Welcome to Journey of Abundance! Are you ready to explore your inner abundance depths? Or, perhaps first, there will be a period of time of exploring your inner poverty depths–clear the crap, make room for the gold. I usually have a lot of crap to clear, so don’t worry–you’re in good company.
Even though I’ve been clearing the poverty crap for many years, and increasing my actual experience of abundance, there is still more crap: I still have some resistance to having money (more on that in a minute); I still have a cantankerous and belligerent relationship to bills (they get paid, I just really need to talk myself up to get it done); I still do not have clarity about the relationship between work (spiritual and material) abundance; I still feel like I’m in kindergarten regarding abundance, even though I have come a really long way.
For those of you new to the Journeys: today is Why day. This is the day I write about why it’s important for me to focus on abundance: what I hope to learn, what I hope to clear, what I aim to work on for 40 days.
For those of you who will be joining the Journey this time around: start your thinkin’ and writin’! Why are you interested in focusing on advancing your understanding of and relationship with abundance?
Here we go!
I grew up in a household in which money was “the root of all evil”. During all of my formative years, emotionally and psychologically, I learned to reject money, because to accept money was to invite and allow evil.
While at the same time, I was learning that in order to be a productive and contributing member of society, I had to work to make money.
What a contradiction! How was I to embrace work, which brought me evil in the form of money?
My solution to this contradiction for most of my young-adult life (18-24), was to work, but act like I did not have money. The way I did this was to just put money in a savings account and only use it “if I had to”, as though the money only existed if “I needed it”…and I was very clear about the difference between needing something and wanting something. I only used money if I needed something, and I needed very few things. I probably set it up that way, to limit my “need” for money, limiting my relationship with that evil.
I was around 25 before I understood that the actual bible quote is not that “money is the root of all evil”, but that “the love of money is the root of all evil”. In other words: greed is the root of all evil.
But by then, I had been steeped in a belief system that equated money with evil for over two decades. Now, it’s been over two decades that I have been clearing that crap, and there is more to clear. If you have any childhood “baggage” you know how these things stick with you…you think you’ve got it all, but then it peeks out and sabotages something and you think, “Gosh darn it, I thought I was done with this!” You know? (this is what I was referring to in the second paragraph; sometimes that old resistance-habits-emotional sense rears its head and I can see/feel how blocked I still am to receiving money).
Nonetheless, to give you a sense of how far I’ve come, here are some things I have worked through over the years:
- I can confirm 100% that I am not greedy. I have been…at times…it has cropped up in the form of jealousy or coveting or hoarding (in the sense of not sharing or not being generous), but really I don’t see it anymore.
- I can confirm 100% that I am generous. Practicing generosity was one way that I worked through greed issues. And I am still working on this. I want to be even more generous, in order to do that, I need to work on…you guessed it…abundance!
- Despite my cantankerous and belligerent relationship with my bills, it’s so much better than it used to be (like when I used to just ignore money…which meant ignoring bills for as long as I could…)
- I love working and I love being paid for the work I do. I have not reached my own personal ceiling with either work or getting paid, so that is another reason why abundance is important.
Generally speaking: I now have a good relationship with work and money. It’s like I went from a minus 10 to a neutral zero point. Everything is good.
Why, then, abundance? What is next? What do I need/want to work on?
Now I want to move from neutral zero to a positive relationship with work and money.
The philosophy that I am going to use to guide this next step of my abundance evolution is the aspect of Hindu philosophy called Artha.
Artha has three meanings: 1) “meaning” or “significance” 2) anything that gives temporary relief from suffering. 3) “wealth” or “money”.
The way I understand how Artha is understood in Hindu philosophy is this: There are material things that human beings must have to live: food, shelter, clothing. There are spiritual things that human beings thrive with: A life of meaning and purpose. There are intellectual and emotional things that provide human beings with a sense of fulfillment: (this varies greatly between people). Whenever any of these is deprived, there is the experience of pain and suffering. Artha is anything that relieves that pain and suffering.
Most often, because of its third meaning, “wealth”, Artha is seen in purely the material sense.
Even though Artha is about having material comfort, it also means living with that material comfort in a way that also serves your personal meaning and purpose and provides you with personal fulfillment. If wealth does not do all these things, it is no longer Artha (because if it does not do these things, it is contributing to suffering…the opposite of Artha).
For my purposes, in my next stage of learning about abundance, Artha is my guide, because this is exactly the sort of positive relationship I want with money: I want it to have meaning beyond mere money. Using money/wealth for Purpose and Fulfillment is just the right perspective to bring about a positive relationship with it.
For me, Artha is the convergence of loving the work I do (fulfillment), my Highest Purpose (to serve God and humanity), and the means to do those things in a comfortable, easy, joyous, pleasurable way.
Thus. Why am I doing a Journey of Abundance?
- to move from neutral zero to a positive relationship with work and money
- to begin to receive money easily and freely, doing meaningful and fulfilling work
- to increase my generosity
How about you?