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How I learned that abundance loves balance

 

Recently I had a message from a reader who said, "I just wanted to let you know that I miss the spiritual focus of your blog. I find the focus on wellness to be not as satisfying. You are a beautiful writer. I liked it better when you focused on finding the light in the darkness, especially when you weren't averse to describing the darkness. Anyway, just one reader's opinion. Keep going no matter what."

I was very thankful for this letter. I went on to have a great conversation with this reader and others, the outcome being a new tagline for my blog which reads, “Abundance of body, mind and spirit." I'd love to hear any thoughts you may have on this.

The most terrifying moment of my life

It was the most lonely, desolate, terrifying moment of my life.

At six o'clock on a cold, frosty morning in October 1994, I said goodbye to the spiritual community in the interior of British Columbia (300 miles north of Vancouver) that had been my home for 36 years.

There was no one to say goodbye or thank me for my contribution to the community during that time. At age 63, with very limited financial resources, no idea what I would do next - or how I would possibly cope in a world I had forsaken long ago in the innocent fervor of youth - I simply climbed into a loaded truck and began the long drive to Vancouver.

I had thought that the community would be my home forever. Once upon a time, it had thrived with creativity, integrity and love. A place where 100 people or more contributed their time and talents on a cooperative basis, motivated by a shared love for the finest qualities of true character.

But in January 1988, the leader died, and the community began a steady downward spiral that ended, finally, in complete collapse. Who could have thought that such a thing would ever happen? Not me, for sure.

An increasing experience of abundance

But there is light on the other side of despair. Since that unhappy day my heart has cracked open to a new awareness and appreciation that abundance rightly includes both “spiritual" and “material."

I have realized that the impulse that was in me for so many years of my life to put all of my value and attention in spiritual goals and ambition -- what I perceived as "truth" -- was not wrong, but it was simply a phase in my existence.  And I have come to savor the joy of living more deeply in many ways than at any time in my life.

Abundance is waiting for each one of us

I have realized that abundance waits for each one of us. And that in the midst of turmoil and prejudice many people all over the world are awakening to a new awareness of the oneness and harmony of our true nature.

Some thoughts about abundance (please add your own thoughts, won’t you?)

1. Abundance is being thankful for everything that has brought me to this moment of my life.

 2. Abundance is being quick to forgive, and refusing to hold a grudge.

 3. Abundance is turning my attention to the stillness of my own presence and realizing anew, as I do so, that abundance is the very nature of my true nature and character.

 4. Abundance is not taking myself too seriously.

 5. Abundance is being in love with freedom, and honoring the unconquerable spirit in us all that never grows old. 

6.  Abundance is being utterly resolute and determined, and yet at the same time, as flexible as a branch on a tree.

7. Abundance is being able to perceive, and enjoy, the magic of “little moments.”

8. Abundance is respecting others.

9. Abundance is an apple, and the smell of that apple.

10. Abundance is honoring balance in one’s life.

11. Abundance is taking a moment to gaze up at the sky.

12. Abundance is giving the unique gift that we each came to give.

Tips and resources

I want to thank those readers who checked out The Wholefood Farmacy that I mentioned last week. I continue to enjoy “Phi Plus,” their unique blend of organic nuts, fruits, seeds, grains, and legumes that keeps me company on my walks and hikes and makes a perfect snack for a guy like me who is always hungry. JoAnn, who has chemical sensitivities, is looking into their "pamper pack,"  a selection of various natural products that cleanse, moisturize, and protect the skin.

By the way, Hessnatur, the German eco clothing manufacturer I mentioned last week, has a sale on. An organic merino wool sweater for men is down from $98 to $65, for instance, and a linen jersey duster for women is down from $160 to $108. 

I do hope this little section about tips and resources at the end of my weekly posts is useful to you. Please let me know if it is a distraction.

My love and blessings to you. As I say, I’d love to have your feedback on this post.

Picture credit: cafffeineandpixels

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3430/3863457890_77e3d80629.jpg

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Keith September 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Christopher,

I think anything you write about will be from your heart and therefore valuable, meaningful and simply fantastic. You bring such a unique, and needed, perspective to the things you write about. It’s obvious you write from your heart.

Like you, I have many times come to a deeper awareness of balance. Balance in all things.

Thank you Christopher

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Christopher Foster September 20, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Thank you Keith. I much appreciate your words and your encouragement. Your words about balance touch my heart — for sure, we can always go deeper can’t we? The very best to you. I wish you nothing but the best with your blogging and your music, you’re making a fine contribution to your world.

