For many people, abundance and prosperity are tied to their level of self-esteem. You make a good living, pay your bills and save money, so you feel successful. I define success in a different light.
Being successful is not a matter of how much money you have, how many possessions you've collected or what type of lifestyle you live; success can be measured only by the degree to which you have inner peace and if, no matter what the circumstance or situation, you can remain peaceful, calm and happy.
I know what some of you may be thinking "Being peaceful doesn't pay my bills or put food on the table". But that's where you may be mistaken. Abundance and prosperity begin inside you. Believe me when I say I speak from experience.
Many years ago, it seemed that no matter what I did or what work I accomplished, I continued to create lack and limitation in my life. When money finally came to me, it disappeared almost instantly. I was frustrated, depressed, and confused. I decided to do everything possible to change the situation and to live the life God had created for me. I read books, attended prosperity lectures and workshops, prayed and meditated and, after a while, I finally put all the pieces of the puzzle together. This is what I'd like to share with you now.
First, it's important to realize that your thoughts and beliefs affect your level of abundance. Do you feel worthy of abundance? Do you wish for abundance and at the same time worry about how you'll pay your bills? Do you even believe that there's enough money to go around? You will attract to yourself what you believe to be true. Have you closed the doors to prosperity by your beliefs and thoughts? In The Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes writes, "Life lies open to me rich, full, abundant. My thought, which is my key to life, opens all doors for me."
Choosing to open the doors for me also involved being aware of all the abundance around me. Just look at nature -- the oceans, the clouds, the sky, the mountains and rivers, the stars; there couldn't be a better lesson in abundance. And then I asked myself, from where does all this come? God is the source and supply of abundance. When I realized this and acted from this awareness, my level of prosperity changed.
You see, up until that point, I had been looking outside myself for the source of my supply. It's not outside you. It's within you. Everything you need to be happy, prosperous, and live abundantly is inside you right now. God's kingdom is within you. When you love God with all of your being, you draw His kingdom into your consciousness, and His abundance is made evident in your world. You are an heir to the kingdom of abundance. You must know that and feel it. Recognize a divine sufficiency as constant in all your affairs. If you think in terms of scarcity, you will manifest limitation. Similarly, if you think thoughts of abundance, you will manifest sufficiency, success, and happiness.
To open the floodgates of abundance, you must begin by giving away what you you have. Some call this tithing; some call it sharing. When you give of yourself to another person or group, you always receive more than you give. We are all one; everyone is yourself. So to give to another is to give to yourself. But keep in mind that your giving must always be guided by spirit and not stem from guilt. When you come from spirit, you stay in the flow. My financial situation turned around quickly when I started tithing and giving to others. I always receive my gifts back, multiplied.
I realize that it might feel scary to give when you think you can barely pay your bills. I understand. Start off with small donations and gifts, always blessing the money and being grateful that you are able to share what you have.
Next, it's important to love what you do. Do you feel passion and enthusiasm for your work? Do you get up every morning eager to accomplish a full day's work? Or do you dread how you spend your day? This can make a big difference in your level of abundance. A recent national poll revealed that 95 percent of the people working in America do not enjoy what they do! This is a staggering statistic. For years, I have done extensive research on people who are successful, and it's clear to me that achievements and financial rewards are directly related to the enjoyment they derive from their work and the service they provide to community and the world.
Right livelihood is predicated upon a conscious choice. Yet, too often, we live our lives according to what others value. When you consciously choose to enter into your work, you can participate fully and know you are making a difference. Sometimes this takes courage and perseverance, but your life will be enriched.
I have a friend who went into dental school right after college because his parents had always wanted him to be a dentist. Although dentistry wasn't his calling, he followed their wishes. After he graduated from dental school, he went into private practice and for almost twenty-five years was quite successful. He married his college sweetheart, had three children, built his dream home and traveled. Still, he never really loved his work; he never felt a great passion for how he spent his days.
In one of our counseling sessions, he told me how much he loved to work in his garden. He even said that if he had to do it all over again, he would go to school and learn to be a landscape architect. So I asked him, what was stopping him? He said he could never afford to keep up his lifestyle if he gave up his practice. I asked him what was more important -- to be happy or to keep up appearances? I also reminded him that prosperity is an inside job. I gave him a copy of Do What You Love, the Money Will Follow by Marsha Sinetar, and You Were Born Rich by Bob Proctor.
He began taking night classes in gardening and landscaping and, after three years, got his degree. With a partner, he opened a landscaping business. At the same time, he cut back his dental office time to just two days a week. He discovered that working twice a week as a dentist made him look forward to his work; he knew he was offering a valuable service to his patients.
At the same time, he put in two to three days a week at his landscaping job and thoroughly loved being outdoors, creating, and having more time to spend with his family. What's more, he was bringing in more money than he had in his full-time dental practice. Sometimes it just takes a change of attitude to make your current job more fulfilling. Listen to your heart. Talk to God about this and ask for guidance. Pay close attention to the answers you get and be willing to respond.
Spirit can only do for you what it can do through you. Open your doors and let the light shine through. Become an open receptacle to receive God's gifts of prosperity, abundance, and peace. Share what you have. Love what you do. Listen to your heart.
Know that you deserve to be prosperous and that everything you need to live your highest potential is within you right now. Claim and accept it.
©1992. Published by Celestial Arts.
Discusses the role of exercise, nutrition, solitude, meditation, fasting, ritual, and environmental awareness in creating a peaceful personal existence.
Susan Smith Jones, Ph.D. is the author of hundreds of magazine articles and 10 books,Choose To Live Peacefully" (also available as an audio book), Wired to Meditate (audio book), and A Fresh Start: Accelerate Fat Loss & Restore Youthful Vitality. As a wellness consultant, Susan is a frequent guest on radio and television talk shows across the country and a motivational speaker to corporate, community, and church groups. She has also been teaching fitness at UCLA for 30 years. To learn more about Susan and her work, log on to her website: www.susansmithjones.com