Mindset Training Week 27: Abundance
“We are broke.”
Despite my father’s successful law practice, this message was repeated each month when the mortgage came due. Our massive three-story Tudor with seven bedrooms, five bathrooms, a game room, and a huge deck perched on the rim of a lava-rock-lined canyon. It was my father’s dream home. He seemed to regret building it the second we moved in.
My family was abundant, yet we were told we were not. My father’s story of being broke followed him from his own childhood of financial struggle. This drove him to success through determination and hard work, but the fear remained that one day he would lose it all. He would fail.
“We are broke.”
Despite the monthly refrain, my childhood was never lacking. Every material need and want was fulfilled. I had a weekly allowance plus cash whenever I asked. Clothes were abundant, Christmas was lavish, and birthday wishes granted—except for the year my sister wanted a horse. My father tried to set limits, but caved to my requests and bailed me out whenever I got into trouble.
I am broke … but there is always more.
I have carried this story about money with me my entire life. In my teens, the cash I was given to buy school clothes lasted me only a few minutes at the mall. I soon got a job and promptly started the bad habit of spending every penny I earned. The thought of saving was horrifying to me. To have money just sitting there not being spent seemed like a crime.
College brought the discovery of credit. At Boise State on my father’s dime, my monthly allowance wasn’t nearly enough. So once my first credit card was maxed out, I got another. I bought clothes, décor for my dorm. I took my friends out for dinner. When I confessed to my dad I was deeply in debt, he promptly cut short my college pursuits and demanded that I get a job and pay off my debt before I returned.
While I learned from my financial mistakes, my debt cycle remained a habit for me. I would pay off my credit cards then charge them back up again. No matter how much money I made over the years, this cycle remained a constant. When I was married and had two incomes, I still spent everything I made. Vacations, clothes, an overpriced condo. The divorce levied a heap of debt upon me. When I paid that off, I took out student loans to go back to school. After that, I got a business loan to open my skincare studio. If my debt was graphed over the years it would look like an erratic heartbeat on an EKG reading. If an expense arose, I didn’t worry that I was going into debt to fund it. I can always make more, I thought.
I worked tirelessly each day, waking before dawn and arriving home after dark. Determination for success was a driving force. The third year of owning and operating my business, I made a profit. It wasn’t much, but it was something worth celebrating. Except for my student loans, my personal debt was at zero and my business debt started to slowly creep down.
Then in early 2020, my business was required to close, just like millions of others. My side hustles were hardly enough to sustain my personal and business expenses. I took out another loan, anticipating a swift end to the pandemic. Surely this virus will only last a few months, I thought. This hope, of course, was a mirage. And the pandemic exploited the weaknesses in my financial habits.
A year in, with another viral wave slamming into shore and clients evaporating, my stress peaked into a panic attack. I finally stopped and looked at how much debt I was in: it was the highest it had ever been, my income decreasing not increasing, a near-empty bank account, and no savings. On top of my debt, this book was nearing first draft completion. Editing, publishing, branding, and marketing would nearly double my financial burden. My story of “there will always be more” was proving to be false. I had hoped for the best and neglected planning for the worst. Faulty optimism had me hanging by shoe strings.
Had I made a huge mistake with my book project? This book has felt like a soul calling: something I must do. I had to find a way. How?
A calm, firm voice resonated in my mind: You have the strength to overcome this.
I did. But I had forgotten. Over the years, I had given everything and was left eviscerated. Each time I sunk into debt it weakened me. But I was not weak. As the message reminded me, I was a lion … who was behaving like a sheep.
After my evening meditation, I fell into a deep exhaustive sleep. I dreamed I was falling down a dark hole passing by various objects in slow motion, like in Alice in Wonderland. A static phonograph voice repeated “Nothing is real. Nothing is real.” I adamantly defended, “Yes, everything is real.” I reached out to grasp a couch that passed by, but my hand passed through it. The voice looped: “Nothing is real. Nothing is real.” I panicked, waving frantically at the table, desk, lamp and bedpost that floated by, but they were all translucent. I couldn’t grab onto anything secure. I was falling, falling, wracked with fear.
