I met Sharon two years ago and we had instant chemistry. It was a friendship meant to be. When I asked her to answer the “confessions questionnaire” she told me she preferred to write about abundance. I believe that wealth is not limited to financial power, and that we do not take advantage of the abundance that our lives offer us: friendships, learning, appreciation of beauty, etc. Who better than Sharon to talk about this subject. This week, in Confessions, Thoughts on Abundance, by Sharon Koenig
Born in Puerto Rico, Sharon Koenig is a bilingual speaker, motivator, business woman, mother and writer, who has published three books on spirituality. With a steady following in social media, she is better known as a writer who can comply profound spiritual lessons in simple and practical terms. After giving birth to her first child, Sharon set aside her successful career as a fashion designer and manufacturer and transformed her gift for creative and spiritual expression by becoming a “change catalyst” with a vision for a new spiritually, based in compassion, tolerance and inclusiveness. With this transformation, before becoming a writer herself, Sharon produced and developed motivational events and personal growth projects for the Latin community since 1993 featuring events for other well know authors.
In Puerto Rico, Sharon created and hosted Vida y Armonía, a radio program, focusing on natural living and spirituality, and later participated as a sponsor with the weekly national PBS TV show Healing Quest, hosted by Olivia Newton-John and produced by Lightbridge TV.
Sharon volunteered her leadership towards various natural community-based projects that represent mothers and children as well, including Baby Friendly USA, a UNICEF initiative in support of breastfeeding and early mother- and-child bonding, where she served as a board member. She currently publishes a free guide for mothers that government agencies in Puerto Rico use for their mothers. (www.bebenatural.com)
Sharon M Koenig has published three books, Los Ciclos de Alma (2011, Ediciones Obelisco, Barcelona), Las 12 promesas del alma (2016, HarperCollins Español) and just recently (October 2017) launched her spiritual memoir Desde Om hasta Amén, about her spiritual journey, also published with HarperCollins Español.
Sharon loves gardens, music, travel, reading, philosophy and nature. She is currently working on her first fiction novel. She has a daughter in College and lives in Miami with two adorable Persian cats. www.sharonmkoenig.com
“ My goal is to reach and inspire as many people as I can with a vision of a compassionate and inclusive spirituality; to assist them in finding their authentic purpose and peace of mind, through a conscious and everlasting connection with the one force I call ‘God’.”
Thoughts on abundance
Abundance is the gift of being able to focus on what we have instead of dwelling in what we lack.
It’s a state of grace that is not contingent on quantity but on quality. Abundance is realizing that our value doesn’t come from our possessions, but in a world where our worth is defined by outside appearances, this is much easier said than done.
Whereas prosperity is defined by external demonstrations of wealth, true abundance comes from an inner state of gratitude, which is not affected by outside circumstances neither of loss or gain.
Wealth, does not have the same meaning for everyone, for someone living in a simple home in nature the amount of freedom, oxygen and time, will be more valuable than revenues. There are many who are unhappy despite all the success they attain and others who are content with whatever life brings them. On the other hand, we cannot be cynical and say that being poor is only a state of mind, poverty is real, and it’s mostly caused by human greed. There is another kind of lack, Mother Theresa mentions a void that rich and poor suffer in silence: the emptiness of the soul, one that cannot be satisfied with all the riches of the world.
True abundance is more about living a life that matters than one that flatters. Living a life worth living is beyond acquiring wealth, if we’re not using the fruits of our talents for the common good of humanity we will feel that something is missing in our lives.
Abundance starts in the mind, but a good mind starts in the heart.
There are common obstacles against living in a state of abundance, they are false beliefs that may run havoc in our minds, without our consent. The most destructive ones are almost like a mantra: “There is not enough”, or “I am not enough.” These false beliefs are the root cause of most of the personal and collective harm, done in the world. The fear of losing our source of security, in the form of power and wealth, may push many to make wrong choices, including compromising one’s integrity and sometimes the security of whole countries.
