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Cornucopia of AbundancePicture a Thanksgiving cornucopia, the kind displayed as a centerpiece for that holiday.

Its trumpet shape is brimming with mini pumpkins, nuts, gourds, leaves. And its contents flow onto the table in a celebration of harvest plenty. That is one symbol of abundance. One symbol of what Webster defines as “a great supply,” and “more than sufficient quantity.” But only one example of what abundance can signify.

So why are we at TMI linking abundance with your psychotherapy practice and making our tagline shout out that concept? Why do we proclaim: “practice abundance” at the top of our newsletter and website? Well, believe me, it’s not just about nuts and gourds. We’re addressing a different kind of harvest.

We want to help you be extremely successful in your psychotherapy practice. But we also know that no matter what ideas, systems, tools, etc. that we share with you about how to be a successful therapist in your practice, if you don’t believe in abundance – and your right to have it – then we’re wasting our time, and yours. And while, as wordsmiths, we enjoy the double entendre of that tagline, we couldn’t be more serious about its importance.

Are you at least “comfortable” with having abundance and also open to attracting more abundance than you can even now imagine?

And what did you learn from your teachers – parents, grandparents, etc. – about having plenty? You know that our role models imprint their ideas, their beliefs on our young brains long before we have any choice in the matter. Did they teach you to trust abundance, and not just financially, but to trust abundant love, and health, and joy?

My parents taught me two different approaches to financial abundance. My father was always in business for himself throughout my childhood. That resulted in wild swings in our family’s financial well-being. For a few years, we lived in a gorgeous, modern home on a fresh-water private lake in Florida. Before that we squeezed into a multi-generational older home with my paternal grandparents in Ohio. From Dad, I learned that you could have a lot, even make a lot of money, but it wasn’t likely to last. But that was OK, because you could gain it back again.

My mother was much more consistent – or tried to be – with financial resources and she saved as much as she could. But truthfully, while a very nice woman, she wasn’t much fun most of the time, and I didn’t want to be like her.

So, I consciously chose to copy my Dad’s approach to life and abundance. And yes, it was quite a bumpy ride. Until I did my own healing work and realized I had other options – including trusting that the wealth would be there, but minus the wild swings in my assets. What did you learn about monetary abundance?

On a macro level, if you look around at the world, you might question whether living in abundance is even really possible. After all, very few of the world’s people live that way. And does abundance then mean you having more, but only at the cost of others having less? This is what some think of as a “limited pie theory” of wealth, i.e., if I take a bigger slice, others have to divide up the rest of the pie and thus get smaller slices. Or, do you believe that we can bake many more pies, so that everyone can have more than enough?

We have a lot of wonderful information at TMI to share with you on how to create a thriving psychotherapy practice that will bring you wealth in numerous ways, all the while you are helping others create that same joy and well-being in their lives. How’s that for a great way to live and work?! But if you have a conscious or an unconscious belief to the contrary, don’t waste your time here. Work on that first – or at least concurrently.

Because if you don’t believe in abundance and know that you deserve it, I promise you – you won’t allow it, and/or keep it. As therapists, we know how clients sabotage their own well-being. So can we!

When I was first licensed more than 20 years ago, I was thrilled to launch my practice. But despite doing a lot of work on the logistics of setting up and growing a practice, not much happened. I’d get a new referral one week and then nothing for weeks after. I attended workshops; I gave them. I read books on the subject; I talked to colleagues. Still, my practice was going nowhere with glacial speed.

And then months into this frustrating time, I got 7 new referrals in a two-week period. All right! I thought. Maybe it had just taken time for it all to come together, for the word to get out.

I naturally contacted all of these potential new clients immediately and talked with them. Only two of them made appointments. And only one of those actually showed.

To say I was discouraged would have been a mammoth understatement. But I also could see that I was missing something. I was beginning to realize that I could do all of the right things logistically, but if there was something in me that was blocking success, I needed to look at that. I mean, what were the odds – one client out of 7 referrals??

I went back to therapy and examined my unconscious beliefs about creating success, allowing abundance. My mother was an Eastern European immigrant to the U.S. during World War II when she was 17. She found a way to not expect much from life, given all that she had already lost by that tender age, and espoused an old adage that I presume was taught to her: “First you laugh, then you cry.”

That is, for every ounce of happiness, success, joy that you bring to your life and that you revel in, you are going to pay a price – and one that will bring tears to your eyes. And not tears of happiness either. I, of course, had incorporated this belief into my life’s background music – had been dancing to that tune without conscious awareness. But oh, had it been affecting me!

After healing that, including the grief of what my mother and I had lost as a result of this belief, things started to change. My practice began growing and for 20+ years has never stopped. Even some of those 7 clients I referenced above called again and they began working with me. If that wasn’t an endorsement of what I needed to do, and had done, I don’t know what would be.

So look in the mirror: Are there ways that you have been obviously, but still unconsciously (to you), sabotaging abundance? Some common ways include:

  1. Not calling prospective clients back ASAP (within an hour or two at most);
  2. Shying away from telling people what work you do;
  3. Repeatedly double-booking clients;
  4. Hesitating to name your fees and/or increase them regularly.

And most egregiously, by not saying “thank you” when the Universe gives you a gift – makes life easier in some way, shows you which road to take. Remember that cornucopia? It’s no accident that abundance, and our celebration of it, is linked to “Thanksgiving.” We know that everyone appreciates being appreciated.

So I want to say “thank you” to you. Thank you for the work that you do, and how hard you’ve worked and studied to prepare to do this work skillfully. And thank you for wanting to reach as many people as possible with those skills and your caring, in order to literally heal our world. Thank you for choosing TMI to help you reach new clients, to grow your practice.

But the truth is we’re not here to help you just have a larger practice. “Pfffftttt!” to that, as my six-year-old granddaughter would say. That wouldn’t last if you threw monkey wrenches into that success because you didn’t trust it. This program is about living your work life (and hopefully other parts of your life) with more awareness. It’s about surrounding yourself with abundance in all of its aspects. It’s about choosing consciously to remain in abundance as your norm.

It’s truly how I live. And how Sean does. Are you ready to open your arms – and mind – and heart – to living that way too? I hope so. Why would you choose to live any other way?

Let us know your thoughts using the comments section below… We’d love to hear from you!

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