Living in Abundance

“Just one mental shift–focusing on the abundance of your environment— switches your psychological settings so that your life automatically improves in many areas you may think are unrelated.”

Martha Beck, O Magazine- April, 2009

I can witness to the truth of this statement. (I’d raise my right hand, but then I couldn’t type. )

When I first (and finally!) began my downward weight spiral three years ago, I knew some thought process had shifted. I wasn’t “on a diet”. I wasn’t denying myself. I wasn’t expecting huge levels of progress in short amounts of time.

Instead, my focus had shifted to all the abundance in my life that would enable me to achieve better health. I had access to healthy foods, and I could afford them. I was able to exercise (though in small doses in the beginning) and move my body, all limbs accounted for and not limited by infirmity. I was free to choose my own actions and reactions to life events.

Suddenly, those same areas that were a problem in previous weight loss attempts (parties, work stresses, Little Debbie Swiss Rolls everywhere I turned, etc.) became symbols of the abundance in my life! What a concept! Viewing those “obstacles” as, well, gifts helped me see that I also had an abundance of ability, that I was more than capable of making good choices. (Good, meaning the best choice at the time, not necessarily the perfect choice.) Exercise wasn’t something to be endured; it was celebration of a body that works!

And so on and so on… We all know that how we look at life affects how we LIVE it. So why did I spend so many years looking at from the opposite viewpoint? So many reasons, so little time.

In her book The Joy Diet, the aforequoted Martha Beck likens it to “starving while at a banquet table loaded with delicacies.” And then she quotes Derek Walcott’s poem “Love after Love”, which I include here in its entirety:

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.

Gives me shivers every time I read it, and it has me hyper-focused on taking time each day (hour, moment, etc.) to be grateful for the abundance in my life. It’s a habit to be cultivated with care.

Do you see the abundance in your life? How do you celebrate it?

Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.
Wayne Dyer

19 thoughts on “Living in Abundance

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  2. Cammy, I absolutely LOVE that poem! Yes, sends shivers down the spine!

    I just read somewhere else recently about this way of looking at celebrating that you can move & work out & eat well & do good things for yourself & your body vs. making it a chore. Makes all the difference!

    Thx for sharing!

  3. All very true. So my questions for you are these:

    Are (Americans) we in a crisis of abundance?

    Are we in a crisis of perception?

    Are we in a crisis of both?

    I argue both, and I do mean “crisis” to the fullest of its meaning.

  4. Thank you for this thoughtful post. Very insightful. I think I’m just beginning to come to that point where I’m reaching that paradigm shift. I see through new eyes. What used to seem normal, now seems crazy. I like this place. I like myself better, too.

  5. Loved reading this post! I love how you talked about “now you can buy healthy food, and afford it” instead of thinking what you can’t have. 😀

  6. Much to my dismay I realized that for some reason my reader was no longer picking up your blog posts! I’ve rectified that and I find an abundance of great posts to read!

    I’m so with you on being grateful for the abundance we have in our lives.

  7. I agree that we can look at the things we have in ourlives which allow us to move and be healthy as abundances. I sometimes even get a kick out of the sound of the bubbles in my big Alhambra bottle as I am filling up my bottles for the gym. I belong to a big, beautiful, air conditioned gym where I can workout in comfort and even take a steam or a shower if I choose. I (sometimes) can afford fresh raspberries which I eat one by one enjoying each precious fruit for the jewel that it is.

    And yesterday I ordered a new summer dress from Land’s End because it went on sale and I got free shipping! Now that is a celebration.

  8. Great post and a beautiful poem.

    I take great delight in the abundance of little every day things around me. There was a time when I was so busy being mom and wife that I didn’t allow myself the luxury of doing so because I was so focused on doing for others.

    Now that I have me myself a priority many things have shifted and the entire family has benefited.

  9. That’s a cool poem. I can’t say that I have looked at weight loss so much in this way, but I have to admit there’s something to it. I’ll have to give it some thought. My current way of thinking sure isn’t taking the weight off and keeping it off.

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. so true! the way i practice it in my own life is appreciating the little things, for example taking the time to run outside and see a rainbow after the rain, loving the weeds in my garden and flower beds (right before i pull them) as much as the plants that i intended to be there, appreciating a moment of camaraderie at work, and more so appreciating a loving moment at home.

  11. Thanks for sharing this – I need to look into the Joy Diet – I’m really convinced that it’s been great for my mind (and my weight) to mix a focus on pleasure/relaxing into my weight loss efforts these past few years!

  12. O gosh, you’ve just summed up what my new blog is about! That shift has just recently happened to me and I’m absolutely reveling in it. Great post! I must add the Martha Beck book to my reading list.

  13. Im late to this one but adored it and had to comment anyway.

    I also love martha beck
    seeing her speak in person changed my life—-and I dont say that lightly.

  14. Better late than never! Have spent the evening surfing, looking for more inspiration and education and I came across this post. It goes hand in hand with where I am at exactly at this moment. However, I am still getting reaquainted with the lady in the mirror and not quite ready to peel her image off the mirror–though I did give her a hug today. lol That stranger and I have come a long way in the past few weeks! Thanks again for all your support!

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  16. I’m even later to this one! :-) I just started reading your blog, Cammy, and there’s so much good stuff! I linked here from your post today (nearly 6 months later), and it is so true for me. (And what I needed to remind myself of, yet again. Sometimes I’m slow like that. 😉

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