Abundance Consciousness – How Minimalism Makes It Unexpectedly Better
The most recent Serve Conscious podcast episode was about living with an abundance mentality. The concept might have seemed more controversial than I first considered and probably would have benefitted from a more thorough explanation of what it is and what it is not. In case there are fears that this idea conflicts with your aspirations to lead a humble, or even minimalist lifestyle, I assure you that it’s perfectly compatible. In fact, it’s complementary. Because much of abundance consciousness is about the absence of certain things, namely anxiety around not having enough. But it’s not reckless or wasteful. In fact, it’s conservative: energy is no longer wasted on penny pinching, hoarding, or the management of piles hoarded.
What Abundance Consciousness Is
-Feeling like you are wealthy even if you have very little material means.
-A state of generosity that is not dependent on the amount you have to give. Giving to someone with less makes you appreciate what you have. I always give to the homeless because it feels good. And no matter how little I have at the time, giving a few dollars to someone who needs it more will never bring me closer to a state of poverty.
-A readiness to give what you have to a worthy recipient.
-Having zero expectations of receiving anything directly in return for what you give, while maintaining a trust that life always provides. Creation is the way of the universe. And its resources are boundless.
-This is the opposite of the zero sum game: if others gain, you gain too.
-Seeing the value of everything, whether physical or nonphysical.
What Abundance Consciousness Is Not
-A sense of personal wealth that is measured by material things. Abundance in your life can take the form of love, learning, celebration, friendship, etc.
-Determined by quantity. Abundance means that life can provide what you need…whatever that amount is. Obviously not everyone gets what they need – food, shelter, love, happiness – especially if the sociopolitical climate makes this difficult. The idea is that it’s always possible and your chances of making it a reality are increased if you play by those principles rather than the zero sum game.
-Taking for granted that resources are boundless.
-Frivolity or carelessness with money or other resources.
-Generosity to manipulate others.
-A sense of entitlement to whatever you want.
How Materialism Can Steal Abundance Consciousness
You cannot measure how self-realized you are by your material success. If this sounds inane, I assure you this metric gets used even when you think you’re beyond it. If you feel pretty comfortable with yourself, I’m sure you at least occasionally imagine that you’d be even more comfortable with a self that generates a six-figure income via one of those unbound self-employed lifestyles that permits you to regularly pack your handmade clothing and take off to whatever Asian country was “calling to you” at the time.
The superficial aspects of reality have such a strong pull they can deceive even the most ostensibly awakened – especially in today’s world. In Yogic philosophy, this surface layer is known as “maya”. I know actual spiritual teachers who look down on those having troubles with money. They consider it a product of their own delusions about their worth resulting in a state of “low deserving power.” If they just get on their Dharmic path and unblock their minds (especially if they have blocks around the issue of money), then they’ll attract the wealth they need.
This is a common pratfall of Law of Attraction practitioners. Sure, it’s fine to have a system for attracting what you want in life, but it’s utter delusion to measure success by whatever materially results. Especially since virtually all measurements of “worth” we use are the result of cultural conditioning and have nothing to do with the deeper truth of what we need and the value we can offer the world. For example, if you really want an idyllic country property to run retreats out of, but instead you find yourself broke, displaced and forced to work some unglamorous job to get financially back on track, it’s not because the universe considered you unworthy to get the means to do the kind of work you want. It means that your arena to export your value to the world is presently this unglamorous one. Just because it’s not Instagram-worthy doesn’t mean it isn’t exactly where you need to be to experience maximum personal growth. Things like this have happened to me and resulted in my life finding its truest trajectory – and attracting all kinds of lessons and relationships that could not be materially measured.
Sometimes people are meant to have a lot of money move through their hands, and some are not (barring some dramatic socio-economic upheaval, most people will have to have less money than others). Both types of people have equal potential value to contribute to the world. Both need to remain equally humble and not judge one as more self-actualized than the other.
How Minimalism Finds An Unlikely Ally In Abundance Consciousness
Minimalism is the opposite of hoarding…and so is abundance consciousness. In veering away from greed and material attachment, their mindsets overlap. The inner mental state of a minimalist is automatically an abundance mentality – after all, the less you need, the more you feel you have. Greed is a state of always feeling like you don’t have enough, which is essentially a state of perceived poverty. Misery is experienced through comparing of our lot in life to some imagined place of greater wealth – always framing life by what we don’t have rather than appreciating what you do.
A key quality of abundance consciousness is generosity, and minimalists are especially well-positioned for this. Living minimally frees you to be more generous since you are less likely to want to hold onto anything that you don’t absolutely need for yourself. So, you set it free.
Keeping things simple make you able to be of service – and service celebrates abundance.
Generally, minimalists aren’t bogged down by the excessive “stuff management” that comes with a life of excess and I think this makes them give of themselves in any situation.
When I think of minimalism, I think about eating chocolate with a higher cocoa percentage.
There is less unnecessary (and unhealthy) filler (sugar, milk solids and other horrid things) and therefore you need less of it to be satisfied. Minimal life acquires this certain density of magic. Endless joy can be found in the simplest of things and experiences. I would call that an inner state of abundance.
You know how a big aspiration of many spiritual practices is dissolving that sense that you are lacking in some way? Abundance consciousness is being able to take that sense that you lack nothing and put it into action (however that looks, materially or otherwise).
Anyway, I hope this clears things up. If it doesn’t, and an abundance mentality still sounds unappealing, then it’s probably just your “low deserving power” talking. Just kidding.