As I sifted through my mail, I saw the envelope. It was one of those padded envelopes that usually hold books or audiotapes. I knew it would probably arrive that day, because in my Prospering Women’s group our coach, Christen, mentioned she had sent them winging on their way to each of us.
One of the women in the group laughed, saying hers had arrived empty. Another woman remarked hers had been beautifully filled. My initial reaction was, “Well, I certainly hope MINE is not empty!”
I slowly took the the envelope into my hands. I bent it. There was nothing blocking it from being bent in half. I opened it and looked inside. Empty. Somehow between the time it left Christen’s hand until it arrived in my mailbox, the top had been slit and the contents had slipped out during the journey.
Somehow as I touched the lettering of my address on the outside of the envelope, my mindset shifted. I realized that it was absolutely perfect that the envelope’s contents were not what Christen meant to send me. Instead the contents of the envelope were really so much more.
In the emptiness, there was abundance. I remembered all the conversations we had shared during the four months our group was together. I paused to reflect on the growth of each woman. I spent time with my journal, where I had penned written descriptions from our final session together. I laughed in delight, recalling how the very special women from this group had gifted me with their kindness, their love, their constructive support, their continued friendship and the light of the new beginnings that were ahead for each of us.
If the envelope had contained what was originally inside, I would not have received this message so fully, that the empty envelope was more than enough. That the caring intention of Christen was enough. That each of us, with our shortcomings and weird ideosyncracies and pet peeves and obstacles: we are enough.
On February 9, 1990 I gave birth to my first child. My longed for, planned for, dreamed of and prayed for little girl burst forth into this world. The challenge that she presented, however, was that she when she was born, she no longer had life. She had died before she was born. My little Marlena was the personification of an empty envelope.
As those first shell shocked months passed, I went to hell and back on a regular basis. I was a failure as a woman, I was a failure as a mother. I had the mistaken belief that if you opened the dictionary, next to the word “Inept” one would find my portrait.
Yet as months turned into years and the years slid by and Marlena’s younger sisters were born, something very spectacular was happening. I began to see the multitude of gifts that came from her little life. The everlasting changes in perspective that had come especially because she was born and she died. While her physicalness was not touching my life each day, her legacy most definitely was within me and around me everyday. Her little life was significant. She was more than enough, many times over.
Yesterday was my birthday. As I continue to get older, somehow the celebrations become less hearty. I quietly ushered in the day without much fanfare. Slowly I felt myself sinking into a decidedly uncelebratory funk.
A knock on the door awakened me. A man with a large box waited for me, and handed me a clipboard to sign. A gift! I smiled, in delighted recognition. My dear friend had sent me gift!
Carefully I freed the box within the box from its highly buffered wrapping. It had repeated warnings to take extra care: fragile contents! With extreme tenderness, I lifted the gold ribboned package with the feather tucked within the bow.
Peeling away the protective packaging, I unearthed an extraordinairy work of art. My friend, Amber, is an Egg Shell artist. She had sent me the gift of her artistry. A Sculture unlike any I had ever seen before. She had taken a Goose Egg and created an awe-inspiring object, carefully and tenderly crafted. It required hours and hours of work.
The eggshell was empty. And yet, it was not. The shell was bursting forth with love and caring and prosperous beauty beyond anything I had ever imagined.
Like the empty envelope from Christen. Like my dear little Marlena’s life.
In what part of your life are you feeling hollow? Void of purpose or meaning? Absent of light? Is there a message or lesson for you to be learning? A shift wanting to happen? An expansive awakening wanting to be birthed within you?
Michelangelo said “What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful that the garment with which it is clothed?”
What ever it is about you or your circumstance is feeling “not enough”, I encourage you to look deeper. Somewhere within that emptiness is a glorious surprise. An abundant work of art, waiting to be recognized and used. The part of you which is buried within that is so much more than what is covering it. The subtle, quiet, message inside.
You are ready to burst forth, full of love, caring and artistry that is more beautiful than you could ever imagine.
Awaken to your abundance.
Christen, who is a living, breathing role model of Abundant Prosperity, can be found at
Julie Jordan Scott is a Co-Founder of We Coach People Network: a Community for Coaches to Create a Webpresence and Methods for Achieving Coaching Success without Breaking the Bank. Find out more about this new site now: http://www.WeCoachPeople.net Visit her website: http://www.5passions.com