As I was chopping carrots to toss into the crockpot for vegetable soup this evening, I was reminded of my grandmother.
My dad once told me a story about his mother. As his eyes gazed passed me to a scene I couldn’t see, he began, “My mom could make anything into a stew and stew could fill bellies.” My dad grew up with his parents and three siblings in a tight 3 bedroom apartment in New York, the Bronx. Money was tight. The paycheck didn’t always stretch far enough and stew was a saving grace. A big pot, potatoes, carrots and a lot of water went a long way to feed four hungry children. While I had deep admiration for my resilient Irish grandmother who stood 4’ 10” with fiery red hair and deep emerald green eyes, I realized that her story was one of hardship and struggle which most likely followed her from the days of lack and scarcity in Cork, Ireland.
Sometimes we don’t realize where our stories about money and finances come from. We may not even realize that we have stories. If we look closely, we might see more clearly why tax season causes stress or we notice that tension builds in the body when sitting down to balance the budget. Perhaps you were raised in an environment where finances were abundant and scarcity stories were never passed on to you. We all have subconscious responses, ideas and thoughts about money, whether we realize them or not. In order to shift our mindset about money (or anything) we must first recognize the stories we are currently telling ourselves and make a decision to re-frame them and begin to tell a new story.
Many of us have a keen awareness about our finances during this time of year as the often dreaded tax day readily approaches. We can use this time as an opportunity to take a closer look at our financial history and make conscious decisions about how we wish to move forward.
Hidden in plain sight there’s a pot full of gold leading to the creation of an abundant life.
If I had to guess, I’d say that pot underneath the rainbow is filled with gratitude and generosity. These attributes are like magic spells you cast upon your own life and the lives of others.Years ago,I read a book entitled Make Miracles in Forty Days by Melody Beattie. In her book, she details an action plan to make miracles —in 40 days. She instructs readers to keep a daily gratitude list and recognize what miracles they want to create, explaining that it's crucial to be grateful for what we have and what we are, rather than what we want or wish we were. As an example, with gratitude and tender loving care, she shifted from loathing her home to loving it simply by using the magic of gratitude; a state of mind that arises when you affirm a good thing in your life, or when you notice and relish little pleasures.Generosity is also in the pot. The important piece of this magic trick is to understand our motives behind giving. It is about cultivating an inward feeling of willingness and sharing from the heart versus giving out of fear, obligation or unhealthy impulse. Generosity can look like giving of your time or offering gifts to others. Often we forget, but it’s nice to begin with being generous with ourselves. It may be time to gift yourself with a day of rest or how about giving compliments to others as well as to yourself?
No matter where you are in life, regardless of any stories that you have held on to up until today, you can shift your experience.
An easy way to begin is with gratitude and generosity. As an added benefit to increasing abundance in your life, there is now evidence that your physical well-being benefits from gratitude as well. Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence says, “People who experience gratitude cope better with stress, recover more quickly from illness, and enjoy more robust physical health, including lower blood pressure and better immune function. Unlike other positive emotions like hope and happiness, gratitude is inherently relational: it reaches past the person experiencing it and into the social realm.”There’s an old Irish blessing that begins, “May the road rise up to meet you.” In the original Gaelic language, “rise” translates more accurately to “succeed.”As we venture out to build our lives and chase our dreams, in the spirit of Ireland, may you succeed on your road!
I leave you with an Irish Blessing:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
May your days be many and your troubles be few,
May all God’s blessings descend upon you,
May peace be within you,
May your heart be strong,
May you find what you’re seeking wherever you roam. xo -a