Seven ways we unconsciously operate from scarcity.

Photo by  lucas Favre  on  Unsplash

Photo by lucas Favre on Unsplash

Originally published for Rebelle Society.

Abundance. It’s a thing. We all want a piece of it in this new age of Aquarius where supposedly the suffering of our past generations is totally over and, from what I understand, magic is right at the tips of our noses, if only we’d just let ourselves have it already. 

Channeling in abundance using universal principals like the Law of Attraction seems pretty straightforward, right? But what if it’s not working? How deep do we need to go before tirelessly applying these straightforward universal laws to our lives actually starts working so we can finally quit our jobs and live permanently on vacation, amiright?!

After some of my own *cough* personal investigation *cough*, I’ve discovered some very sneaky ways in which my highly sophisticated mind has justified totally scarce behavior, and because I am the biggest fan of abundance ever, I’m going to share them with you, so you can get free here too! (see what I did there?!)

1. Planning wardrobe/life around loads of laundry (ex: rationing one pair of underwear per day, working out according to convenience of doing laundry for sweaty gym clothes, using the same towel for more than a week before washing it, not changing the sheets, not BUYING an extra set of sheets…). 

Let me paint a picture for you of just how deep we might need to go on this one.

I love routine. A lot. In so many ways, routine is deeply ingrained into my psyche. To the extent that when I wake up in the morning, before doing anything else, I guzzle a liter of water and sit cross-legged in my bed rehashing my dreams for a good ten minutes before moving. This is called a habit, and most people would call this a good habit, because hydration and inner-inquiry.

Other habits can also be interpreted as good, but are actually put into place out of scarcity. And the intention matters, folks! For example, I live permanently in Denmark, where I do not own a dryer (not many people do - hang drying clothing being the preferred method of instilling unrelenting patience involuntarily, throughout life). My life revolves around this reality more often than I would like to admit. Because it takes up to two days for my laundry to dry, and because I only have so much space for bras and underwear in my Danish design (minimalist) chest of drawers, and so little time (scarcity) to tend to strategically hanging a full load of clothes on a drying rack that is never big enough (scarcity) I have found myself, on numerous occasions, determining my workout schedule around planned loads of laundry. 

I also plan showers around my workout schedule, and will decide to not work out if I have recently taken a shower, because I don’t want to wash my hair more than once in a day, because Khiels shampoo is EXPENSIVE (scarcity). 

Ways in which I justify the above that I then attach to my identity? I’m frugal, I’m pragmatic, I’m rational, I’m organized, and I’m thoughtful. Oh, and I’m environmentally conscious, too! 

But I’m ALSO scarce. 

Boom. There it is. The truth in all her glory. Where’s the little monkey emoji with his eyes covered when you need him?

2. Avoiding using dishes to not have to run the dishwasher (or to not otherwise wash dishes).

I used to brag to my friends that one of my most endearing qualities was that I was the opposite of pretentious, and one of the particularly “cute” ways I was easy-going and laid back was that when I was alone and no one could see me, I ate/drank straight from the container. It was one of the things I loved the most about living alone. No dishes, and no one to get grossed out that my germs were all over all the things, and there was no one to tell me that I couldn’t eat tonight’s take-out in bed, in front of my computer. 

Yes, this is simple, and cute, and endearing. But it also sends a message to the universe. One that says: “I don’t *value* my time enough to take a break to eat without worrying about missing a new post on facebook” (scarcity), nor do I give myself the space to *receive* the delicious food I’m eating with grace and awareness of how hard my body works to metabolize it all. 

Now imagine exuding this behavior at a fine dining restaurant, which costs over $100 per person for a meal. 

When you’re ready to put your computer down, and to practice gratitude and consciousness while consuming each of your meals, with no distractions, in a way that honors the entire process the meal had to go through to become a meal, and the process it’s about to go through to nourish your body, you’ll be headed in the abundant direction. 

3. Waiting to know the price before deciding whether we want something and/or deciding what we want based on the price.

Raise your hand if you do this?!

My mom used to say to me “if you need to ask how much it costs, you can’t afford it.” 

A lot of really wonderful things cost a lot of money. And it may be true that with the current set of spectacles you’ve got on, you don’t think you can afford it, but if you never give yourself the opportunity to want for anything you can’t currently afford, you also rob yourself of the opportunity of discovering new creative ways in which you could make it happen. 

