We’ve all heard that there are many forms of wealth. Wealth is not just about money, not even just about physical things. More than experiences. It can include health, relationships, spirituality. In today’s ‘go, go, go!’ world, even an abundance of time is considered wealth!
Today I want to focus on a form of wealth that is largely invisible: the abundance of good feelings. If you follow the work of Abraham Hicks and the like, you may already subscribe to the notion that it’s not the “having” that leads to a happy life (as in, I’ll be happy once xyz happens). Rather, it’s enjoying life, embracing and being grateful for what already is that will lead to true wealth, however you define it. If you don’t subscribe to this concept, read on anyway because you might just buy into it a little by the end.
I believe feeling wealthy begets more wealth. Whether it’s to benefit me, my family, or the world at large, I’ll always say “Yes, please!” to more wealth. It’s so basic it’s almost hard to explain, but there’s incredible power in the micro-practice of acknowledging a good feeling, being grateful for that feeling, and therefore feeling wealthy for having both the feeling and the gratitude. Here are a few examples of feelings for which I’ve recently had an acknowledge-gratitude-wealth moment.
Have you ever felt overcome with love for a child, a parent, a spouse, a sibling, a friend, any other person or even animal? A moment where you felt like you could burst? Have you ever felt love so subtle and quiet it almost feels like part of your very fabric? Love can feel an infinite variety of ways , yet some people don’t let themselves love another, shy away from acknowledging or expressing it. I don’t take for granted that having others to love – really feeling into that love in all its forms – is a true blessing, and for that I feel wealthy.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a widely accepted theory that explains human behavioral motivation by categorizing basic needs into 5 buckets. The most basic human need, according to Maslow, is physiological: food and water, clothing and shelter, health. The second most core need – that we will (generally, as a species) seek ahead of belongings or even love – is security. I feel safe in my home, in my relationships. This is certainly not a luxury afforded by all so I think it’s extremely important to recognize anywhere we feel a sense of security – be it health, finance, career – then be grateful for this feeling, and know it’s a part of our wealth.
How do you describe the difference between happy and joyful? Between happiness and joy? Much of what you find from a simple search defines joy as a more internal feeling, less subject to circumstance, and happiness as more an external expression, something we seek. By those definitions, I say both are important, and great! What I mean by joy is that it feels like my insides are smiling. It is a happy, contented feeling that can coexist with other seemingly contradictory feelings. “The Book of Joy” is a great read if you want the perspectives on joy and happiness from Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. I believe this feeling I call joy is a blessing. I am grateful for it, and that makes me feel wealthy.
I believe in infinite possibility. I look for silver linings. I assume good things will happen. And I am grateful for feeling like this. I have not always been like this, and I have doubtful moments. I also know that there is much in our world that needs fixing. But I believe a hopeful me is in a better position to help bring hope to those who don’t have it. So generally and overall, I would describe myself as a hopeful person. And for this, I feel wealthy.
These are just a few of what I would call wealthy feelings.
Do you acknowledge and appreciate the way you feel as a form of wealth? What do you consider wealthy feelings?
Do you focus on growing, cultivating these feelings? What do you think would happen if you did? I invite you to strive as hard to get the feelings you define as wealth as you do to get chiseled abs, the perfect spouse, or the dream client. Being intentional with your feelings is like a bonus to being present. It’s like an espresso shot in your coffee.
What could happen if you shared your good feelings with others in a meaningful way? If you feel loved, appreciate that! And share it by loving on someone else – especially if you find someone who seems like they could use a little love. If you feel confident, appreciate it! And share that confidence with someone who needs it. Let them ‘borrow’ your confidence in them until they can develop their own. If you feel peaceful, appreciate it! And share your peace with someone who may have turmoil in their life.
This works because good feelings can be contagious! Have you ever encountered someone and just felt... different? Sometimes it happens instantly and sometimes it happens gradually over the course of the encounter, but whoever is ‘stronger’ in their feelings will often influence those they are around to feel more like them. If you are actively feeling positive feelings, you can be a force of good in stealthily helping those you come across.
Wealth comes in many forms. We each define what it means to us and work to increase it accordingly. I hope this has served as a new idea, or perhaps just a reminder, that good feelings are abundance; feeling into these feelings, acknowledging and appreciating them is just as important as checking how much is in the bank.
I would love to help you find ways to create beautiful, dynamic balance in your life!