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Keith September 20, 2011 at 8:42 pm

And I thank you, my friend, for your encouragement and kind words. I appreciate them very much. 🙂

Robin Easton September 21, 2011 at 10:13 am

Ha! So our dear mutual friend Keith feels EXACTLY as do I. Trust him, Chris, because Keith is another one-of, very wise, and heart based person. Very kindred with you and me. He is a free thinker. I love when he writes: “…anything you write about will be from your heart and therefore valuable, meaningful and simply fantastic. You bring such a unique, and needed, perspective to the things you write about. It’s obvious you write from your heart.” AMEN!! (Thank you dear Keith for telling Chris this. And thank you for seeing what is really important. Both you and Chris have not forgotten what is important.)

Dear Chris, you could stand on your head, spin in circles (while standing on your head), and everything you shared with us from this place would STILL be so wise, and more importantly from your heart. You do not talk “at” us, nor do you spout concepts. You speak humbly and gently, lovingly and wisely. And as you share your life stories you remind us who and what we REALLY are. You must always remember to just be YOU. That is enough. It is everything.

Blessedly, you have always been and will always be a heart person. The world is full of “mind/head” people what it REALLY needs now is heart people. Lead on dear soul, boldly, bravely, and forge a path that will help those who have forgotten…to remember. You are truly unique, just as Keith says.

I LOVE this post and even down to the “apple, and the smell of that apple.” YES!!
Beautiful sharing her, all heart and soul. You encourage me to be ME. You really do. So grateful for that and you.

Much love to you dear friend.
So proud of you.

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Christopher Foster September 21, 2011 at 11:27 am

I’m proud of you too Robin. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words. You walk with such unabashed courage and love and genuine free spiritedness in this world and it is an inspiration.

I believe very much in synchronicity. How I came to meet up with you in the first place I will probably never understand, but I know it is not by chance. Love and blessings to you and stay strong.

Jackson Dunes September 20, 2011 at 7:39 pm

People sometimes view abundance as simply material gains but as you’ve shown us in this delightfully written piece, it’s so much more than that. Thanks for this post!

Jackson Dunes
Pug At The Beach
http://amzn.to/BeachBooks

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Christopher Foster September 21, 2011 at 9:12 am

Thank you Jackson, and look, may I call you Diana? And may I say how much I enjoyed reading a bit about your story and how you followed your dream and moved from New England to live on a Florida beach? A wonderful thing, to follow our dream. Your books about a little dog named Pug sound utterly delightful. More power to you.

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Jackson Dunes September 21, 2011 at 4:03 pm

Certainly Chris, call me Diana. Here’s a funny story (somewhat related to abundance). If you Google the name Diana Taylor you’ll get an abundance of information on that other Diana Taylor who is the girlfriend of the mayor of New York City. By page 6 or so I turn up. But if you Google the name Jackson Dunes, well, it’s just me and that island neighborhood on Ocracoke Island, North Carolina. And on bookshelves, virtual or otherwise, I’m right between Jack Canfield and Wayne Dyer! 😀 And thanks Chris for the positive feedback.

Galen Pearl September 20, 2011 at 8:10 pm

As you make clear, abundance comes from inside us, not from external circumstances. Lovely.

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Christopher Foster September 21, 2011 at 9:03 am

Hi Galen. Just want to thank you for your kind comment and for stopping by. Have a wonderful day.

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Barbara September 20, 2011 at 8:14 pm

“Abundance is taking a moment to gaze up at the sky.” as well as most of those points say much to me, but especially the sky, the sun and clouds… and for me the ocean. It all washes away the stress, the ‘grime’ left behind after a busy day.
Barbara

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Christopher Foster September 21, 2011 at 9:01 am

Oh Barbara, for a moment there, when I read your comment, I felt just a bit sorry for myself. No ocean here in Colorado, you see. But we do have a stream right here close by our townhome, they call it ‘Dry Creek’ but I’m happy to say this creek seems to flow year round. So that’s where I go to wash away the ‘grime’ as you say. Thanks for sharing.

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noch - be me. be natural. September 20, 2011 at 9:08 pm

yup ditto to all the above, and abundance is being true to yourself, and loving yourself first
🙂
noch

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Christopher Foster September 21, 2011 at 8:58 am

Right on Noch. Thank you for this reminder, an ancient truth that is becoming more and more important, don’t you think, in this busy, confused world? It’s always a pleasure to connect with you.

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noch September 21, 2011 at 7:56 pm

yes yes – we all tend to forget about ourselves, just being caught up in the hustle and bustle of life…!

p.s. sorry to ask you here, but I had a bit of trouble with your contact form / page, just wondering you got my private message to you via that a few days ago?

cheers
noch

Gail Brenner (AFlourishingLife) September 21, 2011 at 8:38 am

Hi Chris,

Abundance is realized when everything else falls away. It just is. And then it manifests in all the beautiful ways you describe. Thank you.

