What is scarcity, really?
I have to admit, I have not been moving into my days slowly as I usually do. This last week, my morning ritual has been neglected but I am receiving myself as I am and trying not to put any pressure on myself to be anywhere but here.
Here is an okay place to be. It's glorious outside. The sun is shining. I am focusing on my breathing, making sure I am taking up as much oxygen as I can. I am writing, a lot. In a way, this money love letter is a ritual for me to share what has been ruminating in my mind, heart, and spirit around money and even, how it manifests in my body.
Today I gently invite you to face a word that can be very alarming, uncomfortable, and at times triggering to see for some individuals. It certainly has been for me.
Because I always love pulling a definition, here it is below:
- the state of being scarce or in short supply; shortage.
I'm just going to say it outright. I call bullshit. The thing is, the experience of scarcity is very much real. But scarcity itself? It's an illusion.
In fact, I believe that scarcity is propaganda for white supremacy.
I am ready to get a lot of unsubscribes for that one. But hear me out.
Scarcity being an illusion has been on my mind for years now. The idea that there is not enough for everyone to have all their basic needs met (which, in my opinion is access to enough food, water, shelter, money, healthcare, and education) is just not grounded in reality.
There is enough. I mean, think about it. How many empty buildings do you see in your city? I walked by an empty building in San Francisco the other day that has been vacant for ten years. TEN years. There is an abundance of food and water. Look at what happened in Flint, Michigan. The city switched its drinking water supply to “save” money. Did it actually save money? No!
According to an article by The Guardian, the decision to switch the Michigan city’s drinking water source to the Flint River was aimed at saving $5 million but almost two years later the cost to treat the water supply carries a tag of $45 million.
Water wasn't actually “scarce,” it was the government who made the call to make a decision like this because of their scarcity mindset. That scarcity mindset is not based in reality.
That scarcity is the propaganda for white supremacy that I am talking about. White supremacy wants to stay “supreme" and there is nothing more powerful than making people believe that the world is a very, very scarce place.
Now, what to do? I don't have all the answers, just thoughts. For the last couple of years in my work I have embraced what Louise Hay has been saying for quite some time: there is not a lack of resources, there is only a lack of love.
I have people in my life resistant to seeing money in a way that could be loving, secure, kind, safe, generous, and like Edgar Villanueva says “medicine.” I completely get where they are coming from. I have been there. It took a long, long time for me to feel comfortable just being open to the idea that money could be all of those things.
Instead of trying to convince those around me to love money, or see it as medicine….I take more of a baby step approach and encourage those to see money as neutral to start. It's this thing that exists in our life. We are the ones that get to decide the value and meaning it has. Sometimes, that value and meaning changes from day to day.
A few questions that I'd love to leave you with:
- Have I made financial decisions from a place of scarcity?
- Why did I make those decisions?
- What was the result of that decision?
- How can you make financial decisions from a place of abundance?
Let me be clear that sometimes we do have to say no to things in order to say yes to yourself and your financial goals. This isn't about those times where you skipped out on going to dinner with friends for a third time that week. Think deeply about this. If you feel called to share, email me your answers. I am very curious to hear what comes up for you.
One day I would like to see a world that destroys the illusion of scarcity. I really do see so much abundance all around. What I wish to see is that those all around me will experience that abundance.