All poverty is first experienced in the soul.
This quotation from Sarah Ban Breathnach stopped me dead in my tracks when I first read it. I’ve always loved Sarah’s work since being given a copy of her Simple Abundance, a Day Book of Comfort and Joy when my heart and pride had been broken by the end of a marriage. She’s got it right in just the same way that the mystical interpretation of the tithing system has it right – first, inspiration, second, celebration and then everything else.
Sarah teaches that a gratitude journal is vital for life. Some of you will already be counting your blessings each day but it’s such an easy thing to forget to do – and yes, it does affect the soul if we are not grateful for what we have. Without appreciation, life is tougher than it need be.
Poverty is lack-consciousness. It has nothing whatsoever to do with how much money you actually have, it’s how you feel about your life. You can be dead broke but you won't be poor if you have prosperity consciousness in your soul. The difference is that you don't feel that horrible dragging inside - the fear of poverty. And if you are broke and can lift your spirits to nurture your soul, then the physical lack will ease automatically. It has to. You can't push poverty away; you can only inspire yourself to dissolve it.
Start small - baby steps always work. Try and be hugely inspired in one lump and you may well over-stretch yourself. It really doesn’t cost anything to go for a walk and enjoy the beauty of nature – wherever you are. And even the most litter-splattered park has moments of beauty in it which can lift the heart – if we make sure that we look for them.
When I was dead broke and working too hard and too long at a job that was just about making the rent, I discovered that all the pain and tension and debt from the dead relationship had lead me to get high blood pressure. It was all the pushing against that caused it - pushing against how I felt; against the job; against the fear. I didn’t want to go down the medical line of drugs and after a lot of research, I found that hawthorn tea really helped me. But the hawthorn leaves and berries from Culpepper were really expensive. So I asked the Universe to help me find some cheaper alternative.
As I was only just beginning to climb out of poverty consciousness, it took me a full three months of walking the dog before I realised that hawthorn leaves and berries were available to anyone practically anywhere…they just needed to be picked and dried and stored. I can remember just standing there on the pathway looking up at all this abundance that I had totally missed before and realising that I was finally on the real path to prosperity. I had asked for help and the filters of lack had been peeled away from my eyes.
It’s nine years now since I picked and dried my first hawthorn – and I still drink a cup of the tea each morning just for the pleasure of it.
Another day, when I was still broke and I’d been to see a friend who lived in the country, I picked the gleanings from a wheat field – the leftover heads of corn that hadn’t been picked up by a combine harvester. I ground them up and they made three loaves of bread. Admittedly it was heavy as a rock but it tasted delicious – and it healed my soul with the process of making it from scratch. It was an achievement; a creation. All we humans are children of a creator so we must also create in order to be happy - no matter how big or how small.
Only recently I thought I might benefit from some red clover but shied away from paying £18 or more for capsules from the chemist. I can afford it but I’m a Taurean and that just seemed an horrendous amount of money for a few tablets!
But I remembered the hawthorn tea and considered that the odds were pretty high that red clover grew wild somewhere fairly close. I found it on the very next dog walk; I’d just never looked before.
Incidentally I live in Birmingham, England, which is a big industrial city so it’s not (yet!) as though I walk out of my house into the countryside. But I find my treasures on the morning dog walks. Now that we live in the suburb of Moseley, most of those are along the River Cole and at Moseley Bog – the place that inspired J. R. R. Tolkien as a child. I didn’t even know it existed until I moved here and was looking for places to take the beagle.
And this last weekend, having been tempted by a wonderful sea trout at the local farmer’s market, I spent nearly all of Sunday cooking. Steaming fish with spring onion, ginger and chillies, making a (very odd!) salad with the vegetables I’ve grown in the garden despite the interesting summer weather this year, and baking a lemon meringue pie. So what? You say. Simple pleasures, say I. I wasn’t cooking for a dinner party, I was cooking for me – and primarily for the joy of it. My husband and Mum enjoyed the results but because I’d had such a wonderful time cooking the whole meal just glowed with love and gratitude.
So the message this month is “Look for the Simple Abundance.” Take joy in the little things; the birds, the plants, the sky – for the Brits among you, have you seen Jupiter in the night sky this last month? It’s incredible even to the naked eye!
Every day, simple gratitudes for a cup of tea, a lovely flower, a butterfly or a funny email even are the fuel for the soul. Your soul is your eternal self; it needs your attention and it needs your focus on joy. If you soul is filled with peace, gratitude and love then not even the objections of the ego-mind can stop the abundance flowing to you.