Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom): a tendency to appreciate the abundance in your life and to celebrate in the overflow. [It makes it a lot easier for other folks to relax around you….]
Alexander Green in his THE SECRET OF SHELTER ISLAND: Money and What Matters, says, “Money can buy freedom from want and from work that is drudgery. But beyond that, it begins losing its power….Most certainly it cannot buy contentment. The stark finding of recent studies is that beyond the safety net, more money adds little or nothing to your subjective well-being. Yet almost everywhere people imagine it will.”
Okay. So, money isn’t “wealth.” If not, then what is? As an exercise in mapping out my mind, I considered this question: What does “wealth” mean to me?
Over the course of some months, I’d write down another thought as it occurred to me. After a while I had a pile of them. And then I sat and looked at them some more. Finally I got interested in doing something else. By then, I had a pretty good list to think on.
I thought it might be a good thing to share some of my answers that came out of this exercise. Perhaps this will spark your own musings about a most important topic. In no particular order, here are my own thoughts:
- Wealth means noticing the abundance all around me.
- Wealth means being surrounded by people who operate from abundance.
- Wealth means being surrounded by other people whose walks are congruent with values that match or are compatible with my own.
- Wealth means being able to live my days well, with kindness and generosity and a lot of love mixed in there.
- Wealth means having “Musashi” freedom – the ability to walk my own way in Beauty effortlessly.
- Wealth means standing right with the people in my life, acknowledging and accepting the connections and obligations between us with gratitude and with a commitment to keeping the ball in play so we can go on dancing with each other.
- Wealth means spending my days helping other people play and playing my own self.
- Wealth means nourishing others and myself with the abundance that surrounds us.
- Wealth means having the ability to be of benefit to the other people in my life.
- Wealth means having the goodwill and trust of the people in my life.
- Wealth means being able to let go of petty and to let go of chickenshit grabbing for stuff and more stuff.
- Wealth means being able to expand letting right action flow through me.
- Wealth means being able to support the people I care about as they do their own heart-dance.
- Wealth means being able to say “yes” when people sincerely ask for help that they need.
- Wealth means being able to see the consequences and the ramifications of saying that “yes” so I am able to do just enough to be a true help and not an obstacle or hindrance to their own dancing.
- Wealth means being able to do everything that needs to be done in a timely way.
- Wealth means flowing well with the Creative.
- Wealth means being able to live my life walking lightly in the world.
- Wealth means being able to change the way I move when the way I am dancing no longer works well.
- Wealth means being able to act appropriately.
- Wealth means having the time and the space to breathe and think and feel what I want to do next.
- Wealth means being able to enjoy what I have already accomplished without compulsively reaching for more.
- Wealth means being able to follow where my curiosity leads me.
- Wealth means being able to stop and notice the Beauty around me.
- Wealth means being able to savor my own accomplishments and those of others who are also dancing their own heart-dances.
- Wealth means being able to share the stories I can tell with other people who also have their own stories to share.
For me, it seems, wealth is made up of a very few things:
- time and room to move around and gawk at the world and giggle with friends who also like to laugh,
- excellent relationships with the other people wandering around in this place, and
- a proper way of walking in the world.
All of these things are supported and made possible by having money flowing through my life. (It’s a heck of a lot easier to do this stuff if you’re not caught up with worrying about getting the rent paid and food on the table.) But, I am noticing that none of them actually require a full Dragon-cave’s worth of glittery treasures all stacked up.
Over time, before I went off chasing after some butterfly or other, two thoughts percolated up from the simmering cauldron sitting in the quiet glade in the woods that is my center-place:
- All the good things in my life come from the abundant Universe and it is my birthright to dance in that abundance. I am sincerely grateful for the abundance that surrounds me and I can keep on making room in my life for it.
- I pay upfront for all the good things in my life by refining my walk in Beauty and by walking my own walk with as much sincerity as I can muster and with the authenticity that comes from my understanding of who and what I am.
You know, I still like this way of thinking….
Here’s another poem:
The wealth of this world’s in the stories
That people tell each other, one on one,
That enumerate the sorrows and the glories,
That capture hearts with images fine-spun.
The coin that can move mountains is not gold,
No matter what the miser-analysts might say.
It’s how that gold was won, and all the stories we spin
That bring all of our hearts out to play.
The fulcrum sought by old philosophies
For moving ’round the world and all its get
Is the stuff the storytellers seize and fold
Into new molds until they’re set.
By Netta Kanoho
Picture credit: Haleakala Sunrise by Eugen Nalman via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]
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