In previous conversations, Kari, we've spoken at length about Scarcity and Abundance—and how to bridge the gap between the two. So what happens once you've reached that blessed state of Abundance, for which we all strive? Well, that's what I'd like to discuss with you this week, because living in Sufficiency is a conscious state of equilibrium that exists to maintain the balance that constitutes Abundance, whilst keeping Scarcity-thinking at bay!
What would most people's interpretation of Abundance be, I wonder... That we can have everything we could possibly dream of—and then some—because it's there for the taking? That when we become rich, there's always more and more? I certainly hope not, for this kind of language will surely land you right back in Scarcity!
A little over a decade ago, I had a successful advertising, design and branding consultancy. Life was good, the world was my oyster and I was going from strength to strength. I bought a new flashy car and then a new, larger house in a more upmarket area. I really thought to myself, "Guy, you are on the road to Abundance!" This, as I later found out, was all an illusion though, for as my pockets filled up, so I wanted more, and yet more... There was always a newer, better car out there to covet; a fancier house in a more affluent area. Prestige, status, money... These were the things I believed constituted Abundance, and I was always seeking more. Abundance was continuously eluding me, for around every corner and over every hill, was yet another pot-of gold to chase after; another oasis to set my sights on! And yet each oasis turned out to be a mirage, with a sign pointing to the next 'oasis.'
I wouldn't go as far as to say that I was a greedy person, or that I took advantage of other people in the process. My intentions were good. I was, however, extremely naïve in my interpretation of success and Abundance. This naïveté resulted in a colossal breakdown when I lost my major clients and couldn't claw myself back up again.
So what went wrong for me? I firmly believed that I deserved every bit of the success I accumulated, and indeed I did! Well, whilst my thinking was of Abundance, my Way of Being was still firmly entrenched in Scarcity. "I need," "I should," "I want more," "I have to have" was the language that was driving me forward... And downward! I never believed I had all that I needed to live abundantly in the moment. If someone were to tell me back then, that I had all that was necessary to live in Abundance right there and then, I would have thought them to be crazy.
In hindsight, and with reassessed interpretations (of which I now have the luxury in employing as I look back on my past), I actually was living abundantly—I just didn't realise it at the time. I was steadily building a successful enterprise and I couldn't possibly foresee an end to this upward trend in my fortunes. When the bottom fell out, I became disillusioned, thinking that Abundance had slipped through my fingers. Yet Abundance was always present: I drove a perfectly good car, I lived in a decent area in a lovely big apartment, I dined out once a week... It was all there—I had enough. I could be living a life of Sufficiency, except that I did not have a clear distinction of the word "Sufficiency" in order to build my life around it and truly grow in Abundance.
Let us have a look at this word according to a handy app I have: "Sufficiency; noun: 1) the state or fact of being sufficient; adequacy, 2) a sufficient number or amount; enough, 3) adequate provision or supply, especially of wealth."
"Especially of wealth!" Well, there we have it! I was unable to cognise the fact that I already had enough, and that I was already being Abundant, believing Abundance was "over there somewhere" — I just had to get this, or that, and it would be mine. Not so!
This, dear readers, is a trap we all find ourselves in, to lesser or greater degrees... All of us! You see, whilst it's very easy to find out the meaning of the word "Sufficiency," it's quite another matter to understand and accept it as a Way of Being; a Way of Life!
This concept sounds like a Zen-approach, given that Abundance is supposed to be a never-ending and plentiful supply of wealth and affluence, and I guess it is in a way. Allow me to explain: Living in Sufficiency is a constant Way of Being; knowing that right here and now, you have all you need to live abundantly. Abundance will continue — also as a constant — to manifest and reward you, of its own accord. So, irrespective of how much or how little you may have, by embracing Sufficiency into your life, you will not only progressively manifest Abundance — you will also be being Abundant!
Perhaps you could share with us, Kari, your interpretation of Sufficiency, and how it exists (or doesn't exist, as the case may be) as a concept to your clients.
You know, Guy, the word "Sufficiency" in itself has this beautiful energy. It is balance and harmony, something I believe we all search for in life. To be satisfied, knowing there is enough. Of everything!
Neal Donald Walsch, the author of Conversations with God, wrote a book about all the Illusions we base our life on, and according to him, there is one core Illusion that leads to all the rest, and the core illusion is that we have needs. As babies in our mother's womb, we are a part of her, after birth we are physically separated from her and we learn about indifference and separation.
As soon as we turn into separation and indifference, we start to feel that we need something to feel better. And then we need more, to feel even better. And more...
