Abundance… It’s not a new word, but it’s definitely become a popular mindset. The dictionary defines it as "an extremely plentiful or oversufficient quantity or supply; overflowing fulness, affluence or wealth." I learned about it in the Bible. In the 1990’s, Sarah Ban Breathnach made it popular through her books. I adopted it as a lifestyle about 7 or 8 years ago. My favorite definition… Abundance is not how much I own, it’s how much I appreciate. I knew it was a meaningful and fruitful heart for me, but never imagined how powerful it could be as I shared it with others.
The first time I ever realized it, was when I was a tour guide for a group of mostly senior citizens traveling to British Columbia by bus. I often keep a running list of abundance throughout my day. On this trip there was more than ever to jot down along the way, mainly because of the beautiful scenery. On one particular afternoon, I felt impressed to read my list from the day, as we pulled into the hotel for the evening. As I finished, everybody burst out in applause. I was really quite suprised at their response! The next night someone requested that I please read my list for that day. I had never intended for them to be public but as it turned out, I read the list each evening before we parted ways. It was a great way to recap the day, to remember all the awesome sites we had seen, jokes we had shared, and blessings big and small that had been sent our way. Then one night, after reading my list for that day, I suggested that they write the abundance list for the next day. Each person’s assignment was to find one thing throughout our day together, and at the end of the day, we’d pass the microphone and everyone would share. They, of course, were a bit hesitant and some even good-humoredly complained. The next day’s list, however, was the best ever! Some had written down their abundance so that they would remember. Others had trouble thinking of just one thing and recited 3 or 4. Many spoke through tears. I loved it when some would start by saying, "My abundance is…" They claimed it as their own. We could have heard a pin drop. It was a powerful and meaningful time for everybody!
That experience convinced me to never give up keeping track of the moments that make my life full. When I was asked to write an Abundance stamp set for The Angel Company, the words came easily because it was a way of life. In More Abundance I also added some words from young South African girls that Oprah was interviewing for admittance into her new school. In trying to express her desire to be admitted, one young girl said, "I really, really want to come to your school. A dozen reallys!" ‘A dozen reallys’ and ‘being very much loved’ are both from those interviews and simply communicate the essence of abundance!
Abundance. You may be thinking, "not so much." I can tell you, from personal experience, when you’re not "feeling it", is exactly the time to start noticing the little (even tiny) things that go right. What I write down is anything extra that I did not anticipate in a day. A penny I find on the sidewalk, a beautiful sunrise or sunset, anything that someone gives me (including compliments), an opportunity to have a favorite food, beverage or dessert, a segment of time that I got to do something I enjoy doing (however small). It’s all above and beyond what anyone owes me and I want to appreciate every bit of it! A friend of mine decorated the cover of a little notebook for me to be able to slip into my purse and jot down my list (shown above). I encourage you, in one way or other, to take note of all the good things in your life. Before you know it, you really are living an abundant life!
Have a great weekend!