The self help buzz phrase ‘Abundance Mindset’ has been spoken of often in my echo chamber. Every time I hear someone justify another flamboyant purchase with the term ‘abundance mindset’, yet witnessing them hoard their coins when a beggar goes by has been scratching at my inner critic. Meanwhile, I have been teased for having a ‘scarcity mindset’ when it comes to choosing accommodation and places to eat out that sit within my personal spending comfort zone when travelling with higher earning friends.
So I’d like to venture into what an abundance mindset means, how we can try to achieve it and what potential it has to transform our lives and the lives of those around us.
Beware of marketing influences in any self help trend
It’s inevitable that in a capitalist system, anything that resonates with enough people will eventually become monetisable.
If an abundance mindset is helping you spend more with less stress, but you still find yourself competing with your peers’ or counting how many times you’ve called a friend versus how many times they’ve called you, then you may have fallen into a marketing trap, which provides the short term illusion of feeling more evolved or complete, but without doing the deeply rooted work in rewiring your mind into a broader flow of trust and perspective.
An abundance mindset is expansive, visionary and accepting
Let’s dig deeper than financial spending habits, which firstly require a level of privilege to entertain a habitual shift in. An abundance mindset is one where you trust, completely, that there is space for everyone in this world (and ‘everyone’ encompasses every sentient, living thing). It demands a shift from competition (ingrained in most of us from a young age based on the social and educational structures our cultures exist within) to a ‘one mind, one heart’ outlook on life, where we see other’s successes as our own and feel genuinely elevated by it. The perceived success of others also expands our vision of ourselves, creating the opportunity for deepening our trust in what is possible.
When we envision the world, a scarce one may come to mind based on the current climate crisis, social injustices and ever more provocative and dividing media clogging our imagination. To create space for an abundance mindset, we need to grant ourselves permission to dream big and genuinely believe in the possibility of those dreams. We need to adopt habits that encourage expansive imagination and eliminate habits that tire this capacity, such as scrolling on our phones. We have to find the balance of educating ourselves so that we can channel our actions in a grounded way, without overwhelming ourselves by seeing and feeling more than what we are capable of processing.
An abundance mindset asks us to place our worth inside of ourselves
If we continue to place our worth in our work, success or material possessions, then we continue to pedal the hampster wheel of a capitalist system that is destroying our planet. When we only focus on perpetual growth models outside of ourselves, we enter the never ending race of false worthiness. Our worth is here and now – in simply being alive upon this earth. We have permission to take up space, to enjoy life through all of our senses, to connect with this earth and feel what it is to be in the human body. When you are next immersed in nature, look around – really look around – and tell yourself ‘this is all for me, and I am all for this’.
This kind of abundant thinking asks us to remember that we are a beautiful part of nature, whilst nature – in her resilient, generous capacity – is a beautiful part of us. To truly feel her abundance within us, we have to connect with her, we have to respect her and we have to remember our innate relationship with her (and with ourselves). An abundant mindset does not mean flushing the toilet every time we pee or buying new clothes every week. We have to deconstruct our thoughts alongside deconstructing our disconnect to place; only working on one neglects the other. If we perpetually buy, flush, compete and hoard, we are lying to ourselves that this is a sustainable ‘abundant’ path, individually and collectively.
We need to look at our fear of death
The Celts saw time as spiralling, rather than linear, which shows their immersive perspective within the ephemerality of life. The Mayans and many other indigenous cultures also perseive the same concept of non-linear time. For many people in ‘progressive’ cultures, life has become a question of working towards something, saving up for something and proving something. Of course, this is a complex dance we are in; we want to thrive, support our families, contribute to our community and make a difference. These desires are real, valid and deeply ingrained in our psyches, yet we often forget to enjoy the moment and instead let life pass us by whilst we’re busy making plans.
As we cling to this identity we have carved and to the idea that we are only useful when we are running along a straight line towards something in the future, we are in a scarcity mindset; a belief that this moment is not enough. To be present and to feel abundant still allows space for planning, dreaming and paving new paths towards something meaningful to us, but it asks us to enjoy this life; to fill our lungs with delicious air and share our steady outbreath with the world. This shift in awareness allows a more spacious, cyclical and feminine approach to productivity, where rest is just as important as action.
