by Bridget Baker
November is a time of harvest, of abundance, and a time to gather with friends and family to talk about what we’re grateful for. It’s a time to enjoy the fruits of our labors and celebrate what we have. In the United States, the Thanksgiving holiday is a time to embrace what is, and be fully present in the moment.
However, the very next morning — or even the same night —we suddenly become a culture of greed and spending as Black Friday sales advertising asks us to wait in line for “door-buster deals.” How did we stray so far from being thankful for what we have? Why do we think having more is the key to happiness?
Yes, saving money on items you need is fantastic. But the day after Thanksgiving, for some, is a day to spend more than they have; and think they need the newest, shiniest gadgets when the luster is still bright on last year’s new electronic devices and 72-inch televisions. Black Friday is not so much about acquiring items that will add value to your life, or that you need, but to purchase things that you think you are incomplete without.
We have been marketed to in a way that has us feeling that if only we had enough of something, we’d think that we are enough ourselves. We’re targeted to think that we are inadequate without these physical items, and it creates a cycle of reaching for a place where we’ll someday be happy.
What if we could know that we have done enough, that we have enough — that we ARE enough already? What if there was nothing to improve? What if we could simplify our approach to life, and pause, and see that everything is perfect, exactly as it is?
It’s easier said than done to simplify, especially when we might have clutter, a busy schedule, or we aren’t sure where to begin. Take a breath. Start by saying to yourself, “I am grateful for what I have. I have enough. I am enough.” Those three sentences. You can use this as a meditation, and keep repeating this or put this on a post-it note in a place where you’ll see it daily.
Your stuff is not what makes you enough. You are enough. Creating a practice of gratitude helps the idea that there is nothing more you need sink in.
As author Jen Sincero says: “You cut yourself off from the supply of awesomeness when you are not in a state of gratitude.”
Gratitude is the key to a life of abundance, prosperity, and “enough-ness.” Do you have a gratitude practice? It can be as simple as saying the mantra I mentioned above, or starting a daily gratitude journal and writing down ten things you are grateful for every night before you go to bed. This ends the day with an appreciation for what you have, even if you feel like you didn’t do enough or don’t have enough. It moves you from scarcity and focusing on lacking to an awareness of how amazing your life already is, if you just take the time to celebrate the good things in life.
Some days, the boasts and brags may even be something small like, “I got out of bed today.” Other days, it may be gratitude for a relationship, a business lead, or a financial windfall from an unexpected source.
If you’ve been working hard, and you are not seeing the growth you want in your business, stop focusing on what hasn’t happened yet. Keep your head up, and acknowledge yourself for the work you’ve been put in, for staying the course, and celebrate the accomplishments you’ve made. The way to create and experience abundance is not by beating yourself up, but by being grateful for what you’ve learned along the way, and for your tenacity and commitment.
Plant the seeds, water them, nurture them, and let them grow. A grateful simple life is one where you know that you are enough, no matter the stuff, and that you can reap the harvest of your appreciation. All you have to do is say ‘thank you.’