I’m trying something new today and getting vulnerable about sharing something I honestly have not had the courage or the will to do before. So bear with me. Attracting abundance is probably one of the most searched items on the internet (oh yes, I went there, over 11 million results in 0.34 seconds according to Google). Living an abundant life is apparently a big deal for a lot of us! And it crosses communities as well – you can get people searching (and providing information) from a spiritual context, pure cash money, wealth, food, water…
It’s one of those things that everyone has a different definition for and a different mindset about. And of course, Brigid, while not anti-abundance per se, isn’t usually associated with the concept, which I think is a real oversight. So today, I’m going to talk about how I link herself with being abundant, what strategies I use from different places and the next steps I’m taking to make another step change.
Brigid and Abundance
Then baskets were brought to her to be filled from the wife of the druid. She had only the butter of one and a half churnings. The baskets were filled with that and the guests, namely the druid and his wife, were satisfied. The druid said to Brigit: ‘The cows shall be yours and let you distribute the butter among the poor, and your mother shall not be in service from today and it shall not be necessary to buy her, and I shall be baptized and I shall never part from you.’ ‘Thanks be to God’, said Brigit.Bethu Brigte, section 12, found: https://celt.ucc.ie/published/T201002/
This is one of the many miracles associated with food and Brigid. Mostly they’re like this one – what I term the “loaves and fishes” type,. The original of course, coming from here (Matthew 14:17-19) and here (John 6:1-14) in the Bible. It’s amazing how many saints come up with this sort of miracle. But I suppose food, for most of human history, has been a major concern. Being able to feed the multitudes, having that abundance of food, was a serious sign of wealth.
However, our Brigid, was the daughter of a slave and not in possession of much in terms of wealth. She still gave away quite a lot to those in need.
On a certain day a guest came to Dubthach’s house. Her father entrusted her with a flitch of bacon to be boiled for the guest. A hungry dog came up to which she gave a fifth part of the bacon. When this had been consumed she gave another [fifth]. The guest, who was looking on, remained silent as though he was overcome by sleep. On returning home again the father finds his daughter. ‘Have you boiled the food well?’, said her father. ‘Yes’, said she. And he himself counted [them] and found [them intact]. Then the guest tells Dubthach what the girl had done. ‘After this’, said Dubthach, ‘she has performed more miracles than can be recounted.’ This is what was done then: that portion of food was distributed among the poor.Bethu Brigte, section 10, found: https://celt.ucc.ie/published/T201002/
This time the saint is giving away bacon. It’s amazing to me that the stories never mention her getting into trouble. She always has enough to feed the people she’s meant to feed. I know – these are fairly standard in the saints’ lives, hagiographies, etc, but still. You think someone somewhere would have taken umbrage – especially in this case, where the not-spare food is going to a stray dog.
Once at Eastertide: ‘What shall we do?’, said Brigit to her maidens. ‘We have one sack of malt. It were well for us to prepare it that we might not be without ale over Easter. There area moreover seventeen churches in Mag Tailach. Would that I might keep Easter for them in the matter of ale on account of the Lord whose feast it is, that they might have drink although they should not have food. It is unfortunate for us only that we have no vessels.’ That was true. There was one vat in the house and two tubs. ‘They are good; let it be prepared(?).’
This is what was done: the mashing in one of the tubs, in the other it was put to ferment; and that which was put to ferment in the second tub, the vat used to be filled from it and taken to each church in turn, so that the vat kept on coming back, but though it came back quickly that which was in the tub was ale. Eighteen vatfuls had come from the one sack, and what sufficed for herself over Easter. And there was no lack of feasting in every single church from Easter Sunday to Low Sunday as a result of that preparation by Brigit.Bethu Brigte, section 21, found: https://celt.ucc.ie/published/T201002/
This is one of my favourite stories. Now, the history of alcohol in Ireland is not really a good one. I know we have a history of enjoying ourselves, and drinking a lot, and being able to hold out drink. But alcoholism is a blight on this country. If you are interested, Drink Aware, HRB National Drugs Library and our national health organisation, the HSE, all have further information if you want to explore. Hell, even wikipedia has a decent enough article about it.
That said, this is another miracle related to an abundant good that Brigid is recorded as performing, so I’ve included it here. I love that it at the end: “what sufficed for herself over Easter”. It’s one of the few times that Brigid herself benefits from the abundance she creates.
What do I mean by abundance?
Alright, so I’ve been talking about abundance, but what do I actually mean by it? Explanations range from “a very large quantity of something” (dictionary.com) to “having more than enough of something (Cambridge University Press). For me, I hold abundance as feeling like I have enough and some to spare.
Except books. I don’t think I will ever have enough books. But that’s another story!
Now we come to “an abundance of what?” Food? Money? Wealth? Clothes? This is a personal question, definitely. And defining what “abundance” or “being abundant” means to you is a really important first step. 6 years ago, I put “being able to buy any book I want without thinking too hard” as my “abundance” sign. Part of the reason I’m writing this is because I need to redefine that now, because, as my husband will tell you, I can now buy any book I want. This is proven by the amount of book deliveries our poor postwoman delivers weekly!
Now this definition of abundance is highly promoted by one of the resources I’m going to talk about.
A Rich Life
(In this section, please read “rich life” to mean “abundant life” as far as I’m concerned!)
A man called Ramit Sethi wrote a book called I will teach you to be rich back in 2020 I think. The first thing he asks you to do as a reader? Define your rich life. This is a huge acknowledgement: not everyone has the same idea of what “rich” means. For me, it meant at one point, to be able to buy any book I wanted. My rich life still includes this, but it also includes more. Sethi guides you through a means to really imagine what your life would be like for you to feel truly rich. He includes things like: the restaurants you’d eat at, the clothes you’d buy, the house you’d live in, the car you’d drive, the place you’d live in… the list goes on.