If we approach death as a new beginning, we can collectively begin to exit the individualistic conditioning and begin to contribute our gifts and energy to a more collective, abundant model, where the health of the whole is the measurement of success. Many ancient teachings from different parts of the world suggest that we contemplate death on a daily basis. Rather than a gloomy thought exercise, this can be an uplifting, powerful practice to encourage presence and gratitude. This is also communicated through plant medicines, where participants often experience transcendence or an ‘ego death’ that leaves them feeling far more deeply connected to life and the great mystery. To die before you die is an ancient saying enscripted above many ritualistic tombs or sacred spaces where it is now thought that psychoactive drinks were served (read Brian C. Muraresku’s well researched book ‘The Immortality Key’).
A lot of spiritual practices almost encourage bypassing life here on earth and the ‘lower’ vibrations. Much like an obsession with transcendence and a lack of healthy embodiment may result in an aloof approach to the world’s tribulations, an abundance mindset that gaslights scarcity (pretends it does not exist) can result in another layer of dissolution that continues to harm people and planet. Of course, the teachings to always help ourselves first before helping others remains relevant, but I witness continuous practice of the first and little of the latter in many situations. An abundant approach implies there is always time and space for both, even if that is as small a gesture as a smile to a stranger.
If we look at our Earth and her resources, and then look analytically at our living habits, at what point should an abundance mindset be focussed outside ourselves? The process starts in shifting perspective and overall mindset – an endless reforming of our sense of place, self and purpose. Perhaps beginning by inquiring into the stories and unconscious agreements we are living by, we can piece together our own stance on scarcity and abundance… because the two exist in paradoxical nature. The corporations and government policies (or lack of) responsible for stripping resources and land from people who live close to the earth are the same corporations who continue to benefit from consumerist culture, now fueled additionally by people practicing their single trajectory abundance mindsets.
Emotions are welcome, victimhood will hold you back
In the process of doing this work deeply and honestly, accepting the many polarities and complexities this can bring up, we can begin to accept ourselves and our full range of emotions. Emotions are the language of the body – energy in motion – memorised by our very bones, our DNA. It is natural and vital to feel the highs and lows of life fluidly, to allow the emotions to move through the body and not become embedded into unhealthy patterning, such as victimisation. Victimhood radiates lack mentality and comes from a deep need to be seen and heard. Inner child tending is beautiful medicine for unlocking patterns of victimhood.
So a big part of this process of deconstructing and rewiring an abundance mindset involves stepping out of victimhood and into acceptance and trust. Victimhood sounds like ‘my friends never call me’ or ‘I never have enough’. Honouring our full range of emotionals healthily gravitates more towards a sense of trust and self care that allows space and time to process, nourish, journal and reflect – because an abundant mindset invites the trust that there is time to feel, time to slow down and time to heal.
Abundance invites a gifting economy, one where we give and support those around us without attachment to a return. A gifting economy does not imply that we give something and expect something in return, especially from that same person. Gifting has to come from the heart and not be woven into a conditional process that undervalues the whole idea of giving. These ‘Money Looms’ and ‘Gifting Mandalas’ that circulate spiritual communities sit in a grey area that invites a co called gifting economy. People are invited into a multi level marketing strategy based on the same systematic pyramid schemes that Arbonne and the like use (a pyramid can of course look like a mandala from above I suppose). To give a gift, only to receive it multiplied by 8 after an additional 60 people (as an example) have joined, is not a gifting economy, and is still based on an illusion that perpetual growth is sustainable. I am sure these concepts have been empowering for many, but I have also experienced the persuasive language of many marketing hacks in the wellbeing industry, which often imply that your self worth is low if you do not sign up and commit.
Gifting doesn’t have to be flashy.
Fruit, vegetables and plants will always make beautiful, thoughtful offerings. When we visit the house of another, we can bring an offering. When we attend an event or workshop, we can bring something to share.
Radiate love and abundance will flow
That’s all it comes down to really. When we love unconditionally (or at least strive to) and follow our innate calling towards what is joyful, rather than all the ‘shoulds’ that reverberate around our heads, then we activate a strong magnetic pull that draws in more of what we love. The things and people we love often come with conditions, for example you may adore making art, but on a deeper level, you only love it when the result is excellent in a specific predestined standard that limits your creative process. So to go beyond doing something you love, challenge yourself to do something you love whilst also unthreading the patterns you’ve subconsciously become tamed by. It is in presence – in the process of love and creation – that we access abundance. We can plant seeds in spring to grow a garden and radiate sheer love when we press the seeds into the moist soil with our fingertips. Whilst watering this new life each day, we can think of the astonishing abundance we are a part of! To see it sprout, so green, optimistic and brave – what abundance!