Did you ever do the a-bun-dance? Try it – it’s fun!

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Christopher Foster September 21, 2011 at 8:54 am

Thanks Gail. But you’ve got me a bit frustrated. I’d like very much to try this a-bun-dance but how do you do it?

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Gail Brenner (AFlourishingLife) September 21, 2011 at 9:00 am

Very simple. Feel it in your heart and your body, then let yourself move. Enjoy!

Jeffrey Willius September 21, 2011 at 10:53 am

Hi Chris — Great post! I love every one of your suggestions. I also like Gail’s comment above. Don’t you think there’s some truth to her notion that abundance and happiness are hard-wired into us, and that if we can get rid of all the stuff that’s shorting out the circuits, it will power us beautifully?

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Christopher Foster September 21, 2011 at 11:19 am

Oh absolutely Jeff. I think you and Gail make a wonderful point. Surely abundance and happiness are part of our very nature, our very being.

We’re like a beautiful masterpiece, a really valuable and ultra gorgeous masterpiece that unfortunately though no fault of our own actually, has been covered over with an imitation. All we have to do is let the imitation be peeled away and there we are. Unchanged and unspoilt. Blessings..

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Cathy | Treatment Talk September 21, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I agree that abundance is within all of us and we really only need to look for it. Your new direction seems right to me. Thank you.

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Christopher Foster September 22, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Thanks for the feedback Cathy, I appreciate it a lot.

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Metod September 21, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Beautiful story, Christopher. What would I add to these great posts above?

I like photography a lot and it taught me over the years to be more attentive to small details which usually go unnoticed and appreciate the beauty surrounding us. For me it’s one of the sources of abundance. A thought that tomorrow I might discover something special, or capture a beautiful moment. Appreciation and abundance are truly inseparable friends 🙂
Have a great week and looking forward to your next post

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Christopher Foster September 22, 2011 at 3:09 pm

This is such a lovely lesson Metod. Thank you so much for sharing it. I’m not a photographer but I can sure relate to what you say. Yes indeed, those small details in Nature just waiting to be seen and appreciated — we really need more lives than just one don’t we to appreciate it all? But it’s fun trying. I go for a walk beside a nearby stream every day and therre’s always something new to experience and enjoy.

Hope you capture a great picture today.

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Phil D. Malmstrom September 22, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Another wonderful post Christopher.

We are all Blessed by Our Heavenly Father with abundant lives. Through a balance of spiritual, emotional and physical gifts, we’re crafted in such a way that when we recognize and utilize those Blessings God bestows on us, our lives can take new directions we’d never thought possible. And while not always an easy or obvious path, tapping into that abundance can bring miraculous results.

Have a Blessed Day Christopher!

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Christopher Foster September 22, 2011 at 3:05 pm

Thank you for these wise words Phil, they bring inspiration and comfort.

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Ken Wert September 24, 2011 at 2:20 am

Abundance is also honoring the amazing potential that percolates within us by reaching in and opening ourselves up to that possibility, by working to develop our talents and abilities and learning, one day, one step at a time, to live with more purpose and meaning and joy.

Great post, Christopher!

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Christopher Foster September 24, 2011 at 1:06 pm

This is terrific stuff Ken. Thanks so much for sharing this very valuable input. We have to play our part, for sure, if we are to experience the abundance that is life’s wish for us. Best wishes and lots of success to you.

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Dr. Robert Doebler January 6, 2012 at 3:41 am

Hi Chris,

Personally, i think abundance is being happy genuinely. This type of happiness is like what we feel whenever we help less fortunate people and this type of happiness can’t be bought by money.

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Christopher Foster January 17, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I’m with you 100 percent Robert. No amount of money could ever buy genuine happiness. Thanks again for writing and sharing your thoughts.

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Jeffrey Willius January 6, 2012 at 11:29 am

Hi Chris — Just had another thought about this great post — one of my favorite quotes (haven’t been able to find the source): A man’s wealth is defined not by how much he has, but by how little he needs. Though I’m not very good at following my own wisdom, seems to me that as we approach our golden years, it’s a great, healthy process to explore how little we need — don’t you think?
Jeffrey Willius recently posted..PATHS OF WONDER – Can You Get There From Here?

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Christopher Foster September 21, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Thanks again Diana. It’s a pleasure to get more acquainted. It sounds like one cool spot where you live, just the name, Ocracoke Island stirs my romantic soul.

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Christopher Foster September 22, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Noch, thanks for your comment, but look, I’ve looked through my back email and I don’t see a message from you via the contact form. Could you resend please?

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