Love Abundance is a new concept I’m teaching that I’m really passionate about. Abundance means that there is plenty of something, and love is an emotion you feel based on how you think. Combining the two can transform the way you live your life.
Welcome to the Design Your Dream Life Podcast where it’s all about designing your life on your terms and now your host, Natalie Bacon.
Hey friend, how you doing? Welcome to the podcast. I have some fun news for you. I just released a brand new money mindset course in Grow You. So, how Grow You works is I have the monthly curriculum which changes every single month. And then I have a bonus vault with courses that are always available. And I put a brand new money mindset course in there for you.
So if you want to work on your money mindset and really shift out of scarcity and really get in more flow with money so that you can create real results with money that you want, whether it’s getting out of debt, whether it’s doubling your income, whatever it is, this money mindset course is brand new, it’s amazing. I know a lot of you in Grow You have already emailed and said how much you’re loving it. It’s fantastic. So come on in, join, access the money mindset course in the bonus vault, you will love it.
And since we are talking about the bonus vault I want to just let you know that if you’re not in Grow You, what’s upcoming for the next year and really beyond. So I am changing the way Grow You works a little bit in the most fantastic way. I’m basically just adding more content in there for you and not changing the price at all. So along with the money mindset course I’m going to be redoing and re-launching some of the courses in there. And I’m going to be dropping new courses in the bonus vault all throughout the year.
So I thought about just selling these courses as one off courses, which I could totally do. For example if I create a work life balance course or if I crate a time management course I could sell those individually. But it would be so much more money and it would reduce the accessibility for people and it kind of puts you all over the place with where to find everything, how to do things, when to do it. So I just simplified it, I’m making it so much more accessible, affordable and really easy to use in your day-to-day life.
I have Grow You on my phone, I use it like an app and all over the courses, I’m just going to keep dropping and putting them in there throughout the year and really beyond that. So come on in, we’re waiting for you. It’s an amazing community of women. Also this month we are talking about emotional wellbeing. So if you’re into that and you want to deepen your understanding of emotions and the experience of life, come on in, I have five new tools to teach.
Alright, that’s what I have as an intro. Now I want to talk with you about Love Abundance. Love Abundance is a life coaching tool that I created because I wanted to use it in my life. And I have been using it in my life and now I want to teach it to you here. So first let’s look at the two words separately so you can kind of understand what I’m even talking about. And then I’m going to give you examples of how I’m using it in my life and how you can use it.
So first I want to start with abundance. If this is your first time here you may have not heard me talk about it before. I have episodes on scarcity abundance you can go back and listen to. But in a nutshell, abundance means that there is more than enough for you. You really believe that there is plenty of something, there is no shortage. So the opposite of abundance is scarcity, there is never enough. The amount that’s available for you is limited in some way. So we have scarcity and we have abundance.
Love is an emotion that you feel, that’s what I’m specifically talking about here. I’m talking about the emotion that you feel in your body when you think thoughts that create that emotion. So, for example, I might think the thought, I just love living in Chicago. And I feel the emotion of love in my body. Now, some of you might think the thought, I love living in Chicago and not feel that emotion because you don’t genuinely mean it.
That’s why it’s important for you to know that the way that you step into any emotion, here we’re talking about love, is based on how the thought feels for you. And it’s going to be different for all of us based on our own experiences, our neural pathways, how we have developed up to this point in our lives. So for you, what thoughts do you have that create the feeling of love? So this sounds kind of simple and it actually is but what happens is we end up complicating it and by we, I mean me included.
So I want to take a step back and talk with you a bit about what love is not to make sure that you don’t step into any of these mistakes as you practice Love Abundance. So love is not attachment, they’re just two separate things; neither is right or wrong, good or bad. But I want you to separate out love from attachment. This is something that really changed my life in my romantic relationships when I first learned about it. If you haven’t read the book ‘Attached’ and you struggle with this I highly recommend it.
