Friday Musings: In Abundance
One night last week I had a dream that I found a large yellow and green turtle in the bathtub, which immediately sent me running to some of my favorite dream interpretation websites like AuntFlo.com and The Dream Encyclopedia. And what words of wisdom did I find?? A few meanings were obvious. Someone or something in my life needs protection. I am a pillar of strength and stability in the face of destruction. I’m going to need lots of patience to get through the next few months. While these were good, especially that second one, I found myself looking for a bit more, so I kept digging. As it turns out, the fact that my turtle was yellow is rather important, since golden turtles symbolize wealth, prosperity, and abundance. Well now. This sounded far more promising. Wealth and prosperity are both measurable things that we spend a lifetime seeking to some degree, but very few of us will have them at any kind of extraordinary level. For the majority of us, an excessive amount of material wealth remains out of reach. Abundance of things that are unrelated to finances or possessions, on the other hand, is far more subjective, far less measurable, and far more attainable, making it a totally different matter. People may say that they have an abundance of wealth or prosperity, but the term seems more appropriately applied to things like an abundance of friends, or happiness, or tomatoes in the garden. And while it would be grammatically correct to also say that someone has had an abundance of misfortune or grief in their lives, the connotation seems to be off. Abundance is simply not a word often used to describe negative situations.
In terms of definitions, Dictionary.com provides us with the following meanings: 1. an extremely plentiful or overly sufficient quantity or supply of something. 2. an overflowing fullness. 3. affluence or wealth. I think for the purposes of this post, we are most interested in that second definition, which leans towards looking at the word more in terms of its spiritual context. In this sense, abundance really does become less about our material situation (so long as our basic needs are satisfied) and more about developing an appreciation of when and where our lives feel full at the soul level. What kinds of things fall into this category? Love. Happiness. Childlike joy. The comfort and familiarity of family. Loyal friendships. Can they be measured? Not in any real quantifiable way, but maybe in terms of that sensation that begins somewhere in the middle of our chests that pushes upward until it’s in our ears, and we can’t help but smile effusively. Do we get those same warm feelings when we look at our bank accounts? There’s certainly a relationship between the two. None of us would argue that the impact on our quality of life is factored into many of the financial decisions we make, nor would we dismiss the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that comes along with watching our dollars or investments pile up. However, there is one difference that stands out. Where having a great deal of spiritual abundance seems to remain nourishing, material excess carries the potential to drain, isolate, and demoralize us.
So if it is abundance that we seek, in either form, how exactly do we go about attaining it? In terms of financial success, we all know the options. Aside from a foray into illegality, or winning the lottery, most of us can make solid savings or investment choices and watch our money grow conservatively, or we can dip a toe into the higher risk waters and hope for some major gains. Spiritual abundance, on the other hand, is a whole lot trickier. For those of us with strong religious beliefs, we may rely heavily on prayer, and on the belief that we will reap what we sow. Buddhist teachings tell us that before we can draw abundance into our lives, we must find our sense of inner worth and the gifts we are meant to share with the world. If we are more practically minded, we might consider hiring a consulting company that specializes in teaching us how to develop an abundance mindset. We can cast spells, conjure spirits, burn herbs, charge crystals, listen to podcasts, or practice meditations that help us visualize all the things our hearts desire. If we are astrologically inclined, we can learn where we have the planet Jupiter in our birth charts, and how we might best bring its generous energy into our lives. While it’s splendid to have all these options, we know that cycling through them will never work. That which we seek so frenetically will only come to sit quietly beside us when we have finally given up the chase. In the case of abundance, to think that we need more, more, more means that we view parts and places of ourselves as empty. We never give abundance a chance to be what it is by definition. Maybe the answer can only be found when we see the cup as already full. How else can it ever overflow?
For today’s cocktail, I decided ahead of time that I wanted a dark spirit as my base and chose to go with Kinsey Blue Corn Bourbon Whiskey from New Liberty Distillery, finished in Bordeaux wine barrels imported from France. It had the exact sweetness and opulence that I was looking for in this cocktail. Having done some research into ingredients that symbolized abundance in various ways, I landed on a few that would work well together, as well as represent both sides of the idea of bounty as illustrated by this post. I began the drink by muddling a few blackberries along with a simple syrup I made from Earl Grey tea that had cinnamon, nutmeg, almond, and an orange peel added during the infusion process. In terms of lore and spells, blackberries are used to conjure wealth, Bergamot leaves could be placed inside a wallet to attract money, cinnamon brings great love and spirituality, nutmeg has powers of luck and fidelity, and almonds bestow great wisdom. I chose to go with Meyer lemons for my citrus because I always consider myself to be abundantly fortunate whenever I find them in my local grocery store. Finally, I added just a splash of orange juice for bright sweetness, and I finished the drink with Bogart’s Bitters from The Bitter Truth because of the depth and richness they bring to any cocktail. The end result was bold, powerful, and absolutely overflowing with flavor. Cheers everyone. Happy Friday! May you dream of many golden turtles.
2.5 oz Kinsey Blue Corn Bourbon Whiskey
1.25 oz Spiced Earl Grey tea syrup
1 oz Meyer lemon juice
.25 oz orange juice
2 dashes The Bitter Truth Bogart’s bitters
Muddle 6 ripe blackberries in the simple syrup.
Add remaining ingredients.
Long shake over ice.
Double strain in a cocktail coupe.
No garnish, but express a regular lemon peel over the top.