My story is different from yours, as we all have different stories. When looking back at it now, reaching this point in life, it is like I was born with my personal scale, you know, this old fashion one, where you have the weight (lets say 1 kilo) in one side of the scale and you put on what you need to weigh in the other scale and you want it to balance.
My life came from the interpretation that I was not worthy of anything, and the only way I could justify being in my family was by not having any needs at all, which ended up as a need in it self.
This need showed up in so many ways during my life, all masked as good deeds. Taking care of everybody, giving away the best I could offer to those in "need" and feeling good about it. I was available 24/7 and ended up in trouble. The thing about it all, was that the more I gave away, the more I tried to not have needs, so others could have what they needed, and the more unbalance was created in my environments. People disrespected me more and more, there was jealousy, there was this craving for more of my time, more of my money, more of my food, more of my strength and energy, more of my ability to listen. I tried to comprehend what was going on, I tried to find solutions, I searched for help. What I got was a clear message from my environment that my needs, now changing to the need for support and someone who could help me find my balance, simply was not of any interest at all.
I was told I could never make it, that I was a burden, I was stupid, I was not trustworthy, I was so many things. And above all, I was alone—so very alone.
Now looking back, it is so clear that deep down in my unconscious habits, I tried to find the solution to my problems, the balance I searched for, in doing more of the same, wanting more of the same. Give away more, take care of more, deal with more.
I read books; I've read hundreds of books about self-development. Love myself! Find the truth about myself! Every single one made it all so easy, they all said the same thing. Good advise about how to love myself enough to give myself what I desired in life. It was meditation. It was all these practices that would help me find my way back to balance, and they didn't help me at all. I had no idea what I desired! All my life I had given everybody around me what they desired and I had the impression that this was my answer. And it didn't work anymore; it had not worked for years! Maybe never...
My scale continued to be unbalanced, simply because I still believed what others had told me. The proof of success in life was money and a job with a respectful title. Like your life was, Guy. And that was not for me, so the best thing I could hope for, was that some of those I gave away all I had to, would make my life balance. Sure I earned money, good money, I just did not keep it. There was always someone who needed it more then me.
It took me years to reach the point where I realized that what I tried to find out in the world was not real. It took me even more years to figure out that even if I, in all my grown up life, had searched for the truth of why my life was in this unbalance, I had not searched where the answer was, deep inside myself. What led me to this was Kinesiology. Finally my scale started to balance. Kinesiology is innate wisdom; it is the truth of who you are and where your potential is.
Slowly, I started to remember. With remembrance came new tools and now I began to understand how my environment reflected my inner struggle in such a beautiful and perfect way! And the more I noticed that, the more I understood what was right for me, how I could live in Sufficiency!
I am sure that we have readers, Guy, with similar stories like ours. I meet fragments of my story every day, in my clients. They struggle the best they can to find a way to create balance in their lives with the illusion that Abundance, Happiness and Wealth, is in having more. Or less. More energy, less pain; more love, less struggle; more acceptance from others, less need to understand their own responsibility; more money, less fear of loosing it. It all comes down to lack of Sufficiency!
Like one person told me; "All I want is someone who can take care of my problems, pay my bills, talk to the right persons, fix it! Then I will be happy again!" I am sorry to say that it will never work!
It can be hard to really realise, that every single one of us is in charge of our own life. When depending on the world outside of us, we are very, very fragile, like your story tells us, Guy! Still, the majority of people in the world, live their life like that, and we get authentication from the world around us, that we do good. Or bad... Depending on the circumstances. Our status defines who we are, and then we're back to the boxes again…
A life in Sufficiency is a life without fear. A life living in the moment, being aware that everything is exactly as it is supposed to be—right now. A life in balance and harmony, trusting that there is enough of everything. You don't have to prove anything, you don't have to show for everything, just BE. In the moment.
Thoughts and feelings create words and actions. How will you describe the difference between a person living in Sufficiency and the one living without Sufficiency, in their language, Guy? What about thought patterns? It is easy to highlight lack of Sufficiency when it comes to money, but what about all the hidden things, the unconscious habits that define life's patterns. Like mine... Where I daily stated: "I don't care about me, as long as everybody else has what they need, I am happy!"
