In a time when the media chants gloom and doom of a global recession, you can find yourself tempted to make desperate decisions… feeling the heavy burden of being incompetent, insufficient, or even irrelevant. However, you can, at any moment, elect to return to a state of abundance, relevance and wellness. But let’s step back before we do, and take a look at how we got here, needing to reframe from broken to whole, illness to Wellness.
My grandfather once read me a poem, which seemed like a series of time-locked vaults holding treasures I couldn’t comprehend. The vaults of the message continue to unlock and open, three decades later with each reading aloud. Take a moment, and if you read no more of my message, read it aloud for yourself:
by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
but make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
and yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream-and not make dreams your master,
if you can think-and not make thoughts your aim;
if you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
and treat those two impostors just the same;
if you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
and stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
and lose, and start again at your beginnings
and never breathe a word about your loss;
if you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
to serve your turn long after they are gone,
and so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
or walk with kings-nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
if all men count with you, but none too much,
if you can fill the unforgiving minute
with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And-which is more-you’ll be a Man, my son!
I felt extremely burdened with shame for my “defects” of obesity and learning disabilities. During the steel-era recession of the 1970s, my divorced mother was necessarily more concerned with the scant food stamps and ever-increasing stack of bills, the imminent reality rather than the eventual psychological toll of my circumstance. She did the best she could.
Attempting to rationalize the violence, my emotional brain learned that traumatic events were my fault, I didn’t deserve better, and I was wrong for thinking otherwise. When there was no food, it was my fault. When the bills couldn’t be paid, it was my fault. When things got bad, it was my fault. I was the burden bringing about my family’s desperate situation.
It took my many years of discipline through martial arts, yoga and athletics to develop a process for transcending those self-limiting behaviors, which allowed someone from my “shallow end of the gene pool” to swim upstream to my improbable, but inevitable, success.
Applying tools I learned in these disciplines to my career, I’ve been able to guard the borders of the abundance attitude, so that I do not allow negative thoughts to cannibalize my energetic, social and financial resources. Others have found this to be a replicable process you can use in your own life.
To transcend scarce times, as the vaults of Kipling’s wisdom unlock, adopt a world view of abundance and service, and then patrol your attitudes for the three deadly mindsets.
The 3 Deadly Mindsets
When you allow yourself to adopt a scarcity mindset, what tools do you use? We all recognize these immediately: blame, entitlement and self-righteousness.
When we feel desperate, we hold others accountable for our discomforts; we feel we deserve to have what others have earned or been given; and we have the tendency to feel our opinions are justified despite their irrationality.
These poisons appear in the most cunning forms. When you’re energetically taxed, or when you overhear a news program or discussion, you can sense when the desperation attitude starts its assault. Very sneakily these poisons seep into your attitude, like vampire bats who nibble just below the elbow of the calf to go unnoticed, yet feed… and infect.
All conflict is a product of ignorance.
When we hold the attitude of abundance, there is no conflict - no blame game, no covetousness, no self-righteous indignation. If we understood this, we would not have any conflict inwardly within ourselves, and as a result we would not have any conflict outwardly with others.
We cannot fix conflict, because it’s an attitudinal error. Conflict doesn’t exist. Our attitude has become infected.
As soon as you re-adopt an effective attitude, you immediately stop the internal assault and as a result, external resistance immediately evaporates. Nurturing that attitude requires vigilance, discipline and support. We must remind each other. We must take immediate action, sometimes like a patient thumb and a blanket, and other times like a compassionate slap in the face… to remind each other of holding our abundance rather than a scarcity attitude.
The Four Steps of Service
So, how do we help others and ourselves from being punch-drunk from desperation. When you find yourself blaming others, handing over authority to others for change, feeling justified in your irrational jealousy, this approach will help.
Pacify: listen/sense clearly, appreciate, and accept. For example, if we feel ourselves ranting about the state of the economy, being robbed of our job, losing our salary bonus, and blame XYZ, then… appreciate why we feel that way (because we’ve become ignorant of abundance). Express how you’ve had to accept personal accountability in your life for ABC, so you can relate to the current situation.
Empower: support, acknowledge, credit and enrich. Now it’s time to remind ourselves of all of our gifts, talents and hidden opportunities whether we see them or not. Acknowledge the abundance in your life, and hold a mirror to it; if you don’t, relate your personal experience of how you felt when, though the situation appeared bleak, someone helped you realize how bloody much you have going for you, if you just take the next actionable step.
Magnetize: compromise, be aware of resources naturally returned to us by empowering and pacifying and use them towards confluence. If you know, then remind yourself of the events in your life when you did become reaware of their opportunities and gifts, and you were able to reallow abundance to flow within your life. And if you don’t, then recount the stories in your life when you did, that abundance became irresistibly magnetized to you.
Resolve: without ego, say “no” or “yes” definitely; destroy that which is floundering, superfluous and cancerous. (This is the slap.) Now, we’re ready for it. Now we’ve set the stage for shaking ourselves from our slumber of scarcity. Acting this way is irresponsible, counter-productive and a slippery slope which only worsens while wallowing in the 3 poisons. We’ve reminded ourselves of our abundance attitude, now let’s cowboy-up and do what needs to be done. Hugs calm us down; a boot in the ass gets us back in motion. Love yourself and others enough to do so.
These steps are followed without ego, without wanting to win and with the notion of care. As you learn in martial arts, there are no opponents, only partners in life, intentional or inadvertent; which you practice in training so you apply throughout your life. Martial art, yoga and athletics are just a micro of the macro: learn how to resolve conflict in the most feral and emotionally toxic area of excessive stress, and you can apply this internal wisdom to any area of your life. Apply them in your life, because they’re effective “self-defense” against mass hysteria in such an amazing time of opportunity.
You can actively create your own reality. But, if you believe you cannot, you can become passively subject to the reality created by others. This explains why we blame others, feel self-righteous and behave with petty entitlement. Ignorant of our potency, we become imprisoned in a world crafted by others. Emancipation comes only through awareness of your magnificent potential, as a co-creator, and by disciplined vigilance against plummeting into scarcity mindset. You are the abundance you have been seeking.
www.breathinggift.com (my free book and video for you; yes, no strings attached.)