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At the start of each year, my children and I sit down to choose our Word. This word becomes the focal point for our intentions throughout the year. Whether we’re starting a new project, working on relationships, setting goals, or choosing our community collaborations, we take our Word into consideration as we live, work and play.
I LOVE words, which makes choosing a single word for the entire year challenging (to say the least). I can spend hours Googling, asking for opinions, and noodling over the pros and cons of each option before landing on “the one.” This year however, my word came to me with such effortless urgency, I knew I had to claim it.
By definition (Merriam-Webster to be exact), abundance has three meanings:
1. An ample quantity
2. Affluence, wealth
3. A relative degree of plentifulness
A convergence of full, round letters ending in a dance. Nine letters brimming with possibility; spanning across life. Three short syllables embodying the idea that there is always enough.
Abundance is a word I’ve always admired. Beautiful but distant to me. You see, I believed there is enough but haven’t always acted that way. And this is particularly true when it comes to time.
Who hasn’t said, “I don’t have time?” “There’s never enough time in the day.” “Who has time for THAT?” “Must be nice to have time!” I certainly had. More times than I care to admit, in fact. I said it to myself, my children, my husband, my co-workers…my DOG! (We all have conversations with our animals, yes?) There is always sooo much to do. Meetings galore. Kids’ homework and extra curriculars. After-hours work. Side projects. Exercise. Oh…and making time to eat and sleep. Abundance was my word, but maybe it didn’t apply to time.
Funny. The mind can be such a trickster.
As the year continued, I began listening to abundance affirmations. Reading books on abundance. Following influencers who lauded an abundance mindset. But most important, I made time daily to meditate, reflect and be with myself. And it seemed, the more time I took to focus on creating and nurturing abundance, the more time I had. Not only that, the more I made time, the more abundant time was. I wasn’t in a perpetual state of rush. I slowed down. Paid attention. Stopped multitasking. I was present. And time was infinite.
This got me thinking, “If time is infinite, why couldn’t I have morning coffee with a new acquaintance? Grab lunch with a frustrated co-worker. Have a nighttime phone chat with a long-distance, long-time friend? What’s my excuse?” I had a feeling that if I just made time for all the things I said I didn’t have time for, everything would still fall into place. The work would get done. The kids would be fed. Abundance would prevail.
With this idea in mind, I began scheduling weekly meet ups—whether to chat about life, brainstorm, catch up, share parenting tips or anything else. These meet ups are in-person, on Zoom or over the phone. (Texting and emailing do not count!) They are face-to-face interactions meant to nourish, sustain, and inspire. Here’s what I learned from scheduling in-person meet ups and old-fashion phone chats throughout the week:
In the past, my job took precedence over most things. Nothing was more important than getting the work done well and on deadline. All else was null. Admittedly, I was a bit of a workaholic. A strong, consistent work ethic was something my father demonstrated—always holding two jobs at a minimum. He loved working. And he did a lot of it in his short lifetime. But he always made time to attend my sporting events and band concerts. His voice was legendary on the cross-country course. You could hear his screams of encouragement for miles. If he could do it, why couldn’t I?
Spending 15 minutes to one hour a week with a loved one is a blip on the radar of life. Yet, it is so rewarding for both individuals (and groups, depending on what you can coordinate). While I have a level of flexibility with my schedule that others do not, I truly believe that a small amount of time can be carved into even the most jam-packed calendar to connect. The benefits are well worth the time. Which brings me to my next lesson…
We all know that humans thrive in community, and isolation can cause plenty of social and emotional damage. The time you make to meet with others not only expands your time; it also expands your impact on humanity. It’s good for your health (and theirs, too!). So many times, when I reached out to someone to connect, there was immense gratitude all around. A mutual feeling of replenishment.
“You have no idea how much I needed that talk.”
“Our conversation was so inspiring.”
“That lunch date made my entire month.”
Sometimes the meet ups were just that: one meet up, but the energy of that meet up always expanded into other connections, events or into the next day or week.
My weekly meet ups continue to fuel abundance in multiple areas of my life. Time really does fly (and multiply) when spent with others. The key to consistency? Get it on the calendar. Literally, make time. Make sure that time works for the other person. If it doesn’t try another day and time. Keep trying until it works. Then do it all over again the next week. Yes, time is abundant, but it also needs to be managed well.
Looking for more ways to add abundance to your life? Here are six steps for creating abundance.
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