Okay, so attachment is being attached to something outside of you. And we evolved this way really to ensure our survival. So a really simple basic example is thinking about a baby crying. So think of your baby crying when you leave the room. This is human nature that the baby knows the person who is responsible for taking care of her has now left and she’s in danger basically is what the brain is thinking. This is great for our survival, but it’s not so great if you continue to live out your attachment expectations as an adult.
So no one is leaving you as an adult, you are safe and secure, as safe and secure as you can be. And certainly there’s no adult that can leave you as another adult. We’re talking about adults here. So I think that most people really don’t understand this and I know I certainly didn’t for a really long time. So what happens is we get attached to the expectation that other people should act how we think they should act. And when they don’t act that way we make it mean something has gone terribly wrong and then we are upset. And we say we’re upset because we love them so much.
So an example would be let’s say, you know, my dad’s an alcoholic and I am very attached to him acting in a certain way. How I think dads ‘should act’. Now, if I have that belief and I have that attachment to him acting a certain way and he doesn’t act in that way and I don’t understand that I am causing my own suffering, I will blame my hurt on him and I will say it’s because I love him so much. And what’s happening here is we’re just confusing love, and hurt, and attachment, and all of it. It’s just one big misunderstanding.
So you can feel hurt, you can feel heartbreak, you can feel disappointment, but the key is to understand that you’re the one creating those emotions from your thinking. And you might want to, but I know that we create a lot more suffering than I think is necessary when we have expectations for other adults thinking they should act in the way we think they should. Typically it’s when we’re attached to them. This is not love. This is basically humans trying to control the world because our brains want to secure our safety and security.
So in the example I gave my brain subconsciously is thinking, dads are supposed to act a certain way. This is what I’ve learned throughout my life and this dad isn’t. Now, I’m talking about me having these thoughts as an adult. I’m not talking about a child being endangered or something like that. I’m talking about if my dad were still alive and I was thinking thoughts like he shouldn’t drink, he should not be an alcoholic, he should not be drinking.
And so of course I’m attached to my dad as a person in my life who is a parent but on top of that I’m causing so much hurt because I’m thinking that he should be acting in a way that he isn’t. I’m thinking he should act like all the other dads so then I’m comparing him to kind of what society has set for standards of being a dad. Totally okay, you just want to have the awareness that that’s what’s happening.
And I cannot tell you how much freedom I felt to love my dad exactly how he was when I learned this. It’s truly one of the first ways that I really stepped into Love Abundance. And now, at the time I didn’t know that’s what it was but it absolutely was because then I decided just to love him. It was so much easier. Now, be careful, this doesn’t mean not having any boundaries. This doesn’t mean that I wanted to go buy him booze or even be around him when he was drinking.
I just decided my dad is an adult. He’s actually very smart and he gets to decide how to think, feel and act. We call that agency, there is an entire lesson on it that I refer to a lot in Grow You and the bonus vault because so often when we are in attachment we forget that other people have agency. Now, there will be consequences of course for how they think, feel and act but that isn’t our responsibility. So we want to give them back their agency and say, “Okay, knowing that they’re going to think feel and act however they want, how do I want to show up?”
For me for my dad, knowing that was always going to be my dad I wanted to love him fiercely and unapologetically. Now, this doesn’t mean again that I said yes and that I didn’t have boundaries but I got to feel the love. So with love, with the emotion of love you feel love, you feel open, it doesn’t feel like hurt, there isn’t pain or disappointment. So if you have the thought, he doesn’t love me anymore and you feel heartbreak that is not love. That’s coming from attachment and thinking that he should love you and it’s causing you a lot of hurt.
Now, you might want to feel hurt, the key is not to never feel hurt; the key is to see that it’s your thoughts that are creating the emotion. And I think just as I’m teaching this month with emotional wellbeing that we want the full spectrum of emotions. We don’t want to feel one emotion all of the time.
