| Mindfulness |
If one focuses on external validation and comparison, then we will always be empty and in a state of 'less than' or 'better than'. If we get stuck in the pattern of believing 'more is better', then we are in scarcity, the opposite of abundance.
Some approaches from wisdom, deeper insights and from the Ego (spiritual Ego) believe that we deserve what we want or desire. I think this is a trap which we all fall into from time to time. We need to be aware of what we 'swallow' from others, and need to identify Abundance for ourselves.
Abundance means that you are enough. If we feel we need something external to make us enough, we will suffer and long for that external something. There is a difference in wanting to be the best person we can be and wanting something external that we believe will make us better people.
There is nothing wrong with owning material items, but if we allow them to define us, we feel empty, and may try to make up for the lack of real feelings by craving superficial intensity. Adding external things to make us feel good or better will not work — we are substituting external glitter for our essential nature. This could also be called 'Self Betrayal'.
Abundance is an attitude. To experience Abundance, we need to focus on discovering who we really are. We are enough — our own essential nature will draw to us exactly what we need, and not what our ego wants. Our lifestyle and culture can make this difficult to understand. When we open a newspaper, turn on the television or surf the internet, we are bombarded with messages that promise 'If you buy me then you will be happy', and because we all have a 'lazy mind' we often don't ask the important questions that would lead us to understand that buying an item will not lead to lasting happiness.
In our culture the mass media (in particular television and the internet) and consumerism are the opium of the people. They distract us from our deep passions, and continue to distract us with advertisements for more and more things to purchase — stopping us from asking the deeper question about who we are and what we need. They will not tell us to ask these questions of ourselves.
Abundance is within. If you are still looking for Abundance outside yourself (better job, more money, a better house, car or better relationship) you are still trapped in in the addictive circle of 'not enough'. Abundance is being grateful for what we already have. It is also found in how we share our good fortune with others in a way that is of real benefit, and does not just result in making us feel better or important.
Look around, too many of us are stressed, overworked and pulled in a thousand directions. Emptiness is everywhere. Despite how much we have it is never enough. For example, when we have finally acquired one car, it is not long before we feel a need for two. When we have a small home we are soon unhappy as it is not large enough. When we make $15,000 we want $30,000 and on and on it goes.
On some level we know that something is wrong with this model of material Abundance, but from an early age we have been trained by society to accumulate as much money, power, beauty, material acquisitions and prestige as we can manage to become 'Somebody'. This is a trap. As we identify more and more with our achievements, we lose connection with who we really are. Instead of knowing we are 'somebody', we end up feeling a 'nobody'.
Abundance is at the root of our desire, our search and our struggle of becoming. It does not reside in new clothes, relationship, career or success. We have all tried that route and we know that it doesn't lead to too much more than a fleeting moment of happiness. Abundance is within us, all we have to do is abandon our search and our addiction to wanting more.
What would happen if we let go and stopped the striving and acted from the deep silent force within? I am not suggesting that goals and dreams be eliminated — they add spice to life, but depending on them for our happiness creates suffering.
Without touching the spiritual part of ourselves, we end up feeling empty and wanting. Realising that our goals and dreams are only part of our life, a transformation starts.
This transformation is not activated by escaping life and retiring to a convent or monastery, but by being more fully in the world NOW. By doing so, everyday events such as cooking, gardening, playing with our children or going for walk become as important as any decision we may make in our business world.
By letting go of our addiction of 'more is best', we rediscover a life that is truly worth living, a life lived NOW, a life filled with one beautiful moment after another.
"I make myself rich by making my wants few."Henry David Thoreau
Suggested further reading: To Have or To Be - Erich Fromm
Maria Dolenc is family therapist and constellation facilitator at Byron Private Treatment Centre, Byron Bay. Qualified as a Gestalt Therapist, Family Constellation Facilitator and Addictions Counsellor Maria has over twenty years experience working with individuals, couples, families and groups. She devotes most of her spare time doing what she loves – family systemic / constellation work
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