My mother used to occupy a small space of the house in which I grew up. My siblings, my father, and I constantly urged her to use all the space available. We wanted her to enjoy every inch of the large home she had helped my father build, and we would get upset at her refusal to do so. When pressed to enjoy her house to the fullest, she would respond, “I am enjoying it. I don’t need to use the entire house to be happy.” Her answer never rang true for me. I disagreed with her and joined my family in urging her to sit next to the pool in the carefully manicured backyard, to use the beautifully decorated second floor every now and then, and to take pleasure in the space that was increasingly available as my siblings started to leave the family nest.
She never changed her mind. Occupying a small space in the house reflected the philosophy by which my mother lived her life. She was never someone who strove to possess anything, and yet during her life, she received everything she so dearly desired. She occupied a “small space” in the world, yet led a life large with contribution and achievement.
How did she do that? For so many years, this dichotomy intrigued me. Why was she so unconcerned about whether she received things, while most of us are stressed and struggle to acquire and hold on to things? Did she possess some secret knowledge or power that the rest of us did not have access to? It was only a few years after I turned thirty that I discovered the reasons behind her constant state of happiness and satisfaction.
The first was her unwavering belief that whatever she wanted would flow into her life sooner or later. The second reason – and the one upon which the message of this article is built – is that she detached herself from her desires. While she was aware of her desired outcomes, she separated herself from them and lived the experience of life with joy and liberty, not with anticipation and frustration. She was free. She lived in a higher state of awareness, and that led to a deep sense of abundance within her.
In their feverish attempt to achieve goals and dreams, most people unconsciously plant the seeds of turbulence, anguish, and anxiety in their lives because they identify themselves by the results they produce. They inadvertently confine their entire being into a box of results, and in doing so, they bring fear and stress into their lives. A true sense of abundance was the secret invisible power my mother possessed. I do not know how or when in her life she came to develop it, but I do know that when I began to apply her philosophy, my own life totally changed.
Up until then, I had been typical in living my life through the prism of logic and cause and effect. I believed life was difficult and that only those who worked excessively hard would make it to the finish line. I strove to prove myself to the world and show it that I had made it all the way out from the clutches of numerous setbacks. What I did not know then was that I was unwittingly building my own virtual prison cell of fear and insecurity.
When I learned the gist of my mother’s philosophy, I too became free. I became free of caring about others’ good or not-so-good opinions of me. I became free of the idea of a finish line. I became free of living within the confines of logic only and gave space to my intuitive voice to guide me through my trials and tribulations.
I became free of the outcome and focused on the now, on the moment, on the journey. After I had finished giving a seminar in Montreal about abundance, a student came to me and said, “I understand what you’ve said, but I am a responsible person, and I have to control my destiny.” It turned out that a number of people, who attended some of my seminars, believe that living the concept of true abundance is just a way for losers to hide
Contrary to what these people think, however, living a life of true abundance does not mean floating aimlessly through life. Rather, it is to live a life with a mission and purpose, but with a quiet yet profound belief that you will arrive at your intended destination with ease and composure. Being “responsible” in the conventional sense of which my student above spoke takes away your freedom, because you feel you have to control the process of creation. Yet creation is a mysterious process of which control falls well beyond our realm of comprehension.
So sit back and dream big, choose your own “small space” in this world and then take determined action, believe and free yourself from fear and anxiety, and relax as you watch miracles flow into your life.
This post was first published in Motivated Magazine, edited and adapted to thesociolog.com with author’s permission.