Try Not To Think About Your Butt...or How to Hold the World in the Palm of Your Hand
One of my favorite birthday cards has on its cover this very simple truth:
"They say whatever you think about gets bigger".
This is pretty wise for a greeting card. And, I would argue, its wisdom should not be diminished by the inside of the card which goes on to suggest its recipient should not think about their butt. (which may be wise advice in its own right). The idea that we can make more of something simply by thinking about it is not new. From Physics to self-help books to spiritual gurus, we are surrounded by variations on the theme... we impact our environment and ultimately our destiny by how we think. Our worldview predictably creates our world.
My father is one example of this kind of thinking. The Depression exerted a tremendous amount of influence on my father's childhood. As a result his worldview was always filtered through a lens of scarcity. The father that I knew was always fearful there would not be enough or when there was enough he was fearful someone was waiting to take it away. Even when this fear wasn't verbalized it's hum ran just beneath the surface, coloring expectations, hanging over conversations. Even when no one was talking about it, scarcity sang - quietly, consistently, hauntingly and pervasively. It taught me to not expect too much, to manage my disappointment in advance by not trying too hard. If what i wanted didn't come easily perhaps I should just learn to want something else.
One of the great accomplishments of adulthood is the ability to sift through what our parents taught us, turning it over in our hands and hearts, discerning if it still is or perhaps whether it ever was, actually true. Sometimes what we learn is shocking.
Not everyone who plays by the rules succeeds.
"You play like a girl" is actually a compliment.
Not everyone has bootstraps by which to pull themselves up.
Sex is not actually shameful.
Parenting is super hard.
Religion can feel more like prison than freedom.
Without a doubt, the most beautiful, powerful and amazing thing I continue to unlearn is this concept of scarcity, that there simply isn't enough.
It would perhaps shock my father, were he still alive, to know that I completely disavow his way of seeing the world. My life experience has taught me that there is not only enough, there is more than enough. These past two years have embedded in my soul an understanding that the world actually responds to what I offer it. When I am generous I am flooded with others' generosity. When I close my fist in fear and worry, less comes my way - less business, less love, less prosperity, less happiness. And conversely, the more I expect good things, the more I trust that there will be enough, love and clients and peace envelope me. I don't for a second think this is a coincidence. I think this is how the Universe works.
My experience continues to teach me that the universe is abundant. It is not a dog-eat-dog world unless I make it so. There is plenty enough for me and for my neighbor. The more I open my hand to give, the more I am able to receive. What my father didn't know that I now do, is that the universe isn't scheming against me.
The Source is not playing me like a chip in some divine poker game, betting on my demise.
The Universe IS conspiring, but it is not conspiring against me as my father believed. The Universe has no time for such smallness. The Universe is trying desperately to conspire with me. And with you.
Not only do I believe there is enough - enough time, money, attention, love, success, you name it - to go around, I believe that the universe wants us to hold all of it in our hands.