Last week I was on my way home from teaching a class in Fenwick and I drove past a well-known sweet treat establishment whose sign read, “You could be eating ice cream.” I stopped my moped and thought,
“They’re right- I totally COULD BE eating ice cream right now!”
Needless to say, I ate ice cream three times that week. Now, I have a bit of a sweet tooth, particularly when it comes to ice cream, but that was extreme. That simple and blatant message was incredibly effective. And in actuality, that message is at the heart of most marketing campaigns, some campaigns are just more subtle than others.
-You could be sitting on a beach in Tahiti right now, (instead of sitting on a beach in Delaware).
-You could have a 2018 Toyota Prius right now (instead of your 2014 that runs just fine).
-You could be wearing a foundation right now that makes you look younger and more radiant, (instead of recognizing the natural beauty of your own freckles and laugh lines).
These messages stem from (I’ll assume) pretty harmless intentions. They just want to sell you a product and creating a belief that you need it is an effective way to do so. Whether or not they are actually harmless, might be a different story. Now, I’m not out to attack the advertising industry here, but if we’re honest with ourselves, this belief that “I could be doing something different than what I’m doing” or “I could have something better than what I have” is the source for much of our own stress, FOMO (fear of missing out), and general overall unhappiness. It creates this idea that what we have right now, what we’re doing right now, and ultimately, what we ARE right now, is not enough. And this is dangerous. Because we are enough.
Now, I’m all about challenging yourself (when appropriate), setting goals and striving for them, and chasing dreams. However. If we’re doing so from a mentality of “what I currently have/do/am IS NOT ENOUGH” we are sending ourselves (and the universe) a message of dissatisfaction and scarcity. Not only do we feel crummy when someone thinks of us as not enough (particularly when that someone is ourselves), but according to the Law of Attraction, like attracts like, so what we receive (read: notice) in our lives is more dissatisfaction and more scarcity. If we notice that we don’t have enough money, we’ll never have enough money. If we notice that we aren’t skinny enough, we will never be skinny enough. We might never be satisfied, we might never reach those goals and dreams, we might NEVER FIND HAPPINESS OR SUCCESS no matter how much money, no matter how many things we acquire. Isn’t that terrifying? It’s certainly a somber thought.
If we can start from a place of “I have enough,” “I do enough,” “I am enough,” we are sending ourselves (and the universe) a message of deep satisfaction and abundance. Like attracts like, right? So we receive (again, read: notice) more satisfaction and more abundance.
Okay, that sounds great, but how?
So glad you asked.
It starts with finding gratitude.
That might be easier said than done, so we can start really small. It can be an easy trap to fall into to begin to compare ourselves to people who have significantly more than we do, or conversely, significantly less. But honestly doing so doesn’t help us or them in any way. So you can start anywhere, with anything or anyone in your life that you are really and truly grateful for. If you literally (or seemingly) had ABSOLUTELY nothing or no-one in your life, you could start with your heartbeat. You could start with your vision, or your hearing, or your health. You could start with your breath. In fact, the breath is a great place for anyone to start.
As we practice gratitude, no matter how small, as we shift toward a mentality of abundance rather than scarcity, we attract more love, more light, more abundance, success, money, happiness, friends, more (fill in the blank) into our lives. From there, we can begin to make a conscious decision about whether we need that vacation/car/house/dress/ice cream because we believe we don’t currently have enough things in our lives, or if we want that ice cream because it’s simply going to be delicious. We take back control of our desires and begin to operate from a place of satisfaction and abundance rather than dissatisfaction and scarcity.
I have this inhale.
I have this exhale.
I have this inhale.
I have this exhale.
I have this moment.
And this moment.
And this one.
And I am grateful for it.
And then for gosh sakes, eat the ice cream.
Enjoy the heck out of it, and be grateful for it.