“Everything you are looking for is already here.” —Andy Puddicombe
Imagine for a moment, you have just finished one of the most satiating meals you have ever had. You are not stuffed, you are not starving. In fact, you are smiling. Why? Because your body was given what it needed and you are pleasantly satisfied. You were given real food, full of flavor, rather than manufactured ingredients to keep you wanting more that ultimately lead you to feeling miserable. What you enjoyed could not have been made solely by you. Whether you dined in a restaurant or made the meal yourself at home, it required other people skilled in their craft and generous in their giving to care about what they gave. To care about giving something they could uniquely give and wanting to give something of value to another person.
This is a portrait of enough. We cannot reach it solely on our own, but we must know ourselves well enough to seek out the right sources and practice of the skill of presence in order to fully appreciate, then hold ourselves still when we have found it, and then savor, savor, savor.
The idea of having ‘enough’ is a constant exercise of mindfulness. The stronger our mindfulness muscle is the easier it is to ignore a life that can, if we are not careful, unceasingly want us to always desire something more. Even better, it is when we use our mindfulness muscle that we build a life that does not need to continuously swat away ‘asks/demands’ for our attention that want us to feel as though we are lacking.
One simple, everyday, yet powerful change I have made to my own life over the past handful of years is to actively not watch advertisements. From watching shows on streaming services that do not have ads to paying for non-ad subscriptions and even more, reducing my screen time altogether and reading, stepping outside to garden and doing other activities that are less likely to include subtle grabs for my attention, nudging me to ‘buy’ or want something I ‘need’. After all, the core purpose of advertising is to entice, nudge or create a false ‘need’ in the viewer, a feeling of ’lack’. And they use advertisements because they work to do exactly that. Of course, depending upon the audience, the brand will appeal to what most likely will work to gain a sale – appealing to a specific emotion, appealing to logic or appealing to trust by incorporating a ‘trusted’ expert of some sort on the subject. The art of persuasion is one of the oldest skills in a civilized society, and it is not a bad skill when, as I would teach my students, it is used for good – think of the many speeches, acts of bravery and courage that have played a powerful role in moving society ever closer to one of equanimity and justice. The art of persuasion is prompting the observer/audience to choose to act, to change, to buy, to say yes without forcing them to.
But here is the catch: The audience, if they don’t know how to think critically, to ‘look behind the curtain’, is more likely to fall prey to untrustworthy acts of persuasion for the gain, not for themselves, but the speaker.
So what is your ‘enough’ in life?
Fundamentally, right now, from the moment each of us are born, we were enough and always will be. We are born with self-worth. Nobody can take away what is innately part of being human, but sometimes, we forget this truth because others do not want us to know it is true. Yet another oh so necessary reason to not only know thyself, but know your mind and how it works (we’ve talk about that particular focus many times, and will look at it in even more depth later this month – look here and here to get started).
However, for today’s purposes, let’s take the discussion to the concept of thriving and living a life of self-actualization
To know you are living a life that is ‘enough’, and for our purposes, enough equates to being fulfilled, it is when we are living a life of abundance that we are fulfilled. In episode #326, the idea of Abundant Bliss was discussed, and at the core of living a life that is ‘enough’ is to be living a life that includes the following concepts/actions/ways of living/feeling:
- purpose – having found your positive contribution to society and giving it from a place of joy.
- you no longer need to compete with anyone other than who you were yesterday, and even then, being at peace with who you are today.
- you no longer blame others and instead take responsibility and learn, as well as step into the solution mindset.
- you are a friend of your emotions and let yourself feel them in constructive ways, so you can move through them and more deeply hold yourself in the present moment.
- you have a deep inner trust in yourself to know how to respond to what you need, to distinguish accurately between wants and needs (as aligned with your temperament) and to have the strength to not be dissuaded by others who act out of their needs and wants disregarding your needs.
- you engage with the world and yourself with a spirit of generosity, letting yourself be yourself fully, engaging with sincerity, extending love to both yourself and others.
- while fear and worry may arise, you have knowledge of your mind, and place both in the back seat, and drive with clarity of how the mind functions
- you are loving in your engagement with the world and while taking time to determine who to extend deep trust to, are open to love.
As shared in episode #326, a life of abundant bliss is the natural state of true contentment. When you hold yourself in a state in which you feel and experience daily each of the items on the above list, you are living a life of true contentment, a place from which to, no matter what is going on around you or in the world, you are grounded. And the feeling of being grounded is to feel the peace and calm of being at home, at home with yourself, no matter where you are in the world.
It can seem, before we understand and especially if we have never ourselves experienced even a taste of fulfillment, that it is unnatural to be wholly present and feel as though we are and all that is is indeed enough. And here is what I want you to understand, Living a mindful life which enables you to find and live a fulfilling life of true contentment runs counter to the culture many of us are living, and because the culture we have been living in has had ample time to become normalized in our minds, it feels as though it is ‘natural’. We have become acclimated unconsciously to accepting at some level that we will never be enough, we will never have enough and so we must always be in motion and moving forward to something better, a better ‘us’ in any innumerable ways – made to feel we need to buy more [clothes, makeup, home décor, etc.], seek more entertainment, travel more, seek out a very narrow definition of what ‘love’ is and then hit all the ‘marks’ in order to see ourselves as ‘being an adult’ – anything that encourages us or at the worst, shames us, into not feeling we are enough right now.
This is not an anthem to accept stagnation and lethargy. You are the only one who will know at your core if you are fulfilled, and if you are not, well, you’re at the right place. ☺️ TSLL is FULL of posts and episodes and books sharing inspiration and content to help you find what will be fulfilling to you, and uniquely so.
Today’s post was written in hopes to encourage you to take a breath, and witness right now all the awesomeness in your life and to slow you down enough to ask yourself, If for whatever reason you feel unsettled, is it society’s constant need to want you to feel you still need something more OR your truth that is making you feel unsettled. I have a feeling, knowing TSLL audience, it is the former, as you are most likely very much aware and have been building consciously a life that brings you fulfillment. However, when our mind slips back into the Lizard Brain, of Mind 1.0 or the Child Mind, we can doubt ourselves. We can errantly trust the messaging that society can bombard us with wanting us to doubt ourselves and choose to buy just one more [insert item], spend just a little bit more, go on one more date instead of finding peace with all that we already have, acknowledging we are wealthy in so many ways already, doing something we actually want to do that will be oh so much more genuine and create within us a light that is hard to ignore.
Living a life of ‘enough’ is to be truly wealthy, and ironically, it is not something you can buy.
Such a way of living takes conscious effort, building habits and skills that enable you to honor your awesome ‘you’ and courageously engage with the world in a manner that both involve being vulnerable, yet being strong as you communicate both what you love and who you love and why but also what you need and what you can do so that you are being loving to yourself.
Today, and every day when you are holding yourself in awareness, choose to savor, savor, savor how beautiful the life you are living is, because it is. And your peace, your calm, while it may unsettle some people who distrust such a life is possible initially, when they realize with time, that such a peace of mind and walking through the world is possible, will be a gift you give to the world that has no price tag.
Thank you for stopping by today. I hope you have a wonderful start to this new week. Bonne journée.
SIMILAR POSTS/EPISODES YOU MIGHT ENJOY
Why Not . . . Become Self-Actualized?, episode #25