You may have asked yourself, is your cup half empty or is it half full? Do you have a scarcity mindset or do you come from a place of abundance? Many of us have struggled with scarcity at one point or another during our lives. When discussing scarcity and abundance, some ask, what is abundance? Most people associate it with money, but there are so many other areas where the abundant mindset resides, whether in money, relationships, love, material goods, faith, art, or other aspects of life.
I was at Mass this past weekend and the homily was wrapped around the theme of abundance and planting seeds. To paraphrase, if you plant seeds in good soil, you’ll produce good crops. If you plant seeds in rocky or thorny soil, your plants will not produce as much fruit.
As some of you know, I am a gardener these days. Three years ago, I ripped out the bushes in my backyard and planted a few different kinds of vegetables and hoped for the best. It did okay. The next year, I decided to do things differently. I built a few garden boxes 20 inches deep. I combined regular soil, horse manure, and compost to fill the boxes. Within weeks my plants were growing out of control and producing more vegetables than I imagined. The better soil produced a better crop but that’s not where my thinking ended with regards to abundance.
I recently picked a few banana peppers off one of the plants. As I cut it open to remove the stem and seeds, I was struck by the huge quantity of seeds in one pepper. There must have been a couple hundred seeds. I thought about how one pepper seed reaps a plant that typically can produce 40-50 peppers in one season. If I take those 200 seeds and replant them, I could potentially generate 8,000-10,000 peppers. And on and I could go!
Abundance is everywhere. Recently, I was writing a chapter in a book about abundance. For two weeks while I was writing all I saw around me were examples of abundance — the blades of grass, the leaves on trees, the water coming from my hose bib, and the relationships I have.
We can easily think about what we don’t have, but if we focus on what we do have it’s obvious to see the abundance that surrounds us.
After hearing that homily, I thought about the relationships I have and the time and effort I have invested in those relationships. In what relationships am I planting seeds? As a family man what seeds am I planting at home? As a business owner what seeds am I planting in my office and through my business contacts; and personally, where am I planting seeds for myself? Those seeds consist of time, knowledge, wisdom, and experiences.
At home, am I investing in the family properly? Do I make the time to sit and chat with my wife and children? Am I investing my time wisely to teach them all I can? Am I open to learning from them as well? The more I cultivate and nurture the relationships I have with them, the stronger we will be as a family. If I choose to spend less time with them and don’t share my knowledge or wisdom with them, they may be left to figure things out on their own and may not produce the fruit they’re capable of producing.
At work, I sort and qualify my database. In which relationships am I investing most of my time and efforts? My philosophy is a “Give, Ask, Receive” philosophy. Give to those I can. Give knowledge and insights, and share information. Some of those relationships will produce tremendous amounts of fruit, some will produce less, and some will not produce at all.
There is abundance all around us. All we have to do is open our eyes to it, see it, and be grateful for it. We can have all we desire in our lifetime, we only have to be aware of the type of soil we plant our seeds, then watch the abundance show up in our lives.