Is It Brand-Slavery or is It Abundance? How Do YOU Define It?

Is It Brand-Slavery or is It Abundance? How Do YOU Define It?

A flute glass of champagne.

Is it brand-slavery or is it abundance? Classic (or brand-enslaved?) image of luxury and abundance: a glass of champagne. This beautiful graceful flute glass of champagne is by Quinn Dombrowski.

Abundance: Starting from Zero

Anywhere can be a place to start seeking abundance, if it includes loss, humility, and the clarity of self-awareness they give us.

Conscious loss clears out our inner space for more of what we truly want.

Self-Defining Abundance

Another nudge in the right direction toward self-defining abundance: the answer is right in front of you–you just have to be willing to look right in front of you to see it.  Our soul-colleague sound and Reiki healer Andrea Wenger described coming out to herself as abundant in her chapter in the book Inspired Voices:

My answer in recent months to the question of “what do I want?” was to be a clear channel of healing…and be supported!  Often the last phrase was spoken with desperation and exasperation: “I’ve found the healing work I’m gifted in and love to do, and it’s transformative and a blessing to others. Why isn’t the Universe supporting me in it? I just want to pay my bills and take care of myself reasonably well. I don’t need an expensive car or vacation in Hawaii! What am I missing here? I just want to be supported!!”

In that moment, I saw the scarcity and lack in those statements,,,. I had a beautiful home, a reliable car, and plenty of food in my kitchen, and even a garden in my small inner-city back yard. Income and other resources were showing up consistently, month by month, even day by day, to support me in paying my bills and starting to pay off debts….I burst into tears—this time, tears of relief and understanding…even joy. I am being supported!

Abundance = noticing I already have what I am asking for.  (Which may mean I need to change what I’m asking!)

Self-Defining Luxury

Beth Crittenden, a gifted financial wellness coach, explored her internal dialogue around joining the San Francisco Tennis Club, (whose motto is “luxury without apology”)

I might get more rather than less bitter about “wealthy” people after I do it.

I might overdo it. (Lord knows that is very often the case. At least I shouldn’t be surprised if I overdo it.)

But as of now, I am planning on joining the San Francisco Tennis Club for at least 4 months…..

and deciding ultimately that:

Jeez, writing this list I see how it would potentially do more harm to NOT join this place, at least for those inferiority complex reasons, and at least have the experience of surviving there…

In my comment on her post, I shared my own definition of abundance:

I way love what happens to me when I claim what’s deeply luxurious for me!….I have a closet, serious deeply-devoted-to-luxury side who has taken me (quite alone, thank you, as well as with a select friend) to a five-star hotel for my birthday, and at times to what for me represents the most exquisite spa in my area. One of the beautiful things this does for me come when I am not comfortable financially taking myself to these places and I have abundant luxury experiences to draw on so that I may travel there in the dreamtime–with deep healing received…I create home high-teas for myself, my daughter, and anyone who will sit still long enough from within this loving Aphrodite-Hestia temple inside me.

and toasted Beth’s self-definition

 with a dreamtime flute of exquisitely expensive champagne.

Is It Brand-Slavery or is It Abundance?

So now I ask you to self-define. Make sure that brand-slavery has not cornered your mental market.

It’s vital to self-define abundance.

Tell me: how do YOU define abundance?  I’d love to know.

  • beth crittenden
    Posted at 00:02h, 26 October Reply

    Oh, how fun! This is a really important question! I spoke to a group of teenagers tonight, who are graduating from a vocational support program, and are getting ready to have to pay their own bills and make all of their own money decisions.

    MY form of luxury is having the money to support my having choices. Options. Different routes I could go.

    A lack of luxury is a lack of option. And that could mean that I feel “stuck” at my $150K per year job, working all the time, never able to take a breath without feeling like things will fall apart.

    Luxury is also contained in variety for me. With my schedule, with friends, with viewpoints, heck, I even like having a few different hand lotions in my bag I can choose from. It is also luxurious to not keep things because I feel I should. If I try a lotion and my skin doesn’t like it, that thing is going to get another home – someone else who will hopefully enjoy it more than I. Then I get the LUXURY of not having to carry it around just because I purchased it!

    • Beth
      Posted at 11:48h, 26 October Reply

      Lovely, writerly small details giving us the big picture of an inwardly guided abundant. “It is also luxurious to not keep things because I feel I should.” For me this is the heart of your comment: not to keep a job because I feel I should, not to keep to one single choice or route because I feel I should. And to recycle them to whom they may serve–and move on to choose again.

  • ATM
    Posted at 10:46h, 01 November Reply

    Reading your post this morning was a good reminder of how indeed the universe is constantly working in my favor, filling my coffers and accounts, providing me with a “wealth” of experiences, allows me to travel to exotic – fairy tale places, gives my partner a sweet job, seeks me out for jobs that train me and raise my experience etc. etc. even in a year when my actual taxable income will be at its lowest – although it is only November, so the jury is still out on that, and the universe is still working its magic. Ive found myself anxious about spending down my savings this year… NO MORE. Indeed it is because of the universe’ abundance that I have it. The time it has given me to grow is priceless and abundant. I am rich (and getting richer).

    • Beth
      Posted at 17:23h, 01 November Reply

      ATM! Check you out! Please brag here anytime!
      Anyone, anyone–can you top this? Please try!
      Let us be here a safe space for bragging to the Universe our gratitude, in loving detail!

  • Andrea
    Posted at 18:20h, 01 November Reply

    What a rich discussion! I’ve been warming up to this idea of self-defining abundance and luxury (although that one has been really challenging, given the cultural conditioning of my early life), and really appreciate your pointing to the loss and humility factor, Beth R. I see that more clearly now. Thank you!

    Just this week I was in another tailspin of fear and scarcity-thinking when funds didn’t show up as I had expected. (Ha! that’s the first catch to be aware of — expectations!) In a somewhat raw place emotionally already, I pulled up to a traffic light where a gentleman had his “homeless and hungry” sign and a styrofoam cup. Before even making eye contact, I rummaged in my glove compartment for a Larabar — I keep a stash for such occasions — and started to roll down the window. I’m a little sheepish in my offering at times, not sure if my “health food” will be welcomed. The man eagerly took it, beaming, “Ah, yes…always food! Thank you!” His genuine gratitude for something so small triggered my tears, overwhelmed by how much I had at home in my fridge and cupboards. It’s all a matter of perspective, isn’t it?

    So, I guess I’ll brag on how much amazing food I have, much of which I didn’t not purchase myself, and the gift of that man’s gratitude and smile… And that the invoice I just wrote and can reasonably expect to receive payment for in a week is exactly the amount needed to cover my rent for this month. My home truly is luxurious to me, and others’ appreciation when they visit continues to remind me to not take it for granted. I can rest and trust…there is MORE than enough!

    • Beth
      Posted at 10:41h, 02 November Reply

      Andrea, your story here and in the post, and ATM’s, are touching the place in me personally and within RAISING CLARITY’s work that has so needed to be fed: self-defining. It’s fine w/me if not everyone is touched by these stories: we are about the diversity of the human community and support your self-defining abundance. That’s what we mean as the opposite of “brand-slavery.” I don’t care if someone else thinks I should want it if I DON’T TRULY WANT IT. The clarity that comes from actually examining what I think is abundance (even when it’s “weird,” like loss or humility) is what we want to foster at RAISING CLARITY.
      Thank you so much for nourishing this healthful conversation, healer-woman!

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