I attended a spiritual retreat at the end of January. As a leader who empowers women to adopt a growth mindset, I practice what I preach by staying curious and learning new ways of doing things. Two days centered on intense meditation and manifestation certainly fit the bill. The weekend was amazing. I met new people and overcame limiting beliefs by performing with my crystal singing bowls for a room full of people. I made a new friend who has helped me book a speaking opportunity for a professional women’s network. The most important thing I walked away with, however, was a new affirmation.
I am abundant in all ways. Everything I need comes perfectly to me. I will be the first to admit (and HAVE on many occasions) that I used to roll my eyes at affirmations. They felt silly and inauthentic to say. The exercise became downright preposterous if I tried to speak them to my reflection in the mirror. When I stop to consider Pavlov’s dog, it doesn’t seem so far-fetched. Affirmations re-wire our brains. Positive, uplifting words reinforce a positive mindset, sending feel-good hormones throughout our bodies. They shift our perspective on the world. They silence that inner critic always ready to spew acidic thoughts. I'm rarely prescriptive in my writing, but humor me. Try this on for size: Say out loud, "I am determined to have a bad day." As ridiculous as that idea may seem, how does it make you feel in your body? Perhaps deflated, shoulders hung low, frown on your face, pit in your stomach.
Follow it up with “I am determined to have a good day!” Did that bring a smile to your face? Even if you don't believe it, does your heart feel more full, maybe optimistic at the possibility that it could be true? That is how it feels for me to use affirmations. I may not believe them at the time, but my heart and soul carry an optimism that propels me to see how things might turn out.
Now, to break down the affirmation I’ve been using:
I am abundant in all ways.
I have struggled with the concept of “abundance mindset” for years now. The root chakra manages financial beliefs and I grew up idolizing a grandmother with a scarcity mindset. Many Gen Z-ers recognize this given our grandparents’ experience with the Great Depression. We’re taught to save every dollar for the future, hoarding them away like Gollum's precious ring. Because of a lifetime of conditioning, abundance has always translated to greed in my mind. I have worked very hard in recent years to shift my perspective on abundance. I know it extends far beyond Benjamins and that my own life is overflowing with treasure of all kinds.
I look outside and see twenty acres of beautiful landscape, surrounded beyond our fence by more rolling hills. I open the pantry and see enough food to fill my belly, even if it just meant a meal of black-eyed peas. I have enough free time on “no-meeting Mondays” to drive to twenty homes in my area and deliver free meals to those who can’t afford them otherwise. Abundance is present in my life, even when my well-trained brain claws for security. Choosing this mantra (I am abundant in all ways) serves to embody this idea rather than focus solely on financial wealth. I simply want to overcome the “lack” mindset that comes from a lifetime of being conditioned to squirrel things away.
Since repeating this affirmation daily and writing it down in my morning journal, I have booked two new speaking opportunities and been promoted at work. Do I credit these magic words?
I also seized micro-opportunities that came my way. I could have dismissed the email my new retreat friend sent encouraging me to apply for one of her company's webinar slots. I could have seen the job opening and assumed I was too new or too unqualified to throw my name in hat. Nothing that has happened is by sheer coincidence.
Now for the second half: Everything I need comes perfectly to me.
At first glance, this sentence makes my anti-greed brain interpret it as dripping with privilege. Plenty of people want better for their lives and are met with obstacles at every turn. Human trafficking victims. Children born into extreme poverty. Marginalized communities.
Said repeatedly each day from the heart, however, this sentence has taken on a much different meaning. The word “need” is the key.
I don’t “need” the income from my side hustle (an idea I’ve been gripping tightly for the last few months). I make plenty at my corporate job. What I needed was a new perspective, and that came in the form of a well-timed book recommendation. I don't "need" to be all things to all people with The Brave Kind. I've been so scared to "niche down" for fear of missing the opportunity to help someone. Reserving my heart energy for weekend retreats, however, means attendees get the fullest expression of me, and career gets to flourish the rest of the time. As an added bonus, I get to refer my amazing friends who are also credentialed in the services I once offered.
Like the old Garth Brooks song about unanswered prayers, there are plenty of times where I wanted something to happen that was never part of the bigger plan. There are seasons where I slogged through the mud, fearful I'd never break the surface to bloom into a stunning lotus. Now I see that those needs were just wants, and that all the money in the world couldn't fill up an empty heart.
Abundance is simply defined as "a large quantity of something." The things that bring me joy - words, friendships and love - are too numerous to count. And now that I affirm it each and every day, everything I need comes perfectly to me. Because I know if it doesn't, it wasn't meant for me.