I’m in the grocery aisle and I witness an employee greeting a confused shopper. “Is there something I can help you find?” The customer is looking for a particular brand of hot sauce. “I’m sorry, there is a national shortage.”
That was at the beginning of 2022 and, since, I’ve decided that the word “shortage” has defined this year. And yet I have also seen more neighbors sharing their abundance with each other than I’ve ever experienced before. Is this truly a time of scarcity?
There are shortages that we cannot ignore and have massive consequences. The formula shortage has led to hospitalizations and a great amount of stress for caregivers of infants. The teacher shortage has left school-age caregivers in a bind of what to do to ensure our children get the education they are all worthy of. The tampon shortage has put more Americans at risk of period poverty. At some point, we have to acknowledge and accept that 2020 has changed us all, and some not for the better. Especially when it comes to how we treat, compensate, and support our most valuable contributors to society.
However, many of today’s shortages can be contributed to how COVID broke the supply chain. Whereas some may argue that Americans are going to be stuck in the “age of scarcity” until supply chains are reestablished and overseas products are freely flowing again, I’m here to say that we can choose to live in the true abundance that we have right now.
How to Live in Abundance: Three Pillars
Moving from scarcity to an abundance mindset is not a new concept. And also I completely understand why many of us are struggling with living in abundance today. Regardless that we are still one of the wealthiest countries in the world, many of us are held back from getting ahead. So, what are actions we can take to get ahead within a country of shortages and a nation of under-resourced? Here are my three pillars.
Spend Your Money Differently
I often encourage others to stop and think and then think differently. Why let the fact that you cannot consume #AllTheThings get you down? Choose to spend your money differently. There is evidence that spending money can lead to happiness. It also leads to unhappiness when it is done outside of mindfulness. Remember that you get what you give. So, give a little and see what happens.
Stand Strong in Your Inherit Worthiness
With capitalism coming to this country on “the first ships” we have all internalized the highest profit at the lowest costs through the generations. Sacrificing what we should value most for debt, for all money is debt. Many of us suffer from internalized capitalism, unable to rest or enjoy the little things. True value is not measured by money. You are inherently worthy as you are, without producing, without hard work, without effort. When you start to feel less than because you do not feel you have what you need or want, stand with your shoulders back, hands on your hips, feet shoulder-width apart and announce to yourself in the mirror, “I am worthy.” And remain standing in this pose until you have found your strength. It will happen faster than you may think. Even on the hardest of days, just give yourself two minutes.
Keep it Simple: Living in abundance.
Living a life of abundance is done so through simple, everyday choices. Shortages are simple too. There is less product than the demand. It gets complex because we’ve added greed and control into the mix with artificial scarcity, rentier capitalism, and economic inequality. We rise above these complexities by reconnecting with our own humanity. All of us were born. We all die. Our own humanity connects us to the simple truth that there is more to life than consumption and profit, we each have a path of growth to journey. What can today’s shortage teach you? It may be as simple as just saying out loud what it is that you need. Small, simple practices, such as just noticing what makes you smile can lead to great shifts. Because it is the smell of the coffee that makes me smile, not the brand or the price I paid for it.