The back door approach out of money scarcity
When I married Dan, I inherited his beautiful 7-foot navy leather couch with a hide-a-bed. I loved being able to stretch out on it to take a nap. I also loved that it was wide enough for us to lie on it, side-by-side, while watching a movie.
But in a matter of minutes one day, I went from loving to hating that couch.
It was a Saturday morning in Chicago where we lived. It was 1984 and I had just quit my corporate job. We had already closed on a house in St. Paul, Minnesota.
That day was Moving Day. About a dozen of our friends had gathered to help us load the U-Haul that was parked on the street in front of our condo.
I’ve moved more than a dozen times in my life, so I’ve got the process down to a science. Especially loading the truck.
First, you put the stackable boxes in “granny’s attic” and then the back of the truck. Next you load the dressers and tall pieces of furniture. Then comes the larger furniture like tables, chairs and sofas. You pile the rest of your things on top of and around that furniture.d
We lived in the condo Dan had lived in since before we met. It was in a three-story brick building with a gorgeous courtyard. As was true for many older buildings in Chicago, its architecture was exquisite.
Instead of flat ceilings, the ceilings in our building were arched. Rather than square or rectangular doorways, ours were curved. Instead of elevators, we had stairs.
WINDING stairs. NARROW stairs. With dark wood banisters on the side.
Everything started out smoothly that morning. The stackable stuff was loaded in no time. Next came the big stuff.
When it was time to load the couch, Dan, John, Jeff and Steve each lifted a corner and headed out the door with it. All was well until they reached the first turn on the stairwell. The couch got stuck.
In typical guy fashion, they reacted by using brute force. With a 1–2–3 HEAVE, they tried to force it around the corner. When they heard the sound of leather ripping, they stopped.
They then carried it back up to our condo, turned it on its side and again started down the stairway. They still couldn’t make the first turn.
Thinking the banister was getting in the way, Linda and Eileen crawled down the stairs and UNDER the sofa. The six of them tried to lift it high enough to go OVER the top of the banister and around the turn. That didn’t work either.
So there we were, with our couch stuck in the stairwell. We looked at it from every angle, trying to figure out a way to get it the rest of the way down the stairs.
Forcing it hadn’t worked so next we tried finesse. We measured the couch and the stairway, thinking that turning it at just the right angle would work.
We tried every angle. NOTHING worked.
Our move ground to a halt. With the couch in the way, we couldn’t load the rest of our stuff. An hour went by. Our couch was still stuck between the second and first floor — a huge hunk of navy leather blocking anyone from going up or down the stairs.
What happened with our couch that day is what happens for the people I work with when it comes to money. They’ve tried EVERYTHING and they’re still stuck where they don’t want to be. In scarcity — not abundance.
Perhaps you can relate.
If so, then you’ve probably tried working harder to make more money. Or you’ve tried spending less. It’s likely you’ve tried BOTH!
Maybe you’ve used affirmations, vision boards and thinking positively — embracing the Law of Attraction for all it’s worth. You’ve probably read books, participated on webinars, gone to workshops. Prosperity, success, money management — you’ve studied it all.
You may have even made some progress. Perhaps you’ve gotten out of debt or even built up some significant savings. Maybe you’re making more money than you ever have.
But it’s still not enough.
You still feel stuck. MONEY is keeping you stuck. Stuck between where you’ve been and where you want to be — living the life your soul longs to live.
And like me that Saturday morning in Chicago, you might be feeling helpless, overwhelmed, alone. Frustrated and impatient. On the verge of tears.
Definitely embarrassed. Maybe even ashamed.
As if that’s not enough, there’s a good chance no one knows any of this.
You put up a good front.
You act like everything is fine.
You’re going to figure it out. You’re going to get yourself unstuck.
You got yourself into this mess and you will find a way to get yourself out of it.
