When he was about four or five years old, my son, Connor, woke me up at 4 o’clock one morning when he climbed in my bed to tell me about a bad dream he had just had. We talked about his dream for a while and then he slowly drifted off to sleep in my arms as I reflected on how much I love my boys and how much I love being a father. For me, that awareness of love’s presence is the essence of abundance.
When I was a teenager, I had a fantasy of leaving society and going to live alone on some mountain in Tibet to meditate and find God. I avoided responsibility because the adults around me often seemed tired, stressed out, and unhappy, and I didn’t want to grow up to be like them. I was afraid I would get caught up in the daily routine of life and lose the experience of joy.
As I get older, I’m finding that Spirit is not off on some mountain in Tibet but is right here at home at 4 o’clock in the morning with my son asleep beside me. I’m finding joy by embracing the daily routine and the responsibilities of being a husband and a father, and I’m finding God in the faces of my wife and children, in my coworkers and friends, and in the playful conversation with the checkout lady at the Safeway down the street. I’m feeling like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz saying that happiness is not somewhere over the rainbow but is right here in my own backyard. I’m also realizing that living a fulfilled life of abundance requires only that I let go of my fears and allow a shift in my perception.
Your level of happiness is not connected with a dollar amount or with a certain set of expectations that your external situation must meet. For example, a starving child in India may find abundance in a tiny piece of a banana while Donald Trump could see a million dollars as petty cash and be upset over not having more. This indicates that abundance is a very relative and subjective term. Abundance is not about your external circumstances but is an internal experience that you give yourself by choosing to appreciate what is good about your current situation and by choosing to love yourself and those around you regardless of the circumstances.
When you focus on those things that are most important in life, you see abundance right in front of you, here and now, where it always has been.