Everybody has their stories, don't they, Kari? Just like you and me—and every one of our readers! It doesn't matter whether we have a tragic story to tell or not, the point I'm making is that we're always searching for something different; something new; something more... Because what we have right now is either too terrible to endure, or it just doesn't cut it... The car that was so awesome when we bought it has now been replaced with a more powerful model; the iPhone we had a year ago has been superseded by a better one with cooler features; the shoes and clothes we bought last summer are out of fashion; our partner has many more wrinkles and doesn't uplift us like they once did... We're just never content!
The same applies to other people's expectations of us, and how we respond and react to those expectations. As you correctly said, Kari, "Thoughts and feelings create words and actions." We allow other people to influence our thinking—how we perceive ourselves—which leads to negative emotions or feelings about our circumstances. From these emotions, we create stories about ourselves and consequently act the role of the lead-loser in these stories!
So. How do we go about changing our self-imposed, and largely unconscious, status quo? How do we alter our language from "Needing" to "Sufficiency"? Just as we observed those people who were living in Abundance, we should observe those who lead a life of Sufficiency, and see what they're doing right. Read about them; listen to them, because they were able to translate, through language, their so-called failures into opportunities to excel at being the fullest manifestation of their unique blueprint.
Let's look at people at the very top of the spectrum of Abundance. How about Sergey Brin to begin with? He's a co-founder of Google and, at 40 years of age, with a net worth of $22.8 Billion, and is listed with Forbes as 21st of the wealthiest people on the planet, after co-founder, Larry Page.
This is what Moment Magazine had to say about him in an extensive article in their February/March 2007 edition:
'What does that sort of money do to a 33-year-old? If you’re Sergey, you buy a new house on the peninsula south of San Francisco, trade in your hybrid Toyota Prius for a fancier ride, and continue shopping at Costco. “From my parents, I certainly learned to be frugal and to be happy without very many things,” Sergey tells me. “It’s interesting—I still find myself not wanting to leave anything on the plate uneaten. I still look at prices. I try to force myself to do this less, not to be so frugal. But I was raised being happy with not so much.”'
We'll forget for the moment that Sergey and Larry purchased a Boeing 767 "party jet"— and move on to an even more profound man, called Warren Buffett. Well, this poor chap has a net worth of only $53.5 Billion, but it did earn him 4th spot on Forbes' list. Mr Buffett is 83 years old and gained his mega-wealth, not on the stock market, or by accumulating businesses through hostile takeovers, but by giving back a percentage of the companies he bought to the people who knew how to run their businesses better than he did, but needed a cash-injection. Now that is Abundant thinking!
Here's the part I find most interesting about Warren Buffet, that shows me how he applies himself to a life of Sufficiency: He takes home an annual salary of approximately $200,000. He lives in the same home he bought when he was first married in 1952. He owns an entire fleet of executive jets for hire to VIP's and celebrities, yet he himself travels on commercial airlines, just like you and me! Now this is someone who has led by example his entire life and who, according to Forbes, is the 13th most powerful person in the world.
You might ask why I make reference to people so far beyond our perception of wealth? Well, it's to illustrate that even those with extreme wealth are capable of living just like the rest of us, without giving in to the temptations of what such vast resources can buy. And these people— unlike those who live lavishly, squander money in arrogant splurges—are happy! And they will most likely actually get to enjoy their wealth, as apposed to forever living in fear of losing it all... Because their lives simply aren't governed by what they HAVE, but by how they are BEING!
On this note, I wish to conclude the personal story I shared earlier, Kari. You see, what it took for me to 'wake up' and embrace the concept of Sufficiency, was to have all the trappings (the material things and what other people told me about myself; the things that defined me) taken away, one by one... First, my marriage failed... Then the big house I loved so much had to be sold... Next I couldn't afford payments on the fancy car... Finally, I lost my job! Great, just great!
Here's where we get to the part about all the "unconscious habits" you mentioned, Kari. Indeed we are completely oblivious of the majority of these habits, as you and I both were, not realising what an impact they have upon our lives! Quite honestly, it takes a very serious breakdown to jolt us to the point of a light-bulb-moment, just like I had! Some are more serious than others. I recall a sugar farmer I once knew who used to smoke 200 cigarettes a day! He lit up before dawn, when he went out to see to the labourers in the cane-fields, and had already smoked two packs of 20 before breakfast! One morning he came home at breakfast-time and vomited blood. He stopped smoking there-and-then!
Our wake-up call doesn't need to be quite so dramatic, though. If we're practicing our skills and observing our language and the patterns of our thinking, we will pick up on the clues the Universe is continuously sending us, and we will take greater heed of our own intuition. We begin also, to see the inner-stories emerging, all that we keep telling ourselves about who we are—and what the ego dictates to us. Suddenly the 'truth' begins to emerge and we become better able to make the distinction between Sufficiency, and the lack thereof.
