A little over a year ago, I had a “nice, steady” job as a “talented” designer in New York City, a nice apartment and some extra money in the bank.
I frequently got to spend time with a super-handsome, kind and wise lover and many friends. My family, my friends’ families were in good health, my cat was still alive and the winter wasn’t even too crazy that year.
That’s all very dandy, except that I had this itching, aching feeling that I wasn’t doing the right thing: that I wasn’t what I could be, that I didn’t have enough, that I wasn’t enough.
A year later, here I am back in New York again, couch-surfing, fancy-jobless and rather penniless.
I find myself thinking “If only I had the stuff and the money, a space of my own and a job like the one I had before, I could do all these things I want to do, be all these things I want to be…”
But when I had that life, all of that didn’t feel like enough at all; it didn’t make doing the things I wanted to do or being the things I wanted to be any easier. I had a million excuses for why I needed more money, more time, more space to travel, to start X project, to be happy in X relationship.
This transition I’m in right now has, for the most part, been an intentional challenge I’ve brought on myself to tackle this concept. Believe me, it is incredibly uncomfortable at times; especially in a city where money and a constant state of “doing” are valued above all else. In a city where there is barely a place to sit down without having to pay for something.
Why the hell am I doing this, then? Flat broke in one of the most highly monetized cities in the world?
Sometimes I don’t know, but it seems that this challenge makes it so clear that external accumulation of any kind is almost completely irrelevant.
I’m not of the mindset that “thinking abundantly” will bring abundance to all people. If you read Sacred Economics (I’m only about 200 pages in, but it’s so freaking good! And you can read it online for free!), Charles Eisenstein makes it very clear that our current concept of money creates abundance for some in exchange for the scarcity of others. This can be changed, but it does need an overhaul of our money system as well as our mindset.
For now, what I’m talking about is more a feeling and belief in my own, in your own, inner abundance. A belief that comes with trusting in our own body and mind and soul to do what needs to be done, and to provide, create and act in a way that supports you no matter what the circumstance.
I still feel the pull of the scarcity mindset strongly. I also feel each day that I am a little closer to the feeling of “being enough” than I have since I was a little kid. Back then, I didn’t question my enoughness at all.
I remember vividly a day when I was three or four years old, kicking damp leaves in the crisp fall air walking with my great-grandma, the sun dappling it’s way through boughs and leaves to the pebbled pavement.
The air filled my lungs richly, the auburns, crimsons, siennas of the leaves; the black earthiness of a tree trunk as it met the earth—my Babci holding my hand while uncrumpling a tissue to hand me a butterscotch candy in it’s orange cellophane wrapping from her purse.
I was fully present and grateful then. I did not question my enoughness.
At that point in her ninety-five or six year old life, my great-grandma probably didn’t either. We walked side by side, in mutual appreciation of the morning and that was all. It was beautiful.
I’m not saying I want to go back to being a child and shirking all responsibilities. Actually, I want the opposite. But I want to feel like Enough in the wanting.
I think that being an adult—in a sense that has truly been all but lost in our culture—is more like being a tribal chief or priestess, as I imagine it: to fully inhabit the body and mindset of “I am Enough,” and from there, to reach out.
Instead of “take, take, accumulate,” an individual living with the mindset of Enough gives.
To be truly an adult to me seems to mean to give without expectation of receiving, to be a parent and lover to the earth and to care for all others from the deep roots of Enoughness, reaching out through the branches and richly colored leaves of your various gifts as a gesture of gratitude for the wonder that is this gift of life.
So, I’m starting to see the patterns and flaws that come with a scarcity mentality. I have a million things I want to be and do, and I don’t want to be crashing on a couch for much longer, but I have to start first with believing that I am enough, couch and all, that I have enough to give, just as I am.
So, seriously, no matter where you are, you are enough.
We are enough. And especially here in the “first world,” we have enough.
Plant the roots of Enoughness deeply and—even if you’re just starting out as a sprouted acorn like me—you will be able to weather any storm.
This is my First Official Published Internet Article, so if you like it, please let me know and share it, and maybe use it as inspiration to visit your favorite trees, too.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editorial Assistant: Richard May/Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: Charleston’s TheDigitel/Flickr