Where in your life can you invite in more love? More love for yourself, for others, for place, for food, for doing and for creating? Rather than continuously placing unnecessary pressure on yourself to go out of your comfort zone financially, why not stay in it and radiate love for all that resides within it? That is where abundance begins – love. Love essentially means that you are in a state of gratitude. In gratitude, we do not take things for granted. There are no entitled demands, only pleasure in what is here and now. Of course – call in what will make you even happier! Call it in from a place that says ‘this is so beautiful, thank you, thank you! Please send me more of this beauty because I love it from the root of my being, thank you, thank you, thank you!’.
Embodiment is integration
If any of this has resonated with you, then perhaps you can join me in some rituals to embody and integrate a rooted abundance mindset. Rituals physicalise our intention and bring us into communion with what is not seen, only felt. Rituals are the language of our indigenous soul and ignite a deepened imagination and reciprocity with life.
Abundance Rituals to Embody
Water of life
Every morning when you take your first sip of water, wait a beat, close your eyes and think or speak ‘Thank you for this abundance’ at least 3 times. Keep your awareness on the water as it flows into your body and nourishes you. Imagine that your body radiates more strongly as the water reaches every cell in your being.
Before you eat, take a few moments to place your hands around your food, close your eyes and allow the images and sensations of all the energy and life that is about to nourish you – the death that was required to form the soil that acted as womb to the seeds that grew the plant to providing their fruit, root or leaf, the hands that harvested this from the earth, the life of the animal if you are eating meat… any movements, people, touch and devotion that went into feeding you in this moment. When eating, stay present with the flavours and sensations and allow yourself to be in awe that such richness can come from our Mother Earth.
As I mentioned earlier, we can invite a moment into our daily meditation or movement practice where we contemplate the ultimate passing. This can be an uplifting, life-affirming practice.
“Let each thing you would do, say or intend be like that of a dying person.” – Marcus Aurelius
Words that reweave
Journal affirmations that truly align for you, ones that you can believe and feel in your body as true. For me, the most effective way to then use these affirmations is by focussing on one and singing it many, many times, keeping the melody simple and enjoying the vibration of my voice as the words gently sink into my psyche and wash over my body. When this is effective you should feel a subtle shift in your entire being. It helps me to picture my energy body getting ever more radiant as I sing and the affirmation vibrating every single cell of my physical and energetic body.
Value what you buy
When you do exchange money for something, be sure to feel gratitude that you are able to express how much you value the thing or service you are purchasing in such a way. Money is a form of agreement, a value system that eases the complexities of constant bartering. When in right relationship, money can help us move more freely within this global community, creating the life we feel aligned with. Treasure this exchange as sacred. Place your own personal appreciation of value back into the numbers that move in and out of your field. When you pay for a service, give thanks that this service is available, that so many people worked hard to make it exist, that someone studied for years, that they care about this service enough to make it their work. Bring awareness back into what goes into the creation of a piece of clothing or crafted object, the story and culture that is woven into it, the hands that made or designed it. Everything that passes through your hands invites a deep exercise of mindfulness and the more we practice this, the more care will go into what we decide to value and exchange with.
Slow down and share
If you can afford to buy yourself lunch out, you can probably afford to buy someone else lunch out. A young boy recently asked me for money whilst I was at a cafe. I had run out of coins, so I asked him if he was hungry. He nodded and I invited him to sit with me. We ordered tortillas and spoke about all kinds of things for hours. I eventually gave him my change when it came and we said our farewells. Of course, there is no grand fix for a clear problem of privilege and poverty, but I felt so connected to this boy after sharing a meal together and we were both radiant with big smiles afterwards. For me, this felt far more abundant than buying myself a more expensive meal at a fancier place. It’s not always in our budget to share meals out like this, but for many there is likely space for more sharing. The imbalance hurts and I think we often become numb to it, focussing only on our own fluctuations and needs. As a gesture or ritual, we can open up the space to share in some way, at least once a week.
Dance with guilt and accept imperfection
I have faced many waves of imposter syndrome whilst writing this. Who am I to claim any knowledge in what abundance looks and feels like? Creating an abundant mind, heart and life is a process that takes time, patience and trust. It requires the learning of the language of the body and the unlearning of everything we are told we ‘should’ be.
We are all learning at our own pace and it is all welcome. We can find within us the space, time and compassion for everyone and everything. That feels abundant to me.
Has this resonated with you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or feel free to send me a direct message on instagram.