We were all born with a purpose in life, it might be a gift that we discover in childhood, or later in life. It could be a talent that we discover by accident or develop later in life. It may also show up as an inherited trade from generations. With so much noise silencing our hearts, for many of us, the calling, instead of a loud roar is more like a small murmur that reveals itself little by little. When a talent doesn’t bring a profit, people are more likely to call it a hobby, but the secret to abundance and joy, together with prosperity and purpose, is to use our gift to help others become better people. An old teacher used to tell me “If you want a million, first you need to give a million in service”.
To increase prosperity, begin were you are, ask yourselves what resources and talents you already have. The problem with most people is that they focus on the problems instead of the opportunities, and what you focus on, will expand, including your troubles. Better to look for opportunities, this will make you aware of open doors you didn’t notice before, because maybe you were too focused on the challenges.
Many people in the path of prosperity, want to start big, they don’t realize that many great ideas started in a garage. Learning to manage a small amount is the first step: before managing 1 million we need to be able to learn to effectively manage 100 hundred.
Seeds for abundance
1.Use the power of self-observation to identify wrong thinking. What negative beliefs you have adopted about money?
Clue: They might show up in a compulsive need to either save or overspend. It might also be reflected in your conversation when you constantly say: Money is the root of all evil, which will make you distrust people by falsely accusing others of “trying to get you”. In general, constantly talking about other people’s money, searching for their favor and comparing yourself to others is another way of saying: My value comes from what I have or by who I know. A belief that will cause a permanent anxiety.
It will be valuable to identify these thoughts and correct them.
Some may think that money spoils people, but money doesn’t necessarily turn a good person into a bad one, but it sure can increase pre-existent negative qualities. It can also bring into focus the good ones, we have met many wealthy charitable people who have contributed to the good of the world.
Pride and entitlement, are common negative qualities of people who value money over people.
The mark of living in a true state of abundance is humbleness.
2.Start a gratitude journal.
Gratitude comes from the latin word Gratia, one of the meanings is to give a compliment out loud. It is also a state of wellbeing beyond this world, or God’s favor. When you say thank you, you bring grace into your life. A beautiful practice of showing gratefulness is giving, but not only physical but by words and actions. Attention and honest praise are also ways of saying thank you, I hear you, or more important: I see you. Be grateful to God, not only after you receive, but before even asking. Perpetually give thanks for all those gifts that can’t be bought and that many times we take for granted: your family, love, health, oxygen, life.
3.It’s important to have all your finances up to date, out of control debt or having money owed to you, will take away your peace.
This also applies to feeling that you are not being fairly remunerated either in work or in a transaction. Practice being assertive and ask for what you deserve.
4.If you are a believer, through prayer, ask God to show you ways that you may be of service.
Through a NGO, by collaborating with a cause in the government, or by working as a volunteer. Tithing a percentage of your earning, is a practice that has been done for ages, guaranteed to bring satisfaction and more prosperity.
We can all work as instruments for good. Instead of asking what can I get in a particular situation, we can ask “How can I serve”.
5.Don’t forget to enjoy the simple things in life together with family and friends.
Another belief that can destroy abundance is that popular saying “Money doesn’t grow on trees”.
At one’s death bed we won’t have regrets of spending more hours at work.
Of course, we need determination to build wealth, but not by destroying ourselves and the people we love. Take time for your health, by practicing a sport or by going to a gym. Give your mind a deserved daily rest by sleeping well and having moments of silence. Practicing mindfulness could be as simple as walking in nature, having a family dinner while at the same time being completely conscious of the now through all your senses. This activity will charge your creative batteries with new energy.
6. Educate yourself.
One of the most frequent habits of prosperous people is learning, either reading or taking courses.
7. Finally ask yourselves: What do you enjoy doing, that you don’t need a pay check as a motivation?
What skills feel natural to you? What challenge in your life have you suffered and conquered? What would you do if you only had 2 years to live? These questions without a doubt will bring you closer to your purpose. In what ways am I immensely abundant already?
Finally being in a state of abundance could be so simple as to “Being able to count your blessings”,