by Laura Grace
"How soon will
you realize that the only thing you donít have is the
direct experience that thereís nothing you need that
you donít have?" --Ken Keyes, Jr., Handbook
to Higher Consciousness
Too often we believe that if we had
"a little more of this" or "a little more
of that," our lives would be better. But would they
really? Real abundance comes not from without, but from
deep within. Recognizing that we are already richórich
in spiritóis where genuine abundance dwells. A
Course in Miracles teaches us that whenever we are
looking outside ourselves for anything, we will
only feel more incomplete. This is referred to as
"the scarcity principle" which is based upon
the common belief that somehow we are incomplete and not
whole just the way we are. And in order to fill this
"hole," our insidious ego believes it must
grab onto certain things and hold on for dear life:
people, resources, recognition, approval, and so forth.
This leads us to taking action under the egoís
direction. But since the action is based on superficial
intention, it produces insignificant results leading to
an even greater sense of lack. The egoís doctrine is
"seek but do not find," a perfect example of
how glutinous the ego is and how futile itsí endless
chase for seeking outside oneís self. This scenario
reminds me of a book I once bought for my daughter when
she was a very young girl called the "Greedy
Python." The python was so greedy that he ate
everything in sight, including his own tail, which
inevitably led to eating himself!
Abundance, on the other hand, is the
love inside of usóthat infinite wellspring where our
fulfillment and peace of mind exists; the source of love
within us where our genuine inspiration lives; the
channel that allows our creativity to burst forth and
our love to pour outward. Itís not what we do or
create that matters as much as the intention behind it.
For example, when Iím writing or painting I feel like
Iím on "overflow" because joy and
contentment bubble up from deep within. The finished
article or painting is rewarding, but thatís not from
where my real gratification comes. My creation is only
an effect of my true creative source; itís merely the
results of the heartfelt energy Iím extending. Itís
the expression of my love and creative inspiration that
fulfills me. Thatís why giving and receiving are the
Diane Berke, author of The Gentle
Smile: Practicing Oneness in Everyday Life, states,
"Giving and receiving are complementary aspects of
a single movement, a single process, like breathing in
and breathing out." Whenever you are giving a part
of yourself via a creative endeavor, discussion with
your child, business accomplishment or anything else,
you are also the receiver of your energy. Since we are
all one, whatever you give to another, you are by
definition, giving to yourself.
In Buddhism being compassionately
generous to all people is the basis for living a genuine
and fulfilling spiritual life. In this same spirit of
wisdom, the Buddhist teachings remind us that all of our
suffering occurs from having an attachment to something
outside ourselves. These "somethings" are what
keeps us on the "wheel of suffering," the
merry-go-round of external attachments that all human
beings must come to terms with during their evolutionary
journey. As we practice giving we are reminded that we
need nothing outside ourselves, that everything we will
ever need is already within.
Some practical ways to build real abundance
in your life include:
Increase your willingness to give.
A Course in Miracles teaches us, "Give a
little more than you think you can, a little more than
you feel comfortable with." The key here, is
"a little more." Throughout each day we have
numerous opportunities to give, and we grow in abundance
as we act on those opportunities. Just a little stretch
is all thatís required in order for us to experience a
sense of true giving.
Keep your intentions pure.
Remember that you are always the giver and receiver.
Most people unconsciously give to get something in
return: appreciation, recognition, payment, etc. Be
willing to give to others in a way that you would want
to be given to. Before you give, ask yourself, What am I
doing this for?" If the answer is
"Because I want to give, just to give, and I expect
nothing in return," and you mean it,
then trust that your intention is pure of heart.
Practice receiving with graciousness.
So many times, we discount compliments or refuse to
receive what another wants to give. Low self-worth
convinces us we donít deserve the compliment or gift,
or distrust tells us that if we receive something, weíll
be obligated. Itís important to remember that you
cannot truly give if youíre unwilling to receive, for
they compliment each other like a hand and glove. All of
us are connected with every living thing and our
interdependence is the sacred web of life we exist
Give in those situations where you
feel the most lack. In what area of your life do you
feel the most scarcity? For some itís money,
recognition or approval, for others itís time, and
still for others it is love, affection or companionship.
Determine where you feel the greatest lack then allow it
to come fully into your awareness. These areas are your
greatest opportunities for practicing abundance because
the place you most need to give is the area in which you
are feeling the most lack. The initial reaction, of
course, is to grab on even harder and faster, but that
will only take you further into the quicksand of
emptiness. Ask Spirit for guidance, then be willing to
give. The results are truly miraculous. As you begin
giving in situations where you once felt lack, your
giving will fill you up until thereís no more room for
anything but a sense of completion and abundance. Be
gentle with yourself and validate yourself for reaching
out instead of pulling back.
Remember, your daily thoughts, feelings
and actions are the "brushstrokes" that create
the portrait of your entire life. They are the details
that make up the whole. Are your brushstrokes leading
you to a work of art that clearly represents your life?
When you leave Earth, how do you want to be remembered?
As a person who was genuine and authentic and gave with
an open heart? As someone who dared to live life fully
without reservation? Ask yourself if youíre willing to
be remembered for: 1) Dared to have lived, or 2) Having
lived in dread? "Dared" and "dread"
have the same letters in it. Which one do you want to be
Imagining itís the end of your life
and capturing a lifeís portrait that supports how you
want to be remembered is the first step. Observing your
daily brushstrokes to see if they are congruent with
your "ending" is second. Again, be gentle. The
places where you are not congruent mean only that you
have some fear.
You were born to live a life that
creates and represents your own unique masterpiece.
Abundance is your birthright. As you gently practice
giving from your heart, day-by-day, hour-by-hour, and
moment-by-moment, you will one day look back with no
regrets, but with a heart overflowing with love,
appreciation and gratitude.
© Copyright 2001 Laura Grace. All Rights Reserved.
Laura Grace is Co-founder of Infinite Wisdom, an organization dedicated to the highest human capacity, and a national author and speaker. As a regular contributor for publications across the US and Canada, Laura writes about human awareness and spiritual growth. Laura is the author of the widely acclaimed book Gifts of the Soul and is the creator and teacher of various programs, including the transforming and popular Self-Mastery Program, Claim Your Inner Power!, The Art of Compassionate Forgiveness, Wonderful Women: Reclaiming Our Power, Passion and Purpose!, Creating Soul in Relationships, Living the Intimate Life and several others. Please visit Laura's web site at:
From performing dream analysis for more than 20 years, Laura is an experienced dream counselor and
is currently available for dream analysis. She provides assistance in three ways: 1)
In-person, 2) By phone, 3) and via e-mail. You may contact her by calling