We’ve been conditioned to believe that ‘winner takes all’ and ‘if I have money/fame, THEN I’ll be secure, I’ll have friends/be popular, have meaning and feel accomplishment in my life’.
This video leaves with a question at the end. I would add an additional question:
What do I have in abundance?
Often we don’t see our own abilities as worthwhile/abundant because they’re not reflected back as valued in society. As we wrestle with personal values and the simple things that sustain us – quietly sharing the things we DO have in abundance – the result is joy. Appreciating what we have begins by not judging ourselves that we aren’t rich/famous/thin/successful enough. At first our personal abundance may look silly or useless, but sit with the tiny simplicity of it, and it may take on a life of its own, crafting a way to bring joy not just to us but to others.
Here’s an example of a simple abundance from my own life.
Our house breeds clothes. When the kids were small I set up a clothes and stuff swap for entertainment in our home. We moved what we wanted to other rooms, and set up marked areas with signage so guests would know where to place their unwanted things for swapping.
It was a hoot! Fun was had by all as friends and family brought over things they didn’t need and we socialized and swapped. The kids pretty much stayed in the toy room and found new toys to take home, the parents socialized and found things we needed, I was able to clear out clutter we didn’t need anymore and found things we could use. I found a creative and socially fun use for my abundance. It brought me joy.
My abundance (clothes and stuff that seems to breed in the attic) wasn’t money, or fame, or power. It was ‘just’ clothes and stuff. It was something simple. I started looking for ways to be creative with what I saw as my abundance.
To make a long story short, after years of experimenting I created Swap Positive– started with the simple abundance of extra clothes.
Sharing abundance gives joy.
What do you have extra in your life? What do you have a lot of? What is your abundance? Are you someone who can’t wipe the smile off your face? Do you have way too many empty toilet paper tubes? Do you get a thrill from constantly holding babies? If you give away your extra, what kind of joy will you bring to yourself and to others? If you smile at people it could make a positive difference in their day. Maybe a local preschool would love those toilet paper tubes for the ongoing projects they have, and appreciate your steady supply? A hospital might need someone to hold premie newborns, or a church/school/clinic nursery might appreciate your skills so young mothers can get a short refreshing breather. What you see as ‘not really anything’, or maybe even feel guilty about, might be what you have in abundance. Realizing and using your abundance creatively could make all the difference in how you see yourself and your place in this world. Being rich, famous, and powerful doesn’t bring joy, but maybe having too many toilet paper tubes or egg cartons might be the beginning of a new chapter of joy and giving in your life?