What You Feed

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed."

You may have read this before -- it's certainly not new. But in the spirit of creating a wildly abundant life, I think it's central to our story.

What I focus on grows. This is true even if I am focusing on the negative aspects of the thing. But only every single time.

I could share hundreds of stories where this truth has played out in my life ranging from my health initiatives to my art to my relationships. When I'm putting my energy in those places --whether it's in a positive or negative way, I get something back for it.

I've seen it in the lives of my clients too. When we work on getting clear about what they really want, we put focus on letting go of what no longer serves them and create action steps toward what they are passionate about making happen. That's when the magic happens.

Action in the right direction is like putting fertilizer on your brilliant idea. You can literally watch your project grow...by inches or miles. And if it lives on your back burner, the flame will eventually go out.

Abundant thinking -- knowing without a doubt that I am safe, I am loved and I am enough -- was my default setting at birth. It's only later that I learned to fear things, putting the focus on the notion of being unsafe, unloved and unworthy.

I see this fear-based thinking happening with my 8-year-old great-niece. Where before she danced through her life with curiosity and joy, now she's beginning to fear the bad things that might happen to her. She shrinks away from dark rooms and has an irrational attachment to her mother. She's learning to be afraid, doubting her safety. At school, she's taking fewer risks, worried she won't be loved. 

As you and I grew up, there was a time when we began to believe what society taught us -- we should be afraid. Even though it was a choice, most of us chose it. And at some point, we realize the extent to which this thinking holds us back and we begin to debunk it.

If I feed the fear, anxiety, self-doubt, and unworthiness monster, it will grow. If I nourish the idea that I was born to love and be loved, and that my soul is always safe and that I am magnificent, all forms of abundance are available to me.

What are you feeding?