How Abundant Is Your Life, Really? Here's Your Abundance Assessment
Manifest the year of your dreams by going inward. Renew You 2017 is a month of mindfulness during which we’ll share content that guides you to create a deeply rooted intention for the new year. We’ll help you navigate inevitable obstacles with the latest science on habits, motivation, ritual, and more, and equip you with tried-and-true techniques to outsmart even the toughest inner critic.
Welcome to Day 3 of your weeklong guided introspection. By now you have a better understanding of where your body is energetically and how you got to where you are in life. In one more examination of the inner world before we start thinking about the future, today is about abundance. This is an important exercise because in whatever we resolve to achieve, doing it from a place of love and fulfillment is key to success. It's simple: You cannot overflow from an empty cup.
Abundance includes finances, of course, but it's so much more than money. According to trusty Merriam-Webster, abundance is a very large quantity of something. Most of us will have a little bit of a lot of things instead of a massive volume of one thing. You feel like you belong to a community at your yoga studio, or have a few great friends you know can count on, and a career that either fulfills you, or pays the bills, or dare we say both?
Conversely, you may feel lacking in some areas. Perhaps you have a great balance sheet but don't feel connected to your friends because you spent most of your time working. In fact, it's rare to feel like nothing is lacking—after all, research shows we're programmed to find what's wrong about a situation—but more often than not, the secret to achieving your goals and inviting abundance is a combination of a mindset shift in the context of your obstacles. This technique, called mental contrasting, has been shown to be more effective than pure positive thinking to help achieve goals.
So as you inevitably think about the future and what lies ahead for the new year, we invite you to make an honest assessment of your abundance inventory by asking yourself these questions and writing the answers in your journal. By seeing what you have and what you need, your goals for this year will be better informed to fill the gap: what you really need.
- Can you point to three or four little things today that made you smile?
- If not, what's missing? Or why aren't you seeing these things?
- Do you generally feel happy or negative when someone close to you succeeds and why?
- What role does your career serve in your life?
- How do you want that to change, if at all?
- Do you like the environment where you live: climate, people, places, and communities around you?
- Does the natural state of your home bring relaxation or stress? What elements bring you relaxation and what brings you unease?
- Do you have one friend you can lean on and trust?
- If the above is true, is there an underlying reason you might feel lacking?
- Do you feel loved? This can be from friends, family, or a lover.
- If you feel lacking when you are indeed loved by some, where does the need for a different kind of love come from?
- Do you feel connected to something greater than yourself? (It can be anything: the ASPCA, your nephew, God—anything larger than and outside of yourself.)
- If not, that's totally normal. What's something you really love? Write it down and use it as a jumping-off point for ways to feel connected.
- Can you point to an example this week where you did something kind for yourself? Examples include taking a yoga class, taking that extra five minutes in the shower, or having a mindful meal.
- What is one simple thing you can do every week just for you?
After taking a look at these questions, what is it that you imagine yourself lacking and keep asking yourself why. This could lead to some huge insights that can help you in achieving your goals. For example:
- I feel like I'm lacking in free time to take care of myself. Why?
- Because I spend all of my spare time working. Why? None of your friends or family have to do that; they all have enough time to hang out, get dinners, sleep in, etc.
- Because my job is more demanding than theirs, and I want to make a good impression. Aha. Why do you feel like you won't make a good impression if you set reasonable boundaries that allow you to hang out with your friends?
- Because I don't feel like going above and beyond is enough. Why are you hiding behind your work and your time?
- Because I don't feel like I am enough. Why?
From here, there's usually an event from childhood or deep-set insecurity that's firmly tied to our feelings of abundance. Obviously, we cannot change what has happened in the past, but it's helpful to have an awareness of how it's affecting our lives. Once we know that it's a childhood insecurity affecting how we feel about work or love, for instance, we can release that habit and act intentionally to manifest something that's more in line with what we desire.
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