Updated: Feb 4, 2020
The theme of the retreat in India I just returned from was "Awakening Abundance." Now it would be impossible for me to impart everything that was discussed, but there was one major takeaway I would love to share. Abundance is not about the accumulation of things or even experiences. Abundance is about affluence, and affluence refers to something that flows.
What does true abundance or affluence look like?
A truly affluent life has flow in every dimension. It means physically that energy is moving frictionlessly through your physiology. As opposed to when there is stagnation in the body which lays the groundwork for pathology. It means not having a house full of irrelevant items that just get in the way. It means not hoarding, even money, because you feel confident in your infinite potential and recognize you already have what you need. There are yogis in India that have literally nothing, yet they live fully abundant lives because they are highly fulfilled inside. I'm not suggesting to get rid of everything you own, it's simply to make the point that abundance is an inner experience, not a statement about your possessions.
How do I create a life of flow and therefore abundance?
Most people are trying to structure an impression based on looks, or achievements, or money, or likes on Instagram. The attainment of these "goals" is what is commonly considered to be a life of abundance. But abundance cannot be acquired. We are already abundant. Increasing one's awareness of the fulfillment that already exists within through practices like yoga and meditation is the only avenue for true abundance. These practices allow for identifying less with small self (one's individuality) and more with the Big Self (extended self which is everything), putting you more in line with nature and therefore more in a state of flow.
Flow and evolution
All nature is doing is evolving, it is moving from creation to maintenance to destruction back to creation. When this happens smoothly, we call it flow. Therefore, one way to look at an abundant or affluent life is as a life of constant, smooth evolution. To keep things evolving without resistance, constantly prune irrelevant items, behaviors, people, and activities out of your life. Listen closely for your intuitive voice which is guiding you to that path of best evolution. Meditate often so you are grounded in Being enough to hear that voice. If you are suffering, notice the extent you wish you were experiencing something other than what you are experiencing, and then shift to an observational mode and ask yourself what there is to learn from the experience. Practice letting go of specific timings and outcomes, trusting that in the greater picture, nature knows best how to organize.
The irony is, the more you meditate and experience true abundance, the more likely you are to get the achievements, the money, improved appearance, and Instagram likes. But at that point, you just won't care.
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Adrian standing in the flow of the Ganga