All my life I have felt the pinch of scarcity.
Scarcity – the sensation of not having “enough,” has long served as a sort of theme song that would begin playing again automatically anytime I permitted my efforts to flag in any area of my life.
- Not making enough money? (cue theme song)
- Don’t have anyone to hang with this Friday night? (cue theme song)
- No boyfriend? (cue theme song)
- Feeling depressed/anxious/sad/lonely/”fat” again? (cue….you get the idea).
A few years ago, one of my mentors recommended a book to me called “The Soul of Money.”
I will never forget my first thought. “Money has a SOUL?!?”
Up until that point, I had been pretty sure money was the evil spawn of whatever had clearly been out to get me from the day I popped out into this world.
I was also not that prepared to be convinced otherwise. Yet, dutifully, I acquired the slim volume and began reading.
The first section was all about scarcity, which the author called “the great lie.” Ha. So already we had a problem, because to me scarcity was clearly visible practically everywhere I looked.
Reluctantly, I moved on to the next section, which bore the unfortunate header, “Sufficiency: The Surprising Truth.” “Surprising, indeed,” I cackled to myself. “As in, surprising if you can find it.”
But I read on, propelled at this point by a sort of queasy curiosity about what she’d come up with next.
What she came up with was a question: “What is ‘enough’?”
My initial answer, which arose quite quickly, was: “More than what I have.”
After which I read these words: “Each of us determines that [what is enough] for ourselves, but very rarely do we let ourselves have that experience.”
She then – outrageously – claimed that we “mostly breeze right past the point of enough as if it’s not even there.”
At which point panic set in.
“Oh. my. god. Did I miss it – my ‘enough’?” I started to fast-rewind my life-to-date, looking for one of the many potential places where my personal portion of ‘enough’ might have been waiting by the roadside as I obliviously sped on by….
Then I read the words that would alter my future course from that instant forward: “There comes a point where having more than we need becomes a burden.”
I think it was at that precise moment when I first began downsizing what I own in earnest. [To date I have gotten to the point where everything I own, minus my faithful Toyota, can fit easily into a 400 square foot room, but I don’t feel like I’m done yet.]
She then suggested that ‘enough’ can be a place you arrive at and dwell in – it can become a way of being, a way of living, a perspective that not only lives in personal sufficiency, but believes this is possible for every being on Earth.
Now I was chomping at the bit. “Sufficiency for me, you said? Give it to me. Give it to me now – this ‘sufficiency’ thing – I’m ready. Sign me UP.”
I eagerly scanned the next few pages for the access instructions.
What I found was this: “To access that experience of ‘enough’….we have to be willing to let go – let go of a lifetime of scarcity’s lessons and lies.”
Great. Fabulous. Awesome. What took 46 years to build….and now it all has to come down, brick by brick, belief by belief.
I’m not sure I want to know how long THAT is going to take.
On that note, as some of you know, I like to start each New Year by setting one big over-arching intention – kind of like a mentor I spend the next 365 days doing my best to follow around and learn from.
This New Year will be my “Year of Sufficiency.”
Reason being? Enough is enough – metaphorically and literally.
I have had enough of scarcity, and of battling it occasionally, half-heartedly, self-consciously, under cover of darkness – in other words, the way I battle things I don’t really believe are ever going to change.
This is the year all that stops. This is the year scarcity is going to change. It is going to meet sufficiency head to head and eye to eye and mind to mind and heart to heart and we are all going to have a good, thorough sit-down chat.
This is the year scarcity is going to transform, and if all goes as planned, when the transformation is complete, it will look a whole lot more like sufficiency in the years that follow.
And of course I will be sharing any useful insights that pop up along the way with you here and elsewhere….and will be keen to hear yours as well!
I just have to share this…in the middle of typing out this post, my parrot, Pearl, started calling for me to come pick him up. He had been eating his breakfast on a nearby counter, face planted way down in his bowl as he always does, and he seemed to finally be finished.
As I went to pick him up, I crooned, “There’s my baby – there’s my angel. Did you have a good breakfast, Pearl? Are you full? Did you have enough? Mommy wants her baby to always be full and have enough.”
Words to love by….and live by.
All that to say, it should be an interesting New Year!
Today’s Takeaway: Have you set an intention for the fresh set of 365 days that is even now headed your way? If yes, I would love to hear what you have decided to focus on in the year ahead! If not, and you resonate with an exploration of sufficiency and ‘enough,’ I would love for you to join me on my journey in 2017!
p.s. This post is from my free monthly ezine, Good News for Recovery + Life.