Most people want a life filled with freedom, choice and abundance… where you get to follow your passions, share your unique gifts with the world, and live the life of your dreams in the process.
I call this having a FRUITFUL life.
So, I want to tell you a story about a tree with some wonderful fruit. But first I have to tell you about the snakes. And the ladders. No, this is not bible study. Let me explain…
Snakes and Ladders
I grew up in a prosperous family, by normal standards I guess you could say we were quite wealthy. By the age of about 40 my parents had achieved all of their dreams in life…
My Dad was a successful surgeon, my parents had invested well in real estate and grew a sizeable fortune, they had three kids (I was the youngest) and we all lived in a huge waterfront architect-designed dream home on the shores of a beautiful lake in Canada.
But for some reason, despite achieving their dreams – or maybe because of it – my parents weren’t happy. They started to drink. A lot. I guess that their wealth and success were not the answer they’d been looking for.
Personally, I think they probably both had childhood wounds that money and prosperity didn’t quite fix for them… But that’s just my take on it.
When I was about 8 years old I started to notice the drinking was getting bad. By 10 it was out of control. Just before I turned 11, my parents broke up in a spectacular train wrecking of their marriage, life and finances. Somehow all the money was gone… I don’t even know the full story as to where it all went.
All I know is that I ended up living with my mother, who declared bankruptcy, and we were being assisted by welfare. It was like getting a bad roll of the dice in a game of Snakes and Ladders. Suddenly I was at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder!
Fast forward 30 years later and I was 41, about the same age my parents had been when they lost everything. It was 2008, the year of the Global Financial Crisis. I had amassed my own fortune in business, financial markets and real estate investing… And as the global economy melted down, I suddenly found myself on the verge of bankruptcy too.
It actually wasn’t the first time I had gained and lost huge sums of money in business. It was a case of history repeating.
The finer details of how I ended up on the verge of bankruptcy are not important to this story. What’s important is that it triggered a kind of ‘light bulb moment’ for me. I realised two things:
1) Somehow I was recreating the experience of my childhood, of the extremes of wealth and loss; and
2) Unless I wanted this cycle to go on repeating itself for the rest of my life, I needed to make a change… And the change I needed to make was in my own subconscious mental programming.
Your Tree of Abundance
Through my own process of reprogramming my subconscious and my life, I came up with a framework for understanding how to achieve a radical shift towards an abundance mindset that I call “The Tree of Abundance”.
The Tree of Abundance has 5 stages of growth, and when you get them in place in the right way, in the right order, then amazing things happen. That is: growth and abundance beyond your wildest dreams.
Stage 1 – The Roots
In the Tree of Abundance framework, the Roots represent your subconscious beliefs – beliefs about money, success, happiness, self-worth and deservingness to name just a handful.
When these beliefs are limiting, then your tree of abundance can’t flourish or grow to it’s full potential. It becomes stunted… it stays small like a bonsai tree instead of growing into a mighty oak. And that’s not helping anyone, especially you.
Once I realised that I needed to change my limiting beliefs, I spent 2 years deeply digging into my own psychology. I rewrote my subconscious belief “code” in order to de-program the frustrating cycle of gain and loss that I’d become trapped in, and to reprogram for ever-increasing abundance instead.
I documented the process I went through to achieve this reprogramming in my book, called The Abundance Code: How to Bust the 7 Money Myths for a Rich Life Now, published by Hay House. You can get that book on Amazon here.
Stage 2 – The Soil
The Soil of your Tree of Abundance represents your external influences.
If you hang around with people who are overly negative, naysayers who have limiting beliefs about you or about what’s possible for you… if you consume a lot of negative media that stokes your fears and primes your “fight or flight” brain circuitry leading to stress, anxiety and poor decision making… well that’s a toxic environment in which to be trying to grow your Tree of Abundance. It’s not likely to flourish in that kind of soil.
For me, I found that I had to weed this stuff out: As much as possible, I stopped reading, watching or listening to anything negative. I was careful about the company I kept. And when I couldn’t avoid negative people, I just decided not to take their opinions on and kind of turned down the volume on them in my own mind.
Stage 3 – The Trunk
The Trunk of your Tree of Abundance represents your internal attitude.
Do you take responsibility for your life, or do you blame? Do you have an attitude of gratitude, or do you complain? In this stage of my growth, I recognised that I needed to take responsibility for everything I had created and was going to create in my life.
The trunk of your Tree of Abundance needs to be protected… from blame, shame and guilt. It’s not your fault, and it’s not anyone else’s either. In this moment, the power to change is yours and yours alone.
Putting the first three stages in place was enough to help me avoid bankruptcy and start turning things around. My business partner and I went from a situation of being about $3 million dollars in debt to having the debt fully paid off and about $3 million dollars in cash in the bank, in a period of 4 short years. That’s a $6 million dollar turnaround! So the crisis was well and truly averted.
But to really flourish and grow the kind of life I wanted, for the rest of my life, there were two more stages for me to complete.
In Part 2 of this blog I’ll share with you what those next two stages are…
As always, let me know in the comments if this post has helped you in any way
To YOUR Abundance,
Julie Ann Cairns
P.S. This article first appeared in LivingNow Magazine. You can access that here: