I spent last weekend at a business retreat in Connecticut. The leader of the retreat is someone I met a few months ago, and I knew she was exactly the right person to help me with some areas of my business in which I still needed some guidance and support. She works almost exclusively with women entrepreneurs, and she focuses on both the spiritual and the business aspects of our work.

One of the practices she insists we do every morning is to incorporate prayer and meditation into whatever rituals and routines we use to start each day. I’ve always started – and ended, too, for that matter – every day with prayer, and I’ve been enjoying working meditation into my morning routine as well. I’ve been experimenting with different forms of guided meditation, and am especially enjoying a series of daily meditations on abundance.

When you say the word “abundance,” many people immediately think of money. Financial wealth is certainly one form of abundance, but it’s not the only one – just as the word “wealth” can refer to money, but it also means so much more. Having a wealth of knowledge, or a wealth of friends, means that you have been enriched in ways that don’t come with a price tag. And finding a wealth of opportunity, or a wealth of ideas and inspiration, can be more precious than gold.

There were 13 participants in the weekend retreat – women from all over the United States. I’d met only a few of them in person before. The rest I’ve gotten to know through coaching, training, and brainstorming sessions, both online and on the phone. It was an adventure and a delight to meet them in person, matching faces with the voices I knew, and seeing the in-person style and mannerisms of people I knew mostly through bios and backgrounds and Facebook posts and photos.

The weekend provided a wealth of education and enjoyment, and an abundance of ideas and inspiration. And as I returned home, I kept discovering other sources of wealth and abundance. Or maybe I was just more aware of them, which really amounts to the same thing.

I had shared a rental car with two other women from the retreat, and one of them had an earlier return flight than the other woman and I did. So instead of rushing to the gate to catch my plane, I was able to spend some time in a comfortable and relaxing rocking chair at the airport, watching the sun come up and chatting with the other woman, who was also from Minnesota and was on the same flight as mine.

During a three-hour layover in Detroit, I did some reading and caught up on some email, while enjoying the soothing view and sound of a magical fountain that reminded me of one in Disney World.

On the plane, getting ready for the final leg of my return trip, I started a Sudoku puzzle in the newspaper I had brought with me. A few minutes later, the flight attendant tapped me on the shoulder and handed me a jumbo-sized Sudoku puzzle book.

“Someone on the last flight left this on the plane,” she told me. “You’re welcome to it.” I now have enough Sudoku puzzles to last through any number of flights and layovers.

Our flight was sold out, but apparently there was one person who missed the flight, and he or she was supposed to be sitting in my row. As everything was being closed up in preparation for take-off, the person next to me said, “It looks like everybody’s on. I’m going to move over, unless you prefer the window seat.” I thanked her, but kept my aisle seat. She slid over to the window, and we both enjoyed extra leg and elbow room the rest of the way home.

The flight was just an hour and a half long – it was scheduled to take almost two hours, but got in early – yet it was enough time for me to finish a few puzzles, take a nap, read a chapter of the book I brought with me, and get a decent start on writing this week’s column.

I hoped and expected that my weekend in Connecticut would provide skills and insights that will increase my wealth and abundance – financial and otherwise – in the future, and I know that will be the case. In the meantime, I am filled with awe and appreciation for the wealth and abundance that was around me and within me all along. I’m aware of it now in ways I wasn’t before, and I can’t imagine anything more valuable than that.

The column “Find Your Buried Treasure” appears weekly in the Chanhassen (MN) Villager. This column was published on April 17, 2014.
©Betty Liedtke, 2014

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