Simple Abundance – 3 Stories and 3 Suggestions


Story #1 – Five pesos and a lifetime of abundance

My aunt Carmela once gave me a five-peso coin that had been blessed by our parish priest. She told me to keep it always so that I “would never be without money”.

That was over 30 years ago. Five pesos was not much money even back then. It may have bought a half-kilo of tortillas. On today’s economy that particular coin won’t buy anything. It was retired from circulation years ago.

But that doesn’t mean the coin is worthless. For me it represents: intention, abundance, and gratitude. Its value is in the story and my aunt’s desire for my prosperity.

How do we measure prosperity anyway? Certainly not by the coins in our pockets. Is having money the same as having a life of abundance? How much money is enough?

Story #2 – An American, a Mexican, and an Israeli walk into a bank

The year was 1982. The Mexican economy was in trouble. The country had more international debt than it could cover.

On Friday, September 3, after the banks had closed, President Lopez Portillo announced the nationalization of the banks. Going forward the government controlled all banking regulations. Continue reading “Simple Abundance – 3 Stories and 3 Suggestions”

Holding On And Letting Go. Three Stories.

let go or be draggedHave you ever picked something up that seemed light at first, but the longer you held it the heavier it felt? A newborn baby? A slim line laptop? A gallon of milk?

No matter how light these things seemed, after a while your arms began to ache. Your body showed you discomfort, so that you would make a change. You had to either shift the weight or put it down.

This is simple Physics. The weight of the object didn’t change. But over time, the weight of the object, plus gravity, put a strain on your muscles.

Physical discomfort frequently requires us to make a change in order to get relief. But what about mental discomfort? Though usually more subtle, the things we carry in our minds can weigh us down.

Often our heaviest loads come from things that have no physical shape: assumptions, mistaken beliefs, and the stories we have been told about who we are supposed to be. The stories we learned well and continue to tell ourselves.

Lately I’ve been thinking about holding on and letting go. And I offer these three stories so that you, too, might reconsider what to keep and what to let go.

Story One: A Parable Continue reading “Holding On And Letting Go. Three Stories.”

Embracing Interdependence

“The myth of independence,” he said. The myth of independence.

I’ve been turning that phrase over and over in my mind, inside-out and upside-down for a couple of weeks now, thinking about what it means for modern America and the world.

I was sitting in the second row listening to Dr. B. J. Miller talk about the nature of living well and dying well, what it means to be human, art and beauty, choices and challenges.people

But that one phrase – the myth of independence – stood out for me and became the catalyst for this week’s post.

Traditionally, American culture has promoted and applauded independence. We celebrate it with parties, parades, and colorful explosions. We begin to teach our children how to become independent from a very early age. We push them out of the nest at age 18 and become concerned if they come back.

We speak of dependency as if it were a bad thing, a failure of sorts. If we allow others to become dependent on us, or we are dependent on them, it is typically viewed as negative.

Maybe it’s time to rethink independence. Maybe our notions of independence no longer serve us. Is independence a myth? I think it is.

Maybe our goal should be a healthy, functional interdependence. Continue reading “Embracing Interdependence”

Five Ways Fiction Can Improve Your Life

long reader

Fiction can change your life. It’s safer than drugs and cheaper than therapy.

I’m not suggesting that you don’t need drugs or therapy, but I can tell you this; stories have been around longer than either and continue to serve us well.

Reading fiction is not a waste of time. Nor is it a luxury. So if you find yourself feeling guilty about sitting down with a good book, remember these five ways you are improving your life.

Five Gifts Of Fiction

Respite. Reading a good story has the power to do two seemingly opposite things at the same time. It both takes us away and keeps us fully present.

There is a meditative quality to putting our attention on a story. And we all know the benefits of meditation.

In this demanding world of faster!-faster!-bigger!-better!-more! fiction gives us refuge. It slows us down.

Perspective. Reading the stories of others’ lives reminds us and reassures us that we are not alone. Not in our fears. Not in our joys. Not in our longing or suffering.

If the protagonist survived these horrors, chances are we can too. It teaches us how we might see things differently.

Space. Fiction provides a comfortable distance, a buffer zone from which to view our own vulnerability. Maybe we’ve felt that pain, had that experience, been that disappointed, hurt, angry, ashamed.

We feel compassion for the characters. Maybe we can even find some compassion for ourselves. And for others.

readerPrivacy. Within the buffer zone we might discover things about ourselves that are just too personal to share. After all, the characters in the story aren’t going to tell our secrets. Or we might see someone else’s story, get a better understanding of their plight, and become a little less judgmental, a little kinder.

Control. It’s always available in real time. Pick up the book whenever you want and attend the event for as long as you like. Stop when you want, it will wait for you.

I recommend real books, you know the old fashion paper kind. They don’t scream at you and interfere with your brain waves the way technology does.

Travel to distant lands. Go back in time. Put yourself in danger. All from the safety of your armchair, in your slippers, with your tea or wine.

If you find you don’t like the story, just stop reading it. It’s totally up to you. You’re in control.

Finding Truth In Fiction

Continue reading “Five Ways Fiction Can Improve Your Life”