What do tur­tles have to do with abun­dance?

Are you hid­ing out in your shell or col­lec­tively do­ing your part to cre­ate the abun­dant world we all want to live in?

Living Now - - Editorial - by Julie Ann Cairns

Are you hid­ing out in your shell or col­lec­tively do­ing your part to cre­ate the abun­dant world we all want to live in?

THE CRE­ATION OF A COL­LEC­TIVE CON­SCIOUS­NESS

One of the big­gest lessons I’ve learned about cre­at­ing a life of abun­dance, free­dom and choice is that we’re all in it to­gether.

I can only ac­cess abun­dance if I live in an abun­dant sys­tem – a sys­tem that af­fords me op­por­tu­ni­ties and pos­si­bil­i­ties that I can par­tic­i­pate in to cre­ate the life of my dreams. And that means I’m not an is­land. We’re all part of an in­ter­con­nected whole, and what we’re jointly cre­at­ing as a col­lec­tive has a real im­pact on ev­ery in­di­vid­ual’s own per­sonal op­por­tu­nity set.

I recog­nise that. And, I see that my own be­liefs and ap­proach to life play as big a part in the cre­ation of that col­lec­tive con­scious­ness as any­one else’s.

If as a col­lec­tive we be­lieve we’re a species that’s des­tined only to fight for sur­vival, if we be­lieve that com­pe­ti­tion is eter­nal be­cause there’s not enough to go around and we’ll al­ways be fight­ing over the scraps, if we fo­cus on prob­lems in­stead of so­lu­tions, if we’re sus­pi­cious of each other and prac­tise xeno­pho­bia; then we end up in a sys­tem based on ad­ver­sity and fear. That’s the scarcity par­a­digm, and it’s not pretty.

If as a col­lec­tive we choose to be­lieve we’re a species that is in­ge­nious and cre­ative, that has tran­scended the fight to sur­vive and ac­tu­ally has the abil­ity to thrive, to fo­cus on pos­si­bil­i­ties, to lis­ten to each other with the in­tent to

We’re all part of an in­ter­con­nected whole, and what we’re jointly cre­at­ing as a col­lec­tive has a real im­pact on ev­ery in­di­vid­ual’s own per­sonal op­por­tu­nity set.

un­der­stand and em­pathise, to reach out to each other with good will and peace in our hearts; then we can cre­ate a world that in­spires us with won­der and that we love liv­ing in.

‘FIGHT OR FLIGHT’ OR HEALTHY BOUND­ARIES?

That’s an abun­dant world. It’s pos­si­ble. But how do we get there? It’s a col­lec­tive choice. And it’s also a per­sonal one.

I can’t change the world. No one can. Not on their own. But ev­ery­one con­trib­utes to the col­lec­tive con­scious­ness. So logic dic­tates that what I do mat­ters. How I do it mat­ters. I can’t re­ally ex­pect an abun­dant col­lec­tive to be cre­ated while I’m per­son­ally be­hav­ing in ways based in fear, ag­gres­sion or in­tol­er­ance, can I?

Does know­ing that stop me? Not al­ways.

Some­times the sys­tem I’m liv­ing in scares me. Some­times I feel pow­er­less to change it. When fears are run­ning high, we nat­u­rally switch into ‘ fight’ or ‘ flight’. It’s a sur­vival mech­a­nism.

Over the past few weeks I’ve had a cou­ple of un­for­tu­nate ex­changes on Face­book. I’m not proud of it, but I un­der­stand why it hap­pened. There’s some scary stuff go­ing down in the world and hav­ing on­line ar­gu­ments can be part of my ‘ fight’ re­sponse.

More of­ten though, I choose ‘ flight’. I re­treat into my shell like a tur­tle. I with­draw from the world, be­cause I feel that what the world is show­ing me is just too fright­en­ing to deal with.

Now, there are forms of with­drawal that can be good. I call those bound­aries. I don’t like to hang around with many neg­a­tive peo­ple, for ex­am­ple. I try not to read too much neg­a­tive

I can’t change the world. No one can. Not on their own. But ev­ery­one con­trib­utes to the col­lec­tive con­scious­ness. So logic dic­tates that what I do mat­ters.

news. I try to have enough quiet time, re­flec­tion, and med­i­ta­tion in my life so I can calm my ner­vous sys­tem and pre­vent it from go­ing into ‘ fight’ mode so eas­ily.

Lately, though, it hasn’t been about me hav­ing healthy bound­aries… I’ve just been hid­ing out in my tur­tle shell be­cause I’ve felt that I can’t han­dle what’s go­ing on in the world. It’s too much.

When I’m like that, I’ve come to re­alise that what I’m do­ing is block­ing new abun­dance and op­por­tu­nity from en­ter­ing my life. There’s only room for me and my fears in­side that tur­tle shell… and noth­ing else.

That’s what tur­tles have to do with abun­dance. Noth­ing.

(I speak metaphor­i­cally of course. Real tur­tles are amaz­ing, cool and an im­por­tant part of our ecosys­tem.)

MOV­ING OUT OF THE TUR­TLE SHELL AND TO­WARDS THE ABUN­DANCE PAR­A­DIGM

Be­ing in my tur­tle shell may feel like a safe place, but noth­ing is mov­ing for­ward while I’m in there. It’s a place of zero growth and zero new op­por­tu­ni­ties.

How do I shift out of that? How do we all shift out of it?

Well, if the scarcity par­a­digm is about fear and sus­pi­cion, then the abun­dance par­a­digm is about em­pa­thy and con­nec­tion. When I’m in my shell, what I re­ally need is to reach out, even though it’s hard for me to do that.

I ex­plained my tur­tle shell sce­nario to one of my most em­pathic friends and she had a great idea. She said: “Let’s have a code. When you’re in your shell, text me a pic­ture of a tur­tle so I’ll know. Then, when I get the tur­tle pic­ture, what would you like me to do in re­sponse?”

I said: “Text me a time so I’ll know when is a good time that you can take a call from me, lis­ten to my fears and gen­tly talk me out of my shell.”

That strat­egy helped me feel I have per­mis­sion to reach out without im­pos­ing. In fact, just get­ting that per­mis­sion alone was enough to bring me back out of my shell!

WE’RE ALL IN THIS TO­GETHER

So when I say, “We’re all in this to­gether”, it’s more than just a plat­i­tude. I need my abun­dance col­lec­tive, and my abun­dance col­lec­tive needs me. Es­pe­cially when the whole scarcity par­a­digm is rag­ing and all its as­so­ci­ated fears are run­ning high.

My friend and I de­cided we’d re­spond to the mad­ness by be­ing there for each other – ot to am­plify each other’s fears, but just to lis­ten and gen­tly coax each other back into ac­tively and col­lec­tively do­ing our part to cre­ate the kind, abun­dant world we both want to live in.

Con­nect with other read­ers & com­ment on this ar­ti­cle at www.liv­ing­now.com.au

Julie Ann Cairns is the au­thor of the top sell­ing Hay House book The Abun­dance Code: How to Bust the 7 Money Myths for a Rich Life Now, and the Di­rec­tor and Pro­ducer of the doc­u­men­tary of the same name, The Abun­dance Code. With over 25 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in wealth cre­ation, Julie Ann is uniquely qual­i­fied to help peo­ple ac­cel­er­ate their own jour­ney to abun­dance through prac­ti­cal tips and pow­er­ful mind­set en­hance­ments.

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