When I was 27 yrs old, I won the “Young Businesswoman of the Year” award in my small town. During the ceremony, I gave a speech, which looking back seems both naïve and intuitive. I spoke on women collaborating with and helping other women succeed in a world where our tendency seems to be to step on other people to get ahead rather than reaching down to lift others up.
It was naïve in the idealistic way youth is often naïve. “Why can’t we just all live together in love and acceptance and help each other move ahead?” It is a charming, alluring thought, especially when you have lived just enough of your life to be hungry for more. But in reflection, even 22 years later, there is so much truth in such an idealistic idea. What do we gain by thinking small, petty thoughts of others? What do we gain by stepping on others to get ahead?
All of this leads me to thoughts of abundance I have been trying to cultivate lately. I have lost 50lbs in the last year, and my goal this year was to lose 50 more, but I’ve been pretty stagnant in the first 6 months of the year. How does this connect to helping women move ahead, you ask? Well, I realized that lately I have been hard on myself, and my weight loss thoughts are centering around what I’m not doing, what I’m failing at, which are thoughts that come from a place of scarcity and fear. Nothing good comes from scarcity and fear. Scarcity and fear make us draw in and become miserly—and miserable (consider the connection of these two words). If I lose weight from scarcity and fear, I have to beat myself up and threaten myself. I’ve never lost weight from a place of scarcity and fear and kept it off for very long.
The opposite of scarcity and fear is abundance mentality. From a place of abundance, I am constantly giving of everything good that I have because I will never run out. If I give love, more love is grown. If I give time, my investment is multiplied and if I give support, well, you get the picture. All good comes from a place of abundance. With my weight loss, rather than threatening myself, my thoughts are that I love myself enough to lose 5 lbs a month. From a place of abundance, I know I am smart enough to figure out whatever it takes to do that. I am generous with myself. I love myself enough to feel my feelings instead of eating them. I love myself enough to invest in a class where I can learn more about how to improve myself. I love myself enough to be absolutely certain I am going to honor a commitment I made to myself at the beginning of this year to lose 5 lbs a month. Abundance feels amazing and luxurious and warm and like love. I want abundance running through all the parts of my life at all times.
In that vein, I want abundance running through all of my relationships. That speech I gave when I was 27 came from naiveté and idealism, but it also came from abundance. One of the most often quoted lines from Ghandi is “Be the change you want to see in the world.” If I want a world where I am reaching down from my 49 years of wisdom to lift up another woman who needs a hand, I can only achieve that from a place of abundance and love—of myself, of my fellow women, of the world. There’s no room for the scarcity and fear that runs throughout the place people like to call “reality”. Choose your reality and make it one from abundance. Give it all to reach down and lift someone else up and you’ll see you have even more to give the next person who needs it.