You may have heard that we can create abundance by having the right kind of thoughts or by repeating mantra, and been slightly or very skeptical, but let’s take a moment to reconsider because it may really benefit you. How can we use mindfulness to help us create abundance in our lives when we have never felt more vulnerable to loss?
Mindfulness practice helps us recognise that we see the world through a series of filters and may barely see ‘reality’ at all (whatever that is!). What does this mean? It means we get so used to seeing a tree that we aren’t aware that it required 4 billion years of stability and its very existence could be considered amazing. It means we see dinner every day and don’t marvel at the 100 different processes that brought it to our table. When we listen to a news reader we don’t recall that the nugget of the event which created the news item has been wrapped like a gift in the media company’s perceptions and pre-occupations, further colored by our own pre-existing beliefs and expectations so that by the time it streaks across our consciousness, it may be unrecognizable from any ‘truth’ that may once have had significance. Like the autopilot that drove us home yesterday while we thought about something else completely, often we are not really looking out of our eyes but into a world of our own creation that may or may not reflect the outer world.
Let’s not attach any blame to our tendency to live in our own inner world. In part we have deliberately been conditioned to fear lack and pain by our culture that wants us to work hard and strive for purchases that keep the economic boat afloat. We may not realise there is any other way, but there is and we already possess it.
If we accept that our perceptions and preconceptions veil the miracles that are already part of our everyday experience, how do we start to work with that? Mindfulness encourages numerous attitudes that can help us here. Stopping our mad rush around the planet and deliberately choosing to experience a moment of childlike wonder with a tree is really good for us. Lower stress markers have been measured after an experience in which we feel awe, and what better source of awe than the natural world?
When we can recognise fear inside us, when we know it will have biological effects on our decision making processes, we are more likely to choose carefully how we behave. And because we are now choosing consciously, we are much more likely to choose compassionately as well. Taking the time to acknowledge that we are in fear and offering ourselves a bit of support and encouragement can be life changing. Things are tough sometimes so give yourself the credit for doing your best in a difficult moment.
Lastly, if I am going to create a world in my head, I think I’m going to choose a benign one that looks after me, or at least try it and see what happens. I’ve tried the lack mentality and yes, I got lack. We can start right now with gratitude. Gratitude is a powerful tool for opening our eyes to what we already have and would really want if we didn’t have. Experiment: write a list of ten things you are grateful for right now and see how you feel afterwards. Research shows that you will probably feel a little bit more abundant.
We have never felt more vulnerable and so we are pushed to address lack now. Worrying won’t influence what we may lose and there is a whole new world to gain.