Expansion Through Constriction

Some people assume that when constraints are imposed upon their lives, they have fewer possibilities, and therefore life becomes more limiting.

This isn’t actually true though.

In each case you probably still have a ridiculously high number of possible choices, way more than you could seriously consider, let alone act upon. So for all practical purposes, you’re still dealing with infinities.

If you have infinite possibilities and eliminate 50%, 90%, or even 99% of your options, you still have infinite possibilities remaining.

So when COVID locks you down… or when you’re running low on money… or when you lose your job, you still have infinite options available to you.

You haven’t gone from 100 options to 10 options. You’ve gone from infinite options to infinite options.

What you gain, however, from constricting the possibility space is the opportunity for increased focus. You get to focus on a narrower slice of the original possibility space.

You also gain an invitation to growth. You gain the opportunity to expand your imagination, so you can finally see the infinities that you were overlooking before. Maybe you saw that integers are infinite, and now it’s time to acknowledge that prime numbers are also infinite.

Where you previously saw one or two options, realize that you actually have infinite options. You’ve just been compressing the infinities down to finite possibilities, which makes it seem like your options are scarce when they’re actually overflowing with abundance.

Rachelle and I are both long-term vegans. She just reached her 19-year point, and I’ll be at 24 years next month. A common misconception is that because a vegan lifestyle constricts the possibility space, it must be limiting. In practice the opposite is true, once you get used to it. We still have infinite options for what to eat and how to live our lives. We don’t lose anything of value by this choice, but we gain a lot from it. By focusing our attention on a narrower slice of the food and lifestyle spectrum, it’s easier to make choices that are healthy and beneficial for ourselves and the environment. It’s easier to feel happy each day. It’s easier to avoid lifestyle diseases. It’s easier for our bodies to digest vegan food too.

Whether you narrow the possibility space by choice or whether it happens by circumstance, remember that you aren’t actually trapped, and you still have infinite options. What you really have is an invitation to focus better.

Have you discovered the abundance within the COVID situation? Or do you still feel like you’re stuck in a stretch of relative scarcity, just waiting for it to be over?

If your mind gets stuck dwelling on the infinities outside of your current options, you may overlook the infinite possibilities that are accessible to you right now.

The COVID situation can be framed as an invitation for you to grow into some new infinities for a change. Where is an infinite space that you have yet to explore?

Subjectively speaking, what if reality is actually waiting on you to get a clue and see the abundance that’s right in front of you? What if you’re keeping us all in a holding pattern till you figure this out? What if this whole reality is your personal simulation, and you’re the one holding up the game?

How much more time do you need?

The COVID situation narrowed my possibility space. If not for the virus situation, I’d have traveled a lot this year. At first I lamented the loss of some experiences I was really looking forward to, but then I saw the invitation to explore new forms of abundance.

For instance, last month I wrote 55K words of a new novel, which I’d never done before. Just within the space of writing a novel, there are infinite possibilities to explore. I love how this world of fiction writing began opening up to me. And it feels so abundant – so many ideas to think about.

I also saw the COVID situation as an opportunity to work on my health. I’ve been logging what I eat each day for 6.5 months now and have made lots of refinements to my eating habits. I even changed the way I breathe after reading The Oxygen Advantage.

Many years ago I stopped doing holiday gift exchanges, but this year Rachelle and I decided to re-explore that by agreeing to buy thoughtful Christmas gifts for each other. We both went a little overboard with it, each buying 30+ gifts for the other. It’s been a fun and rewarding experience for us both, and I’ve been enjoying it more than I thought I would. We’ve been finding cute and playful ways to express our personalities through gift giving. For instance, Rachelle keeps finding bear socks she wants to get me. I enjoy watching her try to guess what each gift is – she seems to have an infinite curiosity about that. We’re also getting each other some practical gifts to help solve little problems for each other… or to create extra opportunities for mutual enjoyment. If not for the COVID situation, I don’t think we’d bother exchanging gifts. We’d be taking more trips instead, including going to Disneyland in December when all the Christmas decorations are up.

Which feels more real to you right now? The opportunities you’ve lost or the opportunities that are accessible? Are you choosing a scarcity mindset or an abundance mindset?

Constraints do not equate to scarcity. Constraints invite you to explore new expressions of abundance. Start diving into the infinities that are right in front of you.