It's pretty easy to get caught up in feeling like you don't have enough. Whether that's time, money, skills, talent or whatever. When I hit menopause, I started feeling lack, a lot. I lacked patience, I lacked parenting skills, I lacked the ability to control my emotions, I lacked sleep. It's vital to know that lack is a perception rather than a tangible thing.
Now, you might be saying "listen, I have no money in my bank account. This isn't just my imagination." Or, "I haven't slept in three days, that's pretty real." I hear you, but consider this: focusing on lack of money or lack of sleep is not going to bring you more. It might bring you less. Here's why. Focusing on what you don't have stresses you out. Being stressed out ramps up your nervous system and shuts down the part of your brain that can come up with creative solutions.
Here are some ideas for turning your attention towards what you want instead of focusing on what you don't.
1. If you feel like you don't have enough, try giving something away or giving something up. This may seem counter intuitive but let's look at a couple examples. Let's say you think you don't have enough time. Is there something you can give up to create more time? Can you spend less time on your phone or computer? Let's say you don't feel appreciated. Can you volunteer somewhere? Volunteers are always appreciated! If you feel you don't have enough skill or talent, can you release your insecurity or jealousy and instead focus on what you can learn from the people who have the skill or talent you want? If you don't have enough quality sleep can you give up the tension around trying to get it and explore the root cause of the sleep issues (and find a solution) or at least get some good restorative rest instead (I highly suggest Yoga Nidra)?
2. Make a ritual to help you focus on the constant flow of giving and receiving. It's frightening to give if we are feeling we don't have enough. Practice filling yourself up and releasing the fear of lack. Try this short yoga practice using a special hand gesture or mudra to help us both give and receive.
3. Think about what you have and practice gratitude. Each morning before you get out of bed think about one thing you are grateful for. Maybe something you are looking forward to in the day to come (Take baby steps at first. Start with something you know you can expect like that extra 15 minutes when you hit your snooze button or your first cup of fragrant herbal tea). Repeat this at the end of the day as you reflect on the day.
Gratitude might be a bit of a struggle at first because, number one, humans are hardwired to be on the lookout for danger. Lack is perceived as danger (hence the trigger to our nervous system). We actually have to make a conscious effort to see the "good" stuff. Secondly, we have to pull ourselves away from our habit of being on the lookout for danger. This may have served us back in the day when a sharp-toothed predator could be around the corner, but most of the danger we face today is created by how we perceive things.
Once you start looking for the good stuff, it gets much easier and you start to notice more and more great little things you may have let slip past before. For example, the cool morning breeze (a relief when the days are hot during summer), the softness of your pet, the beauty of the sunset, a kind gesture like a door being held open, the smell of something yummy cooking, the warmth of a hug, a string of green lights on your way to work, acknowledging yourself for getting things checked off your to-do list, the beauty of the new flowers opening in a garden, the list is endless.
I'm not saying these tips will make your challenges go away, challenges are part of life, but they will reduce the stress you may be feeling around it. Reduced stress means creative solutions and that's one of the ways we can shift that feeling of lack into abundance.