You may have seen my post on facebook where I shared that I received Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly in the mail. I’m certain that I’ll be writing about it soon. It’s that good.
I’ve only just begun the book but the first chapter is rooted in a topic that, as a leader and a fundraiser, I spent a lot of time absorbing. Brown references a book called The Soul of Money which I must add to my mammoth reading list. It is written by Lynne Twist who is a global activist and fundraiser. The excerpt that was referenced is this:
For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is “ I didn’t get enough sleep.” The next one might be “I don’t have enough time.” Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of. Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are raining with a litany of what we didn’t get, or didn’t get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to that reverie of lack…This internal condition of scarcity, this mind-set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice and our arguments with life.”
What I learned as a leader is that if you think and behave as if we do not or will not have enough, it is not likely that you will. And you will attract other people who are like-minded and achieve outcomes that match the assumptions you have made. Most people want to invest in success and, as a fundraiser, there is always a delicate balance to be found of articulating success coupled with opportunities to invest. Our team was often found grounding ourselves in the good, seeking the silver lining, and making lemonade out of lemons. But it is not easy when our society teaches us to think we have nothing in a community which is overloaded with resources.
Now, as a stay at home mom, I also know that this powerful concept of scarcity transcends roles. Now that I don’t have a professional job, spend most of my days with an eighteen month old and budget for half of the household income we were accustomed to, I see that the same practices I utilized at work, can be used at home. I have learned that the scarcity mentality can be about more than just money…it can be about knowledge, security, power, beauty or really any word that is important to you that you would like to insert into the not enough _______ equation.
And it’s a tough concept to understand. Last night, my son was showing me his rainbow loom bracelets and talking about how so many kids in his class have them. When I suggested that he offer one of his to a child who does not have one, his first response was “I would like to keep them all for myself.” Even after further discussion about how the four bracelets he has were given to him and that the ones he ordered would be here in the mail this week, he still struggled with the concept. But he is thinking about it. It’s not easy but awareness is certainly the first step.
Like so many thoughts and emotions, scarcity and the fear that is associated with it can only overpower when it is invited in…when we empower it to be activated. A recent commentary about scarcity in the NY Times says that it “captures our brains. It reduces our cognitive capacity — especially our abstract intelligence, which we use for problem-solving. It also reduces our executive control, which governs planning, impulses and willpower.”
Twist says “Once we let go of scarcity, we discover the surprising truth of sufficiency. By sufficiency, I don’t mean a quantity of anything. Sufficiency isn’t two steps up from poverty or one step short of abundance… Sufficiency isn’t an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough, and that we are enough.”
How do we train our minds to release this mentality of scarcity? Meditation is one practice I am interested in as a tool for mind and body health. It can provide a wonderful way to engage with abundance. After all, life begins with breath and ends with breath and we breathe more than one hundred million times in our life.
According to The Science of the Breath by Yogi Ramacharaka, “The majority of us are walking around barely breathing. Not even noticing how we are holding their breath while exercising, eating, and yes – even talking. Leaving all of our organs, tissues, and cells (all 75 trillion of them) malnourished and deprived of oxygen. This is a major contributor to anxiety, increased stress, and the beginning of the disease process.” Why would we not learn how to do it well and use it to our advantage?
Breathe in abundance. Abundance of friends, abundance of happiness, abundance of enjoyment, abundance of life.
There is enough. We have enough. You are enough, my friends. You are.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”