Finally, in defeat, I said “Okay, fine, it’s not real. Nothing is real.”
Suddenly, the blackness transformed into a full color spectrum of Eden, lush greenery all around. I stood in Heaven and took it all into my heart.
The answer came upon waking.
I looked around at my apartment. There was no furniture; it was all gym equipment. Over the years, my love for fitness had siphoned a large segment of my time and budget. I had collected fitness and outdoor gear like some women collect shoes. It was something I prioritized above all else. The action step became clear: If I wanted to get out of debt and fund this book, my material possessions had to go.
So I sold or gave away almost everything I owned. The gym equipment was first.
Each time I cringed with attachment, I told myself, “I am not my things. My priority is my life purpose. Let go.” Material possessions had sunk me into this hole, and I wanted to make a definitive statement that they did not matter.
I donated my prize possession, my road bike, to a woman who’d just had her commuting bike stolen.
My Murphy bed went to a woman with twin girls who worked 60 hours a week at a bakery. After she paid, I felt a prompting—and ran outside to catch her and give the cash back.
A neighbor came by to buy some items, and I got more than money in return: I received the gift of her life story. She had experienced traumas that were so horrific, the fact that she was standing in front of me was a miracle. Her presence alone was itself a triumph, and I was glad to simply share in the moment. I could not take her money either. I walked away from each exchange with a joy money cannot buy.
I already had in place a budget and tracked my expenses meticulously. I adjusted my work schedule to go in earlier and stay later, and cut back on my fitness schedule. I cut up my credit cards. The number one rule was to always operate in the positive, not the negative. Nothing mattered except getting out of debt and funding this book project.
As I released attachment, abundance began to flow in. A regular client asked if she could purchase a year’s worth of services and wrote me a check on the spot. The next week another, and then another. Before I knew it I had enough to fund the entire book project. Then a friend offered a furnished bedroom in her house. Half my current rent, walking distance from the Puget Sound, and a roommate who valued family, spirituality, and community. Had I been fearful about selling my possessions, moving in with her would not have been possible. At this point, I could fit everything I owned into my car. I almost said yes before seeing her place!
Scarcity had been a mental trap of delusion, tricking me into thinking I was not capable of greatness. Freeing myself of debt—and of the objects I was attached to—brought about the realization that I am a powerful force. I would no longer cower for fear of scarcity. I stood tall knowing I am abundant in love, in meaning, and in blessings.
Now I could look at my finances without fear and make the adjustments needed to encourage the flow of money into my life and plan for a secure future. I could trust that if I put God first, all would play out as it is meant to. Without great faith in the power of abundance, you would not be reading this right now.
FROM SCARCITY TO ABUNDANCE
When a rabbit is afraid, they will bury their head, covering their eyes. Their illogical reasoning is: if they can’t see what they fear, they won’t be hurt. I was this rabbit, hiding my face from my debt and handing over my credit card any time I thought I needed or wanted something. Every time I had to pay bills or analyze my finances, I got a panic attack. The first year of running my own business, I went an entire year without looking at my expenses. The stress this levied on me at tax season was intense. I continually worked myself to exhaustion and did not have anything to show for it. My fear and subsequent avoidance of money was not creating a secure future for myself, nor the ability to fund the pursuit of my purpose.
Fear of money is rooted in scarcity, the feeling that there is not enough. Even though it’s untrue, many of us fear that we won’t have enough to meet our obligations and we’ll lose everything, maybe be homeless on the street.
You can shift from the limiting fear of scarcity to an unlimited mindset of abundance by viewing money as energy. While the amount of money in your possession at any given moment is finite, recognizing its infinite qualities increases your creativity in manifesting wealth. Think of abundance as a waterfall, always flowing and available to everyone. Fear dams the waterfall and slows the flow of abundance. For example, always telling yourself “I don’t have enough money” or “I can’t afford that” sets limitations in the mind. Rather, telling yourself “Money flows in from known and unknown sources” and “That item is not at the top of my financial priority list” sets you up for the flow of abundance to enter your life based on your ingenuity and efforts.
