Last July, I went on a spontaneous Thursday night road trip with my husband. We packed towels, water, and sunscreen and drove to a nearby lake to escape from the heat of the day. We were met with a scene of beauty. The beach was almost empty, the water was lapping gently against the shore, and the sun was beginning its decent into the horizon.
After lying on the beach for a while, we decided to go for a swim. The lake was calm, cool, and wonderfully refreshing. As we dried off, I was struck by the abundance surrounding us and awed by the fact that Mother Nature provides so much beauty for free. The trees, the breeze, the birds, the sights, the smells, and the sounds of a beautiful summer evening. And none of it cost us a penny.
I was reminded of a lovely poem by Hafiz:
Even after all this time
the sun never says to the earth, “You owe Me.”
Look what happens with a love like that,
It lights up the Whole Sky.
What I realized, in that moment, is that I am infinitely abundant.
Society has tried to convince me that I’m only as abundant as the dollar amount in my bank account, but this is utterly false. Think about it. What is money? It’s a piece of paper to which we arbitrarily assign value. In fact, most of the money in your bank account isn’t even there. It gets loaned out to other people almost as soon as you deposit it.
Stop letting your monthly bank statement dictate your sense of worth.
Billy Corgan, lead singer of The Smashing Pumpkins, put it this way: “Everything I want is free.” In other words, all of the things that you want to bring into your life—happiness, joy, peace, beauty, love—none of it costs a cent. The reason you want that new pair of shoes or a nicer car is because of the way you think these objects will make you feel. The good news is that you can evoke these feelings anytime, without having to break the bank.
Why? Because happiness is a choice you make. You can’t always choose what happens to you. But you always have a choice about how you react to what happens to you. Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist imprisoned in a concentration camp during World War II, put it perfectly:
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”
My point? No matter what’s going on for you right now, you can choose to feel abundant. The best part is that this feeling will actually attract more abundance into your life. Like attracts like.
Three Tips to Help You Tap into Your Inner Abundance
1. Shift Perspective
Instead of focusing on your dwindling finances, pay attention to what you already have. We live in a society of over-consumption. Everything on TV and in the media leads us to believe that we need more, more, more. But I bet you already have more than enough. The fact that you’re reading this right now means you have access to the internet and a computer, which is far more than many people have. The next time you buy a coffee, say a silent prayer of thanks for the fact that you have enough change to enjoy your favorite latte. Notice the abundance all around you. Nature is full of examples: There are an abundance of leaves on each tree, an abundance of water in each lake, an abundance of warmth from one ray of sunlight. You don’t need a Porsche to feel rich.
2. Give Back
One of the best things you can do when you feel a sense of lack is to spend time helping someone who is worse off than you. You could volunteer at a homeless shelter or donate to your favorite charity. If you’re really low on funds, you might simply send a loving email to someone you care about. Sites like Facebook provide us with a lot of opportunities to see what our friends are up to—and get jealous about it. Instead of feeling envious about your best friend’s pictures from her Hawaiian vacation, take a deep breath, wish your friend all of the goodness and abundance that you want for yourself, and then “like” her photo album.
3. Be Grateful
Every morning, I take two to five minutes to sit in stillness with my hands on my heart and say, out loud, what I’m grateful for. I do this when I’m sick, tired, and grumpy. I do it when I’m busy and feel like I don’t have enough time. I do it when I feel like I don’t have anything to be grateful for, because I can always find something. Starting my morning from a place of gratitude really sets the tone for the rest of the day. Usually, my gratitude list goes something like this:
Universe, thank you for the beauty that exists in my life. Thank you for my health and well-being, for my senses that allow me to see the sky, feel the rain, smell the flowers. Thank you for the amazing relationships that surround me. Thank you for providing me with all of the financial abundance that I need. (I say this even when I feel broke). Thank you for continuing to guide me on a path that is of the highest service to me and to the world. (I say this even when I feel lost). Thank you for the roof over my head and the fantastic food that I get to enjoy every day. Thank you for this blessed, blessed life.
Here’s what I want you to do. Write your gratitude list in the comments section below. What are you grateful for right now? Know that by putting this gratitude out into the universe, you will attract even more positivity into your life.
To quote again from Viktor Frankl:
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
What do you choose? Abundance or lack?
Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, researcher, and yoga teacher who helps people create a life they love. Check out her book, The Antidepressant Antidote, follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and join her whole-self health revolution.
If you’d like tips on the topic of manifesting your dream job, plus some personal instruction from Bethany, check out her online course, Creating A Life You Love: Find Your Passion, Live Your Purpose and Create Financial Freedom.
*Photo by yogabhavaNovember 4, 2012