An Abundant Life ~ Chapter I

This hangs on my Inspiration Board to always remind me of abundance.
 {Just a reminder, if you haven't entered my giveaway, here's the link ~ Simply Inspired Giveaway. Don't miss out on the fun :) }

Abundance. If you were to turn on the news or pick up the paper, there would appear to be an alarming shortage of it. Lack of food. Lack of decent health care. Lack of cures. Lack of safety. Lack of housing. Lack of money. Lack of kindness. Lack of compassion. Lack of love. It is one of the reasons I neither turn on the news nor subscribe to the paper. Some would say I'm choosing ignorance. Others, I'm burying my head in the sand. I understand both perspectives, but in reality, I am doing neither. Instead I am choosing abundance. I've always said that once the papers and newsmen start to focus on the good, decent and kind in the world... then I'll be happy to watch.

A handmade card from my sister Chantal: Rwanda. I cherish this one.
 I don't need to see a news report on another suicide bomber to know people are dying. Or to view another info-mercial of starving children to know they exist. I definitely don't need another recap of a brutal home invasion/murder/rape to encourage fear. I lived in fear. I won't go back. (Words of Hope) I choose not to fight anything. No fight against cancer, hunger, drugs, violence. I've learned that what you resist, persists, (a personal mantra of mine) and I know this is true from having lived it so profoundly. I resisted fear, terror and panic for years which only resulted in multiplying it tenfold. Once I accepted it was there, only then could my life begin to change.

I accept that there are starving people all over the world. I acknowledge it. Anger, indignation, worry, alarm, complaining, ranting, raving, how do these emotions feed people? The reality is, they don't. What they do do is add more of that low and negative energy to the world, which already has more than enough. If I feel compelled to make a difference, and I do, what can I do to support the opposite, or the ideal? I choose a solution. Each week I add a couple of extra items to the shopping list and add it to a bin in a corner of my home. When the bin is overflowing with organic, healthy foods it gets dropped off at the local food bank. Why organic? After all, I could get 3 loaves of nutrition less white bread for the same price I pay for a jar of peanut butter. I decided I will give to others what I would give to myself, or my family. "They" are no less worthy of health and decent nutrition than my daughters. So instead of fighting hunger, I support  the nourishment of as many people as I can. I support abundance.

My sister Jeanine from Rwanda. In her letter she says to me "Me and my family are okay. We used to be the poorer but the support you gave me helped us much. "
 I know injustice and atrocities are committed against women everyday, everywhere. Fight it? Nope. Instead I support Women for Women International. Each month I donate $27.00 and a letter to a sister across the world. Rwanda, Uganda, Afghanistan. That little bit of money supports education, encouragement, job skills and confidence to women who lost family due to genocide and war. Less than a dollar a day and it changes lives. And then sometimes I get a treasure in return in the form of a photograph or a letter which most always brings tears to my eyes and joy to my heart.. Their gratitude is overwhelming and we are truly sisters.

Unemployment and poverty. I won't waste my energy complaining, that would only be resisting, which in turn would create more of the same.  Instead, I support Kiva. Loans that change lives. To date we have made 36 loans and there is enough money in our "account" right now to make 5 more. For at least a year or two we haven't spent a penny to do it. Our money gets repaid in small increments and we just turn it over into new business endeavors. The girls love to choose the recipient, only focusing on the things that we support (I'm sorry to say that the guinea pig farmer did not get receive our donation that month! ;)

Chantal (the one who made the lovely card) said to me in one letter ~" I am fine, problems have decreased since I got to know you. My cow is healthy, my children are safe, get good grades at school."
 I used to thrive on angry energy. You never wanted to do battle with me. I was quick thinking, rational, reasoning, cold and I could shatter your argument to bits and leave you reeling. Once upon a time, that felt like victory to me. I was fearsome in a verbal fight, the energy fed my ego like nothing else. Now, I choose peace, in abundance. How? By not engaging Jordan (the great resister! ;) when she's looking for a fight. By not engaging my husband when his energy is low and he's threatening to pull me under with him. By walking away when my dear brother is in a foul mood and looking for trouble (he was a worthy adversary in a verbal fight!) By not gossiping or bickering. By learning that I don't have to speak every thought in my head. By learning some things are better left unsaid, by learning I won't die if I keep my mouth quiet. :)