And I like this approach, as I’ve said above. I won’t go into the full detail of this, because he says it way better on his blog and in his book (both linked above). But I will say the components of my rich life now include: owning our own home without a mortgage, working part time, giving away money to people I love and who need it, hiring someone to take over household management and food management. I mean, very little of this is within my reach right now. But that’s ok. 6 years ago, I couldn’t imagine a time when I bought a book on a whim without having a crisis of conscience when it arrived in the post! This approach to money really caused a step change in the way I viewed the abundance in my life.
A Feminist Rich Life
Tori Dunlap made her first $100k by the time she was 25. This was a goal of hers and she made it. I actually think she had $100k in savings and investments by the time she was 25. Now, this is not possible for me – I’m long past 25 at this point. But reading about her story and then reading her book again brought me a step change in thinking how I can attract abundance and live my abundant life.
She also looks at finances through a feminist lens, which lies close to my own ethics and principles, and frequently discusses topics related to this in her podcast. The first exercise in Dunlap’s book? What is your first money memory?
I found this enlightening. Maybe you will too.
My First Money Memory
My first money memory involves losing money. I lost a little purse of French francs in our local supermarket because I was too caught up in reading the book I wanted to buy. This was just before we went on holidays to France as well, and I was so proud of my little purse with all of, approx. 5 Francs in it (very approx. €5/ $5). I was reading and then when my parents called me, I was so shocked out of the world I was in, I forgot all about my purse and when I went back it was gone.
So, money has been heavily linked with “distress” to me. And of course, I then got the name of being “bad” with money in the family. (These are self fulfilling prophecies people!) So whenever I attracted abundance in my life, it seemed to slip through my fingers. I never felt abundant. Even when I started earning money, I didn’t feel like I had enough.
(This fed into clothes, books, food, and all sorts of other things as well, but let’s focus on money for now as a symbol of abundance. If we go into food, that’s a whole other blog!)
I had to sit with that memory for a long, long time. I have lots of good memories, by the way, this is just the earliest memory I have that has to do with money. And it coloured a lot of my relationship with money and abundance since.
It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle…
… than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
(This is the Bible again: Matthew 19:24; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:25)
Now, I know that preaching of the prosperity gospels is a big thing in some Protestant arenas, but as a child growing up, this was sold to us as a good reason to not be rich. In fact, poverty was as a virtue, since it was seen as having fewer temptations than richness. Or abundance. And if you had an abundance of something, as a good Catholic, you should be giving it away to those less well off anyway. Way to promote an abundant life, there!
How this was equated with the richness in with the church hierarchy lived and still lives, I don’t know.
But essentially, I had a lot of abundance issues to overcome and truth be told, I’m still overcoming some. My life is abundant in many ways, but there’s still a way to go!
Then, a few years ago, I came across Joanna Hunter. And she was running an experiment called “Heal Your Abundance“. The experiment asked the question:
Can ancient metaphysical knowledge create a significant change in YOUR abundance in just 4 weeks?
Now, from my last time around, it can! This option is more “woo” than the others I’ve put up above and I will admit, I thought hard before committing $44 for a 4-week course. I mean, can abundance really be healed? But then I thought that it was <€50 and a few minutes a day commitment to making a potentially big change in my life. And it did. I didn’t even finish the damn course!
But by working through the exercises that I did manage to get to, I adjusted my mindset enough to get a new job with a 33%+ payrise. This was massive to me at the time. Hell, it would be massive to me now! I felt abundance pouring out of my pores! I was so excited.
And here’s where I get really vulnerable. Part of the course that I didn’t sign up for last time was the affiliate program. I didn’t feel like I was an affiliate type of person. I didn’t feel it was ethical to want to make money for basically – sharing a link. This time, I’ve signed up for the affiliates program and I’m sharing the link here. There is zero difference for anyone who wants to sign up using my link instead of the website link. In fact, in the spirit of abundance, they aim to give away $1,000,000 (yeah that’s a million) in affiliate fees this time round. And if you have a business paypal account, you can sign up for an affiliate link as well.
But I’m at a stage again, in my abundant life, where I’m stalling. I can feel my energy around abundance stagnating. And I want another step change. I have the practical things in place: standing orders and direct debits for savings and bills. I’m clear in my mind about my guilt-free money. I’m happy with the % I’m putting in my pension. It’s time to upgrade my mind again.
Are you not asking Brigid for help here, Órlagh?
And you can bet I’m asking Brigid for help here! She understands my need for a home of my own, owned outright, with not mortgage. She gets the need for stability and putting down roots. Some of the things she is asking me for will be massively easier to complete with that foundation beneath me.
So I know she’s behind me in this. She did not come from a culture where poverty was glorified. She was, and in my experience still is, well able to both gather wealth, abundance, riches and give them away as well. I said to a friend of mine a few years ago that I’d consider myself wealthy when I can imitate a Victorian nobleman and replace a relation’s wardrobe at need. I’m not there yet (unless they’re very into Penneys!) but I’m getting there. And opening myself up to critique about sharing an affiliate link is part of that.
So, check out Joanna Hunter’s work and if you like the look of it, use this link to sign up. I’m really looking forward to it!
And in the mean time, think about what you mean by abundance? Do you consider your life abundant? Have you enough of all you need and a bit to spare? Are you heavily abundant in some areas but extremely tight in others? We are really not encouraged to think this way, but we deserve abundance in our lives. If you don’t believe me, ask her!