The other night I dreamed there was a dead armadillo in my house. It was under the chaise where I usually sit. I knew it would soon start to rot and smell. Rather than remove it though, I decided to wait until my husband and animals went outside. It felt shameful somehow, to have a dead armadillo in my living room. I’m not exactly a recipient of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, but this was too much.
When I awoke, in a stinky sweat, I realized this was a dream about all of us – a dream that needed to be shared without shame.
Armadillo means “little armored one” in Spanish. I asked myself, where am I armored? And because it’s a dream about all of us, I asked how do we collectively armor ourselves? Where do we apply armor that “protects” us from the staggering audacity of Grace that longs to express in the details of our lives?
A belief in scarcity seems to be our primary armor. We suit-up in scarcity. Some of us struggle with basic survival; others have a great idea but then decide I’m not enough to pull that off; others see scarcity in the world around us – not enough food, money, or love.
How does scarcity show up in your life?
Scarcity is a culturally reinforced habit. Through repetition, we create neural pathways, or neural grooves in our brains that tell us life is scarce and so am I.
My relationship with my phone provides a good example a neural pathway. I love guinea pigs, so my phone has a Guinea Pig ring tone. The electronic Guinea Pig squeals and this means someone is calling. I am programmed to believe this.
A couple of months ago, my husband and I acquired Hoss, a real Guinea Pig. Hoss squeaks in the middle of the night. I immediately think, “Oh crap, who is calling me at this hour?” I know we have a Guinea Pig. Yet I’m still undoing the neural pathway, the conditioning created by my ringtone.
I’ve failed many times. I run to the phone and realize there’s no one there. Then I get a bean for Hossy-ji and marvel at my slow learner-ship.
I’m catching on now. It gives me comfort to know that my brain can make new connections. Squeaking is no longer evidence of a phone call. It means Hoss is hungry.
In the same manner, when scarcity shows up, whether its personal or global, we tend to react as if it is Reality. Scarcity is certainly part of relative reality, but it is not Absolute.
Embedded in every perception of scarcity is opportunity – an opportunity to examine our knee-jerk reactions and move into both perception and experience of Infinite Intimate Grace. Grace is available for us always in all things.
Do you have any conditioned, knee-jerk reactions that reflect a belief in scarcity? Could your belief in scarcity be opportunity in disguise?
One of my knee-jerks happens around planning for the coming year at the Center. Every September or so, I start looking at the budget, events, classes, and guest speakers. I feel a need to get it right. I want to keep everyone happy. I have dreams and ideas that feel too big for my britches. I don’t know how to make the ideas happen, so I let them go, or save them for later when I know more, or when “the time is right.” The stress, the trying to get it right, the refusal to dream big are all aspects of conditioned scarcity.
This year, as I began to uncover my smelly inner armadillo of scarcity, I decided to try the Placemat Process. This method, brought to us by Esther and Jerry Hicks (and possibly Denny’s), invites us to take a placemat, turn it over, and draw a line down the middle. On the left, you write your to do list: what am I responsible for. On the right, you write the Universe’s to-do list: what will I ask the universe do?
Mine looked something like this:
Me: use my experience and expertise to create a draft of a schedule; act boldly; trust.
Universe: see into the future and arrange a magnificent 2019; help me trust, help me act boldly.
Shortly after creating my placemat I started re-wiring, engaging neuro-plasticity, affirming: I live in a generous universe.
You don’t believe what you see; you see what you believe.
I started seeing evidence of my new belief in this context, my new neural pathways. I was divinely summoned to an out of the way bagel store. Once inside, I coincidentally found a congregant who told me how The Center made a difference in his life. I dreamed of a program of Reconciling Angels – interviewing guest speakers who are brave peacemakers. Rather than set the idea aside as too much, I decided to let the Universe handle it. Possible speakers leapt into my consciousness – first Gino Walker, and soon others. I also re-visted a vision to work with Nimo Patel to bring 17 children from the slums of India to Southern California, and possibly our Center. That’s complex. But new patterns are forming there as well. Impossible is turning to I’m possible.
If you did the Placemat Process, what would you do and what would you delegate? Are you willing to change your perception and see what new experience of Reality emerges from that change?
Here’s an assignment for you: Go to Denny’s or someplace like it. Eat something greasy. Do the placemat process. Be astonished; and tell about it. If that’s too much, simply affirm “I live in a generous universe.” Then live like the Truth is True. Because the Truth is True. If we all believe in generosity, we can shift the consciousness of the world. Generosity becomes manifest when we believe.
I send you love, healing, revealing, wholeness, and the truth of abundant Grace, here for you, always. You’ve got this. And so it is.