Hello brave soul,
It’s been a magical week. The azaleas are in bloom. The days are mostly warm. People in DC seem really happy.
This is quite different than how I felt last week at this time. In my past post, I shared about confronting loneliness and abandonment (and the realization that even being in a great relationship will never make these feelings go away).
So what changed?
As always, when I found the courage to share my feelings and care for myself during the hard parts, my loneliness morphed into connection. After a big sobbing breakdown on Friday, I felt cleansed. After, I spent the weekend surrounded by a community of people that I love, doing things that made me happy.
Yup, it was self-care to the rescue (again). That stuff really, really works.
In the aftermath of all that, I’m thinking about scarcity and abundance. A while back, I shared a piece on the mentality of scarcity, and on how much it informs everything we do. We live from fear because we are afraid of the goodness in our lives eventually running out. The more we cling, the less we feel like we have, which makes us cling further, which makes us have less.
It’s a vicious cycle and also one that has been playing out in the national narrative a lot lately. The story is that our economy is declining. And our taxes are too high. We don’t have enough jobs to let in people from other countries. We have to pull in our resources, lest we lose more.
I recognize this scarcity thinking because it’s similar to the narrative that often runs through my head. My brain tells me that I’m not doing enough with my time. Other people are having more fun than me. I don’t have enough to share with others. Bad things could happen. It’s better to play it safe and keep what is mine to myself.
Do you recognize that voice?
The November election results made me take a good long look at this mentality of lacking. How was I supposed to demand change from the powers that be if I was still being personally ruled by scarcity? Wasn’t I supposed to be the change I really wanted to see in our world?
With this thought, I had the idea to create an experience of abundance. It would be an event to help us remember how much more we have when we are courageous enough to give freely of ourselves. It would be a night of beauty, inspiration, and shared support for all women.
Thus AbunDANCE was born! It’s an all-female dance party being hosted at St. Stephen’s Church on April 29th from 7-11pm. It will be a fundraiser for the amazing Thrive DC, which helps DC’s homeless by creating a community of respect and care. (I truly think they are the change I want to see in this world -- this is why I’ve volunteered there for eight years and why I now serve on the Board.)
The intention of the evening is to celebrate the beauty and strength of all women, and that we walk away feeling more fabulous about who we are. All people who identify as female are welcome and all proceeds will go to help fund Thrive DC.
Sounds great, right? I am hosting this dream party for an empowering community of women, supporting an organization that I love, and transforming my own lack-based thinking in the process.
The only problem is that as I started to spread the word, I began feeling afraid.
Mainly, I was nervous that nobody would come. How would that look? What would everyone think of me? How could I recover?
Also, it was hard to ask for help. A group of seriously amazing women stepped up to help me plan the party, and I started feeling guilty that I was asking them for too much. We also needed a group of volunteers to help with the evening, and I got shy to request the support needed.
It came back to the same problems that continue to affect us so deeply as women. We want our lives to change. We want to create more community and engage in more creativity. Yet we are afraid to put ourselves out there. We are hesitant to ask for help. We are sure that no one will show up for us and that we are putting other people out with our requests.
I tried to keep it inside, but finally, I admitted how I was feeling to a group of clients. I told them that as confident as I was trying to be about this party, inside I was really scared. My fear of failure was making the marketing part hard. I was afraid of bringing it up, lest it not work out in the end and I face more rejection.
The amazing ladies gently reminded me that this event didn’t mean anything about me as a person. Taking it so personally was causing my suffering. Besides, the party was going to be awesome. The rest was just fear inside of me.
One of them wisely pointed out that I was coming from a place of scarcity when the point of the event was to create abundance. I had to laugh out loud. I hadn’t even been realizing how much I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching.
The irony of my scarcity mentality here both amazes me and makes perfect sense. Learning a new way of being is not easy. During times of stress, we are going to default back into limited patterns of thinking. As we try to get better in any area, we are going to have to deal more directly with what we are trying to change. Otherwise, the growth isn’t sustainable.
As always, just saying my fears out loud was the magical key to unlock a lot of my stuck feelings. Being honest about where I was struggling helped me to receive the support I needed. Their kind affirmation made me feel stronger and much braver.
This week, I am noticing that I feel less afraid and more inspired for the party. We are going to have Myra, an awesome female DJ from Mesio Cresio, spinning records to keep us moving all night. There will be face painting, fancy dresses, speciality cupcakes and a room full of amazing women.
It’ll be a great night of abundant fun. I just have to remember to get out of the way and let the good times flow. Forgetting myself enough in order to have a blast always turn out to be the best moments of life.
As always, life teaches me the perfect lesson at the perfect time, with just the right dose of humility. Of course, a part of me wants it all to go perfectly, but my wisest self wants the learning and growth that it’s bound to bring, above all.
How about you? Where are you experiencing scarcity in your life or inside of your brain? How does it feel to embrace a greater sense of “enoughness,” and entertain the idea that life is meant to be fun? How could that help the world heal?
Any answer is ok here. It’s important just to question our perspectives so we are acting from choice, instead of habit. Perhaps in the questioning, we can begin to gently prune the most destructive elements of life from our own being. Creating that clearing is hard emotional work and deserves to be celebrated.
Then, our next step is just waiting, which perhaps can be even more challenging. In that open and often-vulnerable space, beautiful and creative ideas will tiptoe in quietly. As we let them settle in and nourish them deeply, they will begin to grow into real beings.
Then, when the time is perfectly right, when we are all suspecting it the least, they will tap us on the shoulder and let us know they are ready to be born.