“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”
Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth
Today, there was nothing in the house to eat.
Three small potatoes, a couple of ageing carrots, a floret of broccoli, less than a floret of cauliflower, half an onion, 2 mushrooms. And an egg. That was it.
I checked the chicken coop to try and up the odds of having something to feed my children for lunch, without having to hit the shops. Which I’m consciously trying to do less of, for reasons of budget—and minimising consumerism, and waste. One egg was in the chicken coop. So: in total, we had a couple of eggs and a few veggies that would be past their prime if not used soon.
Not a feast. Perhaps not enough to feed a growing teen, and pre-teen.
But, I remembered I had a packet of arrowroot in the pantry. And a knob, or maybe more, of organic butter. I also remembered that the kids love hash browns.
Why not bespoke veggie fritters then? I had a blender. Electricity. A pan, at my disposal.
Minutes later, the blender was brimming over with shredded vegetables. A few more minutes and I had a bowlful of whisked veggies, mixed with two beaten eggs, a touch of arrowroot; and a pan lush with melting butter.
While I dolloped spoonfuls of the veggie batter into the pan, I remembered the tub of greek yoghurt in the fridge, that had a few serves left in it.
Turns out, lunch was not nothing.
It was a plateful of veggie fritters for each of us, garnished with yoghurt.
Further into the afternoon, my children reminded me that we had milk, cacao powder and coconut sugar among our well of ‘nothing’.
So, our afternoon snack was not nothing either. It was a treat. With a handful of nuts thrown in. Yes, cashews classified as ‘nothing’ during my morning glance at the fridge and pantry, too.
That we eventually admitted it was time to go shopping for the week, doesn’t detract from our yummy lunch, and afternoon indulgence.
What if I hadn’t looked deeply enough into our bounty? The abundance of food we already had would have gone to the chooks (hopefully), or left longer, to waste. We would have spurned it for food we’d bought at the shops. Without need.
We are conditioned to view excess as the norm.
Anything less; we see as being not enough. Our simple lunch of fried veggies might not have been a lunch of kings. It might not be the choice of nutritionists, much less chefs. But, it was abundant. It filled us up. This, from an empty fridge. This, from having nothing.
And with chocolate milk on top.
In his book, A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle was talking about spiritual awakening. I believe we need a practical awakening, too. A shift in our consciousness, from what we don’t have, to what we do have.
When it comes to food, for a start, we have some practical dysfunctions to overcome. In Australia, families waste billions of dollars-worth of food each year. Source.
About a third of the food produced in the world is wasted, and goes to landfill: a wastefulness that adds toxins to the earth. Industrialised nations waste the most. Source.
Food wastage costs us our time, our money; and if I’d have bought into it this morning, would have cost us the best hours of our day.
There is a spirituality in making something out of nothing. A deeper spirituality, still, in connecting with abundance.
Abundance is a full soul, and the peacefulness of a satisfied physical state. It is lunch with your children, in the immeasurable comfort of knowing you have a bowlful of veggies, a pan, and very little waste.
Our bent for excess doesn’t lead to fulfilment. It leads to, well, excess. And excess is hard to manage. For us, and our planet. Time for us to learn to savour. Time to realise what we have.
A final thought, like, abundance is a bowl of potatoes, is possibly in order. But, you get the idea.
Yours in abundance.