Abundance vs. Scarcity

Abundance vs. Scarcity

I gotta be honest...

A couple weekends ago, I hosted a vendor booth at one of my favorite local artisan events.  (You may be seen some of the fun pics we took that day on our Facebook and Instagram pages). The GOOD: street food + design in Sacramento market is so rad, mostly because there are so many creative people doing what they love and bringing cool stuff into the world--all in one place. I'm talking sculptures, jams, topiaries, wooden toys, artisan ice creams, juices, and of course, jewelry.  

Lots and lots of jewelry.  

And although Compliment always does well at this event, meeting lots of incredible designers new friends, I feel nervous the morning before each market: 

What if everyone likes HER jewelry better? Oh my gosh, did you see her set up? It's so much cooler than ours.  Ooh... she has more metal pieces and all I have are these beaded pieces. Crap.  I should just pack up and go home.  Everyone is going to buy all their stuff and there's no room for me.  


Sit with that a minute.  If you're feeling like you wanna close this email now, and go on doing your day, I encourage you to stay a bit longer.  

This is a belief that very hard for us to admit to ourselves because we women, we compete.  We are really bad at this. And it serves NO ONE.

I've talked before about believing in abundance, or the mind-set that there's enough good/love/health/wealth/joy/etc. to go around.  I work hard every day to practice this.

But lemme get real with you a sec: life doesn't always happen like in the movies: strangers don't often break out into song and perfect choreography celebrating the day, and unicorns don't frolic atop of fluffy clouds showering pink glitter upon a field of pretty posies.  

We get tired and hungry and grumpy. We feel envy.  We feel scared.  We mark our territory.  We stop sharing.  We feel icky and like our stuff isn't good enough. We block creativity and love from flowing. (These are all sure-signs of scarcity!)

How come some days we can feel expansive and light and grateful and free and other days we sink into the sadness of the swamps and see only ALL THAT EVERYONE ELSE HAS, stacked up against ALL THAT WE LACK?  (Thank you, Facebook, for exacerbating this ASTRONOMICALLY.)

It's the scarcity vs. abundance mindset we struggle with-- and I'm certain I don't have to tell you how much it sucks when the Scarcity Snakes slithers into your thoughts. It happens to the best of us.  But we can make a conscious effort to practice abundant living--inviting more goodness, contentment, and peace into our lives.  How, you ask?

scarcity to abundance

Here are 3 simple shifts you can make to move from SCARCITY to ABUNDANCE.

1. Make room.

By holding on to too much stuff, we are sending the silent signal to the universe that we are not ready to receive more goodness.  “Stuff” can be anything: the clothes you don’t wear at the back of your closet, the piles of papers on your counter, the broken, inkless pens in your junk drawer.  GET RID OF IT.  Make room. Grab a few bags, label them “TOSS,” “DONATE,” and “SELL.”  Throw away the garbage, bring your donations to your favorite charity, and even see if you can sell some of that clutter at a yard sale or consignment shop. I just got rid of all the bags that have been sitting in my trunk for over a month.  It felt great. Our spiritual selves get weighed down when our physical environments are in disarray. If you’ve seen “Hoarders,” you know what I’m talking about.

2. Keep a gratitude journal. 

There is a saying: "If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." At the end of each day, no  matter how tough it may have been, see if you can name 5 things you’re grateful for.  If that’s too easy, GOOD.  Think of 5 more, and 5 more after that.  The key is to write these things down so you can refer back to them later. Keep it in a file on your computer or in a pretty notebook you keep at your bedside.  I will sometimes keep a running list on my iPhone's notes app so I have it with me on the go.  By practicing gratitude, we stop thinking about all the things we are lacking and we start searching out all the wonderful things we have.  Hot water, a Trader Joe’s nearby, not getting a parking ticket even though my meter expired, my favorite song on the radio during rush hour.  Look around.  Listen.  Breathe deep.  There’s so much good around us.  List it out.  You’ll start noticing more and more, inviting abundance to stay and giving you the ability to bounce back faster when life throws us a challenges. 

3. Affirm the positive.

Do you have days you look in the mirror and just go, “Ugh?” Cool...  You’re like the rest of the women I know.  Whatever defeating monologues that run through your head, though, contribute to the scarcity mindset. Instead, affirm the positive.  What do you love about yourself? (Like, seriously.  Stop and think of something..... Got it?  Great.)  Grab a post-it and write it down. “I am creative and am amazed when I can make something from nothing.”  Stick that baby on your bathroom mirror, on your dashboard, around your cubicle, inside your kitchen cabinet--wherever you’re most likely to pause a moment and read it. It doesn’t have to stop there, either.  What else do you feel good about? “My friends are trustworthy and kind.”  “My home is safe and comforting.”  “I am independent and capable.” If a sneaky little bugger of a negative thought creeps in, shoo it away with another affirmation.  Then go around your space and re-read.  Eventually, your focus will start to shift to the positive more and more and you will attract the abundance and fullness of life you desire.

This may be all sorts of woo-woo to you, but I'm telling you, this works.  I know because I've seen it in my own life and the lives of friends and family who have similar practices.  If you're skeptical, do what the pros use to:  "Fake it til you make it."  Give it a try and let me know what comes of it...


What other abundance practices do you have?  In what ways have you experienced abundance recently?  Let me know in the comments below or get social with me over on Facebook and Twitter.
Wishing you abundant blessings this week and always,



Did you see our first installment of the Compliment Soul-Care Series, last week?
Award-winning screenwriter, author, and activist, Toni Ann Johnson, talks about forgiveness, joy, and making time to do the things you love.

screenwriter toni ann johnson

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1 comment
  • Lovely post Melissa…well timed [for me!] and an elegant reminder. It’s true..the scarcity approach, too many of us fall prey to that far too often, and you are right, no one wins. Your creations are beautiful, unique and signature. Woo-woo or not…I agree :) and cheers to abundance!

    Bonnie on

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