Here in Western society, we have a funny habit of tending to focus on the lack instead of the good in our lives.
And despite the personal development and spiritual work I try to incorporate into my life, I still catch myself in a scarcity mindset from time to time.
It comes in many forms:
- Comparisonitis (comparing someone else’s accomplishments to your own to determine relative importance)
- FOMO (fear of missing out)
- Future tripping (freaking out over a scenario in the future that isn’t even real)
- Feeling like a victim of your circumstances (a sickness, financial strain, car accident, etc)
- Road rage
When you are in any of these mind states, do you feel good? Do you feel happy?
Heck no, you don’t!
You feel small. You feel contracted. You feel reactive. You feel angry, bummed, and sad.
When you take time to appreciate your present state, you are actively rewiring your brain back to a place of curiosity, amazement, and peace.
I always knew gratitude was an important element for living a happy and fulfilled life, but when I saw the science behind it in my life coaching training, my mind was blown.
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton
Gratitude is one of the core benefits I have cultivated from dabbling in my own creative playfulness.
When I am working with my hands and exploring my intuitive curiosity, I am fully in the present moment. I am not tripping on some story from the past or freaking out about what’s going to happen the next day or next moment, even. I am in the moment with my whole being. My mind and heart can expand and I can feel the miracle of being alive in that moment in time.
The other day, I was mixing together ingredients for a baby bum salve (my mama friends can’t get enough of it!) over my kitchen stove. I had lit some candles and my favorite rose and sandalwood incense, was wearing my favorite apron, playing some Rising Appalachia, and found myself humming and dancing as I was stirring. It was a beautiful moment of pure being-ness. I remember this moment because I stopped, looked up, and felt this immense wave of gratitude come over me.
I felt so appreciative — for my friends who have courageously stepped into mama-hood with such grace, for my sweet and cozy home surrounded by trees and frisky little critters, for my beloved for loving me so deeply, for my hands for guiding me back to my own creative wisdom, and for my parents for lovingly creating me so I could appreciate this moment.
You may be reading this and nodding your head knowing full well the power gratitude can have in your life, but it’s just so dang hard to get into that mindspace sometimes…
So what is a girl to do to kickstart her creativity and ditch the scarcity mindset trap?
Try one of these:
- Recall a happy memory and make it vivid. Think about the smells, the weather, the colors, and the feeling of the moment. Set an alarm on your phone for the same time everyday and, when it goes off, allow yourself 1-2 minutes to replay that memory in all vividness.
- Each evening before you go to sleep, write down or say out loud at least 3 things you’ve received or experienced that day you are grateful for. It could be a working internet connection, the food you ate, or the fact that you have a bed to sleep in that night.
- Hand-make a gift for someone special in your life. Hold this person lovingly in your mind’s eye as you put your gift together with your hands. All those feelings of love and gratitude are quite potent, and they will really feel it when you proudly give it to them.
- Practice laughing. It releases endorphins, the happiness chemical that de-stresses our entire bodies. Start by making laughter sounds by saying the sounds of each of the vowels with an “H” in front of them (He, Ha, Ho, Hu, Hi). Move into full on fake laughter sounds (doing it willingly) and watch how it morphs into a real, genuine laugh, I’ve found it’s easier when doing with another person.
“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” Willie Nelson
Thanks for reading! This is the fourth post in a 4-part blog series on how creativity heals and inspires us busy, ambitious women.
You can read the first post here: What Busy Women Ought to Know About Creativity & Stress
You can read the second post here: The Reciprocity of Sisterhood & Creativity
You can read the third post here: The Secret to Feeling More Connected With Loved Ones