mental engineering
Abundance is a Lie
by Olga Reinholdt
by Olga Reinholdt
Meditation Teacher and Author
"Excuse me, do you have a dollar for me?"

I'm in the very centre of Washington, DC walking around Dupont Circle asking random strangers for a dollar.

"I'm so sorry, do you have a dollar?"

I recently migrated from Kazakhstan to the USA, I talk with a funny Russian accent and wear classic post-Soviet frown on my face while really trying to appeal to perfect strangers in the heart of American capital.

An alien on so many levels.

"Pardon, sir, can you give me a dollar?"

No, I'm not homeless, I'm not asking for money to buy food.

I'm asking for money to practice asking for money.

I'm developing abundant thinking.

Money is everywhere, like air. There's always enough money. There's no such thing as "too expensive". Think from abundance and you can swim in the sea of high-end clients, charging whatever you want for coaching, spending whatever you want on lifestyle that you desire.

It's that simple.

Just stop thinking "scarcity" and start thinking "abundance".

Shit…

Do you know what "de-kulakization" is? It was in early Soviet times when everyone who was considered "rich" was forced to "share" their wealth. In effect people came to your house, took everything you owned, including the house, execute or exile you and part of your family, send kids to orphanage, and make women work at factories… And you didn't even have to be a rich "kulak": as long as someone saw you buying a cow and considered it excessive you're in danger. Scenarios would differ, the trauma would be the same. My grand-grand-grand-father fell under de-kulakization, and the fear of any symptom of "wealth" would run through the family like a blood-red thread.

When I was born, Soviet Union collapsed. My mom couldn't breast-feed, but I wasn't formula-fed either. There was no such thing as formula is stores. I was cow-milk fed (and I didn't die). Cow-milk wasn't so easy to get too, so my mom remembers nights when the baby-me cried herself to sleep from hunger. Go figure.

When I was nine I was hit by a car, and spent three weeks in hospital. The driver wanted to alleviate our claims against him and… well, he tried to bribe me. "How can I make it up for you, girl?". Let's see, how can you make up you for almost killing me, leaving me with crooked nose and fear of traffic for the rest of my life.

How about a Barbie. A Barbie seemed good enough to nearly die for. And hey, I would probably never own a Barbie otherwise, 90's in Kazakhstan was not the time when you could buy any toy in a Toys'R'Us around the corner.

When I was a teen things changed. Something shifted in the country, and wealthy people started appearing here and there. Appearing, and getting killed. Another one. Another one.

I remember adults fearfully indulging in stories of some new businessman getting killed in his own house by his competitors…

Yet, it was asking strangers for a dollar at Dupont Circle on a warm Saturday that was the most horrifying experience for me. It was stirring all the fears around money that I wasn't even aware of — I just FELT them. I literally dreaded that the next person I asked for a dollar would pull out a gun and shoot me dead. I also felt that it would have been well-deserved (dare you asking people for money).

Abundant thinking is "permission to be wealthy". Like so many things in coaching and mainstream spirituality it's just a nice way to say "I want to be rich".

I set a SMART yet spiritual goal of 6-figure business. I'm abundant.

No, let me be even more abundant — I want a 7-figure business, because money is everywhere, I just choose to allow them to flow my way.

I'll build 7-figure business, by helping others, by being in service, by changing the world, by saving souls… And all those honorable choices will bring me 7-figure income. I'm just practicing abundant thinking, it's a good thing.

It sounds good, but take a closer look and you will see: this type of abundant thinking is just attachment in disguise. Attachment to wealth, to the imaginary safety of money, to the vanity of a sports car, new iPhone and unreasonably expensive tennis shoes.

I learned from many years of building businesses: there's just one thing that's worse than carrot and stick, when it comes to motivating an entrepreneur. It's carrot on a stick, attached right in front of your nose (no wonder it's called attachment). The faster you move towards it, the faster it moves away from you. This is what "abundant thinking" turned into for me, without me even knowing.

I really felt GOOD, thinking abundance. Corrosion of attachment ate through my motivation and creativity, authenticity and joy while I was ignoring it, getting "high" on a fix of another abundance speech, conversation or meditation.

But one day I woke up to a thought: "So what if I will never be rich?"

I entertained the thought. Needless to say "never be rich" felt like home.

"Being rich is way too dangerous", — was my inherited and absorbed story. I checked against it, and there was something else to it.

It was a new and valuable variation of "never be rich" story.

In the old story I was struggling to make a living and survive. Abundant thinking was just "making a living on steroids".

There was something different.
It was like somebody almighty would tell me:

"Hey you. Yes, you, with guitar. You know what, you will NEVER become rich. Likewise, you will never have gills, naturally curly hair and a penis. So try all you want, you will never be rich. Now, I've got something in store for you, something you've been designed for. I will make sure you and your family are safe and have sufficient food, shelter and comfort. And I will make sure you accomplish what you were designed for.

And you will never be rich".

This was no longer a place of striving for excess merely to survive.

I felt the peace of trust, and the promise of meaningful accomplishments.

So if I was actually told that, what would I do?

How would I choose to spend every day of my life?

What would I devote myself to?
What would I look for?

Suddenly the promise of meaningful life and ultimate ban on any idea of becoming wealthy showed me the true abundance I've always had in life.

I have abundance of love from family.

I have abundance of fantastic friends.

I have abundance of emotional intelligence, creativity, talent.

I have abundance of wild imagination and crazy drive for music, acting, making people laugh and cry from the bottom of their hearts.

I have abundance of hunger for experiencing what it means to be a self-actualized human being — the wonderful jewel in the Universe.

This is what I've always had, whether I was fed or hungry, playing with Barbies or dirty sticks. This is what I don't need to ask strangers on the street for, on the contrary: I can give it away in piles and never fall short of it. This is something I don't need to learn, practice, change for or discipline myself with. This is just me, and stories of my life and my heritage no longer feel like some "curse" to overcome. They are inherent parts of the most valuable thing I have in abundance — the real ME.

Abundant thinking is a lie: own who you are instead of thinking up who you "should" be.

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