong or what we lack, we can shift our focus to all of the wonderful things that are going right! We can practice generosity, perhaps by donating money or volunteering time to help remind us that sufficiency is merely a state of mind.
When we shift our mentality in this way, we can re-program our brain to search for the positive, the abundance, and the good in any and every situation! This is quite literally a superpower that any one of us can cultivate within our lives!So the next time you experience anxious thoughts or feelings of scarcity, take a deep breath of acceptance and appreciation. Shift your perspective from lack to abundance, from grasping to accepting, from not enough to enough, in this moment. Understand that abundance is not something we acquire, but something we cultivate from within!