I want to share the personal struggle and revelation that led to me writing The Abundance Loop. This is a portion of the Introduction to the book.
Wherever I am, I love asking people a simple question: “What does abundance mean to you?”
I hear many different answers, from men and women, and they seem to have little to do with age, socioeconomic status, or cultural background. Some simply say that abundance means not having to worry about bills. Others say it’s to have freedom, to have enough money to do what they want, to start their own business, or to travel the world. And there are those who feel that abundance is having more than enough so they can share it with their loved ones.
To some, abundance doesn’t have to do with money in the bank; they see an abundant life as one full of joy, connecting with family and friends, being outdoors in nature, and continually learning. What about good health? Yes, I also hear this answer, as well as being accepted, loved, and respected.
Just about any time I engage people in a conversation about abundance, they speak up, their postures straighten, and their faces light up. Each person defines abundance in his or her own unique way, but the net feeling is the same. We let out a collective “ahhhh” as we experience the peace that comes from envisioning our bounty.
But just watch what happens when we start to talk about money. Suddenly the energy changes. Relaxation quickly dissipates and tension takes over. When most of us think about our relationship to money, we feel “ugghh.”
I wrote The Abundance Loop to help you stop feeling “ugghh” and get you to “ahhhh.” As you work along with me through the eight steps, which I’ll explain in the following pages, I aim to help you achieve both financial security and spiritual serenity, so you can experience the freedom to create the life you truly want.
You will find two common threads as you explore The Abundance Loop: the fear of not having enough and, more important, the fear of not being enough. In the chapters to come, I will challenge your beliefs about what is possible and guide you to take clear actions that will increase both your net worth and self-worth.
When Is It Enough?
Since 2002, I have served as a financial advisor at a major Wall Street firm. I help families accumulate, preserve, and transfer their wealth so they can achieve their retirement, education, philanthropic, and estate-planning goals. I noticed that even with significant financial wealth, some people can easily succumb to the belief that “there’s never enough.”
Whether unemployed or steadily earning more than $1 million a year, whether they have $10,000 in debt or $10 million in assets, people can feel inadequate. No matter how much I earned, I also felt inadequate way too often.
I realize now that my view of the world and of myself was shaped by my childhood. Growing up in a Korean household in a middle-class neighborhood in the United States, I believed that as long as I followed directions, I would be fine. So, I went to the “right” schools, worked at the “right” jobs, crafted the “right” résumé, and married the “right” man. But along the way, I didn’t feel “right.” Meeting other people’s expectations made me feel valuable, but I grew tired of giving myself away and letting others determine my worth. I was afraid of speaking my truth because I didn’t believe it mattered. I didn’t believe I mattered.
Then in 2009, I could finally see how my own feelings of fear and inadequacy not only were holding me back financially and personally, but were also affecting my health. I met with a breath practitioner, a life coach who specifically helps clients to access their emotions through breathwork. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I have access to many kinds of wonderful healers, and this one in particular helped me to see that I was not taking full breaths. I was holding in so much fear that it was obstructing something as fundamental to my life as breathing.
When she asked me what I was missing in my life, what I truly wanted, I simply replied that I wanted to achieve the freedom to live an authentic life. I knew it sounded vague, but honestly, at the time, it was all I could say. I didn’t even know where this idea came from or what it actually meant. I just felt emotionally and physically constricted from speaking my truth and expressing my authentic self.
With a great deal of support from my counselors and close friends, I began to make some tough decisions and life changes that were better for me, my health, and my family. But even after my divorce in 2010, more questions kept coming up: Who was I and what did I want? Why did I dismiss my own needs and wants for so many years? Why did I spend my days helping others find true wealth while I ignored my own?
What’s holding you back?
I worked with a number of coaches, therapists, and healers to help me answer these questions. Given all the time and money I was spending on self-actualization, I figured I might as well get a degree in it. I decided to go to graduate school at John F. Kennedy University School of Holistic Studies, where I immersed myself in psychology and consciousness classes that directly impacted my personal growth and transformation. I had been seeking someone to answer my questions, and although many tried to help me, I ultimately had to develop the tools to free myself. Through journaling my thoughts and meditating on a daily basis, I gradually learned how to increase my awareness and I realized that the issue wasn’t my job, my relationships, or a lack of knowledge about money. Beneath the various obstacles preventing me from living my best life, the real culprit was fear.
It took me quite a while to understand my intense fears and my defensive patterns, but eventually, as I stayed with the process, I began to see why I made the choices I did and how those choices trapped me in scarcity. Gradually, I garnered wisdom from spiritual teachers and practices, and I integrated those with my own experiences in life, finance, art, and psychology. The result is a simple, yet effective, framework to help manifest abundance.
This insight came in the form of two “loops,” which I have called the Scarcity Loop and the Abundance Loop. Almost as soon as I began to share these concepts with friends, with colleagues, and in workshops I led, I started getting positive feedback. Many people have told me how reframing their lives through the lens of the Abundance Loop has brought them peace of mind about who they are and what they have. And, just as significant, this framework has guided them to change their behaviors to achieve better outcomes not only in their finances, but also with their career paths, health, partners, and friends, as well as their own emotions.
By understanding and consistently practicing the eight steps in this book, you will witness a shift in your relationship to money, with others, and most important, with yourself. You will be able to clarify what is driving your choices and know how to take conscious action to manifest what abundance means to you.
I truly believe The Abundance Loop will bring you to a place of “ahhhh” in your daily life, where you are at peace with all that you have and all that you are. It’s time to break out of scarcity and move toward your divine abundance!
The Abundance Loop is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or order from your favorite bookstore.