Not surprisingly, scarcity thinking came up during the Wealth Makeover calls last week. One common concern was how to meet financial setbacks without going into scarcity thinking.
During the calls we talked about the essential wholeness and wellbeing that is our factory default as human beings. How we are each an expression of and participant in the dance of creation, part of the formless energy or intelligence out of which everything arises and to which everything returns.
We talked about how the experience of scarcity or abundance is a function of thought, not circumstances. Consider how easy it is to be elated about getting a new client only to be deflated moments later by comparing yourself to someone else in your field.
Or how a funk about not being able to afford to travel more can give way to a wave of gratitude as you contemplate something you love about your home.
If you reflect for just a minute on your own experience, you can readily see that what seems like more than enough money in one moment can seem woefully inadequate in the next and vice versa as your thinking about your circumstances changes.
We live in the feeling of our thinking, not our circumstances.
At first blush it might seem that a smart approach to being happy and prosperous would be to manage your thinking. Think happy thoughts, have a happy life. Think prosperous thoughts, have a prosperous business.
In other words, just say no to scarcity thinking.
But it doesn’t work that way. (Besides, when you think about it, it’s kind of superstitious, don’t you think?)
It’s said that we have upwards of 80,000 thoughts a day. We notice and track only a tiny fraction of those. It’s simply not possible to manipulate your thinking to create the experiences you want.
Fortunately it’s also unnecessary.
You don’t have to fear scarcity thinking precisely because it is just thinking. And thinking can’t damage the wellbeing that is your factory default. At most it can only obscure it temporarily.
When you see that all that is going on when you’re afraid, angry, or insecure is that you’re experiencing your thinking, you can relax a bit, even though the experience may be quite intense.
When you remember that you are the thinker, you don’t need to fear the content of your thinking.
When you don’t fear or struggle with the content of your thinking, your mind is free and open to new thought, including the insight, wisdom, and common sense to live peacefully and well.
And that’s why you don’t need to fear scarcity thinking.
Photoy by Images of Money
We’ve all had friends who repeat romantic mistakes.
You may know a dreamy-eyed romantic who confuses surface and substance. Or perhaps your friend is a sad-eyed victim who sees deception and shallowness behind the face of every prospective mate.
From where you sit, it’s easy to see where they go wrong. Their preoccupation with attaining happiness or avoiding disappointment overrides their innate wisdom and common sense. Dazzled by dreams of the future or blinkered by the memory of past disappointment, they can’t see clearly in the present.
The same thing happens when it comes to money. We may be dazzled by visions of wealth, spend more than we can afford, make shaky investments, or buy into the latest scheme for making money online or off. On the other hand, fear of financial insecurity may cause us to shut down. When that happens, we deny ourselves even small pleasures or starve our businesses because we are afraid to invest in equipment, training, or help.
Just as with romance, when it comes to money preoccupation with attaining happiness or avoiding disappointment overrides your innate wisdom and common sense.
Whether we’re talking about love or money, the problem is rooted in a fundamental misunderstanding: the fallacy that your happiness and wellbeing depend on outside circumstances. And because it doesn’t work that way, the harder you try to manage your circumstances to get what you want or avoid what you don’t want, the farther away you get from the very experience of security that you seek.
And the less secure you feel, the more confused your thinking becomes, and the less access you have to the wisdom and common sense you need to make good decisions in the first place.
But as soon as you stop looking outside of yourself for happiness and wellbeing, your thinking begins to clear. You feel secure, because you are secure. Because you don’t need external circumstances to be one way or another in order to be okay, you don’t argue with reality, and you see your circumstances more clearly.
And when you see your circumstances clearly, you naturally make better decisions. And then, don’t you know, your circumstances tend to improve. It’s a virtuous circle.
If you’re reading this, odds are that getting rich isn’t your top priority, but even though your humanity is vastly more important than your bank account, you may be living with confusion, anxiety, and feelings of powerlessness around money.
If that feels accurate to you, I invite you to join me for Authentic Wealth, a seven week virtual retreat, a teleconference-based experience designed to shift your relationship to money and wealth. Click here to learn more about Authentic Wealth.
Growing from money by Aaron Patterson
Broken Heart by Loretta Stephenson
According to UNESCO, in 2012, 6,385,982,746 around the world went to the movies. That’s over six billion willing participants in agony, ecstasy, and everything in between.
