What does it mean to live an abundant life? Is it about having a lot of money? Living the American Dream of having a big house and a fancy car?
Actually, some of the richest people in the world lack abundance. Why? First of all, an abundant life has at least as much to do with what’s going on inside you than what’s going on outside you. Second of all, most wealthy people worry about their finances. Worry causes stress. Chronic stress leads to disease.
If you’re not healthy, you’re not living an abundant life.
As I stated in a recent post, abundance includes having enough money to pay the bills and then some for saving and giving, being healthy in body and mind, having loving and supportive relationships in your life, and doing work that fulfills you.
Above all these aspects is spiritual abundance. Joy overflowing and peace that surpasses all understanding should be near-daily experiences because you have developed an intimate relationship with your Creator. A faith-filled life void of bitterness and fear is the most abundant life of all, even if the person living it is homeless and counting on soup lines in order to survive.
Three ways to live more abundantly, right now
Most people don’t feel that they are living abundant lives. For many it’s because they refuse to connect with God (it’s not enough just to believe!). For others it’s because they struggle to make ends meet, or are experiencing serious health challenges.
The good news is, living a more abundant life is as easy and simple as first, looking outside yourself and feeling compassion for other people; and second, gaining the knowledge needed to make wiser lifestyle choices.
That said, here are three ways that you can begin to develop more abundance in your life today.
#1: Add a cup of vegetables to your diet today.
If you’re serious about being healthy, your daily consumption of fruits and vegetables should be nine servings a day, not the five servings you usually hear recommended. Chances are good that you’re not eating even the “5 a day for better health.”
So, instead of meat for dinner tonight, have a cup of black beans. Or add a cup of broccoli florets or green beans to either your lunch or dinner (preferably frozen or fresh, not canned). Or have two to three cups of salad vegetables – say, two cups of shredded romaine lettuce with a grated carrot – with a meal.
Getting in the habit of eating more fruits and vegetables – thereby making less space for the junk and fatty foods – is a great way to improve your health over time.
#2: Forgive somebody.
Most of us have someone in our lives whom we need to forgive. If you are walking around in unforgiveness, you are full of bitterness, resentment, and/or hatred. This is not an abundant life, for your have imprisoned your own soul in a cloud of toxicity.
You don’t have to talk to the person. That may be impossible, anyway, as the person might already be dead! You just have to let go of all the bad feelings. Give them to God. Ask Him to replace the negativity with joy and peace. You will not only improve your future health, but in that moment experience a release and lightness of heart that will last the rest of your life.
#3: Give something to somebody…without expecting a return.
Give to a charity. Pay the groceries or gas of the person in front of you at the checkout counter. Give the homeless person on the corner that candy bar in your purse that you know you shouldn’t be eating, anyway.
Give your elderly neighbor thirty minutes of your time via a conversation he or she rarely has anymore. Give your children some play time at the park instead of your usual after-work meeting at Starbucks with co-workers.
“Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, shaken, and running over shall men give into your bosom.” [Luke 6:38, The Holy Bible]
Giving brings joy to the giver. The more joy you have, the more abundant your life is.
And, like Jesus said in the above verse, giving leads to you receiving more in your life. More of what? Whatever you give!
Run with this idea!
There are dozens of other little actions you could choose from today to make your life more abundant. Let these three ideas be only a springboard. Take them and run with them. Or, sticking to the metaphor, dive with them.
What is abundance? Now you know.
Abundance to you,