Especially now, when the economy has brought financial lack to those who can least afford it, anxiety about loss of income has replaced the sense of abundance and fulfillment. You shouldn’t stop with lack of money or lack of time. What about lack of emotional fulfillment, lack of love, lack of creative solutions?
Abundance is all-embracing—at least it should be. Bringing abundance into your own life should be more than a game of chance, even though you look around and see that some people are much more fortunate than others.
Let’s proceed on the belief that you can make your own luck, which is the same as saying that you can create what you want. This assumption is better than relying on the ups and downs of fortune. If you wait for good things to fall into your lap, you are defeated in advance, because it’s the nature of life to have bad things fall into your lap, too. Instead of passively waiting to see if you won life’s lottery, you can change the game in your favor, so to speak.
1. Turn Negativity into Positive ActionTake one thing today that you feel negative about. Before the day is out, take one positive action that diminishes the negativity. Such actions include the following:
- Stand up for yourself
- Speak your truth
- Fix what can be fixed
- Ask for help
- Seek wise advice
- Walk away from things that can’t be fixed
- Reduce the stress
- Look at your role in creating the negative situation
2. Get a Healthy Outside PerspectiveIn bad situations, people tend to contract and withdraw inside themselves. “It’s my problem” leads to isolation, which makes lack and loss feel worse. I realize that no one wants to be a burden on others, and that everyone wants to preserve their dignity, but other people have walked in your shoes. They have confronted lack and loss, survived the pain, and eventually made it all the way through. It helps enormously to be in touch with such a person, a confidante who has walked the walk.
3. Don’t Indulge the Level of Futility“It’s hopeless, I’m helpless. Nothing will change or ever get better.” Everyone hears these words; the voice of futility persists because we were all little children who felt helpless and hopeless at times.
If you indulge the voice of futility, it will pull you down to its level. So reject the temptation to indulge in a defeatist viewpoint. Tell yourself, “This negative voice isn’t me.” Gently but firmly reject the voice of futility, and when any good thing happens, however small, remind yourself that the voice was wrong.
4. Expand Your AwarenessThe greatest enemy of abundance is contraction. When you find yourself in a tight situation, feeling that there is no way out, drawing a blank when you try to think of new solutions, or carrying around a heavy burden, these are signs of contraction—in mind, body, and spirit.
Expansion is the great friend of abundance. It brings in the light, opening up new possibilities. In a relaxed, open state, your awareness sees farther and life isn’t so confined.
How can you expand your awareness? To begin with, set aside time every day for peace and quiet. The brain has a natural mechanism for resetting itself and getting back into balance. Give this mechanism a chance. Being under pressure, putting up with noise and stress, and never stopping to relax are counter-productive actions. Go into a quiet place and sit with your eyes closed at least two times a day, for a few minutes. Let yourself become centered again, and practice meditation.
Beyond this immediate relief, here are some long-range steps you can take. By expanding your awareness, you actually expand your whole life:
How to Expand Your Life
- Be passionate about your life and the experiences you fill it with.
- Remain open to as much input as possible.
- Don’t shut down the feedback loop with judgment, rigid beliefs, and prejudices.
- Don’t censor incoming data through denial.
- Examine other points of view as if they were your own.
- Take possession of everything in your life. Be self-sufficient.
- Work on psychological blocks like shame and guilt—they falsely color your reality.
- Free yourself emotionally—to be emotionally resilient is the best defense against growing rigid.
- Harbor no secrets—they create dark places in the psyche.
- Be willing to redefine yourself every day.
- Don’t regret the past or fear the future. Both bring misery through self-doubt.
5. Take Full ResponsibilityIf you want a radical cure for being a victim, here it is. Victims are dominated by external forces—other people, circumstances, or turns of fortune—and since outside forces cannot be controlled, it seems natural to give up responsibility for the bad things in your life. “I can’t help it” is like a poison seed that keeps multiplying and growing. The solution is to recognize that situations change only after a person quits looking outside and starts taking responsibility. That’s not the same as taking the blame.
Instead, you are saying something positive: This is my life. You reclaim ownership of your life once you take responsibility. At the same time, you are stating a simple, inescapable truth. If your life isn’t your own, who else can it belong to? No one else has enough time, money, energy, ad love to give you everything. Abundance comes from within. When you take responsibility, you accept everything—the good and the bad—as your whole package. Fortunately, the bad has already happened, for the most part, while the good stretches far ahead in unknown, undiscovered ways. Being responsible is the same as stepping on to your own life journey.
6. Develop a Higher Vision of Your LifeThere is such a thing as rich but miserable—you may know people who fit that pattern—but there is no such thing as fulfilled and miserable. Material abundance, which can be useful, contains no fulfillment by itself. Fulfillment comes from a vision that comes true. The higher the vision, the greater the fulfillment.
A vision is like a trigger for abundance. It sets in motion a host of hidden processes. There is no mystery involved. Awareness builds upon itself, as you have experienced. If you practice, you get good at things. If you reinforce the positive, there is more positivity to come. The term “feedback loop” feels sterile, I know, but it applies to everything you dream of, wish for, and envision. The best kind of feedback is focused. When you learn to ride a bike, you don’t want to be eating a sandwich and texting a friend at the same time. Riding the bike is your focused intention. In the same way, the vision you have of your life attracts those ingredients that lead to mastery while setting aside needless distractions. You don’t need to work at this winnowing process; it happens automatically, at a deep level of awareness, once you know what your vision is.
I hope these guidelines give you a more positive way to approach abundance, seeing it as a natural way to live and to look at yourself.
Join Chopra for the Journey to Well-being, a brand new guided experience in self-discovery, with free monthly programs for mind, body, and spirit. Register now!