Abundance is not the result of unlimited opportunities or resources. It is manifested by limitless thinking, a courageous spirit, and a grateful, receptive heart.Anthon St. Maarten
Said to be the oldest party in the world, the pre-Christian roots of Carnival can be traced to the Ancient Egyptian Sham El-Nessim – when it was believed that the spirits of winter needed to be chased out of town. This combined with temperatures rising and food storages needing to be eaten before they spoiled resulted in a frenzied festival atmosphere that was adopted by the Romans as Bacchanal. These festivals shifted people from scarcity to abundance mindsets.
To align with Catholicism these various festivals were renamed Carnival (meaning goodbye to meat) and, over time, ancient rituals and festivals from cultures the world over have merged with the concept of Carnival through colonization, but also evolved Carnival through the reclamation of their cultures. The last day of Carnival is Fat Tuesday (March 1st this year) and is traditionally celebrated with a pantry feast of pancakes to use up all the eggs, butter, milk, and sugar before Lent. We can take our inspiration from Carnival’s ancient origins to open ourselves to an abundance mindset – focusing on what we have with joy and gratitude. Here are some rituals to help us embrace abundance thinking:
- Mala Meditation: Colorful beads are a staple of many Carnival parades. Grab some and use them for a gratitude mala meditation. Sit with eyes soft and beads between your thumb and fingers repeating silently to yourself with each bead – “I am enough, I have enough, I am blessed.”
- Get Dressed Up: Put on your fanciest clothes and go out! You can just head to town and peruse Main Street or meet up with some of your fancy friends for an evening stroll at the botanical gardens.
- Plan a Pantry Feast: Go through the freezer, then the fridge, then the cupboards. First tossing anything that has expired, then consolidating wherever possible. Now plan the week’s meals to creatively use up what you already have had for too long. (Go ahead and make some fudge with that condensed milk – the recipe is right on the can!) Perhaps a pancake dinner is in order…Donate what you can’t see yourself using to a food bank.