As I review my own journey in developing an abundance mindset, I can distinguish several stages that parallel my own and others’ greater awakening during this time of accelerated change. The process has included: making conscious choices, experiencing and releasing outdated beliefs and fears, working with new intents, and allowing life to unfold.

This process has led to experiencing a greater sense of surrender, trust, gratitude, and appreciation for life. Working with our financial abundance issues can be one of the most powerful vehicles for personal and collective awakening!

Here are a few universal principles that support an abundance mindset:

Marion Culhane

How well we remember these principles affects our relationship with money and abundance. I’m going to use these two somewhat interchangeably, because so much of our culture relates to having financial resources as abundance. In truth, abundance includes much more than financial wealth: a greater sense of fulfillment, overall wellbeing, and appreciation for the wholeness of life. Having sufficient financial resources to cover our basic needs tends to give us a greater sense of abundance. Money helps us to let go of the daily stresses of the mind. This allows us to move towards greater contentment and acceptance of what is.

My first experiences dealing with money and cultivating an abundance mindset began as a child, where I adopted my parents’ financial beliefs and patterns. They did not seem to suffer in the same way others did during the Great Depression and World War II. They knew how to manage their money and to live within their means. They were grateful for what they had. I felt safe, loved, and cared for. This sense of safety and fulfillment contributes greatly to an abundance mindset.

As I began raising my own family in the 70’s, my interest in working with beliefs and intents to transform our lives increased. By 1990, I had become deeply immersed in personal development work and began teaching a 7-day seminar entitled Living Mastery. I had learned and was teaching others that our reality is an out-picturing of our thoughts and consciousness. If we want to change our lives, we begin by changing our thoughts, beliefs, and intents. This was the primary focus of the next phase for creating my own abundance mindset. It centered on learning to direct my mind with greater awareness, focus, and intent.

My list of intents related to abundance included:

I learned how to release reactions that arose in response to these intents. It felt like magic to experience what followed in my life as I allowed these intents to manifest. (A few years later, I taught this process to our network marketing team and hundreds of other associates in our company. It was one of the primary keys to our and many others’ success.)

In the fall of 1994, my partner and I launched our network marketing business. We now were able to apply all that I had been teaching to create our own success. Our income grew as we naturally shared our enthusiasm and the products with others. After we had been in the business for about five months, my partner suggested that we project the trajectory of our future income on a graph. This added an element of fun and focus.

As we observed the actual curve of our growing income out-perform our prior predictions, I made the decision that we would go for it 100 percent and reach the highest leadership level within the company. I could feel our coming success in my body, as I decided that this was “meant to be.” In that moment of clarity and decision, I had the experience that our achievement was already accomplished. In a few years, we had become top earners.

This decision had the effect of any deep level commitment, as famously described by W.H. Murray, “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too... Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

Everyone who has developed an abundance mindset has experienced this “power and magic.” We have made challenging decisions and held ourselves to them. By putting ourselves on our own cutting edge for accelerated growth, we have invited an influx of hidden doubts and fears. I continuously experienced and released my personal fears as we stepped into new financial territory.

As the fears fell away, I began feeling and trusting the presence of something much larger directing my life. I began trusting this invisible, loving intelligence. Stresses of the mind disappeared and were replaced with a growing sense of trust, flow, and ease. I was developing a sense of internal sufficiency and abundance that reached far beyond my financial experiences.

I felt deeply grateful, fulfilled, and content. I settled into a state of being, knowing that “all is very well.” I could feel an unseen, powerful force directing my life. I learned to trust this Source by creating more inner space. I had been meditating since 1975. Quieting the mind and staying present helped me to trust, relax, and let go.

In early 2013 my life took an unexpected turn. I awakened one morning realizing that any sense of ambition or striving I’d ever experienced had simply vanished. I wondered how I would continue working our business without this internal drive. I had no idea where life seemed to be guiding me. I decided to simply stop doing, take time to be still, and to listen within for my next steps. I took myself on a two-week private retreat and relaxed.

I felt directed to return to teaching and coaching others and to writing a book on how to create the life you choose. I am grateful for our residual income and for my growing awareness of the true source of our abundance. I am aware of how money is an expression of energy that relates to the degree of freedom and the lifestyle we all choose. I continue to support our leaders and team, and love being a part of this wonderful profession and unfolding life adventure.

MARION CULHANE is a social entrepreneur, coach, and speaker. She is a founding member of her company’s Associate Advisory Council and recipient of its 2011 Giving Spirit Award. Look for Marion’s forthcoming book Soul Smart Living: How to Create the Life You Love.