We are back again, following Kevin Schoeninger’s messages on Spiritual Growth Monthly. This week, Kevin continues on the issue of Life’s Big Questions, and considers the question “how can I be more abundant”.
What struck me immediately about this question was that it is about being abundant, rather than having or gaining abundance. In our common cultural viewpoint, we may feel grateful for the abundance we already have, or we look at abundance as something we must strive for. It may even be something we think other people can achieve, but not us. Hardly ever, though, do we hear that abundance is a state of being.
It reminds me of an old maxim that you have to be a friend to find a friend. Maybe abundance is like that. Maybe it’s more than just an attitude that colors how we look at the world. Maybe it is more about who we think we are.
Kevin addresses our western attitude that abundance equals money. But of course, money is something we have or don’t have. So if we want to be abundant, that must exist beyond what we own. And maybe whatever we choose to be is what determines what we have, both now and in the future.
Kevin calls this idea a fundamental principle…that “your consciousness shapes your experience.” Now sometimes the very word “consciousness” can throw people off. So Kevin offers an easier way to think about it. Think of your perception, your perspective. Think about your point of view.
If you have a family, or have ever shared living space, you are sure to have experienced how our perception determines our daily experience. One person looks around a room and sees a mess, while another person thinks everything looks fine, and wonders why on earth the first person gets worked up about it. Or maybe your five year old, who has been playing in the dirt outside, sees no reason to take a bath. A little dirt is fine from his perspective, even if mom doesn’t see it that way.
The reason perspective is so important, Kevin explains, is that it determines what possibilities we see existing in the world. What we see as possible, and what we think is important, are what determine what action we take, and action is how we share the abundance of ourselves and our talents, to create more abundance in our lives.
Just as our perspective about household clutter determines whether or not we’ll get up and fix it, our perspective about any action we take depends on whether we feel the action is worth taking, or if we can achieve some desired result.
Kevin offers five steps, to help us change our perspective about what is possible, and spur us into what he calls “inspired action.”
1. “Value Who You Are and What You Bring To Others.” Part of being abundant means that we feel we have value and can add something positive to the world. When we feel we have gifts to share, and believe our efforts will be productive, we take the steps needed to receive gratitude, love or paid compensation in return.
2. “See the World as Full Of Possibilities.” It is hard to take action if you feel your efforts will be futile. The more possibilities you believe exist, the more new doors you will recognize opening, and the more inspired you may feel to move in unexpected directions.
Seeing possibilities helps you look beyond difficulties, or understand how you learn and grow when life gets tough. Without those possibilities, difficulties are all you can see. When you expect possibilities, you see them as opportunities, rather than obstacles in your way.
3. “Be Bold in Your Vision.” To give abundantly and live abundantly, we need to have a vision of what we want to experience or achieve in our lives. I really love Kevin’s way of explaining this…”A vision gets you up off the couch.”
This is why clutter and depression can be so effective in blocking actions we might take otherwise. It makes us feel that there are no dreams out there, and nothing to take action for. Or we may even feel so overwhelmed that hiding on the couch becomes all we really want.
The encouraging thing is that even taking a few steps gives us confidence to dream of bigger steps and bigger visions of what might be. The bigger and bolder the vision, the more action we take and the braver we feel.
4. “Make a Plan and Take One Action Every Day.” I don’t know what it is about the human experience that makes us feel we have to do everything at once, but it seems to be a common theme. Promises of drastic weight loss and get rich schemes all prey upon our desire to have everything now.
At the same time management experts tell us to break our huge challenges down into doable tasks, and check them off one at a time. They encourage people to do that for one simple reason…it works.
Kevin suggests we move toward our desired vision the same way. Taking one step every day keeps our momentum going so we don’t lose our focus or our direction. And eventually, one step a day gets us toward our goal.
5. “Trust that Life Has a Bigger Plan.” Even if believing this idea is difficult, Kevin asks us to consider “what if” it were true. Would we be more confident about our dreams and actions? Would we recognize our abundance more easily? How would we approach each day if we really trusted that Life watches over us, and has an ultimate plan?
Have you ever had the experience when everything seemed to be going wrong, only later to realize that missing out was really a blessing? Have you ever caught yourself feeling happy that things turned out the way they did, because otherwise you would not have had this better opportunity, or met that wonderful person you chose to spend your life with? Maybe Life looks out for us far more than we know.
These are only some highlights from Kevin’s article, and I encourage you to read the complete post. He has much more to share, including how taking these steps…from changing his perspective about his value and his work to the daily actions he took…led to family vacations in Maui. That sounds like a point of view worth trying. Check it out at www.spiritualgrowthmonthly.com.
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