The other day, as I found myself reading, for the millionth time, about our failing economy, I thought about all those who are struggling financially right now, and the enormous burden of fear and insecurity that seems to be running rampant among so many of us right now. I was in the process of preparing a press release, and decided to address this very issue. Of course, a press release must be brief, and when I finished my words for this project, I felt compelled to continue, as if what I said was perhaps inspirational, but only a beginning to really achieving the abundance that each of us wants to experience. Nevertheless, I felt that the ideas that came forth as I thought about this subject, were important. And so I share them here with some further meanderings about what it takes to fully realize prosperity in each of our lives. My “press release” thoughts were the following:

"Recently, it seems that the economy is not bouncing back the way we all wanted and expected. We can't help hearing from the media that national debt is rising, the housing market is still suffering, and that unemployment for many may be running out soon. Often, many of us feel that just mere survival in this economic climate is next to impossible. There seems to be a feeling of helplessness that is contagious. But, I disagree. There is much each of us can do to assure ourselves that not only can we survive, but we can thrive, even in such an atmosphere. Our thoughts and beliefs are powerful - so powerful, that we can create a better reality with them. No matter what we hear or see happening around us, we can focus on abundance and prosperity for ourselves and even for others about whom we care. There are people out there with wealth even now, at a time when the world around them may be collapsing financially. So why do they have money? Because within their minds, they actually believe that they can! Somewhere along the road, they decided to succeed and to flourish, and that they weren't going to take no for an answer. And even if their bank accounts told them differently, they refused to buy into the rampant beliefs 'out there' about the economic struggle we must all be in. They just imagined something better and got to work making it happen!" Too many of us give up when we are frustrated and give in when we can't pay our bills. I believe that prosperity is possible for anyone who imagines it, dreams it, focuses on it, and refuses to think about lack. For those who concentrate on what they 'have,' and not what they 'don't have,' who appreciate all material gains, no matter how small, who see their cup half full instead of half empty, there are riches galore. No matter what 'bad news' is broadcast to us, we each have the power to change our own circumstances right here and right now!"

Carrying these thoughts further, I’m aware that the most difficult thing about establishing a new belief system is that it’s hard to put out of our minds “what is.” For example, some people might be in debt, might even owe thousands of dollars to credit card companies. Others may struggle to pay all their bills or know that they need repairs on their houses or cars that they can’t now afford. Some individuals have lost their jobs, and can’t presently support their families, and others merely strain to make ends meet each month. When these circumstances are so apparent, how does one come to believe that just the opposite can be possible? The answer, to me, lies in cultivating patience, developing faith in the promise of abundance from the Divine Spirit of which we are all a part, and nurturing thoughts that make us feel good. It doesn’t happen overnight, but little by little, with continued effort and perseverance, the human mind can change absolutely any situation. Paying attention to the following points will ultimately ensure a more prosperous, flourishing, comfortable existence for anyone, at any time, anywhere.

*Watch your thoughts every day. When you are feeling troubled or unhappy, ask yourself where your mind is focused. Often it will be centered on what you see happening with your finances, your job, your bills or the like. See if you can come up with a better-geeling thought. Any better-feeling thought will do. For example, you may be looking at your unpaid bills, and thinking, "I don't know how I'm going to pay these bills," or "I'll never find a job," or "the economy's so bad, I'm just going to drown in this debt," etc. As quickly as you can, negate this thought by saying to yourself, "erase," or "not going there," or "cancel, cancel." Then pretend to be confident in your money-earning ability and substitute a thought like, "This is just temporary. I am finding a way to bring in the money I need!" Repeat this thought several times until you feel bette and then focus on another activity.

*Dream Big! Focus energy every day on what you want to see happen. Dream up scenarios in which you have everything you need and desire. See yourself there. Write these scenarios down. Draw pictures of these circumstances. Envision how you would feel if this were true. There is no dream too big to imagine. Day by day, you will move closer and closer to this reality through the focused effort of your mind.
*Pay attention to what you do have, with gratitude. No matter what it is, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it is, look hard, with appreciation, at what you possess, whether it be money, love, friendship, your toothbrush, your morning cereal, your bed, your family, or whatever you can whip up. Thinking about what has already come to you in life, brings more to you.

*Accept the now. When you find your mind centered on "what is right now," be easy with it. Accept it. Allow it. Just because you aren't where you want to be in this moment, doesn't mean that you've failed or that you aren't worthwhile. Neither are you hopeless or ineffective. You are merely "human." And wanting something better (or more) is natural to any human being. Let yourself be, and be kind to yourself. You're learning through this process, and you're moving toward greater abundance, one step at a time.

*Refuse to worry! Say no to any voice within you that is concerned about your future. This practice is perhaps the most important one of all. This is because the energy of your mind is what creates your reality. If worry has captured your attention, the energetic vibration of your mind will go forth into this universe attracting the same vibration to it. This means that worry attracts worry and more of the same anxiety-filled situations. When you are feeing worried, think about something - anything more pleasant; your pet, your grandchild, an ice cream sundae, your favorite TV show or movie, a friend you love or something comparable. Keep your mind there until you feel better. In this way, you will call to you more pleasurable thoughts and situations.

*Keep practicing! Commit yourself to the practice of these activities each and every day. The more you practice, the easier and more automatic it will become. It's those that put forth a dedicated and steady effort that reap the greatest benefits.

Abundance, as I see it, is a given. It is as natural to our being as color is to a flower. It is up to each of us to discover this truth in our own way in our own time. It is right now, a hidden truth to many, and yet it exists. It is a basic law of this universe in which we live. We just have to develop our belief in it, or in other words, become aware of it. And the simple steps above can help us in that process. Scarcity does not exist except within our minds. Today, take that next step, no matter what you hear about the economy, and open yourselves to the gift of plenty. It is waiting to be discovered.

Author's Bio: 

Laurie Pappas Ph.D.

Dr. Laurie Pappas, a writer, educator, counselor, trained mediator, speaker, writer and metaphysician, is the Co-Founder of the Metro Detroit Center for Attitudinal Healing, a non-profit organization, and directed the activities of the center for 16 years. She has also conducted spiritual/metaphysical, counseling sessions for 22 years. Dr. Pappas has taught classes and workshops, and trained personal growth group leaders during this period of time, in addition to having been a frequent columnist for PhenomeNews, a large Detroit metaphysical newspaper in the early nineties.

As a young adult, while Laurie worked in elementary education, she began her search for the underlying causes of disharmony and discord among school children. Several years later, community service work for the hungry and homeless brought her attention to the role that the mind plays in creating abundance or scarcity, peace or conflict. These experiences led her first to the field of Guidance and Counseling, and eventually to the study of Metaphysics, where she was able to obtain satisfying answers to her questions and workable solutions to many of life’s challenges.

In the spring of 2005, Laurie was program chairperson of the 7th Annual Conference on Nonviolence, Peace and Prosperity held in Detroit. She is a recipient of the 2005 International Peace Prize, Key of Success Award, and Woman of the Year Award, bestowed by the United Cultural Convention of the United States of America for outstanding personal achievements to the good of society as a whole.

Dr. Pappas is author of two books; The Loving Heart: Navigating the Journey from Conflict to Peace, and The Loving Heart Companion: An Interactive Journal.