Written by BB Harding, one of the Women Moving It Forward
Shortly before Thanksgiving, I woke up one morning and had the thought “How would my life be different if I focused on wanting what I have rather than having what I want?” Ok, my first thought was well, that doesn’t make sense. What does a person use to “incentivize” themselves if they don’t have something that they want? How does one better themselves if they are willing to stick with what they have? What about those who really have a lousy life – how do they put that thought to work for themselves?
Every cloud has a silver lining. How many times have you heard that?
I easily came to realize that “wanting what you have” is akin to “being grateful for what you have.” It has been said that gratitude is one of the greatest things that you can have. How many famous people have you heard talk about the power of gratitude? How many have linked happiness to gratitude; success to gratitude; health to gratitude? How many trainers and spiritual teachers espouse journaling each night before going to bed on 3-5 things for which you are grateful that day?
I took this thought with me throughout the days that followed. I spent time reflecting on things in my life (what I have) and looking at the level of want for those things. Since it was already there, it wasn’t something that I spent time wanting, in fact I gave very little thought about having it. It just was. And, it wasn’t anything where I was particularly appreciative for the fact that I did have it. Again, it just was.
Another aspect was if I did have gratitude/appreciation how deep and wide was that feeling? Here is what I mean by that. One thing I totally love is a hot shower. I nearly always thank the warm water as it courses over me for how good it feels; how nurtured I feel as it does so. How much gratitude have I ever given to the infrastructure and people who have made running hot water in my home possible? Going that one step further begins to expand the gratitude that I experience.
It can then become easy to slip into thinking about the breadth and depth in other areas. How about food – am I grateful to the fruits, vegetables, meats, grains that end up on my plate? How about the farmers/growers, transportation, markets, banks, appliances that have all played a hand in having food show up on my table for consumption?
I come to realize just how unconscious I have become to the things that have shown up in my life and how they got there. All with very little appreciation for the “effort” that it took to get there. At a higher level, very little appreciation for how I am able to energetically organize my world so that they are consistently there. How often does a person honor themselves as a powerful being? I know I seldom do.
My reflections on “having what I wanted” took me down the road of enquiring “who is it that wants” and “why is it that it is wanted?” What need is wanting to be fulfilled? Why is that need there? An example might be “I want a cookie.” The “why” I want a cookie might include things like I’m bored, I want a distraction; I want something sweet in my life; I feel like something is missing and want to fill it; I’m feeling frightened, and as a kid, having a cookie was a sign that “all was well.” Another want might be a new flashy car. The “why” might be because I want to feel the sense of freedom that comes from having the wind in my hair; I want to be the envy of all of my friends; I have something to prove; I am trying to create a sense of value in my peer group; I want to make an impression on people when they see me in my new car; I want to exude success, especially when underneath I’m not certain about whom I am. I begin to determine that wanting things that I don’t have is more wrapped up around “lack consciousness” than “abundance consciousness” – I lack something – rather than I am filled with joy at having something.
In my Human Design studies, Karen (Curry Parker) has shared that part of the manifestation process is to be signaling the universe that “this feels good, more please.” This then allows the magnetic monopole to attract those types of experiences to me. If I don’t like what is going on, then I can “tweak the request.”
I am seeing more and more, that to appreciate what I have, to expand my level of gratitude can be a life altering event not only for me, as an individual, it can set a new frequency for the community and planet. Being fully engaged with what is present. Bringing all that is present into harmony.
I went searching for a few quotes and here are three I want to share. Each has an aspect of my own conclusions for “wanting what I have rather than focusing on having what I want.”
Oprah Winfrey: Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.
Robert Holden: The real gift of gratitude is that the more grateful you are, the more present you become.
Kristin Armstrong: When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in.
In this season, I invite you to find the things in your life that you are grateful for, and then be grateful for all that has been organized in the universe to bring it to you.