The Abundance Lab: Last Night As I Was Sleeping

I woke up yesterday morning in my warm bed with the sun brightening the curtains.  My daughter was asleep; my husband had left early for a day of giving massages.  It was sweet and quiet, with no reason to rush.  I noticed that I felt–I feel–hopeful in a way I haven’t in a while.  Something inside of me is emerging from the depths of the dark, the turn of the Solstice and the shifting Earth, “a spring . . . breaking out in my heart.”

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Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a spring was breaking
out in my heart.
I said: Along which secret aqueduct,
Oh water, are you coming to me,
water of a new life
that I have never drunk?

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Last night as I was sleeping,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that a fiery sun was giving
light inside my heart.
It was fiery because I felt
warmth as from a hearth,
and sun because it gave light
and brought tears to my eyes.

Last night as I slept,
I dreamt—marvelous error!—
that it was God I had
here inside my heart.

Antonio Machado
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The Abundance Lab Begins: What Story Are You Ready to Animate?

“The original impulse of art [is] to invite power into the world and then offer it a desirable template–a painting, a story . . .it’s inviting power into the world and going, Oh power, animate THIS story!”

What is your story?  What is the narrative that you are so immersed in that you are like a fish in water, not even knowing anything besides water exists?  And what is bursting to change? What is old and ready to be composted?  What needs the warming light of the returning sun and silvery moon?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the gift.  About my own habits of scarcity and abundance.  It amazes me to see how in different parts of my life I can swing from truly letting the flow of life move through me in its bounty, versus where I self-sabotage and cross my arms against goodness.

I want to animate a new story.  I know how it feels to give my gift, and how nourished I feel when I do that.  I also know that truly giving also means truly receiving–I mean, who’s really receiving if we are all giving??

When we stay in a ledger mentality, i.e. tit for tat, it is easy to remain isolated, unsourced and disempowered.  It’s you against the world, unless you can pay for it.  And even when we have the money to pay for the purchasable things (food, transportation, clothing, housing), the exchange remains a transaction, not a full participation in life.

So where do we start? Gratitude.  Cultivate seeds of gratitude through small acts, because gratitude immediately creates receptivity.  And not just for the specific person or thing we are grateful for.  It creates receptivity for all of life’s goodness.

We must act to re-wire our story.  We must gather new evidence, take small steps and sometimes big leaps, fall on our faces and be caught by kindred spirits.

Here are a few simple ways you can begin to cultivate gratitude in your life:

Make a gratitude jar for the year.  Write at least one thing you are grateful for each day on a slip of paper and drop it in.  I love this visual evidence of life’s goodness, and will be starting this today with my family!

Keep a daily or weekly gratitude log.  Use a journal, calendar or post on Facebook and other social media.

Make a gratitude collage.  Imagery is our soul food, and the process of gathering that which is meaningful together, somewhere we can see it on a daily basis, offers a tool of inspiration, intention and focus.

Now you tell me–how do you cultivate gratitude in your life, and how does that affect you?

with arms wide open,
Ursula