Category: Owen K. Waters Written by Dreama Vance
The light filtered softly into the room as the class took a deep breath and relaxed on yoga mats. "What is your first memory when I say the word grandmother?" the instructor asked.
Apple butter. Immediately I could taste the tangy sweetness, smell the cinnamon, feel the velvety texture on my tongue. At the same instant I saw her, sitting in the porch swing peeling apples and I saw myself standing beside a huge kettle over an open fire, huddling in my jacket against the cool crisp air of the early autumn morning. I remember it as an Event. The day before, some of the neighbor ladies would gather on the porch and peel apples all day. Then, the next morning, the apple butter would cook all day outside over that open fire in that kettle that was bigger than I was. My mother tells me that they would get rolls of new pennies at the bank and line the kettle with them to keep the apple butter from sticking on the bottom. Afterwards, there would be jars and jars of apple butter and it was the very best in all the world.
And so was my grandmother. From the earliest time I can remember until college I would spend summers with my grandparents. So I learned a lot from them. They were simple, hardworking people, with not much education, but I learned my first principle of abundance from them.
Grandmother did not work outside of the home, but she always had money. When my sister and I wanted to go to the movies, Grandmother would pull out a twenty dollar bill and tell us to keep the change. This was when movies cost ten cents on Saturdays.
Grandmother was always finding money. It sounds funny to me now but it's true. Her "luck" finding money is legendary in our family. Granddaddy would take her to the grocery store and Grandmother would open her car door and look down and there would be a twenty dollar bill. Or, she would be in the grocery store and lean over the meat counter and find a twenty dollar bill. Once she bought a sack of potting soil and opened it up and found three hundred dollars.
At the same time Grandmother was finding money, she was quietly giving it away. Obviously, she gave to us kids. But I also remember taking laundry up to Juanita's house to be ironed (even though she had two perfectly capable grandchildren who could iron) because Juanita's husband was out of work and she had six children to feed. By sending the ironing, Grandmother was able to pay her.
There are other stories of goodness, caring for the sick, meeting needs as she found them. During the Depression, Grandmother always had the minister come for Sunday dinner and she made sure he had new shoes when he needed them. Once Grandmother brought home a neighbor who was in a nursing home and fed and bathed and cared for her for three weeks so the lady could have a "change of scenery."
As I look back, I literally see my Grandmother with money coming into her left hand, passing through her heart and going out her right hand. It is a constant flow. It comes in and goes out. We are, after all, a conduit for the Infinite.
The Source is within us. We do not need to seek outside of ourselves for our supply. Indeed, there is, actually, nothing outside of our consciousness. All we need to do, first, is to realize this. The realization that nothing comes to us, but instead comes from us, from the Outpouring of Spirit, is the foundation of all abundance. Secondly, we must release it. We must turn on the flow. We do this by giving. Spiritual teachings tell us to create a vacuum so the Universe can fill it up; that as you give, so shall you receive.
I love the two Bible stories of the widow who feeds Elijah, and Jesus with the loaves and fishes. In the first, Elijah asks a poor widow for a morsel of bread. The destitute widow has only a tiny bit of meal and a few drops of oil, only enough to make one last cake for her and her son before they face death from such extreme poverty. Elijah assures her that if she feeds him first, her supply will not run out. This woman, facing death, takes from her meager supply, and believing, steps out in faith, and gives. She prepares a tiny cake and feeds Elijah. From this act, the cruse (container) of oil and the meal are replenished; to the initial tiny bit, more and more is added, and she feeds Elijah and her household throughout the famine. (1 Kings 17: 11-16)
In the story of the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus is out in the desert teaching and healing these hordes of people that have followed him when, as the day wanes, the disciples approach and suggest that he send the crowds away to find food and lodging. Jesus replies, "Feed them." The disciples, however, respond that they have only five loaves and two fishes unless they go and buy food for all of the people. So Jesus takes the five loaves and two fishes, blesses them, and gives them to the disciples to set before the multitudes. Everyone eats until they are full. At the end of the meal, there are twelve basketfuls left over. (Luke 9: 11-17)
The two stories, so rich in symbolism, illustrate the same principles I learned from my grandparents. Open your heart and let the 'All That Is' pour out from you into manifestation. For many of us, when we first begin our spiritual journey, we will give like the widow, stepping out in faith that our supply will be met. But as we mature in our spiritual growth and understanding we will act from a place of knowledge, knowing the Infinite within, and blessing and releasing as Jesus did. Daily, in your meditation time, look into your house and see what you have to give. Begin to pour from your cruse of oil and break your loaves of bread. And like my grandmother, do it quietly, in silence.
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