Spiritual Challenge for Nov. 2023: Generosity

Cultivate an Attitude of Abundance

My challenge to you for this month is to practice cultivating an abundance mindset. Abundance is sometimes presented in a magical thinking framework where if a person just has the right frame of mind, adopts positive thinking, and banishes negativity, riches will flow. That’s not what I’m talking about. I encourage you to think of abundance more like a Buddhist. Practice stepping out of the loop of constant desire for more – more money, more prestige, more talent, more everything – and cultivate the awareness of when you have enough.

Abundance is the opposite of scarcity. Abundance is an attitude, mindset, or approach that does involve teaching ourselves to change our thinking, not because positive thoughts bring wealth, but because positive approaches help us do our best whatever our situation might be. The abundance mindset doesn’t negate the need to be a good steward of resources or ignore the reality of one’s situation – financially or otherwise. Abundance is a cycle that emphasizes what’s right, what’s working, and what we have instead of focusing on what’s going wrong, what’s not working, and what we lack.

An abundance mindset can follow a circle or a loop of thoughts and actions that keep us focused. The abundance loop begins with gratitude – genuine gratefulness at what we do have and who we are. An attitude of gratitude leads to more peace of mind. Again, think of the Buddhist practice of stepping off the treadmill of constant desire. Having more peace of mind, we tend to make better choices. Making wiser decisions fosters positive outcomes. Then, when things go well, there’s more to be grateful for, and the cycle or loop repeats. It’s no guarantee we will make more money, be more successful, or improve our situation, but it does maximize our chances working with what we have. We may not get everything we want, but chances are better we’ll at least have what we need. Abundance doesn’t focus on having a surplus, it focuses on having and being enough.

The scarcity loop, by contrast, begins with fear, usually fear of what we lack, or the fear caused by what we lack and what is missing – what resources we don’t have. This leads to anxiety. When we’re scared and anxious, we tend to make poor choices. Unwise decision making tends to leave us in a place where we still don’t have what we need, so our fears based on a continuing lack of resources tend to increase and the cycle repeats – and intensifies.

Once again expressing your internal reflection by journaling or creating art is a great way to process what you’re pondering. As always, I’d love to hear about your experiences with this challenge. Call or text me at 508-344-3668 or send me an email at revtony@pm.me.