We want to be sad when heartbreak happens, when someone says, “I don’t love you anymore.” I want to think that is such a bummer, I’m really heartbroken. And I want to know that I’m the one creating the heartbreak because that’s what I sign up for in life. No one said it was going to be easy and without emotional pain, that’s part of it.
So then where does Love Abundance come in? Where is there space to choose love on purpose? So my coach, Bev Aron, sent me a journal earlier this year, I think it was the end of last year actually. And in the journal one of the quotes in it says this, it says, “What am I not loving right now? Why don’t I choose to love it exactly as it is?” And this blew my mind. What am I not loving right now? Why don’t I just choose to love it exactly as it is?
So if you are someone who in the past has been a perfectionist, who has struggled with attachment, kind of projected expectations onto other people, tried to control the world in a way that kind of leaves you feeling a lot of tension in relationships, or a lot of frustration, this will blow your mind. So I started thinking about Love Abundance and where I’m practicing it in my life already, where I want to practice it more. And how to incorporate it while also knowing that I want to experience the full spectrum of emotions.
So I want to go through some examples in my life that I think might surprise you and help you see how you can apply this to your life in a really helpful way.
So the first example is my dad, I kind of already went through that. So this doesn’t mean that I never felt any other emotion other than love when I thought about him. But it does mean that generally I just decided and decide to this day that I don’t want to fight with his choices. I don’t want to argue with reality. I don’t want to have these expectations that only cause me pain because dad’s over there doing what dad wants to do. And this is true for anything.
I coach a lot of you on mother-in-laws and sister-in-laws, so anyone in your life, usually it’s someone closer to you where this is the hardest work. Think about why you’re choosing not to love that person and why not just choose to love them exactly as they are. It requires such a deeper level of love because you have to let go of your own expectations that they should be living in a particular way.
You have to throw out the rulebook for everything you’ve learned with respect to how sister-in-laws should be, with respect to how brothers should be, with respect to how dads should be, with respect to how kids should be. So for me really getting into Love Abundance with my dad was transformational and it gave me so much freedom. And it feels so good to just love him, so good. Yes, he was an alcoholic and yes I love him.
Loving someone who chooses a different lifestyle than you does not mean you are saying that that’s what you want or that that’s something you think is good. I particularly don’t want to have an alcoholic in my immediate family if I can choose it. I don’t want to marry an alcoholic. I don’t want to be okay with drug addiction for example.
But when I say that what I’m talking about is my own kind of morals and my own values. But the truth is, drug addiction exists, alcoholism exists, lots of other things exist in the world that I’m not a fan of. I don’t have to use my personal beliefs and values as a reason not to love someone. So you can say, “I disagree with the way you’re living and I love you so much.”
I’m telling you, if this is new work for you it will not come naturally and it will take practice but it is worth practicing until it clicks. It’s so much easier when it clicks, it really is. And of course he’s an alcoholic, it’s okay and I love him. So just pay attention to that. That’s why I love that brilliant quote, “Why don’t I just choose to love it exactly as it is?” It’s so good.
Okay, moving on, more examples. Another example which you’re probably not surprised to hear from me is money. Again, I am in Love Abundance with money. So this is not something that is strictly only applied to people. So practicing Love Abundance with something outside of you that doesn’t think, feel and act may actually be easier for you to start with this tool. And the reason is because you don’t have to overcome your own expectations for how they should think, feel and act.
So your money doesn’t think, feel and act without you. You’re the one who is thinking, feeling and acting. The money just sits there. So I say that but it took me years to get into Love Abundance with my money and now I love it. I love my money but I say that and it’s not from a place of attachment. It’s not from a place of greed. It’s not from a place of hoarding. In fact one of the lessons in the new money mindset course is on generosity. I have incorporated this as a huge value into my life and I do that completely loving my money.
