How my mom taught me about abundance mindset over a bag of frozen corn.
In my twenties I may not have been the most enjoyable person.
And I was firmly rooted in a scarcity mindset.
You’ll be happy to know I’ve outgrown both of those shortcomings.
Growing up, Sunday dinners were a standing commitment at my grandma’s house. It was generally the infamous “Grandma’s Casserole”, green peas and that crazy green jello with cottage cheese dish of the 70’s (I told you I grew up Mormon, right? Jello. Always Jello.) Any number of aunts and uncles with a gaggle of cousins would gather around her table, or make a carpet picnic in her living room while watching her beloved Leonard Nemoy in any one of the Star Trek movies-although for the record the save the whales one was a family favorite. There was always enough food and the company was never lacking. Those are days I will forever look fondly back at and wish I could revisit.
When we moved out of the area Sunday dinners became a tradition at my mom’s house instead. I vividly recall a Sunday afternoon in my 20’s where my little family, my mom and a few younger sisters had congregated for dinner. It was in my heyday of judgemental oldest sister assholery and I was in rare form-irritated by what I deemed the unenlightened behavior of EVERYONE around me. One of my teenage sisters came rolling in with a few friends right before dinner and did the unspeakable. She asked if her friends could stay for dinner in front of everyone. (Queue the gasp) Not only was that rude but she clearly wasn’t paying attention to what was on the table so I took it upon myself to get snippy and let her know there’s certainly not enough food. Loudly. Also in front of everyone. (I told you I was a jerk.)
Don’t be silly, there’s plenty!
We would love for you all to join us.”
My mom has never laid so much as a hand on me but I’ll tell you what-if I were in reach of her at that moment I would have gotten the swat of a lifetime. Instead she gave me The Look. You know the one. The look that says a million things in two point three seconds? Unmistakable to any children within sight of whatever mom is giving it? Yeah. That one. And then she really pissed me off and said “Don’t be silly, there’s plenty! We would love for you all to join us.”
Oh I was mad. I was livid and she was wrong. There was NOT plenty. There was just enough for the proverbial me and mine. She asked me to give her a hand and I was ready to give her a piece of my mind when she cut me short. She told me that everyone was welcome in her home and I needed to take it down a notch. And then she said the magic words: “Just add veggies.”
She went to the pantry and the freezer, pulled out any version of vegetable we had that would work with the meal and quickly warmed it up. And despite my still non-warmed up heart, she was right. There was plenty. No one went home so full they could bust but everyone went home that night fed and feeling welcome in my mom’s home despite her eldest daughters attitude that evening.
I would love to say it was an instantaneous move-pulling my head out of my backside that day-but it wasn’t. I’m sure I had snarky moments several times before it really hit me and I took it all in. As a recovering asshole I can say I see it differently now. And it’s damn near a scientific fact-just add veggies. It totally works.
But here’s the thing.
The lesson was never about the food.
It was about the feeling in her home,
It was about being open to everyone and closed to no one.
The lesson was also rooted in abundance.
We had plenty, others may not.
We didn’t always, but now that we did we made sure others did too.
the lesson was never about the food…
When we operate from a place of scarcity there will NEVER be enough. If I’m afraid you’ll take my space, food, that position at work, the client I was after I can’t relax until I’ve claimed all of this as mine and mine alone. It’s a lonely place and yet more populated than the abundant space.
When we are open to the abundance of the universe we see how we are blessed, how we can work together and how there truly is a space for everyone and everyone has space. We share, we collaborate, we listen and we learn from each other. And most of all we are unburdened of our worry enough to love freely.
So just add veggies.
The world could use it right now.
Don’t you think?
Oh and hey…to my sisters…feel free to let your friends know I did eventually stop being an asshole and I AM a decent human being now…most of the time. And if they’re ever in Rancho Cucamonga and need a warm meal, I’m good for it.