Home » Blogs » Mentoring and Recovery » My First Lesson in Sufficiency

My First Lesson in Sufficiency

13 colorful, comfy, cuddly throw pillows...leaving only just enough room for one average-sized human to join them on the couch.
13 colorful, comfy, cuddly throw pillows…leaving only just enough room for one average-sized (but enthusiastic) human to join them.

Recently I have developed a bit of a throw pillow problem.

When I moved into my current one-room casa (size: 400 sq. feet) I was oh-so eager to downsize.

Or at least I was until I confronted my large and beloved stuffed animal collection.

Hours, days and weeks of painful self-deliberation later, more than half of my collection was finally delivered to Goodwill, where hopefully they will continue delight to their new shorter and more age-appropriate owners.

With that difficult task finally accomplished, I started to settle in. As of today, I will have been living in my new space-starved digs for nearly 5 months.

Overall, I am very happy with the size of the space, and I like living with less. That is, until it comes to throw pillows. Even at this moment, I can count 13 throw pillows occupying increasingly close quarters on my one couch and one chair.

I almost bought another one today, but caught myself just in time (whew).

Since I didn’t have this issue until the stuffed animals departed, I can only assume the two share a connection….or perhaps it is just the ongoing rebellion of a small contingent of brain cells who insist that “less” equals less, period, the end.

Perhaps there is just some part of me who wants – needs – to accumulate, amass, collect, and she isn’t ready to trust her need can be met in any other way. 

Thankfully I now have even more ammunition with which to fight this rebellion, courtesy of a documentary called “The Minimalists.”

The film has lately become a mentor to me, as have its two heroes, who are the film’s producers and stars. Best friends since childhood, Joshua and Ryan raced through their 20’s accumulating all the stuff that symbolized a departure from their early years of deprivation and abuse.

But then something shifted, and today they each live with very little in terms of “stuff” and are clearly thriving.

Personally, I first started downsizing early last year when my boyfriend introduced me to tiny houses. One internet query and I was hooked – it was like surfing Pinterest, but just for pint-sized casas.

These teensy pads make my current home look palatial (my current reigning favorite is just 180 sq. ft. and has WHEELS. Like, seriously, how could anyone not want one?)

With a tiny house of my very own, I reasoned, I could carry my frugal, minimalist, sustainable home on my back…a way of life I’ve studied carefully, courtesy of my two in-house pint-sized shelled mentors, Malti and Bruce.

But then I started researching tiny house loans (there aren’t any) and tiny house prices (see: tiny house loans) and concluded I didn’t need a tiny house before I could join the minimalist fan club.

And what I learned by watching “The Minimalists” film is that there is so much more to living with less than just getting rid of stuff.

Living with less is also about how I approach life, what I do with my time, where I invest what I do have, and most of all the amount of courage I have inside me to chart a new fresh course when what I know about living just isn’t working for me any more.

In this, the year of “Sufficiency,” I feel like I have just received my first lesson.


Today’s Takeaway: Is there a particular philosophy, mindset or path that really sings to your heart in terms of how you aspire to live your life? I’d love to hear about it and why you feel it expresses what you want your life to be about!

p.s. I just want to say this – just in case it needs to be said…. in this post, I am not at all trying to say it is better to have more or to have less. That is a very personal choice and (I believe) has everything to do with what each individual wants and needs to learn in life. Some people balance abundance so easily. But I am not one of them. So for me, sufficiency is about seeking “just enough.” Maybe in time I will be comfortable with abundance. But first, it feels logical that I must become comfortable with “enough.”

My First Lesson in Sufficiency

Shannon Cutts

Parrot, tortoise & box turtle mama. Writer. Author. Mentor. Champion of all people (and things) recovered and recovering.

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2019). My First Lesson in Sufficiency. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 30, 2020, from


Last updated: 7 Dec 2019
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.