Right now I feel hopeful. I guess it seems a cliche given it is the first month of the new year and for most people, a time for hope. Hope for more and for less. More love, money, sex, patience, and exercise. Less worry, weight, anger, sadness and sugar. We unwrap and hang the new calendar and imagine the little blocks filled in with lots of exciting events, activities, and goals as we vow to stick to resolutions written or imagined.
For the last several years, I have adopted the practice of choosing a word for the year-much simpler to consult than a long to -do list. During the last couple of months, I thought of my new word and what I want to realize, accept or help the gods to conjure. Normally we think of the new year as a reason or incentive to change things in our lives; to give up nasty habits, unfulfilling jobs, relationships or ways of being. I wanted this year to choose a word that helped me towards recognition rather than change A word that, without being passive helped me to acknowledge and strive for the “more” but to accept and understand the “less”. That word for me is abundance.
In "The Mastery of Love", Don Miguel Ruiz uses the analogy of the starving dog to illustrate what happens when we are faced with any kind of encounter. When we are starving, we take what’s offered-whether it seems good for us or not. This could be framed in the form of gratitude like the practice in some countries, for example, of Buddhist monks walking the streets with their begging bowls. But it also leaves us open to accepting crumbs, when what we really want is a full meal. Abundance is the full meal before we even take the first fork-full. This works in our favor in two ways. When we feel full of food, we don’t seek any dessert-anything outside of ourselves. We are enough. But also, if we feel abundance on a regular basis, that energy I believe, brings us more abundance. It brings us more abundance in the form of awareness and appreciation of all that we already have-whether we are conscious of it or not. And when we feel we have enough no- more than enough-we overflow. When we overflow, we share. Everyone wins.
To me, abundance represents all other benevolent qualities wrapped up in a single word, so that even on those days when “less” feels more present that “more”, I can remember that word and shift my thinking to all that is in front of me filling my empty bowl and stomach.
Abundance is my word. I think I will write it large on the calendar at the beginning of each month.
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Linda Laino is an artist, writer and teacher living in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico,almost 5 years now. She loves playing with words as much as form and color. Finding beautiful things on the ground is a favorite pastime. Her artwork can be seen at www.lindalaino.com Some of her writing can be found on Elephant Journal and The New Engagement.