I get it. That’s what I was like for years when it came to the scarcity I was experiencing around money. So I understand. It’s what happens when you’re trapped in the hidden Archetype of Scarcity on which our world has been built.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Scarcity does not have to be your experience going forward.
As I so clearly learned that Saturday in 1994, there is another way. As we did with our couch, there is a way to get unstuck and start moving into the life your soul longs for you to live.
But it’s not going to be with force. It’s not going to be with calculated, detailed measurements or strategy.
And it’s definitely NOT going to be by yourself.
Those are the approaches the Archetype of Scarcity compels you to take. They are reactions to scarcity that create more scarcity. Not to mention fear, overwhelm, stress, exhaustion, frustration, pressure, struggle and tears.
That Saturday morning in 1994, with our couch still stuck in the stairwell, I was on the verge of tears.
That’s when our friend Richard arrived. He knew he’d be late, but he wanted to help and say “goodbye”. He took one look at my face, then at our couch blocking the stairwell and said…
“You need to take it out the back door, Teresa.”
“Richard, the stairs out our back door are even worse. If we can’t get it down the front stairs, we’ll never get it down those stairs!”
“I didn’t say take it down the stairs. I said take it out the back door. Then pull the truck in the alley, as close as you can to the building. We can lift the couch over the railing of your back porch, onto the roof of the truck. Then we can slide it down the side of the truck and get it loaded.
I stared at him, my mouth agape.
Jeff exclaimed, “Of course! What a great idea Richard!”
Dan quickly added, “Honey, go get the truck and drive it into the alley. Get as close to the building as you can — right next to our porch.”
I was out the door in a flash. By the time I pulled up with the truck, the guys had the couch on the porch.
When I pulled next to them, Richard and Jeff crawled over the railing and onto its roof. Dan, John, and Steve lifted the couch over the railing.
Together, they all guided it onto the roof of the U-Haul.
Then Dan, Jeff & John ran down the stairs. I watched in amazement as the five of them guided the couch over the edge of the roof. Then they slowly slid it down the side and onto the ground. Ten minutes after Richard had arrived, our coach was safely loaded in the truck.
I burst into tears and gave Richard a bear hug. “Thank you!” I blubbered.
What Richard offered us that Saturday morning is what I offer you now, my friend.
A way to get unstuck.
A way to be free of the fear, pressure, struggle and overwhelm that happens when you are in scarcity. Especially when it comes to money,
Your experience of scarcity is not a function of the AMOUNT of money you have.
Rather, it’s a function of the relationship you have with money.
In the Archetype of Scarcity, no amount of money is going to give you the freedom and abundance you long for. Make more, save more, spend less, get out of debt — it won’t give you what you’ve been working so hard to achieve.
Like with our couch, the way to get unstuck is to go out the back door. This is what an ancient and sacred Archetype of Abundance offers you. (And all of us.)
The first step out the back door is to let go of your belief in scarcity.
This includes letting go of the idea that you have to figure it out or handle it yourself.
This, however, is an impossible task when the very definition of abundance our culture promotes actually perpetuates scarcity.
In our world today, abundance is defined as the opposite of scarcity. And scarcity is defined as the opposite of abundance.
The problem with this is that defining abundance as the opposite of scarcity automatically puts us in a reactive state. And whenever we are reacting to something, that something is still present.
As one of the oldest spiritual and success principles tells us…
What we give our attention to — what we focus on — is what we experience.
So — even if it’s subconscious — defining abundance as the opposite of scarcity keeps us reacting to and giving our attention to scarcity.
The result? No matter how hard we try or how much money we make, we still experience scarcity. We get stuck in “not enough”.
This is why a new understanding of abundance is needed. It’s the equivalent of taking our couch — and your relationship with money — out the back door.
I share this new definition of abundance in my next story called “What if life doesn’t revolve around scarcity — or money?”
For now, simply know that you do not have to stay stuck in scarcity any longer.
There is a [backdoor] way to set yourself free.