Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared.
As a mother and psychotherapist, I talk about the idea of abundance with both my children and clients. So much unhappiness comes from thinking that there is only a limited supply of beauty, talent, intelligence, etc. in the world. However, when we feel like we have enough, we are able to lift up those around us and be truly happy for other people’s success and good fortune. This sense of abundance breeds self-acceptance and greater empathy to those around us.
How do we cultivate a feeling of abundance?
1. Practice Gratitude. “If you look at what you have in life, you will always have more. If you look at what you don’t have in life, you will never have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey
When my kids were small, part of our bedtime routine included sharing a few things that made us feel happy and good during the day. This orientation towards gratitude has helped my kids to be appreciative, and see the glass as half full even when there have been setbacks or difficult moments.
2. What story are you telling yourself? Our narratives matter, and if we want to create a feeling of abundance we need to reframe things when our focus centers on things being unfair or on our having gotten the short end of the stick. Recognizing we are in the driver’s seat and that we have agency over our lives really helps to augment the feeling of abundance.
3. Random Acts of Kindness
Seek out opportunities to help others in big or small ways. Whether that is helping someone carry their groceries, volunteering in a food pantry, or delivering food to someone who is ill, these acts will cultivate a feeling of abundance and an awareness of the good in our lives.
Here’s to Your Well Being,
Aliza Mendel, LCSW