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November 30, 2011

Why abundance is too much: in praise of enough

Fiona writes: For most of my life, I’ve expected that one day I’ll get more clients/write a best-selling novel/win the lottery. This current state of having just-enough-money has always felt temporary.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a thought. I’m 37 already. I might not ever be any richer than this.

This week, as you know, we’ve been helping our Buddhist Sangha out with their ten day continuous chanting. Everyone has had a very different experience of their time chanting. My experience has included a lot of worrying. Is Sumaya going to get any rest? Has Kaspa eaten enough? Will anyone else come into the shrine room and relieve me so I can go and get a cup of tea?

I’ve noticed these thoughts, and then I’ve noticed what’s happened next. Somebody usually does turn up when I want a cup of tea. Sumaya has gone to have a nap at the back of the room. We’ve been close to the wire, but we’ve had enough.

It got me thinking about the word ‘enough’. Is enough enough?

A word I’ve come across a lot during the years is ‘abundance’. Self-help books encourage us to welcome abundance into our lives. If we think abundant thoughts then abundance will automatically grace us.

I’m coming to feel pretty fond of the word ‘enough’. Enough is saving the washing up water and putting it on the roses. It’s appreciating every melting moment of a square of bitter chocolate. It’s chanting for an extra half hour, even though you’re dying for a cup of tea. It’s having a terrible morning and then noticing those red berries on a walk to the post-box. Those red berries!

Enough feels more realistic than endless abundance. Enough is satisfying. Enough is not-always-what-I’d-prefer and just-what-I-need. I’m coming to trust in it.

Maybe the money I make now is as much as I’ll ever make. That’s OK.

Enough is…. enough.

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Beautiful photo by harold lloyd, Creative Commons, used with gratitude. Practice finding your own red berries: join us in our River of Stones Mindful Writing challenge in January.

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