Guest Author - Lauren D´Silva
What does being abundant mean to you? Is it about owning your house, knowing you have a large sum of money in the bank, or living a full and happy life? I met with Looby Macnamara of Spirals of Abundance to talk about her vision of truly abundant living.
In Western society our prevailing social and economic model has tied abundance directly into material wealth, with a result that we are brainwashed by the mass media into believing we need a large salary, a new car, designer clothes & the latest gizmos to be truly happy. This model drives people to buy and consume constantly in an attempt to achieve abundance.
True abundance mentality can be cultivated and although material wealth may be a part of your abundant lifestyle it isn’t all about the money. Abundance is more a mindset, a feeling or a choice, than a bank balance. We have all heard of people who were miserly in life, yet die with thousands in the bank and we see others who ‘have it all’ on a material level and are still thoroughly miserable. Yet some people live radiantly happy, abundant lives without great material wealth.
Once you take a step back you can see the economic model we have been locked into is an advertiser’s dream, as there is never a point of satiety, never a feeling of 'enough' and the waste from items that become ever more rapidly obsolete is phenomenal. A pattern of wealth creation based on continual economic growth is clearly neither stable nor sustainable. You only need to look at the downturn in world economies and such absurdities as cutting down rainforests to cultivate crops for cheap processed food and 'bio-fuel' to see that these patterns of behaviour are ultimately doomed.
Money really is just a system of tokens that we have agreed upon as having value. Our notes and coinage are symbolic and increasingly money is a set of electronic numbers on a screen or printout. However many of us get tied up in knots of fear around money because those figures can have such an impact upon our feelings of security and the material existence we have created for ourselves.
So how can you step out of the prevailing consumerist system and step into a more fulfilling, truly abundant lifestyle? When I met up with Looby MacNamara of Spirals of Abundance we talked about developing a more holistic sense of abundance. Looby’s company is based on an ethos of sustainability and permaculture and the goods she imports are all Fairtraded with the Nepalese people. Looby has a very healthy abundance mindset of her own and will be sharing her vision of abundant, sustainable living with us all in her new book, due out in 2011. Looby’s outlook is all about win-win. Her living is made from improving the lives of others and creating a more abundant world for all concerned.
Looby’s own stance isn’t anti-money. Financial wealth allows you to help a lot of people and she’s all for that, however she believes we need to widen our measures of abundance to include such factors as job satisfaction, wholesome food, positive relationships, good health and happy homes. Looby shows it really is possible to enjoy what you do for a living and live in true abundance.
What symbolises abundant living for you? How can you start behaving 'as if' straight away? I'm not suggesting you spend money you don't have and run up a debt, but if your image of abundance included candlelit dinners for example you could start by lighting candles at supper time. Over a couple of weeks the feel good factor would start to promote more thoughts and feelings of abundance. A virtuous upward spiral is created.
Your feelings of abundance come from within and they are a matter of your perspective. If you hold beliefs of lack or scarcity then however much comes into your life will never feel like enough. Fears around money and scarcity need rooting out first before your abundance can flow in.
Most of our limiting beliefs are based on irrational or inaccurate assumptions about how the world works and our beliefs about abundance are no different. We truly are unlimited beings creating our reality all the time. Knowing that is the case it is important to get our thought patterns clear for abundance to grow in our lives. Ask yourself what beliefs you hold about abundance. Sit quietly. As answers come follow your thoughts back to their source. When did you first start believing this? Who or what encouraged or instigated this thought pattern? It’s a bit like pulling a thread on a jumper, as you trace the belief backwards it begins to unravel and it loses its hold over you.
Here are some trigger questions to explore:
How does money enter your life? Are you open to a flow of money, sometimes from unexpected sources, or do believe it only comes from your job and you have to work hard for it?
What are your beliefs about money? For example is money the root of all evil or just a convenient way to exchange goods and services?
Do you trust that the Universe will always provide for your needs?
When you hear about financial problems in the news how does it make you feel? What do you gain by listening to the news?
How do you feel when you spend money on yourself?
What habitual language do you use around the topic of money? Do you use phrases like, “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” or, “I can’t afford it”?
How much abundance do you feel you deserve?
Although you have to clear beliefs for yourself, working with a trusted and sensitive friend, a therapist, or a life coach, can help you explore where your beliefs and habits are coming from. It is surprising sometimes what buried patterns come to the surface and it isn’t until you become aware of the limiting beliefs you are holding that you can start to clear them.