Life’s greatest question is, “Why are we here?”
I believe the answer is, “For each other.”
~ Megan Aronson
My trips to the grocery store used to be all about what I could get, how I could use coupons to get freebies and cheapies, and stretch my dollar further for my family of four. (On average, I save 40% on my grocery bills thanks to my girl Juli over at Bargain Believer).
Then, twice this week, I heard two prominent leaders speak to the true meaning of abundance. Michael Mirdad, a well-known spiritual author, speaker and healer said, “You can’t hold onto anything you have. You have to give it away. The moment you try to hold onto it is the moment you create suffering.”
In my “poor me” mentality I would have laughed at him – hey buddy, you have no idea what I’m going through, I’m clipping coupons just to save a buck or two at the market!
But, now I’m realizing he’s right. It is our struggle as a society to try to hold onto things that creates so much suffering for us. Think about how much easier your life could be if you had no ideas around what type of car you should drive, home you should live in, clothes you should wear…to appear “successful” to yourself, or others.
I’ve learned this first hand, moving through four homes in the last three years, different cities, and even facing the loss of several loved ones. Trying to hold onto things, people, places – anything for that matter – is what creates my suffering. Giving it all away allows me the freedom of embracing everything with open arms, instead of trying to grasp it like sand slipping through my fingers.
Tom Shadyac also shared a profound demonstration of abundance on this week’s Super Soul Sunday on OWN (Oprah’s network). Shadyac is known as the Director of blockbuster films Ace Ventura, The Nutty Professor and Bruce Almighty. When he made his first fortune, he bought a 17,000 square foot home in Beverly Hills. He moved in and realized that everything society had taught him to value did not in fact create happiness for him. So, he sold his house and moved into a mobile home where he began creating his thought-provoking documentary, “I Am”.
On an episode of Oprah he said, “I never felt right holding onto that much money. I always felt like I should give it away quick.” He spoke with hand gestures mimicking a child playing hot potato, like he could not hold onto that hot money for long, or it would burn him.
So, I went out for my weekly shopping trip this time, and held my coupons loosely even though they feel like my lifeline to abundance right now.
Without intending to, my new-found abundance attitude had me unexpectedly passing my little grail out to strangers. Cruising through the stores, I was like a coupon cart-shopping stalker! I was eyeing other people’s carts looking for items I might have a coupon for and they were eyeing me like a pedophile at the playground when I exclaimed, “Would you like a coupon for that?!” (And, I’m not the first to think of this, a lovely organization out of Mesa, Coupon2Give, shops with coupons then donates their purchases to charities in need.)
I was amazed at how much people DIDN’T want help.
But I remember being there, caught up in my “I must be a self-sufficient island” mentality, or too afraid to accept the kindness of strangers.
Why shouldn’t we help each other?!
The food we eat wouldn’t be available at the grocery store if there weren’t someone planting it and harvesting it.
The homes we live in would not exist if ten men had not worked together to build them.
So, why shouldn’t we freely give and receive, always, even at the grocery store, the gas station, the restaurant?
Our world is starting to shift from the Age of Consumerism to the Age of Cooperation. Santa’s “Layaway” elves paying off layaway balances before Christmas, “Pay It Forward” menus at restaurants informing guests their bill is already paid, organizations like Meal Train providing meals to families going through a major life transition.
Now, we need to continue to evolve. It’s time to move past simply reaching out to those in crisis and start giving the little things, too, all the time. Give of yourself, give of your time, give of whatever you have to give, even if it’s just listening to a friend who’s going through a tough time. Give it away, and I promise… you will feel RICH! I do!