Monday, 26 November 2012

Weekly Inspiration: Abundance

“Riches are not from abundance of worldly goods, but from a contented mind.” Mohammed

It’s not easy feeling rich when you have to make ends meet.

It’s tough to be poor worrying about putting enough food on the table for your family and having the money to pay next month’s rent.

As a student back in the 80s, I was badly strapped for cash whilst creating a massive student loan debt, which took me 20 years to pay off.

In those days I never felt particularly well off. Although I wasn’t starving and could afford paying for a roof over my head, there were certain things I could never afford and experience, such as fabulous holidays abroad.

Sometimes I felt disappointed and frustrated; there I was, paying off my debt by working in corporate jobs that made me ill, while others seemed to have a whale of a time buying large houses, driving luxury cars and going on fancy holidays and weekend breaks twice a year.

Thankfully, I never felt envious; I was just wondering, how these people managed to afford those expenses.

Today I know they took out massive debts to feed their desire to have it all and “to keep up with the Jones’s”.

Now that I’ve entered the second half of my life, I am far more relaxed about money (lack of) and possessions.

I have learned that freedom is more important to me, and that means owning less. Get rid of the clutter, and you’re as free as a bird.

Every time I give another charity bag away, I feel lighter and relieved.

I prefer to upcycle, make my own, buy second-hand; no longer interested in that mass produced rubbish from China. Love vintage stuff found in charity shops and thrift stores.

If you feel poor or you think you miss out compared to others, look around you and see what you have that money can’t buy:

love, health, freedom, friendships, wisdom, time, intelligence, dreams and yes, happiness

Feeling happy is your choice despite your circumstances.

You own more treasures than you think you do; look around you and recognise them.

Here are some ways to help you feel rich without money, which I have practiced over the years:

Create abundance in your life by letting go of material desires you cannot afford.

Stop being a slave to materialism.

Live within your means.

Don't be fooled by advertising. You really don't need all that stuff.

Enjoy the simple pleasures.

Have a few good friends in real life and nurture those friendships. The hundreds or thousands of friends you have collected on Facebook are quite literally just virtual (except the handful of them you know in reality).

Be grateful for your health. In fact, be grateful for all the treasures you have that money can’t buy.

Let nature cheer you up - plants, forests, the sea, animals, the weather, the sky, the moon and the stars.

Look forward to every new day and the opportunities it may offer you.

Love yourself and your body.

Spread an abundant amount of love.

Be part of and contribute towards your local community. Hard times can be a great opportunity to get together with people for mutual support and strengthen community spirit.

There is no need for expensive Christmas gifts, not even for your children. They need to learn that life doesn't depend on obtaining the latest gadget or made-to-measure trainers. Help them to escape the consumerism trap, so they can live happier lives.

Enjoy what you have while you pursue what you want.

But having a mindset of abundance doesn't mean belittling poverty.

It doesn't mean you should be content with living below the poverty line and have no aspiration to better yourself.

Yes, I know from my own experience that it is truly tough to be poor, but counting your blessings with a positive mindset despite hardship will make it easier to find a way out of poverty than resignation, blaming others, envy and bitterness.

Warmest wishes,


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