The Abundant Life

by - Wednesday, August 01, 2018 ( Views)

“It doesn’t seem like you have any financial troubles at all !!!”

When I was young, visiting friends and family would often make similar remarks.

The food we ate, clothes we wore and the general manner in which we all lived, would not betray the fact that most of the time we were on a very tight cash flow.

Looking back, I think that Maa must have known some sort of magic.

It wasn’t that our material lifestyle was completely disconnected from our financial situation. Just that she — through her inimitable resourcefulness, grit, and unshakable will — would maintain a household where we never felt we lacked anything. Ever.

Deep within me, it instilled a belief that I will always have, or can create, anything I need.

I have come to this realization that there are essentially two ways to live our lives.

  1. In one way, one learns to believe that the gifts in our life — both the material ones, like food, shelter, money, etc; and the emotional ones, like love, affection, intimacy, etc — are 'scarce'.
    This is why we feel inadequate and insecure, choose one marshmallow now instead of two 15 minutes later, fall for dubious marketing schemes, or act to inflict avoidable pain on others.
  2. In the other way, one grows to discover that everything that we would ever need in life, are already around us, in 'abundance'.
    This is the state, when attained, what Vedas call  'Satcitānand'.

I have also realized that most of the kids are born into the state of scarcity and that this growth to the state of abundance is not automatic. It happens through a series of countless, slow transformations that are influenced by many factors.

One of the primary factors that influences if and how much — as part of growing from a helpless child to an adult with agency — we advance from the state of scarcity to the state of abundance, is our family environment. Especially the quality and consistency of attention, care, and affection we receive from our parents. This is what modern Psychology calls building a secure base.

We also learn to act in either of these ways, modelling our parents' behaviors.

“Your dad is like Shiva. He can be gratified so easily!”

If Maa could create abundance from nothing, it was Papa who showed us that you don’t really need a lot to experience abundance. A word of affirmation, a warm cup of tea, food shared with family, or a visit from a friend is all he needs to cheer up.

He showed us that the pursuit of happiness is not about seeking more for oneself, but to share whatever little (or more) we have with others. That this is the only true path to happiness.

Remembering this has helped me to retain a sense of positiveness in a number of trying situations.

Over the past many months, I have had the privilege to meet many people from all around the world. People who are either already on this path or seeking it.

Each such interaction, however small or large, has reinforced this idea, provided new insights, and guided me further along this path. Today I am starting a new journey to go out and seek more such interactions, more such experiences.

This is my journey to express my gratitude for such people in my life. This is my journey towards abundance.

Through this page, I hope to take you along on my journey.

Header image by Dr. Zsuzsanna Kovacs.

(A version of this post is available on my Facebook page)

You May Also Like