What do you believe? Your thoughts make up your world, your life, your reality.
The thought manifests as the word;
The word manifests as the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character;
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let it spring from love
Born out of concern for all beings…
As the shadow follows the body,
As we think, so we become.
If you think you don’t have enough, you won’t have enough. I was reminded of that fact as I read the business section in the newspaper. I was reading about special savings accounts that help break poverty’s cycle. The article began with a case history of Dametria Williams. She attributed her turn-around to two things: a new attitude and the special savings account (read the full article herehttp://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-0704-perfin-20100704,0,6778690.column ).
“I used to walk through the world thinking there is never enough,” she said. “There was not enough money; there is not enough food; there is not enough time.
“When you are in the mind-set of thinking there is not enough, you aren’t even looking for help. But when you realize that there is enough – that money is a manageable tool – you start to see what help is available to you.”
If you focus on what you don’t have – that is what you will get. As you go throughout your day, you are preoccupied with what you are missing. So when an opportunity presents itself, you won’t see it as opportunity. Like Ms. Williams when she was in her “not enough” mind-set, she didn’t have enough money to save any. Heck, she didn’t have enough to pay the bills! When she first saw the special savings account offer, she didn’t see it as an opportunity to get her out of poverty. She had the change of attitude and is on her way out of poverty for herself AND her daughter. All by a shift in attitude!
To help you shift your attitude into the “abundance” gear, here are five steps to an abundant life.
1. You Choose What You Believe
Everyday, you wake up and choose to believe something. You choose to believe it’ll be a great day, or that you “woke up on the wrong side.” It is not what you are that will hold you back. It is what you think you are not, that will. What you believe to be true is what will happen to you. Believe good things and good things will happen. Actions come from belief. You will act in a manner that is consistent with your innermost beliefs. You believe you don’t have enough money, you won’t see the offer of help. It IS that simple.
What will you choose to believe today? Tomorrow when you awaken? Change your mind and you change your world.
2. It Isn’t Black or White, Good or Bad
When life happens to us, we tend to label the incident. It was a “good time” or it was a “bad day” on Tuesday. In hindsight, maybe it was neither. It was just “life.” Sometimes what seems bad at the time may not be so bad later on. If you didn’t buy a house in the last four years, maybe that is a really good thing for you today.
When we are in the midst of life’s messiness, things can become distorted by an apparent crisis. Take a step back. Use a wider perspective. Don’t just look at the fragments in front of you. Notice what is actually happening without labeling or judging. This will give you a completely new operating perspective.
3. Deciding To Act
Life, in all its glorious shades of gray, has just happened to you. What’s a person to do? You can’t jump ahead a year and use hindsight. How do you make a decision? You do the best you can with what you know at the time. Then you act. Once you have made the decision to act, possibilities will open up. Your decision to act will be backed up by your belief in your decision, thus you will see possibilities and offers of help you may not have noticed before.
Only hindsight will tell you if this is the best decision for you. Do not listen to others. Do not second guess yourself. The experience and life lessons you will learn based on this decision will help to develop and refine your gut reaction or intuition to future decisions. The more you hone this skill, the more confidence you will gather.
Look at what you know. Look at what is missing. Look at the whole situation from different angles. Look at the parts from different angles. Visualize various outcomes: worst case, best case, and all the rest in between. What is real? What is “False Expectations Appearing Real”? All problems have solutions. Trust your intuition.
4. Think Vs. Feel
Feel your feelings. We are emotional beings who think. One third of our brain is still primitive and operates totally on feelings. This is scientific fact. Your ‘flight or fight’ adrenaline rush comes from your limbic brain. That is raw emotion. Deal with it. If you try to ignore or stuff your feelings into a box, they pop out at unexpected times in what can be overwhelming amounts. That is not good for anyone. You can’t think your way out of an emotional problem. Sometimes, you can feel your way out of a rational, thinking problem. That is the power of feelings. Use this power to your advantage.
It is when you acknowledge and deeply understand your feelings, will you begin to know yourself. It can be difficult to feel our feelings when they are sadness, hurt or anger. There is so much value in them. Without sadness, you wouldn’t know what happiness was. If you never were hurt, you wouldn’t know pleasure. If you didn’t know anger, you wouldn’t know peace.
There is a secret here. To learn your feelings, sit quietly with your eyes closed. Take a few deep and slow breathes. Feel your feelings, but do not become carried away by them. Feel the sadness in a situation. Detach from it. Observe it. What does this sadness make you want to do? Is there a better response? When you can identify your feelings without becoming the feeling, you are demonstrating a certain mastery of your life. By becoming a student of yourself, you will learn much. This in turn, will give you more access to yourself. This deepens your reserves so that when challenges arise, you are better able to cope and provide a better response for your life. This is a fabulous skill to develop. It only takes practice to develop.
The next time you feel something, pause and breathe. Really notice the feeling. What is it? Hurt or sadness? Anger or resentment? Frustration or annoyance? What do you learn? What insights does this give you? What is really going on here? Do you need to do anything other than what you are doing? Use this knowledge to grow and live your life with greater ease and freedom. That is what insight really is – seeing inside ourselves.
Acknowledge when you follow your intuition. Say to yourself, “I listened, I acted and it worked.” Repeat. As you develop this part of yourself, you are actually multiplying abundance.
5. When the Student Is Ready, the Teacher Appears
As you understand who you are, you will also begin to see what you really want. Then, you will see the abundance all around you, because you are ready to see it. You have shifted your attitude towards abundance. Henry David Thoreau said, “”It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” See the abundance all around you.
I am going to end with a series of quotations. This is to reinforce that other great thinkers have these same beliefs and know (and feel) them to be true.
“Accept yourself as you are. Otherwise, you will never see opportunity. You will not feel free to move toward it; you will feel you are not deserving.” – Maxwell Maltz
“There’s a saying among prospectors: “Go out looking for one thing, and that’s all you’ll ever find.” – Robert Flaherty
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” e.e. cummings
“We are constantly invited to be who we are.” – Henry David Thoreau
“We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” – Max Depree
“Man becomes that of which he thinks.” – Upanishad Proverb
“Change your thoughts, and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale
“Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.” – William James
This Week’s Coaching
As you go about your week, notice your feelings. Ideally, twice a day, sit quietly with your eyes closed. Take a few deep and slow breaths. Feel your feelings, but do not become carried away by them. Detach from the feeling. Observe it. What does it make you want to do? Is there a better response? Identify your feelings without becoming the feeling. Develop a level of mastery of your life. By becoming a student of yourself, you will learn much. The more you practice, the higher level of mastery you will develop. Enjoy the greater ease and freedom you will have in your life.
I’m curious, what do you notice? What helps you? What are your challenges? Send me an email, or enter a comment below and let me know how this exercise works for you. I’d love to know. Thanks!
All things are possible,