Last week I attended the Transformational Leadership Council meeting – a group started by Jack Canfield to bring together thought leaders in human transformation. The group includes many household names in the personal development movement, and the content of the weekend’s events are highly spiritual, designed to help each member evolve.
During this extraordinary weekend, I heard one of the best stories about intention and abundance I’ve ever heard from a woman I’ll call Laurie. Laurie and Peter (again, not his real name) have an extraordinarily successful, well known personal transformation company, but it wasn’t always that way. Although their business had initially flourished, it had stalled to the point where they were scrimping in every direction, just to put food on the table for their two young children. All they could think about was how much they didn’t have, and both of them were infused with ‘lack’.
Laurie always wore a beautiful diamond ring – a large circle encrusted with small diamonds, given to her by her mother-in-law. At the time Laurie and Paul had announced their engagement to his family, her mother-in-law had rushed out of the room, come back with a batch of diamond rings (she had a small collection), and asked her daughter-in-law to choose from any one of them. Laurie’s choice held a special meaning for her, as she loved her mother-in-law deeply and the ring symbolized the bond with her husband and his family. Nevertheless, in the current hard times, she felt she just couldn’t continue wearing such a large and expensive ring.
She went to her mother-in-law’s house one day and told her that she was considering pawning the ring.
Her mother-in-law, a highly spiritual woman, shook her head. "I have an idea. Don’t sell the ring, but I’ll just keep it for you until your prosperity consciousness returns."
The following year, things in the business began to turn around. Laurie thought that it might be time to wear the ring again. She went to her mother-in-law and told her she’d like the ring back.
"No," said the mother-in-law. "I’ll leave it in the will and you can have it when I die."
Laurie thought her mother-in-law might have had a change of heart about keeping the ring herself, and since she loved her mother-in-law deeply, she didn’t want to argue.
For all of that year, the business really took off. At Christmas, Laurie received a three foot wrapped rectangular box as the present from her mother-in-law. When she unwrapped the box, however, she found a slightly smaller wrapped box. She unwrapped that one, and again found only another smaller wrapped box. For 15 minutes she continued to unwrap boxes, only to find another box wrapped inside.
Finally, she reached a two-inch box. She opened it and there lay the ring inside.
For all those months, her mother-in-law had sent repeated intentions for Laurie and Peter’s business and their own intentions for abundance, symbolized by placing the ring in ever larger boxes. Her intentions and actions may have helped them recover their own intentions for abundance.
The most interesting part of the story, though, concerns their children. The first two were brought up in a household where money had been very tight during all those hard times, while the third child was born during the later boom years. Nevertheless, it is the first two who have a sense that life is filled with endless abundance. They were raised with very little material wealth, only the love and commitment they shared as a family, and were grateful for everything they had. Even at such a young age, they understood true prosperity consciousness.