I’ve been struggling with the idea of abundance lately. I have a tendency to think, “I love these shoes so much that I don’t want to wear them too often so they’ll last longer.” And also, “I’m afraid of getting too much work in case it runs out.” The scarcity mindset.

A few months ago, I was in a tiny shop that was full of local, handmade, and New-Agey-type things. I was drawn to a display of chakra energy candles, and one labeled “abundance” in particular. It smelled yummy and, at the time, I was in the process of ramping up my freelance business so that I could leave my corporate day job. Abundance. It felt like destiny. It even said so on the label: Your true self will attract unlimited resources, power, and compassion to realize your destiny.

I brought it home and lit it, enjoying its pretty color and wonderful scent. It wasn’t a particularly cheap candle (and with the job change I was planning, I certainly wasn’t looking for any more expensive habits) so when I finished my meditation, I extinguished it and put the plastic protective covering back. It sat on my desk, unlit, for a good six weeks. It wasn’t until today, when I was trying on an affirmation about having everything I need, about the universe providing limitless resources, that I saw it (and my mindset) and laughed out loud.

I have a drawer full of white T-shirts I don’t wear so they won’t start to look gray. I keep gift cards for nicer-than-average restaurants until there’s a special-enough special occasion. I have a cute basket with spa-inspired face masks and bath bombs that I save for some future day when I really need one, whatever that means.

There are clients I want to work with, projects I want to pursue—but not until I’m ready. Not until I have the calendar capital to devote an entire day just to it. Not until I’m sure I’ve got other work to follow it.

I read recently: “Want it all, that’s what it’s there for.” I think that’s from Mike Dooley; I have it taped to my computer monitor. It could also be, “use it all, that’s what it’s there for.” Work, energy, and yes, even money: these are renewable resources! We don’t have to hoard them until there’s enough. We’ve got all we need already.

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