So just notice that true love, when you feel it, it’s lighter and it’s not based in that attachment. It is very open and connected. So I appreciate my money. I love my money. I feel very in flow with money. I take care of my money. And I like to give and be very generous. So now I’m in Love Abundance with my money, but again it did take years, it definitely wasn’t like that. So if you’re not there yet, it’s okay, you can practice with this.
Another example is the world. This is one that I think is really helpful to think about. If you think about the world generally what is your relationship to the world? Said differently, what are your thoughts about the world? I’m talking very generally here.
So even with all of the chaos in the world, all of the hardships, all of the very horrific tragedies that we want to think are horrific tragedies, when I think of 9/11, when I think about Covid, when I think about tragedies in the world I want to think of them as tragedies and horrific. But even with all of that I want to choose to love the world. I want to choose that the world is amazing. I think that being alive is pretty cool.
If you really take this broader perspective and intentionally bring some awareness to your thoughts about the world you may find that you haven’t decided intentionally what to think. And this is okay, especially if you are a big news follower, your brain will naturally repeat the thoughts that it hears while listening to the news. And of course what’s on the news is danger and it’s good, we want to know what’s going on and we want to be informed. But your brain doesn’t really care if it reports good news because it’s not out of the ordinary.
We expect to see things that our brain needs to be alerted to on the news, which is why I always want you to balance your input versus output, which you’re doing since you’re listening here. But just know that you may have not taken the time to define what you want your relationship to be like with respect to the world generally.
And I want to offer to you that you can choose Love Abundance and you can choose just to love all of it. Again, it doesn’t mean that you don’t feel devastated, or heartbroken, or really strong negative emotions when you want to, when things are happening in the world that you want to deem tragedies and horrific.
But generally speaking, if I generally asked you, what do you think about the world, and the people, and being alive, you would love it. You would see that this is it; this is your one chance. We just get to be here for a little speck of time and why not choose to generally love it on purpose.
Another example of Love Abundance that I’ve worked a lot on and I’m still working on is my body. And I’m actually getting so much better at this but I had to go from negative to neutral. And now I would say I’m more in the middle of neutral to getting closer to really just Love Abundance. So I can see this because now I notice when other people say negative things about their own bodies.
So someone the other day said, “Oh my gosh, this thing on my face, it’s so ugly.” And it was almost jarring for me because I’m just now in my mind not used to thinking those thoughts about my face or about anyone’s face. I might notice it’s a little, you know, here’s something a little loose, a little – might want to put some cream on that or something like that.
Now, I might notice something on my face that I don’t jump into Love Abundance about right away. But I would never say that it’s ugly about anything on my body. And that also wasn’t always the case, in the episode Body Love I talked about my knees and my legs. And I’m in such a better place with that. So practicing Love Abundance with your body and noticing what are my thoughts about my body and how do I feel about my body. And how do I want to feel? Now, remember the feeling is that one word.
So genuinely when you think of your body and the fact that you have a body what feeling do you feel in your body? Do you feel love and openness or do you feel tight, and tension, and resistance? It’s just good to be aware of. There’s no judgment here but you have to bring awareness to your thoughts and feelings in order for you to change them.
Okay, the last example is other people. So this is my work for this year is Love Abundance with respect to other people. Now, I say other people generally, so there’s not a particular person I’m talking about, I just mean other people.
So generally I’m pretty private when it comes to my personal life and I don’t have what I would say Steve has when it comes to loving other people. He is in Love Abundance with the humans, you just meet him and he just loves people, he loves all the people and part of that is just his natural disposition. So he did not learn about Love Abundance from me and then go apply it. But it also doesn’t mean that he never feels negative emotion, of course, but just generally speaking he is loving people, thinking people are good, giving them the benefit of the doubt.
I once heard that attorneys are some of the most unhappy people because their brains are trained to look for the negative. And I say that here because once I learned that I started to notice how I do that more often and in some ways it’s really good. So when I’m doing it and I am reviewing someone’s work in my business on the team, it’s really good. I want to catch those details of what’s wrong, what needs to be changed. And this is why attorneys are trained to look for kind of what’s wrong. What’s wrong in the contract, how can we fix this? And so they’re always looking for what’s wrong.