I use all these examples not to toot my own horn, as I know others do much more than me, and I can always do more. I use them to illustrate how I choose support, rather than resistance. Because that shift in perspective is the beginning of abundance. Your thoughts are energy, science has proven that thought alone changes the direction or outcome of experiments.  Those energetic thoughts are either low or high energy, and they directly affect not only those around you, but the entire world. I picture a thought, or an action, as a stone dropped into a lake. That one little pebble doesn't just drop and sink, it creates ripples. Ripples that spread and continue on, even after they become invisible to the eye. My thoughts and actions do the same, they ripple, causing change, as do yours.

Each letter is written in the native language of the woman, and then translated so that I may read it! Sometimes the translation is almost has hard to read as the actual letter! ;)
 One of my first steps in creating abundance in my life was changing the way I thought and interacted.I had to do a major perspective shift. Many (most?) of the people in my life at the time couldn't handle the changes they saw in me. Good or bad, I had become someone else, someone they didn't recognize. This goes for family and friends. I can't give them what they're looking for anymore, commiseration in their anger and all the injustices done against them, real or imagined. I won't share their fury or indignation.  In fact, I probably infuriate them in my attempt to always see the "other side" of a situation. Choosing to live in a higher energy changed  my life in many, many ways. and those closest to me didn't know what to make of the new me. I made/make them uncomfortable, sometimes guilty. Not because of what I say, or judgements I render, but because of what I won't say.

After gossiping/judging/criticizing how do you feel? Temporarily your ego may feel great, inflated with the "phew, at least I'm better/smarter than them". But underneath all of that? I never knew how bad I felt until I stepped out of that vicious cycle. Then I began to know true peace for the first time in my life. Often you have to live what you aren't in order to discover what you are. My life has been a series of that. :)

I open each letter reverently. I imagine a woman much the same as me, yet circumstances have created lives so very different. I imagine her holding a pen and writing words from her heart. I imagine the land and the sun. I imagine the distance this piece of paper traveled to reach me. I know I will probably never visit this land, but I now hold a piece of it in my hands.
 So while many have moved away from me, I've felt others shifting closer. For years I searched for others "like me", knowing they existed... but where? it wasn't until I stopped looking that they quietly made my their way into my life. It wasn't until I realized that I was enough without the validation of others who viewed life the same way that I did. It wasn't until I was truly joyful being alone.

I have found an outlet through blogging. No one here holds any expectations of me or compares me to the Melinda they once knew. I am who I am here and my throat chakra is blissfully, joyfully open and clear. Here I speak my truth. And what is that exactly? Abundance exists. Everywhere, and in all things. It it's real for me, than it can be real for you, should you choose it. Begin with your thoughts for today, for this week. Attempt to do no harm with them. The number one rule in my home? If it isn't kind, don't say it. Easier said than done, but definitely a worthy challenge.

Find a way to support something that yesterday you fought against. Notice the change in your outlook on life, the way your heart opens when your perspective shifts.The world is no longer an ugly/hateful/scary place. People become helpful and kind. Circumstances shift and life begins to flow.

Furaha writes: "I am writing to wish you God's blessings in your life for all that you are doing for me. You are sending me money with which I bought land.... without your help I couldn't afford my  children's fees at school. May God send you natural and spiritual blessings." (Pretty sure I cried when I read this one)
 Try beginning each day with an act of kindness, however small. This works wonders for my energy level. Write a letter, leave a sweet/funny/loving note for a family member to find in the course of their day (one of my favorites!). Do a chore for someone else. Give a compliment. You may find you start searching for ways to extend kindness just to see the smile on someones face, or the joy in their voice. You'll find you love the feeling of lightness that grows in your body.

And that is my first chapter in living in abundance. Not easy, but worth every bit of diligent effort. I'm sorry once again this is so very long. I sat by myself early this morning, as the sun was rising, birds were singing and I let my spirit voice speak. This is what I heard, so this is what I shared. :)

Peace ~ Melinda