Yoga Realizations: Abundance & Scarcity

Yoga. I never bothered to try it, because I assumed that a large, inflexible, uncoordinated woman with poor balance would not be able to do yoga.

About a month ago, I finally gave it a shot. All my girlfriends were doing it, and I just wanted to be cool. Peer pressure caused me to experiment with yoga.

I was correct. I can’t do it. And I love it so much, I wish I had tried it years ago.

I didn’t realize that yoga is magic. When you require your body to attempt what it really cannot do for a good solid hour, until you’re sweaty and exhausted, your brain apparently winds up in some kind of crazy super-freedom state that allows you to think beautiful new thoughts.

(Aside: I suppose this must be what certain drugs do for you, too….except if you do a whole bunch of drugs you wind up looking like shit, but if you do a whole bunch of yoga, you wind up looking awesome.)

I can tell you that I must look ridiculous in my yoga practice, which is okay because I can’t see myself. I’m sure I never look like a warrior or a tree or a crow, but at the end of class, I’ll be damned if I don’t think like a yogi.

This is good news, because my thoughts are kind of shaky these days. I’m still off-kilter from my recent breakup, and I spend a lot of time either sad, angry, or in a state of rigid avoidance. But for some reason, when I’m physically exhausted and instructed to clear my mind and focus on my breath, amazing thoughts radiate through my consciousness.

I know I sound dramatic, but here’s what happened in my brain at the end of a recent yoga class.

We’re sitting cross-legged (sukhasana! I’m learning!) and the instructor quietly suggests, “Extend your spine, take a deep breath and thank your body for all the hard work you put in today.”

Thanks, body. You did great!

“On your next exhale, round down over your feet and extend your fingers towards the front of your mat. It’s important to recognize how hard your body works and to appreciate all that it’s capable of. Hold that pose for five breaths.”

Hey, feet. Thanks for the hard work.

My feet are okay. They’re not weird-looking or anything and they never give me any trouble. I love my feet.

You know, I actually love my whole body. Hear that? I love you, Body. I have an abundance of love!

….I have an abundance of love.

….I’m not afraid of being alone because I have an abundance of love.

I really thought those things, all in a row, like popcorn popping in my brain. I was probably a little oxygen-deprived in that moment, because sitting cross-legged and bending forward like that causes the bulk of my belly to be crushed up into my lung-space, but whatever. It was worth it for that brilliant realization: I HAVE AN ABUNDANCE OF LOVE.

The class progressed into the meditative portion, where you’re supposed to lie flat, clear your mind, and concentrate on your breath. So of course, that’s when my brain goes nuts.

This “abundance of love” notion rolled right into a burst of clarity regarding my recently-ended relationship. While our relationship was good in many ways, it was always marred by possessiveness and jealousy. I’ve never had that particular problem before, and I didn’t get it. I didn’t understand why those problems kept surfacing, when I didn’t feel like I was doing anything to trigger them. I didn’t understand why we were constantly fighting over nothing.

And right there in yoga class, it came to me. Abundance versus Scarcity.

I have learned about abundance before, but I have always heard it applied to material things. An abundance mentality says that there is plenty for everyone. We can afford to be generous because there is enough to go around.

Scarcity is the opposite of abundance. People who live in scarcity feel that there is never enough, and so they are constantly fighting for their share.

I never applied the notion of Scarcity and Abundance to human relationships before, but BAM!—yoga clarity!—I suddenly saw how it works.

I come from a big, loving family. I was raised with the certainty that I am loved. I have a great circle of friends. I have kids who love me. I recognize that I am extraordinarily fortunate to feel an abundance of love.

I’ve never been one to feel jealous or suspicious; I’m very trusting. I’ve also never cheated on anyone; I don’t see the point—just love who you’re going to love. I have this crazy theory that almost all hurt feelings between friends are the result of misunderstandings, because I truly believe that people who love me would not intentionally hurt me. That’s what my life experience has taught me.

Not everyone has had that life experience. I suppose if you were raised in an environment that was abusive or unstable, or if you suffered through abandonment or infidelity, you might feel emotional scarcity. You might feel like you need to fight for affection, guard it and keep it to yourself. Once you have someone’s affection, you might feel like you could lose it at any moment, and easily become suspicious or jealous.

