There is probably not a word in use today that gets more "press" than "abundance." Pick up an "O" Magazine and if it's not on the cover, you'll surely find an article or two inside explaining how to have greater "abundance".
In the writings on the principles of attraction, the word abundance appears early and often. And in my coaching practice hardly a week goes by that I don't have at least one conversation on the topic.The dictionary defines abundance as: "a profusion" or "excess." But I believe true abundance is really about much more than just having more stuff—whether stuff is money, possessions, or opportunities. At its core, abundance is about living with authenticity and joy. It is a mindset that acts as an antidote to the poison of scarcity, negativity and fear that runs rampant in our culture today. And when abundance becomes your central operating principle you can't help but have more of the stuff so often associated with the word.
So how does one "generate abundance" and what is its connection with Best Year Yet®? Well, as I've worked with Best Year yet® over the past decade, what I've seen and experienced personally is that Best Year Yet® is truly about helping people to live authentically and joyfully -- and providing them with tools to remove the roadblocks to abundance in its fullest sense.
The most profound shifts around abundance come from Questions 3 and 4 of the Best Year Yet® basic planning workshop because they take our personal history, re-frame it, and empower us to create and project new visions of the future. When we create operating principles that align with the lessons learned along the way (Q3) and examine our beliefs and assumptions (Q4) we can learn to generate greater abundance for ourselves and others.
Everything for the Good
In asking "What have I learned?" and using our successes and disappointments as the points of inquiry, we can transform what has happened in our lives into action principles to keep us focused on generating abundance and attracting more of what we want. To me, the guidelines of Q3 act as the "bumpers" on the bowling lane of life. They keep us out of the gutters! They enable us to embrace our experiences and remind us that life is indeed a classroom and every experience is designed for our good. Talk about abundance!!
There are two other elements that generate a life of abundance. In their presence, life experiences, regardless of how difficult, are transformed into stepping stones. In their absence, life experiences can quickly become the stumbling blocks that keep us stuck and operating in scarcity. These two "sister" qualities are grace and gratitude. They are the golden keys that transform limiting beliefs and assumptions into empowering paradigms! And goals that have been shaped in the cauldron of grace and gratitude naturally and effortlessly generate greater abundance.
Grace, Gratitude and Goals
The words grace and gratitude often get cornered and cast in a strictly religious context. But their applications are truly universal.
Grace is defined as "unearned favor." We can actually grant ourselves (and others) grace through the channel of forgiveness. Grace is the tonic that heals and releases us from our past. A wonderful writer and speaker, Tama Kieves, says it this way: "That which we have not released with love, we have not released." Applied to Best Year Yet®, when we acknowledge both the successes and disappointments, and then write guidelines based on our acquired wisdom we are using the power of grace to propel us into the future we desire. Without the gift of grace, we tend to repeat the same mistakes, carry the same griefs, prejudices, hurts and grievances into the future—not a good recipe for abundance!
Gratitude on the other hand is all about embracing the past and being thankful for the gifts it has brought us. It is also what enables us to see the present as a gifted teacher, through which we are learning the lessons that move us toward the future of our dreams.
Goals born from a sense of lack or unforgiveness tend to generate more of the same. For example: the person who sets a goal to "never be like so and so" from their past (notice a lack of grace and gratitude) actually sets themselves up to become exactly like so and so!
On the other hand, goals born from a sense of grace and gratitude generate more of a sense of abundance and joy. If my primary belief is that everything is for my good I am now free to choose an empowering interpretation of events past and present, which creates a positive focus that generates more of the positive things I want.
Old limiting paradigms are almost always based on a scarcity mindset. "I'm not enough. I don't have enough. I can't do anything about XYZ" for example. By applying the principle of "Everything for my good" and using the dynamic duo of grace and gratitude I am released from the fear, resentments, anger and pain that hold me hostage.
Best Year Yet provides a set of powerful tools for generating abundance and living with greater authenticity and joy. I and thousands of others, are living proof that used consistently, we can, as Thoreau wrote, "go confidently in the direction of our dreams, living the life we have imagined."
About the Author
Betty Mahalik is a professional coach, trainer, facilitator and Best Year Yet® partner who has been teaching people how to communicate effectively, enjoy life, manage stress and deal with change for more than 20 years.
A former television news reporter and anchorwoman, Betty worked for eight years in the field of public relations prior to starting her own business in 1987. For two-and-a-half years she served on the training staff of National Seminars, and has spoken before hundreds of audiences, large and small.
In January of 2009 her first book, Living a Five Star Life, was published by Simple Truths.