How to Live an Abundant Life
by HILARY BARNETT
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid."
— Frederick Buechner
How to Live an Abundant Life
Enough is defined as the "adequate for the want or need; sufficient for the purpose or to satisfy desire." What if we lived as if there was enough?
What if we started living out of our abundance, instead of our lack?
What if, at the end of the day, we went to bed completely satisfied with what we had accomplished? What if we allowed the day to breathe a little, made room for possibility, for spontaneity, for whimsy?
What if we chucked our to-do lists, and focused on doing just one small thing that makes us come alive? What if we stopped long enough to notice one single inhale and exhale of our breath, one single heartbeat?
What if we viewed inconveniences as adventures in disguise? What if we practiced patience and compassion, with others and with ourselves?
What if each morning we woke up with expectation and gratitude, knowing how much beauty and goodness one single day can hold?
We are not promised tomorrow. And circumstances can shift on a dime. So let's acknowledge the "enough-ness" of this day.
Here are some ways we can practice the awareness of abundance in our lives.
1. Slow down.
Although our world is spinning at a faster and faster pace, and we are constantly pulled in a million directions, we still crave stillness. It is the one thing we have forgotten to cultivate amid our constant productivity.
When we can stop, slow down, or even focus on one thing at a time, we can see more clearly. We can experience things with from a standpoint of contentment rather than striving. And we can find joy.
2. Choose gratitude.
Happiness is fleeting, and circumstances are always going to change.
Chasing perfection will only leave us wanting. But choosing to be grateful for what is good in our lives right now gives us perspective, and power. It allows us to measure our responses to situations, rather than being controlled by them.
3. Water your own grass.
If you stay busy surveying your own landscape instead of constantly comparing it to others, you will see your sense of lack comes from a distorted view of someone else's reality.
You see their success, their highlight reel, and assume there isn't enough to go around. But that is a lie. Everyone is fighting a hard battle — they all look different.
When you focus on your one "wild and precious life" as Mary Oliver put it, you can get a clearer picture of all the gifts that have been given to you. And you can see there is enough for you too.
4. Reframe your perspective.
It is so easy to look at all the things in your life that seem to be holding you back- the obstacles, the limitations, the circumstances … and feel powerless.
So often our greatest moments come out of our deepest pain, and our most creative work comes from recognizing these obstacles and limitations as gifts in disguise.
"Enough" doesn't mean you have it all — everything you hoped for. It means what you have is sufficient for who you need to be, and what you need to do, right now.
5. Say no to numbing.
There is always room for a little Netflix binge watching, or endless scrolling of social media. Sometimes after a long day, you simply need to disconnect for a bit, have a glass of wine and veg out.
And some delicious fried food and sugar is definitely in order now and again, because, well, YOLO right?
Being an adult is hard, and some days just call for comfort. But so often we can get caught up in a pattern of numbing that doesn't serve us. The world needs you to do the hard thing — that thing you know is waiting for you to, just do it.
And you are never going to get it done re-watching every season of Mad Men. So enjoy your life. But when you notice yourself slipping into a pattern of numbing, stop it. Feel your feelings — sit in them, wallow a bit if you have to. But don't live there.
Life is difficult enough, so let's not make it worse by assuming the moment our feet hit the floor. We are at a disadvantage — let's play offense and not defense.
When you open your eyes in the morning, choose to believe there is enough.
What would that look like for you?