I thought I knew what abundance was.
Five years after my divorce, I had rebuilt my life from a two-room rented office and a small rental house to owning my office, the house next door, and a five acre retirement property. I had everything in place to purchase a new rental property each year, and be able to retire on residual income within ten years.
I thought that I was experiencing incredible abundance. The Universe obviously had different ideas on the topic for me to experience.
Within eighteen months, I began a mysterious, disabling pain that led to the loss of all financial gains, and eventually to bankruptcy.
It was in that process that I began to learn another form of abundance.
The first lesson I remember was one bright afternoon while I was feeling incredibly sorry for myself. I was borrowing a friend’s house, with barely enough money to keep food on the table and nowhere near enough to contribute to utilities. As I sat in the dining area, looking out over the lake, I was wallowing in my misery, begging for a miracle from Spirit, trying to understand what I had done so wrong to deserve this.
My miracle came in the form of gentle awakening to awareness. Thankfully, Spirit is very gentle with me when I overlook the obvious.
“Look around you,” the message was spoken into my own spirit, “look at everything you have been given to enjoy.”
It was true. As the scales of self-pity fell away from my eyes, I began to appreciate that I was living blissfully alone in a 3 bedroom, 3 bath lakefront home on over an acre of land, and it wasn’t costing me a penny.
I was awestruck.
In that moment, I had the beautiful understanding that I had not ‘worked for’ or ‘earned’ any of this. My labor had not been required. All that was required was my willingness to appreciate and flow with the opportunities I was being given.
My belief that I had to ‘work hard to get ahead’ didn’t go easily. I kept trying to work my way out of the financial situation I was in, only to get knocked back into the same situation each time. It seemed that the harder I worked, the more I tried to play by societal rules, the farther behind I got.
Gradually, I began to understand. It is not ‘work’ that makes success or abundance, it is being in the flow with Spirit (in whatever form that means for each of us.)
So, I began to flow.
Every time I remembered, I checked in with Spirit to see what was next in the flow for me.
I flowed out of my friend’s loaner house and into my then-boyfriend’s condo.
‘Work’ would not open up for me, though I was well-qualified and interviewed well, so I flowed with allowing myself to be provided for by someone else. My ego wasn’t happy with that one, so that lesson took longer than necessary.
When I finally grasped that lesson in receiving, I got five job offers out of four applications I submitted.
That relationship ran its course and I flowed out of that condo and into a Divinely supplied sublet for a few months.
From there, I flowed into a rented condo, and a few more surprises.
I had fallen back in to ‘working’ my way to freedom. Another lesson, and I flowed into two surgeries in two days.
As I found myself forced to stay out of ‘work’ for seven weeks, I marveled at the abundance in my life.
I had plenty of everything. My friends, my Sweetheart, his mom, and my son made themselves available to help me with my physical needs. Having their help represented enormous emotional, mental, and spiritual abundance as well. There was plenty of food in the house, and I had plenty of funds in the bank to sustain me for the duration of my time off. That was huge abundance in itself, as I had no disability insurance. In addition, the surgeries were completed on the last three days my health insurance was in effect.
Today, I am again awestruck with the wonderful ‘impossibility’ of it all.
I work a part-time job, about 15 hours per week, to cover my basic living expenses. Other than that, my time is spent entirely on my passions. I get to coach, paint, write, meditate, play with my Sweetheart, and otherwise enjoy life. I really don’t know very many people who enjoy that kind of abundance.
Last week I got to go out on the ocean in a boat that isn’t mine, and it didn’t cost me a thing.
Yesterday I got to lounge around a secluded, private pool and enjoy the beautiful Florida weather all by myself. Again, no cost.
Tonight, I get to go to a performance of Madama Butterfly at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center in Orlando. For free. Free parking, free admission, free everything.
The best part? I didn’t have to work for it.
I simply let it all flow to me.
I am basking in deep appreciation of all that is available in my life.
That is my new understanding of abundance.
What is abundance for you?