Suddenly all those fights, all that jealousy and possessiveness made sense. Why I felt so smothered, and why I felt like I could never do, or be, enough. We’re talking about opposite worldviews here. No wonder we couldn’t get along.

That just took me 900 words to explain, but during yoga, it flashed into my brain on one big exhale, like I breathed all the clarity in and all the confusion out.

Peace in… fear out.

Abundance in…scarcity out.

I’m telling you– you gotta try yoga.

8 thoughts on “Yoga Realizations: Abundance & Scarcity

    • Thanks, friend! I know you can probably hear my voice saying the words so you’ll get all the humor. Plus you probably can imagine me in yoga class. So grateful for your constant support!

  1. LOL Valerie, you must try yoga! I get those flashes all the time. Mine on Monday were more along the lines of acceptance. But each time we were instructed to “let your heart shine” meaning contort until you are on the verge of blacking out, I physically felt sadness and negativity leave my heart. I am all about letting my heart shine. Now, because of Meg’s insightfullness, I understand even more. Bravo Meg, you nailed it once again.

  2. I love your perspective, dare I say clarity, on abundance and scarcity. Yoga has a wonderful way of bringing a person the peace she needs at that moment. Call it serendipity, coincidence, whatever.
    My favorite part was how you probably “never look like a warrior or a tree or a crow, but at the end of class, I’ll be damned if I don’t think like a yogi.?” I’ve been trying to do crow for years and have only gotten into it for two seconds. Two seconds. But I keep trying, and I thank my body for allowing me to do so every time. Yoga brings me gratefulness that even though I can’t balance in eagle, I am there and well enough to try.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks, Katy! Yes, I’m brand new to yoga but wow, I’m really amazed at the mental effect it has on me. And I’m getting better with balance and flexibility but man, it will take a miracle if I can ever “fly my crow”. Ha. I feel silly using the words. Thanks for reading!

  3. Hi Meg,

    I know we haven’t communicated for some time, but I wanted to drop you a quick note to say hello.
    (For those reading this comment… here’s a little background).
    Meg and I met on an internet dating site around 2-3 years ago, we chatted a few times and had a few telephone conversations, which eventually led to us to meeting up for a date. The short version of this story is that neither of us felt that romantic spark for the other, but we became (sort of) quick friends. (If we hadn’t, then I guess I might have been the basis for one of her midlife blogs about failed internet dates.) On this first date we shared stories about our mutual experiences of failed internet dates. In the end, we had a good time together, we hugged and parted ways.
    With the exception of a few Facebook posts, we really haven’t talked much, but I wanted to let you know that I have been following your blog and reading about your journey.
    When I read your blog and saw your Facebook posts about how you had met a wonderful guy, I felt so happy for you. I thought to myself “Meg is awesome, she deserves to be happy, I’m glad she found someone”. I have had my own struggles with dating and midlife and kids, etc… so it was very easy to relate to many of the things that you were writing about.
    Time passed and I continued to see joyful posts from you.
    But then I read your blog about how the relationship didn’t work out for the two of you. I could tell that you were in pain. I felt like I should have posted a supportive comment, but for some reason, I didn’t.
    I guess that’s why I am posting now. Sorry it’s a little late. 🙂
    Todays blog is, is by far, my favorite. The abundance vs. scarcity epiphany is brilliant. You are quite an inspirational writer, or maybe I just relate too well to most of what you write. Either way. I just wanted to let you know that I enjoy your blogs and I wish you so much happiness in the future. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    Take care!!!

    • Bruce!! So kind; I am so touched by this response. When people disparage internet dating, I often say that I’ve met a lot of decent guys that way and some really nice ones that have become friends. You are proof of that. I’ve seen some FB activity from you that made me think you’d found someone, too…I hope that’s the case. Actually maybe I’ll message so we can catch up.

      You would totally feel me on this breakup if you knew the details. You would get it. It’s so hard to be a parent and date– even when your kids are grown. (And I know yours aren’t.)

      Thank you for reading my blogs and for your supportive words. Big fat hugs to you.

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