LakshmiLakshmi is one of the deck’s sweethearts. Who wouldn’t want to receive the blessing of Abundance? Yet, when I sat down the other day to reflect on abundance, I could not have been further from basking in the boon of my existence. I could quantify the good fortune with which I have been blessed—family, friends, home, health—but my energy was contracted and my heart winced. I wasn’t feelin’ the love. I could relate more to the Grinch than to a goddess with gold coins streaming out of her hands. As stories about all that was wrong in my life spun round in my head, I feared I was on a downward spiral.

Luckily, my pity party was interrupted by Lakshmi and the irony of holding her in my hand while trying to account for why I was such a grump. It didn’t add up. I beat a hasty retreat to my room, having the rare gift of quiet time at exactly the moment I needed it. I picked up my journal and began to unravel the mystery of my discontent.

After several pages of senseless drivel, I realized that I was basically strung out by my abundance—abundant love, creativity, opportunity, and support. I had lost myself in this pile of treasures. I leaned back on my pillow and let go of all I have been holding. My heart took off her protective armor. My mind abandoned her defensive position.

I can now see that I am not solely responsible for the flow in my life. I do not have to lasso this current or control is course. Sometimes I need only receive these blessings with gratitude and ride the energy of abundance. It is my willingness to serve as I am able and to share my gifts that keeps me in the flow.

In an attempt to further understand how I had been cut off from experiencing my personal plentitude, I also spoke with an intuitive counselor. She clearly read my situation and reflected back that I need to learn how to “do downtime.” In essence, the universe will only offer as much as we can handle. If we are full to overflowing, the stream is temporarily diverted. In other words, à la Lakshmi, you must empty your cup in order for it to be refilled.

The LandI am all about learning to empty my cup not only by giving but also by unwinding. These are my two new favorite views, one of natural beauty while grounding out on the land and the other of homey tranquility while lounging on my bed. From here I can see that I am surrounded by riches.