Before having children, I used to look at parents shopping in the lead up to Christmas and wonder why on earth they would bring their kids shopping, especially to toy stores.
It seemed to mean disaster and collective stress levels that were off the charts.
And now, here I am—a mother of a four-year-old, at the shops in the crazy Christmas peak period.
What I’d like to tell my former self is that it’s not always easy to find childcare arrangements and sometimes you just have to bring your kids to the shops.
I will admit that it has driven my stress levels to extreme and that on one occasion I had a little cry in the car afterwards. And felt a great wish to check into a hotel. All alone.
I daresay that speaks volumes more about my own need for self-care and controlling my emotions than it does about my son. Because when I look at him, he is in his element.
As we enter a shop, I’ll declare that I’m looking for a gift for so-and-so and this is not an invitation for him to ask for everything. (I admit this declaration is really more for the shop-attendants and fellow shoppers, to show that I have some semblance of control.) And within nanoseconds it starts.
My son will find something that lights him up. He rushes over, touches it, and says, “Muuuuum, for my birthday, can I have this? And this? And this? Muuuum, what about this? And I want this. Muuuum, look at this!”
(By the way, don’t you love that he hasn’t cottoned on to Christmas being a time of gifts, but he is fixated on his birthday that is still nine months away?)
This constant state of asking used to really get under my skin and it still does from time to time. I worry about raising him with a sense of entitlement.
But then at some point, watching him run around the store making his wishes known, it struck me that he has a healthy appreciation of abundance. As his birthday isn’t for many months, he doesn’t really mind if he gets the object or not—he is showing his appreciation and desire. He has absolutely no expectations of the outcome. Whether or not he receives what he wants is of no consequence. He is simply and loudly vocalising what he likes. And by doing so, while it’s exhausting to me, it makes him happy.
In the teachings of Abraham Hicks, they talk about how when we launch rockets of our own desire (whether that be for love, wealth, career choices and so on) we must let go of attachment and expectation, and instead tune into good-feeling thoughts of allowing. In their book, Ask and It Is Given, Esther and Jerry Hicks suggest a wealth abundance exercise where you put $100 in your pocket and you walk around the shops mentally spending it, over and over again to put yourself in the feeling of abundance.
What my son is doing, racing up and down the aisles pointing and declaring his wants, is not that dissimilar.
As he points to things he likes, he is in a state of allowing. He is not thinking he won’t get them, or that we can’t afford them, or that he doesn’t deserve them or that he’s not worthy of them. He’s too young to understand that, and I’m too conscious of not wanting to wittingly instil in him those limiting beliefs.
He is simply stating, “I like that. And that. And that. And that.” And as far as abundance goes, it will work—for Christmas and his birthday he will receive one or two of the things he has shown appreciation for. And he’ll be extremely happy and grateful.
When I understood what my son was doing, I felt pride and praised his abundance mentality. And I started doing the same. Maybe not as obviously as him, but I silently and mentally declared the things I want. And I didn’t buy into the negative chatter, but instead breathed through and just enjoyed the feeling of what it would be like to have those things.
And because I’m now conscious of the process, I go wider and ask for and appreciate the other things in life that I’m desiring—the less tangible things. I breathe through the asking and open myself up for allowing. It feels really good.
I will be the first one to admit that if I’m in a rush or I’m tired that I don’t always have the mindset to play this abundance game, but when I am in the right headspace or allow myself to be, it’s a pretty fun game to play with your children. And it completely transforms an otherwise dreaded trip to the shops.
So this Christmas time, if you have children and dare take them to the shops, have a look at what they do, what they ask for and how they ask for it. Do they also have an abundance mindset that you can learn from? And how can you bring this into your own life? Go on, give it a try, it can be pretty fun and who knows what you might manifest into your life this Christmas.
Author: Cherie Pasion
Image: Flickr/Bailwick Studios
Editor: Erin Lawson