I CAN DO IT! tour hosted by Hay House. I remember enjoying the interview very much, and I’m thrilled the film is now out. It’s full of real wisdom, and refreshingly free of the normal “hype” that surrounds abundance.
Is there anybody on the planet who does not want to be abundant? Imagine someone turning down an offer of abundance. “Would you like some abundance, ma’am?” “No thanks.” Most rare, I say. The real question is…why do we want abundance so much? AND, why, in particular, are people in the western world, who represent the top one percent of the wealthiest people on the planet, obsessed with manifesting, the law of attraction, and getting “more”?
In my book, Be Happy, I quote research in which people were asked to estimate what percentage of Americans lives in the “rich bracket.” The average answer was 20 percent (one in five). The same people were asked if they lived in the “rich bracket.” Less than one-half of a percent said they do. The rich don’t feel rich. People who have more than others often feel they need much, much more before they can feel truly abundant. What is the lesson here? Well, one lesson is that you can’t buy abundance.
One of my favourite abundance meditations is to take ten minutes and make a list of everything that money can’t buy. For example, money can’t buy you your imagination, your capacity to feel love, or your ability to look in awe at the moon and the stars. When you remember what money can’t buy, you feel rich. It also helps you to put money in its proper place in your life. Please do this exercise. It’s a game-changer.
2. Black Pepper
“Do you wanna black pepper with that?” asked the Italian waiter, holding a huge pepper mill over my lasagne. I hadn’t tasted the food yet, and I am already being offered something more, something extra. “What does the chef recommend?” I asked. The waiter looked perplexed. He hadn’t been asked that question before. It’s a fair question, don’t you think? Has the chef deliberately not put enough black pepper in the food? Maybe I should taste the meal first before I add something to it.
We live in a land of more, where we are offered accessories, extras, and tons of bonus content on our DVDs and on-line courses. Apparently, if we add more it makes it better. The ego tries to manufacture abundance by accessorizing. The soul, our true nature, is inherently abundant. “The soul grows by subtraction, not addition,” wrote Henry David Thoreau. This is why decluttering and simplifying your life feels so great.
Try this: spend ten minutes sitting quietly and notice what it feels like not to want anything. Say, “This is me when I am not wanting anything!” It might be a bit disorientating for the first couple of minutes, but you’ll soon get the hang of it. Rumi described the ego as “the wanting self.” The ego never enjoys anything because it always wants more. Wanting more prevents us from enjoying our life more. When we rest from wanting, we are more open, receptive, and appreciative of what is already here.
3. Being Present
What is the real more that we really, really want? Is it really another pair of shoes, the latest iPhone, and a second home? Is that the real more? Is life on earth just a shopping trip?
One of the central principles of my work is: if you think something is missing in your life, it is probably more of the real you. When you are stuck in a role in a relationship, like “the good girl”, “the pleaser”, “the giver”, “the healer”; or, when you show up to work with your corporate face – you feel unfulfilled. When you are so goddamn busy that you have no time for a walk in nature, for exhaling, for time on your yoga mat, for a cappuccino with friends, or for your spiritual practice, you will feel deprived.
You may try to convince yourself that you’ll be more present once life works out better, e.g. when you’re richer, happier, freer, and finally “got there”. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. You really have to “be here” to enjoy your life. Ask yourself this question: “From 0-100% how present am I in my life right now?” What is your answer? 80 percent? 10 percent? 63 percent? What would you do more of, less of, or differently if you were 10 percent more present? You know what to do.
4. Gift of Forgiveness
My favourite book is A Course in Miracles. It offers a profound teaching on spiritual abundance. In Lesson 315, the Course invites you to affirm: “Each day a thousand treasures come to me with every passing moment. I am blessed with gifts throughout the day, in value far beyond all things of which I can conceive. A brother smiles upon another, and my heart is gladdened. Someone speaks a word of gratitude or mercy, and my mind receives this gift and takes it as its own.”
The Course teaches that when you wish abundance for everyone, and when you stop trying to get more than others, you open up to a whole new level of spiritual abundance. In other words, you can have whatever you want just so long as it’s okay for others to have it too. If you deny anyone his or her right to happiness, love and success (including your ex-partner and your rival sibling) then you hold a dark place in your mind that causes you guilt when you experience abundance. Guilt and abundance can’t co-exist. One has to disappear for the other to remain.
You have to be willing to give yourself the gift of forgiveness if you want to experience greater abundance. You can’t remain a victim forever and prosper. Eventually, you have to let go of your grievances if you want to open up to a new level of inspiration and grace. Forgiveness releases you from being stuck in the past. It brings you into the present. It heals your future. Your angels can work with you now because you are more open, expansive and free to live your life.
5. Sacred Now
One of my favourite poets is Hafiz. I particularly enjoy the renderings by Daniel Ladinsky. In the collection called The Subject Tonight is Love, there is a poem called “This Place Where You Are Right Now.” This is how it begins: “This place where you are right now / God circled on a map for you. / Wherever your eyes and arms and heart can move / Against the earth and the sky, /The Beloved has bowed there – / Our Beloved has bowed there knowing You were coming.”
One of the big lessons I’ve learned in my life is that real abundance is a “now thing”, and not a “future thing.” Abundance is a way of being; not a state of becoming. To experience greater abundance you have to be willing to give “now” more of a chance. There are both an “explicate now” (which we see with our eyes), and an “implicate now” (which is often hidden from our eyes, at least initially). There are a thousand treasures in each explicate and implicate now. I like to pray to now. I recite prayers to now like, “Dear Now, you have permission to delight me in delightful and surprising ways today.” Try it!