1 March 2016
[Sufficiency isn’t] a quantity of anything. Sufficiency isn’t two steps up from poverty or one step short of abundance. It isn’t a measure of barely enough or more than enough. Sufficiency isn’t an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough, and that we are enough. ~ Lynne Twist
Thinking I am not enough has been a formative issue for me.
In meditation yesterday, I experienced expansiveness: a nothingness within space but more space. My awareness fingered out into that nothing and found…everything… a profound wholeness, an abiding peace.
Naturally, within the next breath, ideas about a work project and the twinge of my calf muscle slipped right into that space. Filling it up. Making it…less.
But, for a moment, there was a deep experience of how much enough there is that requires so little.
It’s not easy to define ‘enough’. To draw a line. To define enough in a way that can stand up to the pressures applied to have more, be more, earn more, buy more. To not need to cram in more knowing, more comfort, more perceived safety.
The feeling of not enough arrives from a lot of places. Comparisons with peers. Madison Avenue’s shouting. Coy internalized cultural messages. My parents words that I understood or misunderstood. All of these sources will continue to beat the drum of insufficiency unless I choose to listen in to a different tune. Unless I put the locus of discernment about what is enough within me.
Defining what is enough is a declaration of independence, a declaration of sovereignty over my life. I think my one unique and precious span of days upon the earth warrants this from me.
Gratitude, an intentional generation of appreciation, is a key that throws the door open. The more grateful I am the more I recognize the fullness in my life. The more support and love I acknowledge, the more I show up as the person I want to be.
I also believe in that internal place of wisdom and peace that I connected with yesterday. Easily drowned out or pushed aside, that space remains. No matter how many times I ignore it, it persists — willing, generous, completely unfazed and ready to begin again. It will make itself known when I’m available. When I step out away from mental gymnastics and soften my focus, appreciate a moment of beauty, notice a friend’s expression, ask a question I cannot logically answer.
There is a teaching story about a wise woman who asks her students to fill a sieve with water. All their efforts come to naught and finally they return the sieve to her, asking her to show them how it can be done. She tosses the sieve out into the ocean and as it drifts and submerses, it fills completely.
Soaking, submerging within, I find enough.
And once again, I see how little it takes, how simple it can be. How abundant enough is.