In November we gather to share the harvest, and in the US, we call it Thanksgiving. This holiday is the perfect time to celebrate the abundance with loved ones and strangers alike. It is a powerful reminder to live life in abundance, but what if you are not feeling abundant or prosperous? What if you feel like you don’t have the things you want, or you aren’t living the creative life you dream of? What if you feel you don’t have enough? Then harvesting gratitude is the place to create change.
I believe that we as a culture are living in a time where the mindset is scarcity. When we are afraid that there isn’t enough to go around, we build walls around ourselves and try to gather more of what we think we need, excluding others out of fear. The behavior that results from the idea of scarcity is accumulation. We have way more than what we really need, and yet we yearn for more in order to feel safe, secure and content. But, the more we get, the more we think we need. If I am afraid that I won’t have enough paint or other supplies, I may scrimp on the amount of paint I use. My art may suffer and, then the paints are wasted because they dry out from not getting used up. You may worry that you won’t have enough to survive, and then work more and more in jobs that do not feed your soul. The cycle goes faster and faster. The more you get, the more you think you need to be secure.
But what if you can stop this mad race for more? What is enough? It doesn’t come from attaining a certain number in your bank account or having the right possessions or living in the perfect place. It’s an inside job. Take a stand, stop chasing and let go of the need for more. When you stop and pay attention to what you have right now, you will change your life.
Lynne Twist in her book, The Soul of Money, makes an enticing argument for letting go of the pursuit for more. The sufficiency principle is a simple solution for living your life in abundance. When you create from a place of enough, you will find a wealth of energy and a passion for where you are right now. Most importantly you will gain more of what you are really seeking: connection and meaning in your life. You get an abundance of gratitude by appreciating what you already have.
1. Let go of wanting more. This single step will free up a tremendous amount of energy. This is big, really big. Unplug from all the energy that is going out to wanting what you don’t have. The amount of energy returned to you will be tremendous.
2. Pay attention to what you do have. Every day list 3 things that you have that you are grateful for.
3. Appreciate what you do have. First is awareness and then is appreciation. Be grateful for the car you have and that you can drive to the store. If you don’t have a car, appreciate the transit system. If you don’t have that, appreciate that you can walk somewhere and if you can’t do that, be grateful for the people that help you in your life. Find something in your life to be grateful for.
4. Nourish the gratitude. Give yourself acknowledgement for what you can do right now. Feel the joy in your ability to make a difference with what you already have and love who you already are.
5. Share your gratitude. The more you share it, the more it will expand. Think of it like a smile. When you give someone a smile, you are sharing your gratitude and it brings joy to that person and you will feel good about sharing a simple pleasure. Use your gratitude, appreciate it and it will grow and flow.
6. Flow: Let the energy flow. It is like water. If you hold the water and do not let it flow it becomes stagnant and unhealthy. Don’t hoard, it will block you. Let it flow through you, cleansing and healing.
7. Joy: The mind set of sufficiency leads to joy. When you are grateful, you feel abundant and this leads to sharing your abundance. The joy you get from sharing, leads to more gratitude. It is a self-sustaining system. The pursuit of more leads you to lack, which leads you to chase after more.
8. Embrace the power of enough. Many of us begin and end our days with a mindset of scarcity. At the end of the day you may think: I didn’t get enough done today, I didn’t find the time to do…, the list can go on. You then wake with a scarcity mindset of I didn’t get enough sleep, I don’t have time or fill in the blank.
9. Change: You may not have power over all the things that happen to you in life, but you have complete control over the conversation you have about your life. Change the conversation and you will change the things you see and appreciate every day.
10. Do It: Here is a simple yet powerful exercise to follow.
Keep a journal next to your bed. Before going to sleep write down at least three things you were grateful for today. After you practice this for a time you will find you are listing many more than three things.
The more gratitudes you acknowledge, the more you will have to be grateful for. Knowing that you will be listing things you are grateful for at the end of the day will prime you to pay attention to where you find gratitude. This is an incredible transformation. You are training yourself to see joy and fulfillment instead of yearning and lack.
When you wake up, begin the day with gratitude. Wayne Dyer said that when he was a practicing alcoholic he would wake up and groan, "Good God it’s morning" and pull the pillow over his head. After his recovery and healing, he would begin his day filled with love and gratitude, jumping out of bed and proclaiming in a joyous voice saying, "Good God it’s morning!".
This is a beautiful cycle of abundance. Honor yourself that you are enough just as you are.
Enough is enough. When you let go of wanting more, it leads you to true abundance.
You are enough; create from this place.