Coach’s Challenge for 11/30/09

Good day, team,

The coach’s challenge this week is about abundance. Look around you. What do you see? Do you have everything you need? Do you have everything you want? What is the difference? Are you grateful for what you have, or do you find yourself constantly longing for what you don’t?

Recently, I’ve been reading a book about life in the slums of Bombay, India. Most of the people in this book live in small, handmade huts on the outskirts of the city. They own a change of clothes, a toothbrush, a cup, a plate, a fork and a mat to sleep on. (And these are the lucky ones!) I am amazed at how happy these people are and how they experience abundance in their lives. They are grateful for the smallest things, because they have so little. I’m also reading a book about a young girl who was born into a family of billionaires and has all she’s ever wanted. Her life is characterized by continual displeasure with everyone and everything around her. The contrast between the two stories is obvious: Abundance is not about having more and more things, but about our attitude toward the things we have.

We live in a world of enormous wealth and consumerism. The selection of products is overwhelming at times. Do you ever find yourself in the store unable to decide among the 30 brands of laundry detergent on the shelf? I often think that the time I spend analyzing which brand to buy is worth far more to me than any benefit I might derive from saving money or getting better quality with the “right” choice. I have found that I’m actually happier if I have a more limited selection. Faced with too many options, I chafe for what isn’t available, and then I’m dissatisfied with what is.

Cultivating an awareness of our surroundings is one of the best ways to experience abundance. Right now, we are enjoying the beauty of autumn as it moves into winter. Geese are migrating to their southern habitats and small birds are grateful to find birdfeeders full of seeds.  Each of us can experience the abundance of this season,  but only if we take the time to see it, smell it, touch it. This time of year we can be especially grateful for some aspect of our indoor environment:  a warm fire and a good book to read, the beauty of candlelight on such short days, or  good food with family and friends around the dining table.  Perhaps you buy something new for yourself to wear over the holidays and you appreciate how well it fits or how nice the cloth feels on your skin. The next time you laugh with a friend or team member, try experiencing the abundance of being rich in relationships.

When we feel abundant, we tend to attract abundance. When we cultivate an attitude of scarcity, our minds focus on what we don’t have, and in turn, we attract less of what we need and want. Try finding something in your environment this week that makes you truly grateful. Experience how happy and abundant this appreciation makes you feel; enjoy life as William Blake expressed it in “Auguries of Innocence.”

“To see a World in a grain of sand
And a Heaven in a wild flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.”

Have a great week!

Kathleen

Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

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