Not that I cognized it at the time, but progressively losing the wife, the house, the car and the job, was just the beginning of my journey of discovery—a discovery that I didn't NEED a partner to save me from loneliness (especially one who was abusive towards me!); I didn't NEED a big house to feel at home; I didn't NEED the fancy car to make me feel good about myself; and I didn't NEED the damn job as creative director, that I hated for years, to feel successful! It was only then that I had the most critical realisation of my life—the realisation that SAVED my life...
I have arrived—and I have ENOUGH! I live in Sufficiency!
Considering the experiences you've had, Kari, how can we better observe the metaphors of life we create for ourselves, to enhance our capacity to live a life of Sufficiency?
There is one thing I believe is very important here, Guy. By being alive, we develop! We have no other choice! Every day we wake up after a night where everything we experienced the day before, is altered and put into the right "files" for us to use as further understandings. And the understanding of every single one of these experiences, depends on your former understandings.
Mostly we’re not aware of what is going on, until the misunderstandings; all the things we believe are right and important; that we simply don’t have tools for; or are no longer a part of who we are, comes to the surface. Then we experience how things we once believed in, fall apart like a house of cards. It is like life it self, how our will to survive is so grand, and we can handle everything, until life reaches its end, and we are gone with a last outward breath. Quiet and beautiful and in full harmony!
We can’t help wanting more; travel further down the line; be bigger; experience more—it is a part of what makes humanity grow.
In my life, I decided to do the opposite; be the best version of non-growth! I believed what other people told me and I stopped talking and I stopped wanting anything for myself! And because I am a stubborn person with a lot of energy, I reach my goals. I did it in an extremely good way! For years I lived a secret life in my mind, that I believed nobody knew about. Little did I understand back then, that I created my outward life with this secret, inner life.
It is these misunderstandings that cause us to believe it is about money, belongings and status! The beautiful part of this is that when we finally uncover what has worked undercover in our minds for quite some time, like outgrown belief-systems, we are pushed into making changes! And they will always bring us longer, wider, further! Nothing ever sets us back—when we believe that, it is our fear talking.
We have talked about awareness. We have talked about the importance of our Way of Being, our Language. Did you know that scientists have been able to measure the affect that our word and sentences have on our DNA? All those on and off- buttons we have talked about, that govern our physical DNA, are affected by the words we use and the tone we use. It is all frequencies; it is all vibrations, and it is all creation!
You mentioned the metaphors of life, Guy, and that is so very true. Life is a metaphor, just like it is both physical and quantum. We live in a 3D world, where we need to categorise everything into the right boxes in order to understand. As small children, we use our right brain, our fantasy and our power to create, naturally. A little child doesn’t care about time! Or if something is done ‘the right way’! He only cares about the adventure; he is right there, right now; in the moment! He is programmed to learn.
And he learns about the boxes… We can’t help that either—it is a part of being human and living in 3D. Our understandings of life depend on our boxes and we relate to our fellow human beings, with the same boxes. And we fight those who have their own boxes, telling them they are wrong and we are right. We want to prove we are right, and a great way to prove it, is through material belongings… If I have more money then you, then I must be more successful. If I have a more beautiful home than you, then my success shows more obviously.
But the real success comes when we live the best version of ourselves; when we understand that there is a fine line between a good life and Scarcity. I was meditating on something I heard a couple of days ago: "I want for you, what you want for you.” And it became so clear to me how we all do that—through our reflections. We unconsciously read each other and unconsciously give each other exactly what that we want.
Not consciously. I think most of us want a good and easy life.
But unconsciously, as we are programmed to push each other further, without judgment, knowing we are all on the same path, we are all experts in our own life. We just need to be reminded of it. Poke our head out of the box, so to speak.
Then our consciousness and our ego step forward, and are both judgmental and crave for more, as a result of fear of changes.
When we live a life in Sufficiency, we live a life in the moment; in complete balance; in awareness. When reaching that state of mind, the Abundance of life itself becomes very clear. There is always enough—for all of us! It has always been and it will always be.
Everything else is fear and illusions!
And we are still programmed to develop. We continue our journey more conscious; welcoming all the changes that have to be in life; knowing it is what we need to grow.
I would like our next conversation to be about Metaphors, Guy. I believe it is so important to be aware of the fact that most of what we honour as the truth, is based upon Metaphors that we interpret and take for granted. It is about time we set focus on this huge and important topic!