Master and I discuss abundance a great deal. As Abundance and Prosperity inspirers and practitioners – it’s a huge part of where we live and what we do.
But encouraging an Abundance mentality isn’t all about money as most think. When someone has a lack based word view those limiting beliefs infect many areas of their lives.
Don’t get me wrong- many of us have a lack-based mentality and with good reason- we’ve been hurt, or ill-treated. We’ve not had what we wanted, or even needed at one time. In other words- we experienced LACK and it informed on how we view the world and our place in it. I don’t deny this- I’ve been there. And while we may not be able to have control over what we did experience – we can choose whether we want to continue to internalize that experience as a way that we ARE moving forward.
I believe in our Lifestyle (and in this I am speaking both about the Leather branch and the BDSM branch) we have internalized a lack based worldview that is stunting our growth as a culture as well as individually. This lack based worldview perceives division where there is none and competition around every corner. It sees the Lifestyle from a space of scarcity and persecution that perceives any action that is not all of us together as promoting defiance, isolation and exclusion. This leads to a position of need to huddle and hide in caves in order to stay safe –and yes in some ways it does provide safety- but it does not allow for growth, expression, actualization and evolution. This is dangerous, just ask the dinosaurs…
Lack of evolution eventually creates extinction.
In the last few months I become more and more aware of this lack based mindset and the ways it is expressed within our alternative culture. I have also become aware of ways that it is propagated, the incorrect premises behind it and the imperative that we have to think again. To re-think how we are viewing the world and our place in it. By no means do I believe I have all of the answers, or that this is a “new” thing just because I recently became aware of it. More than anything else – this gives me an opportunity to share my thoughts and reflection with those who might find them helpful.
Distinction does not mean Division – one of the places that I see this scarcity mentality is in the belief that we have too many groups. We hear this a great deal – that we should all be together and there should not be a need for any separation – in fact that by having differing groups that celebrate ones own sexual orientation, gender, power exchange identity etc; we are creating division. I would like to suggest this is not true. Giving each sub-set the space to celebrate their uniqueness among those that share that orientation and identity creates more Unity In a number of ways:
- You don’t have to hide or ignore certain elements in an attempt to not make others feels excluded.
- You can actually enjoy when we all are together because it’s a choice.
- The challenges of your particular identity can be discussed, supported and even commiserated with without your needing to constantly offer disclaimers.
There is space for this and this is a natural part of what occurs as any group grows. Differences happen.
We’ve always had X – why do we now need Z – We now have more than one contest that focuses on Power Exchange Relationship dynamics. I can recall years ago some asking why we needed the LAHM and the Carter Johnson Library. People ask we have so many projects right now focusing on History. The short answer is Diversity is HEALTHY. And ensures the continuance of a thing. All we need to do is look at the Potato Famine to see the danger of a mono-culture. We as an alternative culture are greatly influenced by the society in which we live. Often in unexamined and unconscious ways.
A monoculture within horticulture is a single crop or species cultivated over a number of years. Monoculture is dangerous because it weakens the strength not only of the species but of those that are dependent on the species. It makes that species incredibly vulnerable to opportunistic predators and diseases. Those dependent upon that species can be destroyed by one bad storm.
Within our Alternative culture this idea – of one contest, one Library one of anything- while well meaning is a bit short sighted. It presumes that the way something is -is the way it will always be. In mainstream society there are churches on every corner, there’s 2 star bucks on every block. There are multiple OPTIONS. This is good. This ensures that if something goes wrong with one- we don’t lose all. There is room and space for more than one of each thing with our culture- and you don’t have to ONLY support 1 thing.
Which leads to my next point
Competition is based on a lack mentality. We own our own business. I have had a number of mentors over the years and one of the things that I’ve been taught is not to consider those doing the same thing as I am doing as my competitor. I found this very challenging initially – but upon reflection it makes sense. When I really began to open myself up to this idea, what was dropped into my spirit was “instead of competitors consider them kin” There are many, many people in the world. Last I checked just on Feltife (and everyone is not on Fetlife) there are over 3 million people. 3 Million. With more joining daily. It is impossible for any one person, group, organization to serve ALL of them.
There is no REAL competition in the lifestyle except for the competition each individual decides to create within their own mind. In other words competition is a perception – not a reality. This means that you can support more than one company. More than one group. There can be 5 groups meeting on the same night and people can choose to attend the one that has the most resonance. This doesn’t have to cause anyone to get offended or – as my children say – butthurt- about it. Your group will undoubtedly attract those who have the most resonance with it- and all will be well. This also means- that if we get out of the competitive mindset we can cease feeling the need to validate whatever we’re doing by assassinating the character of others. You don’t have to VALIDATE your desire to hang your shingle or do your thing – you can do it ethically, kindly, and in a spirit of unity instead of competition.
It is my hope that we can truly begin to enjoy the abundance and diversity within this culture- thereby growing and thriving – both as a community and as individuals.