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  • Writer's pictureRae Gateley, LCSW


Isn't abundance a beautiful word? It brings to mind plentiful supplies of good things: lush green gardens, overflowing baskets of fresh produce, a fat wallet stuffed with cash, a table with the surface entirely covered with beautiful, delicious dishes. If you have abundance, there's more than enough; you can relax and enjoy life!

Well, the Swiss writer Jean Antoine Petit-Senn might disagree. He said,"Not what we have but what we enjoy constitutes our abundance." In other words, enjoyment doesn't come from abundance - enjoyment creates abundance.

John D. Rockefeller certainly had a lot of money - in 1937, his fortune was estimated at $1.4 billion - but when asked by a reporter, "How much money is enough?" he replied, "Just a little bit more." We'll never really know, but it sounds like Rockefeller didn't experience abundance in spite of all his wealth.

Fortunately, you don't have to keep chasing that "little bit more" and miss out on abundance. In her book about mindfulness, Good Morning, I Love You, Shauna Shapiro describes one way to develop an appreciation and enjoyment of what you have. She writes,

In several similar but separate studies on the use of gratitude, participants spent five to ten minutes at the end of each day writing in detail about three things, large or small, that went well that day. This resulted in increased happiness as well as enhanced well-being, better access to positive memories, reduced stress, and a greater sense of flourishing in life. If you try this practice, make sure you include details that activate your senses. What did you see, hear, smell, taste, or feel? Each sensory detail helps the memory stick in the brain. Write in your journal what you noticed.

Just three things a day. It sounds like it's worth a try!

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