#1:  Avoid Common Money Pitfalls

First, let’s get one thing straight: There’s nothing wrong with being rich. Living a comfortable lifestyle surrounded by beautiful things is not inherently a liability. However, having a great deal of abundance does come with a few inherent pitfalls. The most common of these is an attachment to wealth and a relentless obsession with it. The possession of or desire for fancy houses, creature comforts, and shiny things can manifest within our psyche in ways that are not healthy. They can intoxicate us into a state of mind where we mistakenly believe that these things are the source of happiness. After our basic needs of enough healthy food and a comfortable place to live are met, our definition of a need can migrate into what is more appropriately defined as a want. Then, when we achieve each of our ill-defined needs, our perspective can ratchet even further out of kilter until we one day declare that we “just can’t live without” a pair of new Air Jordan shoes or the newest designer purse. To avoid backsliding into this ungrounded perspective, it’s helpful to deeply reflect on your life, and then ask yourself one simple question: “Aside from shelter, safety, and food, what would make me happy in a postapocalyptic world?”  It’s not likely the answer to that question would be a Gucci handbag. The reason for this rather dark inquiry is to illustrate that it isn’t our things but rather our relationships - both with ourselves and others - that bring us joy. Choosing our higher nature deepens those relationships and allows us to cultivate the real abundance of life.

There is profound and timeless wisdom in the common saying, “True wealth is not having the most but rather needing the least.”  When we are so focused on what we perceive to be missing in our lives, that feeling of lack becomes our reality. And whatever is currently good or abundant is taken for granted and becomes lost in a wishful haze. Remember, though… a minimalist material life is not required for happiness; but minimal attachments to your material things sure does make happiness come easier.

#2:  Deprogram Your Scarcity Mindset

There are three primary things that can block abundance in our lives. First: We incorrectly believe that we are undeserving of abundance. This belief is fueled by harsh self-judgment that can only be eradicated by self-compassion and self-forgiveness. The simple truth is that life is hard, and we all deserve abundance for simply showing up here and wanting to learn. Second: We mistakenly believe that abundance can only show up in one way: our way. Removing this block requires an expansion of our imagination and an openness to the unexpected. Haven’t you ever found forgotten money… perhaps in a pocket after doing your laundry? Abundant opportunities in life can be just like that. Stop deciding they can’t. How we think about abundance - as well as our receptivity to it - is just as important as the actions we take to create it. And third: We forget to be grateful for what we already have. This might be the most detrimental of the three blocks. Whether it’s a warm shower or a simple meal, being grateful for what you have - however little it may be - has tremendous influence on how abundance shows up for you. Gratitude really does have that much power; because when you focus on what’s good in your life, that focus causes what’s good to expand.

#3:  See the Bigger Picture of Abundance

Abundance is a force of nature. Think of it like the ocean. You can be swamped by a tsunami that carries you higher and further than you could’ve imagined… you can be stuck in a low tide that leaves you high and dry for a time... or you can be anywhere in between. Like the ocean, abundance isn’t something you can irrevocably capture. It’s a journey that has cycles of highs and lows which correspond to the growth needs of each individual. Sometimes it will serve you and your journey to have more, and sometimes it will serve you to have less. The growth needs of your soul aren’t typically known by your mind… until they are. But rest assured, for each abundant cycle of highs and lows there always exists a transcendent reason that includes a priceless life lesson. And when you start to notice this cyclical cadence to abundance, you’ll no longer fear the lows nor be attached to the highs, because you’ll realize they are both temporary.

2,400 years ago in his historical masterpiece, the Tao Te Ching, Lao-Tzu wrote, “The Tao takes from what is too much and gives to what isn’t enough.” The “Tao” is loosely translated as “the natural order of the Universe.” It may take a while, but similar to the physical laws of thermodynamics where temperature differences eventually balance out, abundance yearns to find a way to where it is lacking. It does this because nature abhors hoarding in any form. And when you choose to become part of this natural process by sharing what you have - even if you don’t have much - more abundance will come to you. This is because what flows through you automatically flows to you. The greatest lesson of abundance is that when you reach out to help the world, the world reaches back to help you.


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