“When you are guided to this pathway, take the opportunity to feel yourself as part of Allah’s continual, creative expression, which carves out new realities each instant through an abundance of forms.” The Sufi Book of Life, Neil Douglas-Klotz.
The first idea that I want to focus on is that you can
create something from nothing. Many of us have, again and again sometimes. The
pathways always mirror what is happening in the healing room and often we see
someone come in who has lost everything and has the perception that they have
nothing. From this “nothing” is how a future, a path and a direction is
created. We have no choice but to create or co-create our lives and this is the
crux of the pathway for me.
It is an understanding that new realities can be carved out,
created, changed in a range of different ways from a space where there is
apparently nothing. There is always a way towards what you are seeking because
it is always seeking you. It’s the void, the lack, the absence of something
that makes us pursue its creation and co-creation. It makes us understand the
power of Creator and how this is expressed through our reality in each moment.
Where it appears there is nothing left, given time something always comes
through. It allows for your current circumstances to take on a new form and
this is the abundant expression that I associate with this pathway. This ever
changing form is abundant expression that leads to new realities.
When I reflect, my deepest spiritual awakenings have come
from times in my life where I lost everything and had to start again from
scratch. It goes to show you can start over financially, emotionally,
physically on all levels from ground zero. You can build it up and lose it and
still do the same again. This is abundance although it may not appear to be on the
surface of it. It’s important then that we challenge what abundance means and
the form it takes as well as how we express it in our daily lives.
This leads us to explore the nature of abundance in all its
forms. From this, we can see that it isn’t something that we acquire. It is
something that we already hold within us and that it can be expressed in a
number of ways. It is through this abundance that everything is created or
co-created. The “nothingness” is the abundance itself even though it appears in
a material reality to be an emptiness or a void where nothing exists.
The book talks about this inner sense of abundance and
relates it to this idea of wealth. It talks about wealth being regarded with
suspicion because the self can easily get lost in the personal power and
freedom that wealth seems to purchase. It suggests the remedy to be giving away
what’s surplus to our requirements. I had to look at this more deeply while I explored this pathway.
This idea that we regard wealth with suspicion is an interesting
one because often it’s this perception of wealth in an almost negative sense
that prevents us from being abundant. Eg. All rich people happily step over
others to get there and I don’t want to be like that. Yet also there is the
idea that when we have wealth, we can be tested with it. Eg. If I’m not
responsible for what I have, I will lose it.
If we feel that being wealthy is inherently wrong, we are
reluctant to pursue it creating a block to this feeling of abundance yet at the
same time, we all want that wealth because we also crave the power and freedom
that comes with it. Essentially we are seeking the inner feeling of abundance
itself, the feeling of being enough within not necessarily always the material
reality. Although the material reality is of course appealing too!
There is a delicate balance to be struck here. The book
talks about giving away what you do not need and this is one of the ways that
we stay in equilibrium. I came at this as an empath and as someone who can
relate to lack more than abundance given my journey and personal circumstances
yet still there was plenty to learn in terms of addressing the feelings of both
lack and abundance. And we have to look at both aspects to attain a fuller
understanding of what this pathway teaches.
In a dualistic universe where we are taught it’s either one
or the other, we can’t raise the question of abundance without also considering
it’s opposite – Lack. There are many lessons to this pathway, one of the
strongest being that where there is lack on the face of it, whether we choose
to focus on the lack or the abundance is a choice that we ultimately make. I’ve
certainly learnt that when things are taken away suddenly, they are always
replaced with something better even if we can’t see it at the time. This
relates to the previous pathway on completion where we are only seeing that
particular part of the picture and seeing beyond can be really helpful to how
we perceive abundance.
Let’s first take this feeling that there is not enough. This
is only a reflection of our inner world. We can feel lack financially, in our
relationships and in our work. The one thing all those things have in common is
ourselves. The lack is feeling that you are lacking, that you are not enough
and you feel this deep within. It’s reflected in your outer circumstances
because that’s how the Universe works. I am not enough, I am not deserving or
Abundance takes a different form. It looks at what “is”
rather than what “is not.” This acknowledgement begins to fill the void. We are
trained to look towards the material rewards in life to reflect a measure of
our abundance however we know that sometimes even the wealthiest of people are
not necessarily the happiest. It isn’t anything to do with what you have.
Rather it’s more a form of who you are and how that is expressed. It’s that
feeling within that we’re seeking. The inner form of abundance and the more we
focus on that, the more we see can see Creator within our reality.
In order to be abundant within and in order to be able to
give of yourself, your time, your energy, your money, your love, freely and
abundantly, we must feel that there is enough of it for ourselves before we can
even begin to give any of it away.
