A friend invited me to do a 21 day meditation (from home) devoted to realizing the abundance surrounding us. I had a lot of resistance to this commitment (and still do), so I dove in out of curiosity.
The voice that told me not to do the meditation said, “I already feel really abundant, sometimes overly so, and wishing I had less stuff, commitments” and more time to myself for reading, writing, yoga, walking in the woods.”
After acknowledging my resistance to adding one more thing into my daily routine, I softened into the invitation. After all, it’s only one 15 minute meditation and journaling, I can make space for it.
What is coming clearer as I approach day 4, is that abundance is a mindset. It is not really about material objects and money. Those things ebb and flow like water. Possessions can be sacred, they come and go, hopefully providing enough to survive and thrive.
True abundance, for me, is believing I am enough, I have enough, and I will always be provided for by Great Spirit, especially when times are challenging.
The second day into the meditation, I had a wide open day marked in my calendar as “DAY OFF,” which, to be honest, I have never really obeyed. I don’t schedule anything that day, but I rarely sink into the spaciousness. What is a day off? Is there ever really a day off? From what? What am I trying to create space away from?
I noticed myself compulsively grasping for my “to do” lists. Let’s get organized and use this time to plan for the future projects that I need to accomplish by the end of the week.
But, my list was empty. I actually did not have much I needed to do. This is rare. Maybe its because winter is a slow time? Or maybe it was a joke Spirit was playing on me, chuckling while I reached for anything that would keep me in motion.
Rather than breathe into this satisfaction of accomplishment, I panicked. WHAT’S NEXT? I need something to keep me going, being productive, showing something for myself. I need to prove my time on earth is valid. I need to earn my keep. Everyone else is working today, how could I possibly rest?
These voices grew louder as I held my pen to paper trying to squeeze out something, anything TO DO.
Side note: this was around 1pm, and I had already spent the day cleaning my house, reorganizing the living room, doing laundry, feeding the animals, going for a walk, doing yoga, reading, dishes, stacking wood, on and on. So, I hadn’t really been sitting there “doing nothing” all day. I had been in what a dear friend calls, “Queen Time,” puttering around tending to what I want when I want without any obligations from the outside.
Yet, even in this abundance of time, I was putting expectations on myself. The obligatory task master was inside me. I had internalized the voice of capitalism, that “my worth is measured by my productivity.”
When oppression is internalized, it is far more effective than people oppressing one another because the oppressor is no longer externalized, it is coming from within. How efficient, right?!
Internalized oppression keeps the wheels of the system going far more smoothly and effortlessly. Having an awareness of the ways we internalize oppressions (racism, sexism, ageism, classism, homophobia, ableism, anti-semitism, etc) is a powerful practice.
From this moment on, I refuse to internalize oppression and any other ways I have adopted voices that do not serve my Higher Self. I free my Soul from the shackles. Freedom, real true freedom, comes from within.
This brings my mind to the prisoners and slaves who are incarcerated by another person or system. I do not know how they feel, and hopefully never will. Compassion swells around my heart for those millions of Souls. Those who set themselves free in their minds, are my heroes.
Here are poems from former teenage, black male prisoners who call themselves “poet ambassadors” in an article: “‘Our Minds Are Still Free:’ These Former Prisoners Find Strength Through Poetry.”
photo by Tyrone Turner of WAMU
Knowledge is Power some disregard and ignore THAT
And that’s one thing I know for sure is a FACT
Cause the more you know the better off you ARE
Wisdom and knowledge align you to shoot for the STARS
They’ll be trials and tribulations along the WAY
And it’s impossible to keep them all at BAY
As humans we all do wish that we COULD
But through knowledge what’s bad can be made to be GOOD
Things occur in life that we don’t APPRECIATE
We all wish that these things we could ESCAPE
But one thing despite this is Life goes ON
And knowledge helps you refocus to keep going STRONG
Reading is a Vital way of learning new THINGS
It’s interesting the enlightenment that books can BRING
One thing I think we all really should TRY
Is learn as much as we can before we all DIE
Cause one thing for certain is die we all SHALL
But keep learning to live better for the here and NOW
Cause life gets hectic This Fact I Confess IT
This is Reality so please don’t REJECT IT
Some could care less, and with Folly their CONTENT
And when Knowledge comes forth they Abandon IT
Be mindful of some things that People SAY
And know what to retain and what to throw AWAY
Knowledge and wisdom help you to Blossom like a FLOWER
So 3 words I’ll leave you with is Knowledge is POWER
I was born black, but told not to be proud
I went to school to learn, but was called dumb
I asked for a future, but was given a jail cell
When I spoke knowledge, they raised their guns
What am I suppose to do? I’m young, black and dumb
No! this isn’t true
I’m young, black, and educated!
I know my rights — plus we were both made from the same thought
That makes us equal — rather you like it or not
I am not ashamed or afraid
I am a king who has the power to make peace I say!
I am not here to shed blood or raise war
I’m here to show you liberation…
I am humbled by their bravery and wisdom. May we all choose to liberate our minds.