Love Abundance is the opposite, it’s looking for what’s right. So you want to separate out kind of that professional skill set of okay, let me look for what’s wrong and get this dialed in so it’s really high quality, from how you are looking at other people. And it sounds obvious but on default your brain really will go to what’s wrong. So for me I am practicing loving people who totally live differently than I do, who make choices that I would never make. And like I said, it’s so easy for me to do this with respect to my dad because I practiced it with him specifically.
Now, in this example when I talk about other people I’m not going to do this for every single person I meet. What I want to do is think about my relationship to people generally and see how it spews other.
So I live in a high rise in our home right now. So when I encounter people in the building, or outside, acquaintances, new people, I’m friendly but I want to just love then. I want to love them on purpose for no reason. And again this doesn’t mean attachment or that you’re being weird and creepy. It just means that when people do things that normally you would think of as falling short, instead you give them the benefit of the doubt and you love them so hard and you love them on purpose.
What I used to do was project my expectations on other people. Let me just give you an example, this isn’t actually a real situation, but I just kind of thought of it, would be useful here. So I am very organized, I plan my calendar two to four weeks out, everything’s scheduled ahead of time. The business is very organized so I pretty much am pro when it comes to organization, planning, showing up for myself, showing up for other people, showing up in my business, for the team, all of it.
If someone schedules something with me and they cancel on the day of and it’s, let’s just say not an emergency, it’s nothing, they just – let’s just say they don’t show up and they email and they say, “I forgot.” Now, this has not happened but I’m just thinking about how my natural tendency would be to have a negative judgment for that person, because I would be thinking I would never just not show up, I respect people’s time so much. That would just never be something I would do. I just wouldn’t. I would call in advance and cancel if I needed to.
So notice that in all of those examples I am comparing the standard of what I believe is right to how I live my life. And part of Love Abundance is knowing that my standard of what I want to live in my life is not everyone else’s standard. So can I just love that person and say, “Of course, that was the best decision for that person and for me.” How do we know? Because that’s what happened, and really dropping into love for them almost on default, that’s my next level of work that I want to practice.
I love Byron Katie’s quote when she says, “I love you and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
So for some of you it’s going to be really easy for you to love certain things, just think about the music we love, the coffee we love, the iPhones we love, the Apple products we love. But what about areas of your life where it’s hard for you to love, whether it’s money, whether it’s your mother-in-law, whether it’s people of a different political party, can you still keep your values and choose to love? That is work that I think is hard but I think it’s so worth it.
So if I were you and I was just learning this concept what I would do is I would pick one area of your life that is a challenge for you, but maybe it’s not the hardest. So maybe you want to pick money or something like time, you just want to love your time and be so grateful for your time. That’s another one I’ve done work on. Maybe it is someone who’s really close to you like your spouse; maybe it’s hard for you to think thoughts that create love. So remember it’s not just based on someone else loving you, it’s not based on that at all.
If someone else isn’t loving you, they’re not feeling love because of what they’re thinking, and that’s about them and their thoughts. So someone can say, “No, not interested. No, I don’t like your stuff. No, I don’t love you.” They can say all of that and you can decide how you want to think and feel as a response. Sometimes you might want to be heartbroken. The husband says, “I don’t want to be married anymore. I don’t love you anymore.” You probably want to be heartbroken.
But if someone just calls you up and tells you, “I don’t really like you and don’t want to hang out with you.” You might decide to think that is such a bummer for you. I love me, I love hanging out with me and I still love you and I totally respect your decision. That my friends is Love Abundance, that’s where I’m headed and I want to encourage you to practice this. I think this concept and tool is something that can transform the way you live in every area of your life. I will talk with you next week.
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