AN EMBARRASSMENT OF GREEN
By: Lauren Anderson
Do you know the phrase “An embarrassment of riches”?
I’ve always liked that saying, because it implies you have so much abundance it could potentially be embarrassing. What a thought!
With scarcity a constant threat to our mindsets, it’s almost unheard of to think of yourself as so rich that you should be embarrassed. Especially in our current society that puts so much emphasis on money. It’s like trying to critically conceive a billion dollars. Cause seriously, the more I try, the more it eludes me.
But I think I like that phrase most because of the word “riches”. Which implies that you could be spoiled from anything that you put value on. From literal rubies to a laugh from a friend.
So when I was walking around the lakes the other day with my dear friend Melanie, we kept having to stop from time to time to take in the flash and dazzle of all the GREEN. It was so so green.
The lushness of the new grass. The smack of green buds and new leaves in the trees. The bushes blustering in all their verde vivacity. And don’t even get me started on the tulips and the lilacs.
It was all so much to take in. The May showers brought the flowers and so much bright and bold green it nearly hurt my eyes to see.
A perfect gift from nature after a long winter of gray and white.
It felt almost, oh I don’t know, sumptuous? Is that too much? No. That’s how it felt. Abundant. It really was too much. I mean, it’s not. But I couldn’t help but think “Mother Nature is such a show off.”
The park was an embarrassment of riches that day, and I was THERE FOR IT.
And it felt amazing.
Like feeling really big and so so so small at the same time. Almost like standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon with your arms and legs spread out wide. Taking up all the physical space you can, and it’s not even a droplet compared to that canyon.
That’s how I felt about Mother Nature that day.
And yes, I DO know how I’m sounding right now. I sound like someone who is three hours into an Ayahuascha trip, and I can’t seem to FATHOM nature. That I’ve left the retreat and the safety of the Drug Yurt and I’ve crawled all the way up my own ass.
BUT YOU GUYS! It’s really green out there!
And more importantly, it’s got me thinking about abundance again. How do I honor Nature right now, and try and internalize some of the riches that surround me?
Because I don’t know about you all, but I have been FEELING THE SCARCITY lately.
I keep focusing on all the stuff that I don’t have. The loneliness in a crowd. The things I’m not getting done on time. The ways I’m letting people down. And maybe the the most fraught– The stuff I “shouldn’t be eating”.
UGH. I know better than this! Don’t I? I mean surely by now I’m past all this stuff right?
Well theoretically yes. But it still creeps. It still swirls around in the the grey mass, on days that meander around all the ways I’m letting myself down. It feels like scarcity mindset. Like there is not enough time. Not enough resources. Not enough hours in a day. Not enough people to help. Not enough food on the plate. Not enough clean underwear in the drawer.
Or maybe… It’s all fear that there’s not enough love left for me.
What if that’s it? What if that’s the way I’m actually feeling? And everything else is spiraling out from that feeling? That there is not enough love left for me?
Shit. That’s intense. And not really what I was thinking would pop out when I sat down to write this today. But here it is, and here we are. So what do I do now?
Well, I think it’s pretty clear I shouldn’t stay in this idea that there’s not enough love left for me. Yuck.
That sounds like a certain kind of death. And not true! It might be something I think about. Or even something I feel from time to time. Or maybe it’s even where I’m at right now.
But it’s not something I BELIEVE.
And that’s the difference. I’ve been learning lately that what I think and what I feel can vary wildly, and just because it’s a passing thought or a momentary feeling does not mean that it’s what I believe to be true. About myself or the world.
Thoughts and feelings are different from core beliefs. I think they feed into each other for sure, but sometimes they butt up against each other. I used to be afraid of this. But now I think opposing thoughts and feelings are important, because they can test the strength of my beliefs.
And whether it’s at the gym, or deep inside my own personal morality, I think it’s important to test our strength from time to time, so we know where we’re at.
And I don’t believe in scarcity. I BELIEVE IN ABUNDANCE DAMMIT!!!
I believe there is enough time, enough love, and enough underwear to go around.
And I got to get back to that! But how? How do I do it?
And then I looked out my window. Even in the rain and the cold morning, the green on the trees was so bold and bright and bountiful, like a gorgeous middle finger raised up to the grey sky.
And I was like, YUP. I’m gonna do it too.
So I started to eat some greens.
For the next few days, I ate as much green as I could. With every meal. Adding a salad here or an extra green veg there. Green juice and and guacamole, even extra dill in my egg salad. The only rule I gave myself was “There’s gotta be green in everything.”
I took away nothing. I only added. And when I did add, I made sure it was green.
At one point I looked down at my dinner and I said to myself, “Wow. This is an embarrassment of green” and then I unabashedly ate it all up. And you know what? I felt better.
I felt literal abundance. I felt lush and full, and for the first time in awhile, I felt like I was enough.
That feeling carried over too. It helped me answer some more emails, and hang up some clothes, and get back to it. As I write this out, I’m not sure why either.
But maybe it’s not so elusive.
In improv, we believe that everything is a gift. That it’s all usable. When you don’t know what to do or say next, anything that is offered can be enough. I think the same is true for my green inspiration.
When I don’t know what else to do, sometimes the only thing is the NEXT thing. In this case, I knew I needed a shake up, and a reset, and I looked out my window and saw GREEN, so I added green.
And in the doing of this, I think I started to process and discover the real business behind it.
I’m not sure why, but adding greens is really helping me right now. Maybe it’s because I’m literally eating more vegetables, but I think it’s more than that.
It’s about changing my mindset, and feeling like I’m actually physically consuming abundance.
Mother Nature is really on to something I think. Especially when she parades the fresh bright greens across the landscape in true springtime swagger. It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but somehow the color green made the difference.
It’s a reminder after a long winter that there is bounty to behold.
There is life. There is enough. There is plenty to go around.
There is even the blinding green of prosperity, if I choose to see it.