Why abundance?

iStock 000040453196SmallA sense of "abundance" is a spiritual quality, an attitude that embraces all we are and uses every aspect of ourselves in a positive, generous manner to create a wealth that is ours but not only for ourselves but shared with others, too.

A sense of "abundance" encourages, equips and enables us to fulfil our personal dreams, but, rightly understood, it also fosters collaborative behaviours and outcomes.

It nurtures a resourceful attitude which allows us to become agents of creativity in our context, facilitating changes that benefit others as well as ourselves.

It directs us to the Source of life, teaches us what is life-giving for us personally and shows us how we can extend these insights to enhance all our relationships and every situation in which we are involved, whether that be a voluntary organisation, congregation, community group, neighbourhood or social network.

To speak of "abundance" it is necessary to use the language of wealth, plenty, riches, prosperity and benefit.

However, a sense of "abundance" is not a scheme for making money, nor a means of increasing your material goods. It is not to be confused with what is often justly criticised as the "prosperity gospel" promoted by some forms of self-help and some versions of Christianity.

Rather, it is a way of seeing yourself and the world around you that helps you appreciate the resources already available to you; that allows you to maximise, multiply and magnify them through creative thinking; deploy them generously and - most importantly - persist in the process until the task is done and the blessing attained.

"Imagining Abundance" is an approach to life which begins where you are, uses what you already have and values what you already know. It can show you how what you have and what you know can transform situations, creating more life whatever your context. By "imagining abundance" for ourselves, for others and for all, we become life-giving people, however limited our circumstances. If that sounds fanciful, remember that this website has been created by a woman who is largely housebound, increasingly disabled and receiving treatment for a terminal illness.

"Imagining Abundance" is a way of seeing, thinking, believing, relating and behaving which enlarges your options, enables you to choose more "life-giving" possibilities, hold your nerve through the sticky patches and so realise your potential and help others realise their potential too. It is a way of walking through the world which enhances our natural human abilities for creativity and collaboration.

It is not specifically religious, though this website describes it in terms of Christian spirituality. However, you can explore many of these ideas whether or not you are comfortable with religion, the Church, Christian worship, Christian ideas about Jesus Christ or belief in God.

"Imagining Abundance" is a journey that you can begin today, at once, wherever you are and I would not be surprised if you find that it brings some immediate benefits. It did for me. However, it is not a quick fix, nor is it an approach to be taken lightly. On the one hand, it is all grace, allowing you to receive and enjoy a breadth and depth of life that feels larger than yourself and which you may never have known before. On the other hand, it is a journey into unfamiliar territory, requiring application, effort and a certain amount of discipline. Unlearning old habits and embedding new ones does not happen without a certain amount of effort on our part. For Christians, this is the substance of our life-long discipleship. But what I can promise you, because this is what I have discovered for myself, is that the effort is worthwhile. Change is not always comfortable, but the benefits far outweigh the difficulties.

This way of life is not just for the good times but for the bad times, too. In fact, it is during my own "bad times" - being bullied as an adolescent, "burn out depression", bereavement, some profound professional disappointments, various forms of disability and now treatment for advanced cancer - that I have learned and practised and refined the ideas presented here.   These are the times when simply holding onto the promise of abundance can seem impossible, even offensive. And that is just my personal experience: the difficulties of reconciling a theology/spirituality of abundance with the suffering and injustice present in the world are even greater. I have tried not to shy away from them.

It has only been possible to create this website because I endeavour to practise what I preach. There is no particular virtue in this: these days it is the only way I can see to survive and live what remains of my life to the full, moment by moment, day by day. If my experience serves any purpose at all, let it be this - to encourage you to begin, to encourage you to keep going, to encourage you to pick yourself up and begin again.

God bless you and thank you for your attention.

Julie M. Hulme

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