To overcome my fear of scarcity, I began to read book after book on managing my finances. I realized that I was holding many negative stories about money. I was actually afraid of money: I thought money and wealth were bad and brought unhappiness, so I was using it all up as quickly as possible.
When you’re afraid, you grasp at the temporary in desperation for it to become permanent—and some, like me, even completely reject money. These mindsets are both dysfunctional and result in either greed or poverty. Nothing material will ever become permanent no matter how much you want it to be, and disregarding money because of negative attitudes toward materialism reduces your effectiveness in your purpose-seeking life.
Deconstructing my emotions dismantled my abundance-blocking dam. I now think before I spend and know exactly how much money is going into and out of my accounts. Knowledge countered fear, rewrote limiting stories about financial success, and opened me to the infinite flow of abundance through controllable action steps.
If you are in debt, send it gratitude for financing your life thus far. Then, let it go. You have better tools and debt no longer serves your higher self. Stop being afraid of money. Learn about money. Talk about money. Rewrite any negative stories about money. Define what success means for you. Make financial choices with intention toward what you want. Implement action steps to change your current situation. When I shifted from fear to abundance, I decided that I wanted to be successful. Success to me meant having a retirement account, a savings account, and emergency money. Success meant holding on to my money instead of flushing it all away. Success meant setting up my life so that I could benefit others.
MINDFUL MONEY TIPS
In shifting to a conscious and abundant mindset around my finances, I picked up a few tips that helped me be more mindful with my spending. Changing my mindset aligned me with an infinite stream of abundance that encompasses qualities that money cannot buy.
UNDERSTAND THE MONEY GAME
There is a strategy behind everything and everyone who wants you to spend the money you earn. Thinking analytically in this way will make you reconsider every dollar you spend. Our economy is built on companies who make a profit by producing things that prospective customers value more than their cash. They do this by marketing to your carnal desires, appealing to your illogical emotions to convince you that what they’re selling is what you value. Be conscious about what you’re buying and why. Does it fill a carnal desire or serve a higher purpose? What emotional need are you trying to fulfill with your purchase? What is it that you actually value? How can you outsmart—or opt out of—the system that is constantly trying to get you to purchase more, more, and more?
3 FIGURES, 3 DAYS
Employ this guideline for yourself to limit impulse spending. Any purchases over three figures requires three days of consideration. With the three-day rule, you can take time to look at your budget and see where the money is coming from, instead of obtaining it at the click of a button before you think consciously about it. If you must go into debt to purchase the item, either tell yourself no, or plan to accumulate enough to pay for the items with cash you actually have once it’s earned.
PLAY THE MONEY GAME
A person with a frugal mindset is often thought of as a Scrooge. See yourself as a champion instead by making spending a problem-solving game. How many trips to the coffee shop do you make each week? I found myself buying a coffee and a snack three or four days a week, sometimes more. After itemizing my spending for a full year, I was horrified at how much I was overspending on coffee and snacks. To cut down on my coffee expense, I rerouted to the grocery store once a week and purchased a massive jug of cold brew coffee, a gallon of oat milk, and fruit. Just as good if not better than the brew at the coffee shop. Then, I eliminated coffee from my diet altogether. In doing this, I saved myself time and money.
MONEY IS NOT YOURS
When you identify with the individualized ego, you want to make everything yours, and scarcity begins to creep in. You own things, you have money that you earn, and therefore you fear someone taking your money or having more than you. Shift to an abundant mindset by realizing that nothing material, even money, belongs to you. This attitude fosters non-attachment to money. Material wealth is temporary. We cannot take it with us when we die. When I donate money, I tell myself that the universe thanks me by paying me back handsomely. I give with a generous spirit because I know that the money is not really mine. It is here or not here to serve a purpose, teach a lesson, and foster my growth.
