My life is teeming with abundance. I eat summer squash fresh from my garden. The dry grass smells of sage and summer. I have friends and family who adore me.
I’m blessed with physical abundance, too. I have two strong legs that transport me with ease. I can chew and digest my food. My heartbeat is strong.
Of course, these aren’t my only fortunes. The list would go on for days. Still, when I ponder the expanse of my psychological wealth, I’m overcome with gratitude and awe.
Too often we overlook our own personal abundance. We forget that our psychic larders are already jam-packed with what we need.
Even when we’ve suffered a physical ailment or financial downturn, there are still ample assets in our emotional bank accounts, assets that are always available for our use.
Instead, we get caught up in a web of lack. We don’t think we have enough. We want more, more, more. We want to change what’s already there.
We experience this lack as depression and chronic agitation. We feel unhappy and anxious about so many things. But we don’t know how to appease it.
Our strategy? Get something new. We tell ourselves the latest iPhone or laser surgery will quell the urge; or that a fresh, updated kitchen will do the trick.
And yes, the new things momentarily make us feel better. We’re excited by our recent acquisitions. For a while the symptoms are held at bay.
But then the newness wears off. We’re bored and agitated once again. We habitually start scanning our lives in order to discover what it is that needs changing.
Whole industries survive on our sadness and anxieties. The evening news wants us to feel frightened so that we tune in to watch every night. Advertisers hope we’re insecure. Businesses want us to be in a perennial funk so they can promise a cure for what ails us.
Not surprisingly, the answer isn’t found in a box store. Nor is it available from Amazon.com.
No, the source of our personal happiness is present every second of our existence. We already possess all we need to feel joy. Our psychic cups runneth over with blessings. All we need to do is take a drink.
“That’s easy for you,” I can hear the complaining. “Your life may be easy. But mine’s a real mess.”
I certainly don’t mean to diminish others’ personal dramas. Many folks have experienced unspeakable tragedy. No one has escaped the devastation of illness and loss.
I also know that it’s those very traumas that frequently remind us about all that we already have. Cancer survivors have repeatedly told me, “My diagnosis was the best wake-up call I’ve ever had. It reminded me what was important.”
Even when we lose something we cherished, such as a home, a job or a physical ability, there are new levels of abundance waiting to be discovered. Yes, life may be indelibly altered. There are new challenges we must take on. Still, riches abound in an endless supply. Just open your eyes and your heart.
Want to tap into your personal abundance? Try these simple steps:
• Learn to relax. Stress is a constricting phenomenon. It tightens your muscles and paralyzes your thoughts. Counteract the effects of stress by sitting quietly for 15 minutes every day. Release tension in your hands and shoulders. Listen to your breathing. You’ll free your inner griping and be emotionally available to all that is good.
• Notice the little things. Watch a spider spinning a web in your garden. Feel the breeze on your skin as you walk to your car. Savor every morsel of your boxed lunch. You’ll focus on simple delights that surround you while slowing your pace to enjoy them.
• Allow unscheduled time in your day. Joy doesn’t happen on a time line. It comes when you least expect it. Clear your days of unnecessary clutter and leave open space to embrace it.
• Make a list of your blessings. Not sure how to assess all your riches? Start writing a few on a list. As new ones pop up, you can add them. Post your list in a prominent spot and review it at least once a day. • Fill your life with awe. Imagine that you’ve been blind all your life and that you’re seeing things new for the first time. Revel in the smallest details. Marvel at items you once thought ho-hum. Now, retain this sense of freshness as you move throughout your life. A profusion of wealth and excitement awaits you.
Linda Lewis Griffith is a local marriage and family therapist. For information or to contact her visit lindalewisgriffith.com