February 24, 2021
Author Byron Katie has said, “Don’t believe everything you think.” I love this phrase. I actually have it as a bumper sticker. Byron Katie makes this comment because she is very aware that the majority of thoughts that run through all humans’ brains are being generated by the lizard brain; they are coming from our subconscious. Since becoming a life coach, I have learned the incredible power of thoughts. Or, should I say, I have learned the undeniable power of believing the plethora of thoughts that run through our brains on any given day. The thought itself is harmless. After all, it’s just a thought. What gives the thought control and influence over us is our willingness to believe the thought to be true or factual. So, I have learned to question or investigate my thinking to discover the truth or falsehood of the thoughts that swim in my head. Questioning my thoughts is a constant practice, but it is a practice that has helped me reduce my anxiety and stress.
Thoughts can become dangerous when a culture or society pushes certain beliefs to be true, factual, and accurate. If these beliefs are coming from society, they must be true, and everyone is expected to believe them. These thoughts actually have more power because we are being taught that they are true by teachers, parents, government, and the internet.
One of the greatest myths of all time has to do with scarcity. The scarcity mindset is maintaining an outlook that there is not enough or there will never be enough. Examples of this thinking are I don’t have enough clients. I don’t have enough money. I don’t have enough power. There’s not enough to go around. . . . Somebody’s going to be left out. . . . If there’s not enough for everyone, then taking care of yourself and your own, even at others’ expense, seems unfortunate, but unavoidable and somehow valid. Lynn Twist, author of The Soul of Money, expresses so clearly that no matter who we are or what our circumstances, “we live with scarcity as an underlying assumption. It is an unquestioned, sometimes even unspoken, defining condition of life.” When I mention scarcity, I am not just talking about money. I am speaking about everything. We can feel a scarcity of power, voice, love, friendship, opportunities, people who care about us, education, experience, and even sleep. Therefore, we can become greedy about anything and everything. One can always desire more of something—that is the trap. According to Twist, “Scarcity shapes our deepest sense of ourselves, and becomes the lens through which we experience life. Through that lens our expectations, our behavior, and their consequences become a self-fulfilling prophecy of inadequacy, lack and dissatisfaction.” Powerful, right? If you haven’t read Twist, I encourage you to do so.
I have decided to share Twist’s most recent blog post with all of you because, in my opinion, she is a wise person who everyone can benefit from.
“When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”
― Audre Lorde
As we continue to celebrate Black History Month, I am especially drawn to look more deeply at inequity in its many forms.
Race, wealth, education, income, gender, and the list continues.
If I were to look at each of these themes, the toxic myths of scarcity can be applied. While it’s true that these are complex and multi-faceted issues, at the root is an inconvenient truth.
From the paradigm of scarcity, we create a YOU OR ME world that will always create more division. From the paradigm of sufficiency, we create a YOU AND ME world, that will always foster unity.
The binary trap of experiencing the world as either/or; rich or poor, black or white, man or woman, ecology or economy, educated or ignorant, creates an “us” and a “them.”
They all fragments from the lie of scarcity, rather than unify in the truth of sufficiency.
In order to do our personal work of dismantling racism, we must first look in the mirror and be willing to see the truth of what is reflected there, and still unhealed within us. Where do we still buy into the lies of scarcity?
Using money as a mirror; where are we still fearful, feeling trapped in thoughts and behaviors of not enough – strong enough, brave enough, smart enough, resilient enough.
When we see the truth and resolve the fractures within our own selves, that’s when we can make a difference and have an impact as we take our stand, out in the world.
As we each do our inner work, we find that we naturally align with others to create a collective future vision for possibilities and opportunities that foster a world for all of us.
While an individual voice can change anything, a chorus of voices can change everything.
Though I have shared Twist’s book before, I figure you can never share a great resource too much. I personally found the book The Soul of Money life changing. It helped me reframe my relationship with money to be healthier. It helped me be at peace with where I am in the world. It helped me realize that the opposite of scarcity is not abundance, but enough. Therefore, it helped me define what is enough in my life. Additionally, I encourage you all to sign up for Twist’s weekly blog posts or simply check out the incredible resources on The Soul of Money Institute’s website.
To close, I’d like to share one of my favorite inauguration performances. There were so many amazing performances that day. For many, the inauguration celebration was filled with joy. For others, it was painful. I am often reminded that we all have our own painful experiences. We all have experienced trauma. Sometimes, the trauma has a lasting effect if we don’t tend to it.
Tyler Hubbard wrote this song while he was in quarantine with COVID-19. The lyrics spoke to me, reminding me that even the biggest bully was probably hurt somewhere along the way. It is a song telling us to be kind to one another. Let’s make this world a better place for all.