Abundance can mean many things. Prosperity, incredible opportunities, meaningful relationships – it encompasses a wide range of the human experience.
For some, abundance might be living on a multimillion-dollar yacht off the coast of Italy, or traveling the world without any financial stress. For others, it might be a life surrounded by meaningful friendships, or a beautiful home and a large, loving family.
While it’s likely that we each gravitate towards at least one of these options, abundance isn’t always as concrete or physical as we might think. Abundance doesn’t have to be a luxurious item or attention from others. True abundance is simply a state of mind, and a lens through which we can look at our life and the world around us.
The reality is that while we can all access abundance, many of us don’t exist in this state of mind.
We are stuck in a lack mentality. We think abundance is just for a lucky few – the people who were somehow able to crack the “secret code” of life. However, an abundance mindset is not as difficult to tap into as one might think.
Lack mentality revolves around the belief that there is a scarcity of the good things in life. Most of us have built up our lack mentality as we’ve grown older. We’ve been programmed to think this way, either by the lessons that older generations have taught us, or by the negative experiences we’ve had.
This way of thinking allows us to develop a fear around abundance. We think that we must hoard what we can (whether it be physical items or experiences), because there is a chance we will never have the opportunity to seize these things again or level up to even better things.
Lack mentality can appear in the form of comparison – looking at someone who seems to have it all and comparing what they have to what you don’t. It can also appear in the messages we tell ourselves and the negative thought patterns that persist about what we are capable of achieving.
If we want to break out of the cycle of lack mentality and truly connect with all that life has to offer, we need to shift our focus to abundance.
Abundance can be understood through the lens of asteya – the third of Patanjali’s five yamas in the Yoga Sutra. Asteya is the principle of “non-stealing.” We often steal (physical items, time, or energy) because we feel a need to fill an empty gap in ourselves.
Asteya teaches us that we have everything that we need within ourselves – what we have is always enough.
Our abundance can’t be found by hoarding things, experiences, or emotions. The practice of stealing is just a result of our lack mentality – and it doesn’t make it go away. Abundance is found by setting aside our lack and the accompanying harmful practices. Abundance is feeling gratitude and joy for what we have, knowing that it is all we really need.
Asteya teaches us that abundance doesn’t just happen to us. It is a cycle of giving and receiving. When you are stealing from others, you are taking away their abundance in an attempt to fill your own. True abundance is giving to the circle, so that the larger community can enjoy abundance.
When we tap into the cycle of abundance and shift away from lack, we become fulfilled and enlivened by the opportunities that surround us. It allows us to dissolve the fearful lack mentality, and connect with the peace within us.
We have some wonderful ways you can focus on abundance with our Monthly Intentions Program.
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