YOU WORK FOR YOUR HIGHER SELF
Effort with the attitude that you’re working for your higher self and this self pays you abundantly. This thought will change your mindset around how much you’re being paid for the work that you do, and open opportunity and revenue streams that you cannot imagine. Very often, starting a new venture means working for free. If you consider that you’re working for your higher self, it will shift resentment to generosity. Those seemingly unpaid hours could turn into future passive income streams, or payment in the form of gratitude from others—which means joy for you. I began my mindset program by giving my work away, and payment started arriving via unexpected avenues. My first two clients were incredibly grateful for the help, gave me raving reviews, and offered trade services, and I gained insight and experience. Nothing I have been paid for in dollars has ever felt so good. The reward for giving your time and attention is priceless! Anytime a limiting thought came in, I said to myself, “I am paid abundantly for everything I do.” Every effort became a joyful act of service instead of a drudgery of resentment about how I could be taking paying clients instead. Have faith that your efforts will be rewarded, and work hard each day in service to God and your highest self.
PURSUE PURPOSE, NOT MONEY
The pursuit of money and the things it buys for material gain is a delusive force of the lower mind. Be wary when the mind wants more things. Just like the sex force and desire for power, compulsion for the sake of ego gratification will dead-end at misery. Deconstruct the desire for money and identify what feeling the thought of having more money brings. The soul always desires qualities like happiness, peace, and freedom. You can have all three treasured gifts in abundance by a simple acknowledgment: “I am happy. I am peaceful. I am free.” Once you realize that you already have what you want, your mindset around money will change to a secondary ambition. After your basic needs are met, anything more means you’re living in excess. Know what you want to use the desired money for. Pursue your purpose, then identify what funds you’ll need to fulfill your altruistic goal. Then, effort with an undefeatable warrior spirit until you succeed. Use money as a tool to build your dream. When you pray for monetary abundance, speak to your heart the reasons you need funds—reasons that benefit not only yourself but all beings. Let your legacy drive you.
In meditation, you transition from the temporary, material understanding of money into an infinite place of abundance. Your physical bank account is limited and has a designated amount of funds. Your inner bank account is the jackpot at the end of the rainbow. Imagine the feeling of never having to worry about money again. Maintain this feeling on and off your cushion.
ON-CUSHION: 27-MINUTE MEDITATION
Meditate first thing in the morning and just before bed. Begin your meditation practice by repeating statements of intention and liberation. Filter the truth of the words through your heart and mind. Happiness is knowing my true nature of abundance. With this acknowledgment, money flows freely without fear or greed. I tap into an infinite source of wealth. The energy of abundance is stable and always there to support me. Abundance is freedom.
10-MINUTE EMOM + 17 MINUTES OF STILLNESS
- Set timer for 27 minutes with 10 one-minute increment bells.
- Sit with your spine in neutral, shoulders over hips, ears over shoulders.
- Close the eyes and focus gently at the third eye point between the eyebrows.
- As you breathe in, imagine a golden light entering your chest and exiting through the back of your heart.
- As you breathe out, imagine the light entering the back of your head at the point where the skull meets the spine, then exiting through the third eye point.
Minute 0:00 to 10:00 (five rounds)
- Circulate energy from the heart to the mind as you inhale and exhale.
- Inhale: Silently repeat “Heart.”
- Exhale: Silently repeat “Mind.”
- Retain breath.
- Concentrate at the third eye point between the eyebrows.
- Silently repeat “Love.”
Minute 10:00 to 27:00
- Sit in silence for 17 minutes.
- Concentrate at the third eye point of intuition.
- Circulate the breath.
- Forget the body. Dissolve into energy.
- Silently repeat “Om.”
Notice the feeling of self-love awakened from meditation. Affirm I am worthy of love.
OFF-CUSHION: WELCOME ABUNDANCE
Bring the spirit of abundance into your day. Abundance is in plentiful supply and there is always enough for everyone. Remove “I,” “me,” and “mine” from thoughts of abundance. See the needs of others and offer help in any way you can. When you give your time, energy, attention, and money to others, you recognize the oneness of all beings and contribute to the happiness of the collective whole. When you make others wealthy physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, you make yourself wealthy. All good works are recognized and rewarded by the energy of abundance.
Complete introspection questions and Chapter 27 exercise from your TMHH Workbook.
Train the Mind, Heal the Heart
Photo Lincoln Brigham
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