Have you thought about how much you have, how much opportunity, how many food choices, how many lifestyle choices? Life today for most of us in the US is richer than that of any of the greatest lords of history. Exotic food from all over the world is presented to us in huge and beautiful stacks of abundance. Our necessary objects are ridiculously inexpensive in relation to our income. We are able to travel anywhere at anytime. We have the remarkable opportunity to chose our life’s work unlike those in the past who inevitably fell into the family business. We are even able to explore diverse spiritualities and cultural lifestyles. If this is not heaven then what would heaven be?

How much does an individual really need in life? I am continually inspired by a friend from way back who made a conscious practice of simplifying his life, it was an art for him. Whenever I go through those purging moments or when I reexamine to discover what’s important or not I think of him. These are the gifts we share with each other, often without even being aware of it. But whether the idea is to chose simplicity or to embrace our abundance what needs to really work is how we feel on the inside. How much is enough? For some people it seems they can never get enough so there is a constant scrambling to acquire resources whether it’s for individual enrichment, corporate power or national dominance. We are powerful creative beings and our ability to influence each other’s inner state is extraordinary. Even while in the midst of abundance it is possible to feel empty, desperate, insecure and grasping; look at our leaders, politicians and some celebrities. When one individual functions from this mindset it spills out and affects others. Then we have abundance of desperation.

We see people of incredibly limited resources doing extraordinary things; a school teacher creating a 12 block garden out of a garbage dump, a waiter beautifying the inner city with paint uplifting and inspiring his neighbors, a boy in Canada raising millions to build clean water pumps for African school children. What is true abundance? For these people it seems to swell up from a generous heart and spill into the world filling a need outside. Clearly there is a push pull between us all; a give and take of the energy of life. What do we really need in life anyway?

A great Indian saint, Nityananda, used to say, “The heart is the hub of all places, go there and roam.” This is not just a concept, the heart is where the true abundance lies. Our ability to create abundance from a heart of abundance is proven. Those who do it from a place of gentleness know this and practice the art of drawing abundance to themselves. This kind of abundance functions outside the realm of have or have not, of limited resources and the idea that if one person gets rich then another goes without. It is a kind of abundance that brings more abundance; a win win abundance. When I was a kid my father used to say you can’t get something from nothing. Well, I am sorry but that theory flies in the face of every bit of reality that we see. Where did the universe come from? There’s the ultimate something from nothing. Actually, it’s everything from nothing.

This brings me to the concept of nothing, which I suppose could be thought of as the opposite of abundance. I used to just bristle and angst whenever I met anything that smacked of nihilism. Nihilistic art, writing and philosophy made me plummet into a place of depression and emptiness; afterall nihilism is emptiness. But now after much study and contemplation I have a brand new view of emptiness. In that nothingness exists the potential for everything. All things come from nothing. The causal field of creation contains the fruit of everything that we see in this world we live, breathe, and move in. It is the vibrant, roiling breath of the divine, a conscious field of energy that births us, the food we eat, the joy we share, the hopes we fulfill. Our door into that field of consciousness is the heart. Yes, we can force abundance but from the heart comes the abundance that is right, needed, appropriate for all. It is enough no matter how little or great. It is manageable and delicious and never stale.

It is the hope of my heart that all people may experience the abundance of the heart, with that we will need no regulations, investigations or further financial crashes. It is interesting to watch a shifting consciousness and to see that irrationally exuberant wealth models are looking less fashionable today. I’ve noticed two major companies now promoting social consciousness; American Express with their Members Project to promote good ideas and Pepsi has just started Pepsi Refresh Project again to promote good ideas. Is this a sign of turning the tide and creating abundance that shares with all? I hope so.

New Paradigms

Here it comes, the new paradigms for ascended society. Have you seen TOMS Shoes? http://www.toms.com/  In 2006 Blake Mycoskie from Arlington, Texas started this shoe company for the purpose of giving shoes to kids in need. TOMS is short for Tomorrow’s shoes and refers to the shoes that your purchase today will make for one of the many children worldwide that go shoeless. Blake’s business model is win – win, the customer gets a great pair of shoes made in the alpargata style of Argentina and a shoeless child somewhere in the world gets a new pair of shoes. This not-for-profit business model is proving to be very successful. TOMS are providing manufacturing  jobs in Argentina, Ethiopia, and China and according to their website TOMS requires the factories to pay fair wages and operate sound labor conditions following local labor laws. TOMS has given away over 600,000 pairs of shoes to kids in need in the US, Argentina,  Ethiopia and South Africa. Currently TOMS is working to provide shoes to kids in Haiti. On the drawing boards is development for a new rubber boot to protect poor farmers from disease. Blake Mycoskie is planning to expand his one for one business model to other products.

Social entrepreneurship is a brilliant and ascended form of business necessary today to shift the inequities between the richest and poorest of us sharing this earth. Look for many more of these kinds of initiatives to appear. I say also to look for the shift in consciousness from ruthless business practices to more socially conscious and responsible practices. We can already see that big companies try to identify with good causes in the hope of winning customers. I am watching for the time when the entire bottom line becomes transparent and we can see that our corporations have shifted to a principle of co-operation between customer and producer that trims the fat of excessive profit making and executive gluttony. In the monetization of everything we loose sight of the purpose of business and money.

Check out TOMS shoes: http://www.toms.com/movement-one-for-one