I listened to an awesome podcast yesterday from Oprah's Super Soul Conversations. In an episode with Lynne Twist called The Soul of Money, they discuss consumer culture and examine what Twist calls "the toxic myth of scarcity".
Many of us who live in cities are inundated with choices every day. We have so much at our disposal--unlimited restaurants, shops, entertainment, gyms, healing centers, etc. While there is so much joy in diversifying our experience, tension in the mind is created when we get caught in the cycle of constantly looking for the next thing to bring us happiness. Twist says this feeling of needing more leaves us not just thinking we have a lack of material goods, but also, a lack of worthiness. When we think we don't have enough, we feel that we are not enough. Not only do we amass objects and experiences, but we also crave more time, energy, and love from the outside. We often feel like we're not working hard enough, not sleeping enough, not exercising enough, not meditating enough. Ironically, our attachment to creating a feeling of "enough-ness" from external sources will inevitably leave us feeling insufficient and depleted. As the dharma teaches us, where there is attachment, there is suffering.
Unfortunately, this rings true in healing culture as well. So much of our healing in the west is based off of seeing ourselves, and others, as lacking wholeness. We seek from a place of lack, we will never feel whole because we are relying on someone else to mend us. Inversely, if we try to heal others from a place of lack, we get stuck in pity and placing ourselves above others, unable to see past the suffering to our innate shared experience.
So how can we integrate the desire to "be enough" while living in the material world? Being enough is another way of saying "I am worthy". In my experience, my self-worth is directly related to how much joy and gratitude I am aware of at any given moment. How can I care for myself today? How can I be of service to others? What am I grateful for? When we put our awareness on appreciating what we have, rather than seeking what we do not, we affirm the belief that we are enough. Perhaps the best we can do is create a practice daily that beholds our enough-ness, that allows us to feel, to know, that love comes from within.
If you would like to explore your own perfect wholeness together, please connect with me over a session.
I encourage you to take a day to observe all the moments when you have thoughts of "not enough". Write them down. Are you excessively comparing yourself to others? Are you criticizing something you said last week? Are you obsessing over someone else's Instagram feed? Observe. Start to investigate the patterns. When do these thoughts arise? How do they make you feel? Are there any actions you can take to create a more joyous environment for yourself?
Sit down in a quiet space. Set a timer for ten minutes. Take a few moments to be with your breath, following your inhales and exhales. On your inhale, mentally repeat "I am grateful for", on your exhale, mentally fill in the blank. Continue to change each response on your exhale, giving gratitude to one of the many gifts of life.