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On Day 2 of the power outage I was sitting on the couch under multiple layers of clothing (including my favorite snuggly oversized sweater) and a pile of blankets, waiting for the electrician to show up. Turns out that in a house from the 1920ies fixing a power outage isn’t as simple as flipping a switch in the fuse box… 😉

Internet breakdowns, broken computers, lost cellphones and power outages present great opportunities and the perfect alibi for getting still, turning inwards and practicing the return to a simpler life. I remember several times in the past when my internet connection broke down and, after the initial bout of frustration, I’d enjoy reading a good book, writing a letter instead of an email, knitting, drawing, baking, listening to music, and other slow-paced activities that are all too often replaced by being on social media, emailing, watching YouTube videos and texting.

Being without a few “necessities” such as Internet, electric lights and central heating even for just 24 hours made me realize how little we actually need – and how much we DO have:

I’m grateful for having running water.

I’m grateful for our gas stove that’s allowing us to boil water for tea and fry some eggs even without electricity.

I’m grateful for our landlord who’s so easy to talk to and takes care of everything in an instant.

I’m grateful for the electrician who is coming by on a Sunday morning to fix our fuses after having already been to Sacramento at 6 am (!).

I’m grateful for the relatively mild California winters – now don’t get me wrong, it was cold in the unheated house, but it could have been worse. At least it wasn’t freezing outside! 😀

I’m grateful for the abundance of food and drink all around me, reliable transportation and flexible coworkers coming in a little earlier to cover my shift while I was at home waiting for the electrician’s verdict.

Seriously, if you’re living in a western country, you have a nice roof over your head, running water, heat, electricity and grocery stores abound – if you have ALL that, you’re incredibly abundant. You’re taken care of. All additional goods as well as all additional worries are pretty much luxury.

I’m someone who loves to be comfortable. I love coming home to a warm living room when it’s cold outside, I love the educational freedom the Internet provides and I love having our Christmas lights on this time of the year.

But realizing that it’s possible to do without these things and that I don’t need all of it is very freeing, and very humbling. It’s one thing to intellectually know that you have a lot to be grateful for – it’s an entirely different matter to feel this incredibly deep sense of gratitude, this overwhelming feeling of abundance…and completeness.

You don’t need that new iPhone to be complete, that fancy BMW, that sparkling diamond ring, those $200 shoes, or even electric lights (Thank God for candles!)  – you are complete and whole just the way you are. In fact, all the materialistic and technological temptations around you can contribute to actually taking you away from your wholeness, fracturing your being into a thousand different posts, likes, images, clicks, videos, hashtags, games and pieces of information.

Trying to become whole through outside possessions, relationships and status symbols is like pouring water into a bottomless barrel. It’s never gonna fill the void. It’s never enough. It’s never going to be enough. Instead, remember your whole, healed self: You are complete. You are perfect. You have everything you need. Coming from this place of wholeness, you can then add all the small and big luxuries of modern life as an extension and expression of your highest truth.

There are 3 steps to reclaiming your wholeness:

1) Eliminate all distractions (even if it’s just for 5 minutes!)

2) Tap into the core of your being and realize who you are without all of the material accumulations, the relationship ties, the certifications, qualifications, titles, status symbols…realize that you are already complete and whole just the way you are

3) Feel gratitude and a sense of abundance wash over you and fill you out completely, grounding you and centering you.

Try and follow these 3 steps every day, even if it’s just for one minute. This process will help you to feel complete, whole, relaxed and happy – and it will bring more blessings into your life than you can count 🙂

Wishing you love, abundance and a grateful heart,