The Power of Enough

Posted by on Jun 3, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The Power of Enough

In an age constantly pushing us towards more, I am beginning to think that any hope for lasting peace and happiness will only come once we––individually and collectively––learn to live by the principle of enough. In so many different ways, I find myself easily and repeatedly getting sucked in by the allure of the “more is better” mantra. This is the principle our whole economic system seems to function on––a constant striving for more profit, more growth, more productivity. It’s the principle our advertising and media industries teach us––spend more, have more, consume more. It’s also the principle many of our social structures and institutions inculcate in us––study more, achieve more, be more, do more.

This constant push for more is a recipe for disaster, both personally and socially. On an individual level, it promotes a constant dissatisfaction with our lives and sets up unhealthy comparisons and expectations that leave us feeling more alone and discontented. Socially, it has led to the destruction of natural resources and many other forms of life. What’s even more dangerous is that the push for more is accompanied by a belief in the scarcity model, which teaches that there is not enough to go around for everyone. This sets up unhealthy competition between individuals and societies as we all try to make it in a world that has become full of uncertainty, insecurity, and fear. No wonder so many experience anxiety and depression!

What is the antidote to this double whammy of “not enough” and “more in better”? It’s the principle of sufficiency or enough. When we start believing we are good enough, that what we have is enough, and that there is enough for all to live comfortably, life takes on a completely different feeling. This is what I have been contemplating and practicing since I finished reading The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist. There are those books that come into our lives and completely change our fundamental, core beliefs. This is one of those books for me. Reading it left me feeling both empowered and inspired. Good books are impossible to summarize, so I won’t even try with this one, but suffice is to say that Lynne Twist has made me open my eyes to the power of a belief and grounding in the principle of enough.

Most of us living in the United States live pretty comfortably, materially speaking. But how many times have you found yourself or others saying we don’t have enough time or money? How many times do we find ourselves feeling we are not good enough or that our relationships are not fulfilling enough? How many times do we find ourselves thinking or feeling we want or need more of this or that to feel better? The irony is that most of us have more than we will ever need. We have homes that are way more comfortable and spacious than our ancestors or most of the world could ever conceive of. We have way more food than we could ever eat. We have access to more human, technological, and natural resources than we know what to do with. Yet, we are caught in this trap of needing more, which causes us to waste and undervalue what we already have.

The principle of enough is grounded in appreciation. If we stop to really evaluate our lives more objectively, I think most of us would find that we have an enormous wealth of inner and external resources. Generally speaking, we are a pretty educated, aware, savvy lot, and we have immense powers of creativity, imagination, and intelligence within us. All these dormant potentials just await our attention and energy to come to full fruition. I often find myself caught up in this or that worry, and I try to remember to ask myself, “Is this how I want to spend my energy?” You see, our life force energy is a precious gift that we have for a finite period of time. None of us knows how many days we have left on this Earth. Why waste them focusing on lack? Why not instead celebrate the abundance that already exists in our lives?

When we shift our paradigms and start feeling good about who we are and what we have, we have more energy to live and to enjoy life. We gain strength and courage by questioning the beliefs that have been part of our conditioning. Instead of constantly striving for more and feeling anxious or scared, we rest in the knowledge that we have all we need and enjoy a much greater level of contentment and gratitude. We learn to stand more firmly in our own knowing and are able to ignore more of those external messages that push us towards more. It doesn’t mean we never move towards goals or future accomplishments, but that we move towards those things from a place of inner grounding and peace that allows us to navigate life with a much greater sense of trust and ease.

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