“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.