Throughout our lifetime we accumulate so many things. We sometimes buy these things to fill our houses and to fill our hearts. This is not necessarily a bad thing as objects can possess memories and history, but it can also be important to take a step back and recognise the why behind our purchases and behind the objects that we accrue. For me, my inner hoarder is a sartorial magpie and a collector of clothes. I find fashion to be the ultimate form of self expression and for that reason I can always make an excuse to buy something new. There is a certain joy in the discovery of a beautiful piece of clothing, be it a hidden gem scavenged from a charity shop or a high-priced leather boot from a luxury retailer.
Unfortunately, this desire for the tangible can also create societal greed, self-indulgence, and a warped sense of self-confidence that makes us feel ‘not-enough’. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, a classical yogic text written pre-400CE, Patanjali talks about Asteya (the third of the five Yamas which outline the ethical codes of the practice of yoga) which is the concept of non-stealing. This moral belief in non-stealing goes far beyond the physical act of taking something that does not belong to you. It can be expanded to other concepts like plagiarism, taking up someone’s time by being late, or having more than you need. In a way filling our houses with objects of desire may be a form of stealing, for it is often that the more things we possess the more we feel justified in our accumulation.
In the same way we practice gratitude (through the recognition of those things/people we are grateful for), so too can we exercise our practice of abundance. In a state of abundance, we want for nothing, knowing we have enough thus finding wholeness in our satisfaction. We can begin to cultivate our practice of abundance through the appreciation of the richness around us, acknowledging that we need and desire less than we may think and then in turn finding the happiness within that we seek externally.
I practice abundance through the repetition of a mantra (mantra being a repeated sound or words that help focus concentration and meditation). I repeat the phrase ‘ I am enough’ or ‘I attract abundance’ when sitting in meditation or while doing some breathwork before a simple home asana practice. In this way I use this mantra as a way to plant the intention while also drawing my attention and awareness to all the abundance already present in my life. For me, I think I shall always have a fondness for fashion, but this practice in abundance provides the space to gain perspective as to how these objects are internalised and manifest within my self-perception.
With that, I wish you all a bountiful week filled with abundance!