I've shifted my mindset from one of scarcity to one of abundance.
No, I didn't blindly repeat a mantra about how the Universe is loving and abundant. Nor did I go to the bank and get a $100 bill to carry around in my wallet. And I didn't watch a video of an Internet sensation talk about how I, too, can make a 7-figure salary, if I enrolled in her 10-week course.
Instead, I stopped in my tracks, as I was about to pass a high end store in Santa Fe's famed Plaza, and listened to a small voice that said, "You can go in there."
My husband and I were in Santa Fe on a spur of the moment vacation, our first in nearly three years. I was window shopping, while he was visiting a history museum. I had been admiring the shop's windows--beautiful designer clothes, richly textured and expertly tailored, and jewelry that looked like nature's best effort at dazzling the human eye. This was a place where one could easily drop a few thousand dollars without breaking a sweat. As I walked past the doorway, I could see racks of pristine clothes inside, artfully displayed. Photo by all things paper.
When I got to the last window, I knew it was a moment of choice. Do I go in and risk being embarrassed, in my jeans and sneakers? I was clearly out of my element. Or do I keep walking down the sidewalk, safe...and small.
The voice inside my head was encouraging. "You can go in there. You're a fifty something woman." And then, in the faintest of whispers, "You deserve to be there."
I turned around and walked inside the store.
As I entered, my eye caught the unusual designs of finely double woven scarves. A young woman approached and asked if she could help me.
I replied honestly, "I just came in to be inspired, creatively. The mix of colors is so beautiful."
To which she said, "Oh, no problem. Other people have come in for inspiration as well. We just got these scarves in from Japan. If you have any questions, let me know. Each piece has a story behind it."
Did I hear her right? Did she say story? My rational mind dismissed her words and smiled back. It was as if the Universe was beckoning me through a doorway, and I was still reluctant to go through.
I began looking at a rack of handmade coats sporting quilted, colorful prints. When the saleswoman pointed out her favorite among many, I delighted in the fact that the same piece was my favorite as well. I asked her how they were made. From there, it was a series of stories about designers and fashion history, prompted by a specific garment on the rack--from Issey Miyake's one-size-fits-all wearable art to vests made out of vintage Hermes scarves to one designer's brilliant use of deep color with simple shapes. It was as if I had stepped into the Costume collection of prestigious big city museum and had my own personal guide.
As we looked at the jewelry cases, laden with necklaces and earrings crafted out of semi-precious stones, I came upon a realization, which I shared with my new companion. Photo images1.1stdibs.com
"Look at the unusual color of these stones. I don't have to own this to enjoy it. Just like nature."
Abundance is savoring, not necessarily owning.
To my surprise, I did walk out with a purchase. I bought a pair of shoes that I thoroughly love. I'm still in a bit of a daze that the shoes cost more than three times the price of a single night at the bed and breakfast we stayed at.
But here's what I know. From the moment I put on those shoes, I felt like I was walking in sneakers. Comfort is all important to me. These shoes fit my foot.
And they fit me. Entirely. A bit quirky and absolutely original. Like me. They make me feel special.
The cynics would say that the salesperson was very savvy to make friends with me. I'd say that she was a kindred spirit who made me feel like I belonged.
In fact, I thanked her for making me feel so welcome. To which she replied, "Oh, I hate snooty sales people. As a teenager, I was fascinated by fashion and I remember going into an Yves St. Laurent shop." She didn't elaborate what her experience was, but I could tell that she understood my hesitation in initially entering this store. I was so grateful that we connected. I wish I had taken a picture of her. Her name was Kate.
I left the store, feeling like life was indeed abundant, not so much because of my treasure held in a nondescript charcoal shopping bag. Instead, the shoes are a physical reminder of the impact of that one hour on my spirit, heart, and mind.
I had been treated to a visual feast that sparked my creativity and spirit.
Abundance is joyously connecting to the world around you.
My mind was fed by an amiable guide with a deep sense of history and craftsmanship.
Abundance is fulfilling one's curiosity.
My heart was filled with a self-respect that can never be taken away. I belonged in a place I didn't think I belonged. I deserved to be there.
Abundance is knowing you are enough.
Thanks, Kate, for helping me see and feel that.