Although sometimes, it’s the opposite and you feel like it’s
all too much. The overwhelm that comes with abundance can be equally
challenging to work with. We may feel when we gain a little that in comparison
to the lack, it’s a lot so we give it away, and keep giving it away. This way
we don’t hold the abundance and if we don’t hold it, we can’t build on it. Sometimes
it is as soon as something good happens we want to share it and give it away. A
lot of people do this especially if they have come from nothing.
It’s important to learn how to hold abundance and with this
comes an ability to hold what you have received for yourself. I’m talking about
how you hold it not how you share it or give it away. Are you able to keep
things for yourself? Do you automatically feel that you have to share and give?
It’s not just physical things I’m talking about here. We can extend this to
receiving good news or achieving something special. How does it feel to keep it
to yourself rather than sharing it with others? How does it feel to hold back
This is a difficult and challenging pathway and on a
personal level it made me realise how quick I am to give things away in all
respects. It made me realise that holding abundance is about practicing
discernment in what you keep and what you give away. It’s going within to
challenge what you are keeping for yourself and how much of it you can hold. It’s
about knowing what full means for you so that when you do give, you’re not
drained. It’s also about facing up to the shadow aspect of how it feels not to
share and give everything away and dealing with the guilt that sometimes comes
The pathway also talks about giving away and says that giving
away means you’re filling up. We only have to think about how good it feels to
give to understand the feeling of filling up that it creates. This feeling good
is associated with abundance but it is also a trust in this feeling of there
being enough. Giving from full feels different to giving from empty. It’s trial
and error working out what full means to you and as you work this out, full can
sometimes feel like selfish but it’s about pushing your own boundaries and
comfort zones when it comes to yourself and what you hold.
As an empath, I found this pathway challenging because I’ve
spent years learning how to feel enough, to feel worthy, to fill up and to not
give on empty. On first glance, it felt like it was at odds with this. I stand
by learning to cultivate and hold abundance as it’s necessary to ensure that I
don’t feel drained and therefore resentful. Whilst living this pathway and
meditating on it, I thought “hang on a minute…am I meant to be giving it all
away?!” It isn’t as clear cut as that.
If there’s one thing that helped me whilst living this
pathway it’s this story. There’s a saying from the teachings of the Prophet
that says, “Tie your camel.”
saying, as relayed by the scholar Al-Tirmidhi, is an ancient Arab phrase attributed to the prophet
when one day he saw a Bedouin leaving his camel without tethering it,
questioned him as to why he was doing this. The Bedouin replied that he was
placing his trust in Allah and had no need to tie the camel. The prophet Mohammed
then replied, “Tie your camel first and then place your trust in
This gives us a really strong indication of being responsible for
ourselves and our own actions first and foremost. It takes us away from the
passive whatever will be will be and into a more active responsibility for
ourselves before we place our trust in Creator. This is as it should be if we
are co-creating our reality. It’s important we make arrangements for our own
provisions rather than leaving it all to chance or all up to the Universe.
Whatever will be will be takes you out of the co-creation and therefore places
you with very little responsibility for your own actions and therefore your own
inner sense of abundance. If we go back to the feelings of personal power and
freedom that we associated with abundance, then “whatever will be will be”
becomes passive and leaves everything to chance. We need to tie our camels
before we place our trust.
In terms of abundance, holding abundance and creating more
of it in our lives, this pathway teaches us to look very closely at what we
actually have and be responsible for how we use it. We have to look closely at
what we have and how we use that for us to be able to discern what is kept and
what is given away. We make our own arrangements for our own provision first
before we can evaluate what is surplus that we can give away.
Ultimately, we are responsible for tying our camels. We are
responsible for what we keep and what we give away. An inner sense of abundance
comes from this inner audit that takes stock of everything we have. We do this
in order to feel personal power, freedom and acknowledge that abundance is
The first step is an acknowledgement of all the resources
that we have at our disposal. This in itself helps us to overcome the feeling
of lack. There is plenty that we have that we can be grateful for. On the
surface, it appears we have nothing but once we do the stocktake, we realise
that “nothing” is actually a whole lot from which to create more.
The second step is to look at how we are using what we have
at our disposal in order to discern what we keep and what we give away. By
looking at what we have, we can make arrangements for our own provision, we can
meet our own needs and we can see what is surplus and we can choose where and
how to give.
The third step is the giving itself. There are always to
give and share that don’t involve making a big noise. Just as Creator works
behind the scenes, so can we in the way that we give and share. There is no need
to make it known that we are giving and actually in terms of abundance, this
helps us hold it in a more self-assured way.
As long as we are in this cycle of acknowledgement,
discernment and action, we are continuously filling and creating an inner sense