Fifty Shades of Abundance!

This is me, the magical fifty dollar bill and the little hot tub back in business.
This is me, the magical fifty dollar bill and the little hot tub back in business.

I just had an amazing experience of gratitude and simple abundance. I am currently taking an Absolute Abundance course through the Unity church I belong to. While I feel massive abundance in many areas – relationships, my lovely home, my health – on the financial front I am not where I want to be.

I’ve decided it’s time to finally focus on figuring out the whole financial mastery game so, among other actions, I signed up for the Abundance class. I knew it would focus on how we think about money, earning, prosperity, value, etc. And I am a firm believer that our thoughts, beliefs and the stories we tell ourselves are directly responsible for the things and circumstances that manifest in our lives. I’ve seen it in my own life so many times in wonderful and definitely not so wonderful ways!

Yesterday started out in a not so wonderful direction. I woke up with “Monkey Mind”, worried about money issues and bills, just generally stressed.

But, as I’ve learned to do, I followed through with my morning meditation, reflections and intentions. And, I was able to shift the fear-based thinking far more easily than ever before! It was like one of those moments in high school or college when all of the sudden something clicks, you understand it, and you realize that all the study and practice actually paid off!

And so, in that clearer state I walked into the Abundance class. Pretty soon the teacher, Jane, handed out real dollar bills that had been cut into puzzle pieces and told us to write down what we were thinking about that sliced up money.   OK … I’m game. I’ll play.

Then she tore up a fake $50 bill. OK. Yep, money is just paper, etc.

Then she tore up a REAL $50 bill. What? What the heck?! The whole tone in our group shifted from playful to serious. We had a very charged and telling discussion about it. As that was going on I got to thinking about how much Jane was giving us. Her time, her energy, the preparation effort and even her own money. I wanted to give back a little bit. I only had $10 cash with me, but I gave it to her. She accepted it warmly. It felt good.

Then Jane made her next move and it took me back 15 years. Way back then I had attended a workshop led by a person who had, much more recently behaved very badly toward me. I did not have a positive feeling toward that person.

However in that workshop all those years ago this person had held up a $20 bill and asked, “Who wants this?” I didn’t speak up. I guess I couldn’t believe anyone would really just give me twenty bucks. Somebody else did speak up and they got the money.

So, yesterday, when Jane held up a new, fully intact $50 bill and said, “Who would like this?” Immediately I shot my hand into the air and said, ”Me!” And it was mine! Afterwards I realized that that person who had recently wronged me had, in another role and time, also been an important teacher. I would never have jumped in to claim the $50 had I not been in his workshop all those years ago.

But wait! There’s more to this 50 Shades of Abundance experience!

In keeping with my commitment to tithe, before I left the Abundance class I wrote a $5 check (ten percent of the $50 Jane had given me) to Unity. It felt good to feel abundant enough to drop that small check into the basket.

Then I rushed home to meet the repairman for my hot tub. It had stopped heating a week earlier. Even though it’s old it had never done that before and I was worried it was pretty serious – a heating element, a burned out pump, something expensive.

I was struggling a bit with guilt and indecision. Because of the cash flow issues I was feeling like, “You know my tub is not a necessity. Maybe it’s just decadence to spend money getting it fixed right now. Maybe I should just drain it and turn it off.” On the other hand I missed it terribly. It was the place where each morning I would sit in warm water out in my peaceful little yard surrounded by birds and squirrels and meditate, pray and do my spiritual studies. It was a sacred little space and I always felt peaceful and abundant when I was able to start my day in such a sweet, beautiful, gentle way.

The repairman showed up. I pushed the worries away and tried to stay in the glow of Abundance thinking. In less than ten minutes he got the tub working again. It turned out that leaves and pine needles had been sucked into and were blocking a valve in the pump. It didn’t need any big repairs or any new parts!

I was delighted and said, “What do I owe you?” He said, “Well, I have a flat house call rate but this was so fast I’ll cut that in half. How about $50?”

Ha! Fifty bucks again! Not only the fifty-dollar charge but the fifty-dollar discount I didn’t have to pay! Fifty Shades of Abundance!

For me this was a small but amazing example of flow and what can happen when we shift our focus from scarcity to gratitude.

Do you have a special abundance or gratitude story you’d like to share? I’d love to hear it.

(Special thanks to Reverend Jane Hiatt of Unity of Central Oregon).

Cylvia Hayes

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