In one of my favorite quotes, Mary Webb states, “The Well of Providence is deep. It’s the buckets we bring to it that are small.”

How big is your “bucket”?

The size of your bucket is determined by your willingness to expand yourself, both in thought and in action.

The process of accessing abundance is inherently a process of expansion. The tools and principles of abundance are all designed to support you in that process. Abundance, energy and life itself are always moving, growing, changing and expanding. The instant this movement stops, abundance, energy and life itself also stop. When we fail to engage in the process of expansion, scarcity will be the result as well.

Consider this image. Let’s say your dream, goal or vision is represented by an empty hot tub. This hot tub just happens to be sitting right next to the Well of Providence. All you need to do to achieve your dream is to transfer the water from the Well into the empty hot tub.

Can you see why the size of your bucket is so important?


Drinking the World with a Teacup

Imagine what that process of filling your hot tub would be like if your bucket were a teacup. How much bending, scooping and pouring would it take? How much effort would you have to expend, and how exhausted would you get? In fact, it could be so exhausting and take so long that you might actually quit before you had the hot tub even close to being filled!

Now imagine what it would be like to complete that exact same task only with a much larger bucket. The entire process of filling the hot tub would take far fewer scoops and be completed far more quickly. In fact, it would be so much easier and faster, you’d fill that tub to the brim and still have energy to spare.

(Of course, you might also imagine what the process would be like if you had a hose connected to the Well of Providence…but that’s another article.)

The process of expansion is essential when it comes to accessing and experiencing more abundance, in business and in life. However, expansion doesn’t mean trying to put more water into the bucket you currently have.

Consider this scenario. You can simply imagine it if you like, but better yet, actually do this exercise so you can physically experience it. You’ll need a teacup or coffee cup, a pitcher of water and your kitchen sink to safeguard against making a mess.

Fill your cup with water (not too hot!); fill it to the brim, so you couldn’t add any more without it overflowing. This fully filled cup represents abundance. Now hold your cup (careful not to spill!) over the kitchen sink—and pour the contents of the pitcher into it. Of course, it will all just overflow, but go ahead, pour it all in there.

Now, what happened to the water level in the cup? Are you surprised? Your attempt to keep filling the already-full cup actually displaced some of the water that was in there. The more vigorously you poured, the more water you displaced. Result? Your cup is now less full than before!

The exact same thing happens for you. If you attempt to add more from the Well of Providence into your bucket without first expanding the size of your bucket, chances are you end up only reducing the abundance in your life! And the more vigorous your effort, the more abundance you displace.


How Does Your Bucket Grow?

Now that you realize its importance, how do you go about expanding the size of your bucket?

First, remember that expansion is not necessarily about doing more than you already do—it’s about being more. It’s about expanding yourself. As you expand, what you can do expands too.

Still, the process of expanding yourself does involve action. It takes work, boldness and usually some level of discomfort. In many ways, the current size of your bucket is analogous to the familiar idea of your “comfort zone.” It is impossible to access more abundance in your life without increasing the size of your bucket, without expanding the size of your comfort zone.

In order to expand the size of your bucket, you must be willing to take actions that are uncomfortable, at least for a time. Just for today, stretch yourself and see what happens. Take some actions in your business (and in your life) that are uncomfortable. Have that conversation with that great prospect you’ve been avoiding. Ask some bold questions. Call someone “way up” in your organization and ask him or her to support you in specific ways.

Take bold indirect actions as well as bold direct actions. If your normal way of operating is “all work and no play,” take a day or evening off. Open yourself up to receive support, acknowledgment and gifts. Then choose to get uncomfortable again tomorrow.

As you begin to take these uncomfortable actions, use the tools of abundance to support you. Celebrate each completion and action you take! Be grateful for what you already have. Acknowledge yourself. Do “something” instead of “all or nothing.” Have fun every day!

As you do so, remember that what is currently your uncomfortable zone will before long become your new comfort and abundance zone!


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.