Did you know that love and abundance are actually boundless? I know, it sounds crazy because we, as a society, are trained into a scarcity mindset. Scarcity means “a state of short supply” and we are trained through marketing to believe that there is not enough of, well, anything really.
But, the belief that there is not enough is just not true. This way of thinking can apply to money, love, safety, happiness, certainty, trust, power, etc. Anything you can think of as holding value in your life can be viewed from a mindset of scarcity. And that breeds fear.
When we grow up in a society where we are trained to believe that we must buy products in order to “measure up” to the socially enforced standards, we can begin to believe on a deep level that not only is there not enough love, power, and money to go around, but that we are not enough.
From this fearful belief, we begin to numb ourselves, mask our feelings, and try to use “things” to feel better. We are trained into anxiety and fear and then sold the meds to address our symptoms of anxiety and fear.
Alas, have hope. You don’t have to live this way. Joy can be cultivated and the brain can be retrained. The key to unravelling the fear and scarcity is gratitude. Yes, it takes practice, but there has been a great deal of research done proving the amazing power of a gratitude practice to improve life satisfaction, happiness, joy, creativity, and reduction in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD.
The word appreciate has two meanings: 1.) To have gratitude for 2.) To increase in value. So, when we appreciate what we have, we recognize that what we have is enough. And this grows satisfaction and a deep satisfaction with ourselves and our lives is joy.
“Gratitude is one of the top “strengths” of happy people. When in doubt, go to gratitude. Whenever you have spare time, immerse yourself in gratitude. Whenever your brain is wandering, experience gratitude.” (Larkin, 2008)
When we practice gratitude, we combat the fear and scarcity mindset and we increase levels of joy. Everyone can benefit from a gratitude practice and the practice can be individualized. Some ideas are: a gratitude journal, thinking of something you are grateful for upon waking, sharing something you are grateful for at dinner, ending your day with a focus on what you are grateful for, or going to gratitude when you notice you are feeling stressed, anxious, overwhelmed, fearful, etc.
Scarcity is no way to live. Grow your joy. Try it on this week and see how it feels. I am grateful to be able to share this message and for you to read my musings.
Chat again soon,