Exploring my own darkness is no easy task and today I have been opened up to one aspect of this inner dark. Rather than viewing my life through a lens of tremendous abundance, I tend to view it with a mind of poverty. I sit and sulk and worry over all that I do not have. I worry about my accumulation of student and credit debt, I worry that I will not have enough money to buy groceries, I worry that my electric bill is too high, I worry about my couch that is falling apart, I worry that I will never own a house, I worry that I will never have a job I love that could possibly support me financially, I worry about never having enough.
But, the truth is that I have all I need. I am in a loving and supportive relationship. I have a roof over my head and food on the table. I have family and friends who love me. I have three of the best cats in the world, I live within walking distance of a river, a forested park, and two walking labyrinths. I have enough water to drink and enough clothing to keep me warm. When I think of my life from this place of abundant perspective I realize that not only do I have enough, but I have more than enough.
But, how to transition from a life lived in poverty-mind to a life experienced from abundant-mind? I must remember each and every day all the beauty and wealth that surrounds me. I can take a lesson from the Hindu Goddess Lakshmi who reminds me that wealth means more than the money in my pocket. It means recognizing the spiritual, mental, emotional, and relational wealth available right alongside the material. The blessings of this Goddess flow with ease when we let go of fear, attachment, and greed. When we shift from poverty-mind to abundant-mind the blessings of Spirit can flow into and through our lives. We open ourselves up to a grander vision. We begin to live with God, rather than our idolized ego, at the center.
There is an event known as “Winter Feast for the Soul” (they also offer a Summer Feast) that seeks to create a 40-day worldwide spiritual practice for people of all faiths. (http://www.winterfeastforthesoul.com) They encourage participants to engage in spiritual practice for forty minutes a day for forty days. Their mission ” . . . is to support individuals around the world in making a commitment to daily spiritual practice.” They state: “A life grounded in daily practice is one that knows inner peace. It is that peace which will translate into peace throughout our lives and ultimately, to peace and healing for our planet. We know that it only takes a few committed individuals to change the world. We are here to do that, and hope you will join us in this endeavor.” While their winter season began seventeen days ago, I am prepared to begin today.
Each morning, for the next forty days, I will wake-up and go to the big red chair in my meditation room where I will write for forty minutes on the beauty that exists in my life. I will write about my gratitude for all that wealth. I will then post here a list of ten beautiful things in my life. Each week, I will write a little more about what the experience has been like for me and we will see, together, if mindfully cultivating gratitude for forty days can shift a person’s perspective from “poverty-mind” to “abundant-mind.”
Here is my first list of ten beautiful things in my life:
1. My love relationship
2. My cats
3. My family
4. My school cohort/support group
5. The white tulips on my windowsill
6. My friends
9. My relationship to God
10. My spiritual practices