One of the biggest principals of manifesting money is the concept of putting skin in the game. Action to back your word lets the universe know YOU ARE SERIOUS about having this thing in your life. Tell people about it, put down a deposit, and start to visualize yourself having that thing. 

But more importantly than anything else, is the danger of squashing your desire. Your desire is your calling, your purpose, your gift, and why you’re here in the world. Desire doesn’t work within the confines of societal rules, and diminishing your desire by accepting something that doesn’t quite fit because of the price, or deciding you don’t want what you really want because it feels too expensive, has a very harmful impact on your spirit. 

Many of us are running around with a powerful unconscious fear that we want too much, and all of this stems from there. We feel guilty and ashamed of wanting more than we have. Your ACTION to listen to that fear and then go after it anyway will make it possible for you to consciously want more, and let it grow from “too much” to “just right.”

4. Not giving someone our undivided attention because we're too concerned with something (or someone) that is happening somewhere else.

FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) has officially turned into a western world epidemic, and it’s so widespread that coaches like me now get paid thousands of dollars to give someone their undivided attention. It’s that rare, and it’s that valuable. 

Worrying about missing out on something else prevents us from being present with what is in front of us, and it’s driven by a fear of lack: “There is not enough to go around, and I need to be alert to that so I don’t get left out.” Lack of presence is the number one factor in our ability to actually channel in abundance in our lives. If we can’t be present because our mind is running or we feel a need to lock in something that isn’t right in front of us, we can’t possibly be present to receive what we already have, practice gratitude for it, and attract in even more. 

5. Staying in cheap/seedy lodging while traveling. 

There’s a whole population of travel junkies that do this. Hello, I’m Antesa, and I’m a recovering frugal traveler.

“The cheaper, the dirtier, the better” was my motto, as I made my way into and out of epic destinations the world over, negotiating down to the penny for a night’s sleep in a seedy motel room. It was all part of the experience. I once even posted a photo online of just how shady the toilet was in my room in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for everyone else to see how hardcore I had become. 

I felt evolved, as though I had graduated beyond material value to something cherished and rare that no one but me every got to experience. Something so cherished it didn’t need a toilet seat. 

But actually what was happening is that I was putting a lot of attention on being cheap and celebrating that, and very little attention on ways in which I could have similar experiences from a source of internal wealth. I had conflated “luxury” with “inauthentic experience” figuring that the more stressed out I was, the better my stories would be, and more accolades I would get as a seasoned traveler. 

The truth is, the more stressed out I was about touching the toilet rim in that hotel, the less present I was to enjoy the experience of being in such a bustling city with so much to discover. I was also so exhausted from worrying about someone breaking into our seedy motel that I didn’t sleep, and then couldn’t really be awake enough to enjoy the things I did see. Good thing I had my camera, because at least (scarcity) I have pictures! 

6. Making ourselves smaller/hiding/diminishing ourselves/acting dumb/feeling powerless in the presence of people we deem more powerful/more brilliant/more beautiful/more successful than ourselves.

I’m a firm believer in powerful humans rising together, and yet, one thing we all unconsciously do at some point in our lives, is we make ourselves smaller than a person who we deem better than us. 

The root of this is very much around “there isn’t enough (scarcity) to go around, and so I have to submit to his/her authority, and someday I’ll be powerful enough that he/she will have to submit to me" (or worse yet, “I’ll never be powerful enough to dominate him/her”).

The reality is that there is way more than enough to go around, and truly the type of power we’re all after is a soft vulnerable inclusive one that has everyone in a position of leadership and authority, in their own lives. Then we all get to co-create together from a space of total wealth and abundance, celebrating one another’s successes without having it mean we’re not good enough if someone has more than we do. 

7. When buying groceries at a store with a debit card, and are prompted "Would you like cash back?" and choosing "no." 

This one is my personal favorite. When you really look at the energetics of channeling in liquid cash, it’s worth considering all of the ways in which you are saying “no” to more of it. 

Trips to the grocery store have highlighted this to the extent that I now take $5 out each time I’m prompted, and strategically place those bills all over my house, to remind myself regularly of just how much money there is in the world. 

Yes, I would like cash back please.