In using this "abundance seed" analogy in previous columns, I've done so as a way of illustrating an important abundance principle in your business and your life:

If your starting point or "seed" is scarcity, you will continue to experience or "grow" scarcity--possibly even a "scarcity tree"! Conversely, if your starting point or "seed" is abundance, you will grow an "abundance tree." After all, if you planted an apple seed, you'd expect an apple tree to grow from it and not an orange tree, right?

Let's expand on the analogy.

You water your seed regularly and soon it begins to sprout underground. At this point in the seed's growth, even while it's still growing invisibly underground in the form of a tiny sprout, that sprout is nevertheless 100 percent apple. You wouldn't say it is "not apple enough." You would recognize that, at this stage in its growth and development, what "100 percent apple" looks like is a tiny sprout. Your sprout continues to grow; eventually a tiny shoot breaks the surface of the ground. Again, this shoot is still 100 percent apple, even if it is not yet a full-grown apple tree.

In fact, at any stage in its growth, it is 100 percent apple; that 100 percent apple-ness looks different at every stage.


You Are All Apple!

The same is true for you. You have an abundance seed within you: the internal qualities of abundance that you already possess--qualities such as courage, creativity, generosity, openness, consistency, playfulness, and others. As you begin to recognize and express your courage, creativity, generosity, openness, playfulness and consistency (among others) through action, you begin growing that seed. It sprouts and then puts out shoots through the soil, and continues on its journey of growth.

Even if your seed has not yet grown into a full-size abundance tree, you are still, at every point along the way, 100 percent abundant--just as the apple sprout or apple shoot is always 100 percent apple.

Now: if it would make no sense to say that an apple sprout or a tiny young apple sapling is "not apple enough," why would you even consider saying the same thing about yourself? That is exactly what people are doing when they speak (or think) thoughts such as, "I'm not courageous enough...I'm not creative enough / consistent enough / open or generous or abundant enough..."!


The Tragedy of Apples and Oranges

The apple seed you planted was born or created to grow into a beautiful and abundant apple tree that will eventually produce a breathtaking display of apple blossoms each spring, followed by a harvest of crispy, juicy, tasty apples in the early fall.

What would it be like if that apple seed got it into its head that it wanted to become an orange tree?

As soon as it was planted, your apple seed would begin looking ahead to its future, and visualizing itself becoming--an orange tree! It would do its daily affirmations: "I am becoming a beautiful orange tree." It might even learn to put those in the present tense: "I AM an orange tree!" It would take classes and listen to cassette tapes on how to become an orange tree. Its every waking thought would be all about becoming the best orange tree it could be...and it would work hard and do everything it thought it needed to do in order to become an orange tree....

And all the while, this apple seed has sprouted, shot above the ground and is growing up to become a full-grown--orange tree? Of course not. It's an apple tree.

How happy and fulfilled is your apple-seed-becoming-apple-tree going to be, after its tireless, committed, monumental effort to become an orange tree--and its realization that this effort has completely "failed"? Not very fulfilled at all, right?

Rather than seeing its own magnificent beauty and abundance as the apple tree it was born to be, all it will see is its abysmal failure at being an orange tree.

The sad fact is, it will never truly experience the abundance of being an apple tree: it will experience only the scarcity of not being an orange tree!

When it comes to abundance, it's important to realize that just like every other person on the earth, you were born and created to be abundant--and at the same time, the specific type of abundance for which you were created may be "apple," while for another person it may be "orange." For yet another, it may be "avocado" or "oak." The secret to lasting joy, fulfillment and abundance is to let yourself grow into becoming the abundant tree you were created to be--not to try and become something else.

If you were born an apple seed, you will be happiest and most abundant growing into a beautiful apple tree--even if your seed happens to have been planted in the midst of an orange grove. The effort to do otherwise would lead only to frustration, overwhelm and scarcity!

This month, instead of looking around you for pictures of what being abundant looks like--or "should" look like, or "could" look like--look within yourself to see what it does look like! What kind of abundance tree were you created
to be?


TERESA ROMAIN is founder of Access Abundance (, an organization dedicated to helping people access greater levels of abundance, freedom and fulfillment in their daily lives. She lives with her husband, Dan, in the small town of Baraboo, Wisconsin.