“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
18 thoughts on “What is Your “Enough” (aka fulfillment) and How Will You Know?”
Happy Monday Shannon ?
Thank you for todays post and links , great reminders !
It’s always good to count our blessings .
Have a wonderful week everyone.
x Anne x
Ah Shannon, what a lovely weave of words and encouragement to begin our week, thank you!
For me, shedding the strictures of what someone or something thinks I should be or do was galvanizing. The lethargy and stagnation came from those outside influences. Energy, groundedness, awareness, joy…that exploded within me when I shed those strictures, and that sense of ‘conscious being-ness’ became my “purpose”, my “gift” to the world–as you say, a sense of calm that can and does radiate quietly.
Just for fun, some quotes that have and continue to encourage me:
“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”~Lao Tzu
“Follow your bliss. If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people
who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.”~Joseph Campbell
“Not my circus, not my monkey.”~Old Polish Proverb
Have a lovely week everyone!XO
Thank you for sharing these quotes. Joseph Campbell, hard to go wrong. I could not agree more with his guidance. 🙂
Ha ha!! Rona, I say “Not my circus not my monkey (or in a great many cases, monkeys!)” all the time!!! It helps me remember to let go of the the drama gong on in my head or people trying to bring me into their drama. My polish grandmother used to say it all the time as well,
Michelle, that phrase is probably my favorite when it comes to assessing whether some fol-de-rol is under my control or not. It really comes in quite handy in all sorts of situations. And yes, usually with a plural ‘monkeys’. ?
[Snort] “Not my circus, not my monkey” is a standard go-to for both my husband & me! LOL! And yes, Rona, I so agree about how freeing it is when you come to that realization that you do NOT have to do what others (family, culture or societal “norms”) expect you to do (or not do), that not everyone is going to like you or your life decisions & that’s OK, that you control only your own actions & reactions, no one else’s, & that you can consciously choose to not be drawn into other people’s dramas or manipulated into solving their problems (or trying to: people like this rarely want the problem actually solved, they just want to be the centre of your attention). It’s truly life-altering!
Absolutely! “You control only your own actions & reactions, no one else’s..”, love it!? And yes, they never come to you for answers, only as a mirror or sounding board..ye gods, please do not disturb them with YOUR thoughts!?
Beautiful words of wisdom Shannon! Thank you!
Merci pour this refreshing post, Shannon! It is unbelievable how overwhelming the messages in commercials and the media are. “Enough” can be the word of the day (as an ‘80s kid, that reminds me of Pee-wee Herman). Speaking of the ‘80s (this can apply to any decade since the advent of media, especially television), I was captivated by countless commercials for toys (Cabbage Patch Kids, Barbie dolls, Strawberry Shortcake, and many more) and junk food (such as Fruit Roll-Ups, Jell-O Pudding Pops, SpaghettiOs, and sugary cereals). Yes, I wanted to be a Toys R Us kid and dreamed of a playroom full of 100 Cabbage Patch Kids and pink toys. I never thought I had enough toys, despite having a generous mom giving me plenty of toys for my birthday and Christmas (and good report cards). Later, as a 90s teen, I was bombarded by never-ending messages of how I am supposed to look to be attractive (those messages are still rampant—this time in social media as well)—thin physique (including tiny, defined waist/abs); long, slim, ultra-smooth legs; absolutely no body hair; shiny mane; creamy, unblemished skin; endless lashes; sweet-smelling body; luscious lips; and designer clothes. I wanted so badly to look like those supermodels in order to be popular. No matter how hard I tried, I could never look like them or gain friends in high school (I never dated either). Instead, I felt exhausted and deflated.
While I still enjoy looking good, I felt that instead of solely obsessing over my physical looks, I had to focus on my inside for self-awareness. That has made my life more peaceful. It felt as if I took off extra baggage when I realized that life is not a contest of who has the most toys, designer shoes or handbags; has taken the most trips; is the thinnest, fittest, or most physically attractive; has the hottest husband/wife/partner; has the most adorable or successful children; drives the fanciest car; lives in the biggest house; owns the most properties; or makes the most money. I am only in competition with myself and try to be better than the person I was yesterday or ten years ago.
Have a wonderful Easter or Passover for those who celebrate! Otherwise, happy spring!
In theory I most definitely agree with the “Enough”way of thinking however as a Marketing Professor, I am a wee bit confused by “false need”. A marketer can never create a need. A basic objective of marketing is to create awareness that needs exist, not to create needs. Just my 2 cents on the subject
Mary, I appreciate your sharing the ‘need’ of the consumer. And while I agree from the point of view where you stand, it is seen as a ‘need’ by the consumer, but the question is to the consumer – is it truly a need or are you (the consumer) being orchestrated by the culture (not necessarily the advertiser because you are correct, the advertiser is just observant of the market) to understand it as a need. What the consumer needs to ground themselves in, thus the being present, knowing thyself and critically thinking is what is prompting the feeling of desire. Doesn’t mean we cannot satiate our desires, but we need to be conscious in our daily lives. Thank you for sharing this idea from the advertisers’ perspective. I appreciated it. 🙂
You have actually been my “advertiser” of late. Last month I purchased a pair of Hunter boots to wear while gardening, and this month the French Market Basket you suggested (I have been wanting one forever). The difference is, I know I am purchasing quality items that will be of use to me for a long time…not just a whim.
Thank you for always reminding us to experience the joys in the every days.
This post resonates so deeply. It is hard to constantly be present, and often slipping back into the “lizard brain” when life gets busy and I’m swept away (usually in situations that I have to be in rather than choose to be – I.e. work or social situations). However having these tools that you share allows me more readily to return to what I know fulfils me and brings me contentment, and to take steps to return to being present and in control of my mind and emotions. Thank you for another thoughtful post.
Sarah, thank you for bravely sharing your experience. You are not alone of that I am certain regarding when we slip back to the lizard brain. I include myself into such examples of when this occurs. The growth is most definitely happening when you are aware of it happening and that is a big step to celebrate and remind yourself of when doubt may arise. Thank you again for all that you shared. ?
Beautifully written. After losing my other half in 2020, I’ve definitely fallen off the simplicity and mindful way of living my fiance and I had. It’s been, frankly, a living hell to get to where I am today.
Not “better”, not “healed”, but steady. Back then, he was my enough, Our life was enough.
Today, I’ve had to find another version of it. I think I’m almost there, but I need to relearn how to trust myself again. Your post helped put some things into perspective – it’s great to hear it from a non-biased view, and what sides of myself I need to re-analyze if I’m to find this new ‘enough’. Thank you.
Jean, I am so sorry for your loss. To lose our heart’s love, I send my condolences and much love your way.
Grateful to hear this post may have provided some peace of mind.
Thank you for visiting and your sharing. ?
Sending blessings and strength, Jean , I’m so sorry that you have had such a difficult and sad time .
Oh dear Jean, my heart goes out to you. I send you my sincere condolences and all my love.