Nathan Peterson

Don't Spend Less, Receive More

For most of my life, I've been afraid to spend. Money, time, energy. I've had a deep fear of running out.

I can trace this fear back to childhood, or various experiences throughout my life. Regardless of how it happened, the fear of running out has worked its way into my bones. As a result, I have an instinctive resistance to spending.

On the surface this may not seem bad. It's good to save, right? Frugality. Conservation. All of that. It seems logical. Responsible. Only, it doesn't work. Here's why:

The less we spend, the less we require. The less we require, the less we receive. The less we receive, the less we have.

Spending less does not lead to having more. It leads to less. And not just less for us; less for everyone.

The fear of running out causes us to conserve, to limit, and to govern our spending of money, time, and energy. This fear is rooted in the deeply ingrained lie that money, time, and energy are limited.

On a recent morning walk, I was exploring the way that air is practically limitless--inviting my body to breathe in more of the abundant supply available to me. I turned a corner and the light from the morning sun hit me like a revelation. I was flooded with so much light--more than I could possibly take in. It was as if nature was saying, "yes, yes, infinite breath... infinite light, too!" So much more breath and light than I could ever take in.

What does it mean that money is running out? Or time? Or energy?

The only aspect of these resources which is limited is our thoughts about them. We never actually run out. But when I think I'm running out of money, money feels limited. When I think I'm running out of time, time feels limited. The inverse is also true. These are all just thoughts. What is real?

The sun is real. The earth is real. The air is real. And they are practically infinite--there is more here than I can ever use.

The same is true for money. Money is something we created. Whenever we want, we can change the way it's structured to serve us even better. Money itself is not the problem.

Time existed before us and will exist after us. Time is not running out. Our days may be numbered, but when we realize the depth contained in each and every moment, even a single day is far more than any one of us can ever use. Time is not the problem.

The problem is not a limited supply. The problem is our limited capacity to receive.

If we're concerned about running out, if we want to experience "enough," or even abundance, a much more effective way than spending less is to receive more.

Today, when the thought of running out (of whatever it is) inevitably comes to mind, pause and recognize the lie of limited supply. Instead of reacting in the common way, build a new path:

When you feel afraid you are going to run out, choose to spend more. Be generous--with your money, your time, your energy. It will be replenished if you let it go. You are not the source of these things. You are a conduit. You will be filled to the extent that you are open. To be open, let go of what you have. More will come.

You are not made to store treasure. You are made to give and receive. Being generous is in your nature.

#abundance #freedom #scarcity #self-awareness #self-care