On abundance

It will come to no surprise to you that I’m a bit of an anxious person. I think we all are, actually, and that anxiety just manifests in different ways. For me, it means that my brain is constantly about ten paces ahead of reality. I remember getting praised for this when I was first learning to play the saxophone: my instructor said, “Jacob, do you see how while Faith is playing that B flat, she’s already reading the next measure?” It made me a great musician and a highly productive person, but incredibly bad at being present and mindful. 

I do a lot of small things to chip away at this. A daily three-minute meditation, yoga once a week, and this writing practice. But my brain is still constantly cycling on: what’s next? And after that? And after that?

I landed on the word “abundance” while I was making my budget this month. I’m making more money than I’ve ever made in my life right now, and I still spend an hour every month trying to cut costs and squeeze more out of my budget. It’s nuts how money is like that: we get what we dreamed of and still want more. 

Anyway, I was doing that, trying to figure out how to have more sooner, when it came to me: there is so much more to come. More money, more trips, more experiences, more life than any two- or ten-year budget spreadsheet could ever account for. 

I’ve realized that a lot of my anxiety—the kind that makes it hard for me to live in this moment—comes from a scarcity mindset. I need to do everything now, because what if I can’t do it later? Yeah, of course that’s true. We all know life is short. But what if it’s also long? What if we’ll also have more time and resources than we’ve ever dreamed of? 

I started telling myself “there’s so much more to come” in almost every moment of my day. When I’m on a run and my splits are abysmal: there’s more to come. You’ll have another chance this weekend. When I’m exhausted at the end of the day and have to cancel plans: there’s more to come. My friends will still be there and will still love me next month. When I get swindled by an Instagram ad and am about to buy an item of clothing because it’s on sale and what if I miss it? There’s so much more to come, Faith. You’ll always be able to buy a pair of shoes if you need them. 

Re-centering my mindset around abundance has been totally freeing. And an unexpected consequence: I also feel more generous. With my time, with my money, even with my attitude. “I don’t have time for this shit” when I get stuck behind a slow driver has become “you know what? Yeah, that’s fine.” 
Listen, I know this could go two ways. I could be sitting here in ten years telling you that living abundantly made me rich and totally content. Or I could be paying off a hundred maxed out credit cards and getting walked all over ‘cause your girl lived a bit too abundantly. Only time will tell.

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