Because we know that our wellbeing is not at stake, when we go to the movies we willingly, even eagerly, give ourselves over to a whole gamut of emotions, including emotions we might actively recoil from in our daily lives.
Life is like a movie
In a very real sense, we live in movies of our own making. Our thoughts are like reels of film brought to life by the projector of consciousness. That’s why two people can share the same circumstances, yet experience entirely different realities.
One person cringes in the rain, another dances.
It’s why our own experience of a situation can change dramatically with a flickering change of thought. One moment we can be ecstatic about a new project, the next we are paralyzed by the same opportunity.
It’s magical, really. Marvelous. Through thought and consciousness we participate in an ongoing dance of creation, one that is continually producing movies that surprise and delight us.
And that can sometimes scare the crap out of us.
The dance of creation produces some upsetting movies
Sometimes the dance of creation gives rise to upsetting movies, movies which produce experiences we would rather not have. I mean experiences we really and truly do not want.
Intense anxiety, jealousy, and frustration, for example.
But consciousness is the most effective projector imaginable. Because it recruits all of our perceptions, as human beings, we have full bodied, wholehearted experiences of our thinking, not puny impressions of it.
So it is that knowing an experience is produced by a movie of our own making doesn’t make the experience go away. In reality, being human means getting lost in a movie from time to time.
The point is not to avoid getting lost in a movie. The point is to realize that we don’t need to be afraid of what happens when we do get lost.
Even when you’re lost, it’s still a movie
Even when you get so caught up in a thought-generated movie that you can’t seem to get out from under your feelings, it’s still a movie.
Even though you can’t change the reel or stop feeling what you feel, it’s still a movie.
And when you remember that it’s a movie, no matter how crappy or scary your experience may be, you realize you don’t have to get rid of it, change it, or fear it.
You can let it be.
Wait! Shouldn’t you change the film?
When you’re lost in the movie, the best thing you can do is let it be.
The idea that you should change the film reinforces the belief that what you experience in the movie can actually harm you.
And odds are that if you try to change your thinking, running a new film over the top of the old, the projector will jam, leaving you feeling even more stuck, trapped, and victimized by your experience.
But when you understand that all that is happening is that you’re caught up in a very real seeming movie, you can relax a bit. Your experience may not go away, and you still won’t like it, but you won’t be terrorized because you are having it.
As you relax, your sense of innate wellbeing will return, and your wisdom will gradually reassert itself. Your thinking will settle, and in time the movie will change of its own accord.
You don’t have to feel okay to be okay
Understanding the nature of the human experience doesn’t protect you from having one.
Realizing that you’re caught up in a movie doesn’t mean that the movie won’t affect you, but it does mean that no matter what is happening on the screen, you are always safe in your seat.
And remembering these things will remind you that you don’t have to feel okay to be okay.
You might as well enjoy the show.
As a coach I point my clients in the direction of their innate wellbeing. As their understanding of the spiritual principles behind the human experience deepens, their joy increases. They act with greater ease, creativity, grace, and wisdom.
If this resonates and you’d like to have a conversation to see if we are fit, click here to visit my coaching page and schedule an interview.
Photo by Sam Howzit via Flickr
If you are reading this, you’ve probably thought a fair amount about how to promote your work. My guess is that some of that thinking has been fraught with feelings ranging from queasiness to outright disgust.
As if that weren’t uncomfortable enough, you probably feel pressure to make the right choices, not to mention pressure to follow through on those choices, whether you want to or not.
This article is about finding your way through the noisy landscape of self promotion so that you can make wise choices, feel good about them, and thrive.
Maybe you shouldn’t think about it.
It just makes sense that smart choices begin with smart thinking. But sometimes thinking about how to promote yourself is the worst thing you can do.
When you’re wrapped around the axle, running in circles, stuck in your stuff (or is it just me?), the more you try to think of the right thing to do, the more confused you become.
Then, if you happen to think that you shouldn’t be confused or that you can’t afford to be confused, you may find yourself dodging fear, shame, resentment–or any number of negative emotions that ride on the coattails of confusion.
Need I point out that your thinking in moments like these is less than helpful? (more…)