+ Enough May 09 30912811_sI’d like you to take a little quiz. Finish this sentence: “I don’t have enough ____.”

What came up for you?

At many points in my life, I would have completed that sentence this way, “I don’t have enough time / money / confidence.” Are any of those words a match for yours?

I’ve become aware lately of the word “enough.” I was thinking about it recently as I was writing about my life as a musician; when I seldom felt I had practiced “enough.” Later, I became a music teacher, and then it was my students who needed encouragement to practice “enough.” As a mother, I was concerned about whether my children slept “enough” or had eaten “enough” healthy food.

These days, I hear “enough” used all over the place, attached to a lot of concepts. Do I have enough: talent, education, will power, discipline, intelligence, faith, happiness, balance, focus, dedication, love, friends, vacation days and so on. Having enough seems to be a big concern.

“Enough” is a quantifier. It measures or indicates measurement. It is based on a perception that defines a level of adequacy. And it has its place, I suppose, in our lives – sometimes we need to assess and take stock. But, there can also be a bit of an obsession about “enough,” because we think its opposite, “not enough,” is something to be concerned about. “Not enough” usually means that a comparison is being made, either within or without, comparing how much I have with how much you have, or comparing how much I have with how much I think I should have.

I love the phrase, “Compare and despair”…it sums up the dynamic perfectly. When I’m in a compare and despair mode, I’m usually looking to the outside and measuring myself – or my life – against other people or their lives. Comparing with outer standards usually leaves me feeling unbalanced, and rightly so. It’s a hierarchical viewpoint that is destined to put some of us on top and others below. This hierarchical paradigm is trying to shift in our consciousness, and it’s about time.

“I don’t have enough” is often fear-based, rooted in the belief that I need more in order to be “safe.” This bears close examination and willingness to see what we can and cannot do about the future; not get stuck in bemoaning our projected lack.

“I don’t have enough_____” is also rooted in our sense of our worthiness, another important issue to look at. Many of us took in the message as children that we weren’t “enough.” Critical teachers and parents, our own self-comparison with siblings and friends all contributed to keeping us from knowing our Essence’s true intrinsic worth and value. In our Essence, we are all enough – and then some. There is no shortage, no lack, no place for “compare and despair.”

I’ve been experimenting with a new statement, “I am enough.” I’m finding that all the other concerns about “enough” fall away when I am conscious that, in my Essence, I am enough. Remembering this guides me to meet situations and events that might have once thrown me off- kilter with more equanimity, balance, groundedness, and peace. I meet challenges with my arsenal of support: my spirit, my experience, my family, friends, my “where-with-all.” and I get through whatever has come up more easily. When I’m connected with my Essence, “I am enough” seems to take care of “I don’t have enough” most of the time.

Going back to my quiz answers, feeling that “I don’t have enough time” is transformed through being in Essence – suddenly, something is cancelled from a too-busy schedule, or I find an efficient way of combining errands or tasks, or I prioritize and see what can easily wait until another day.

“Not enough money” has had some interesting shifts as well, the most frequent being a change in the fear I’m experiencing about money to being more grounded in the present than in future projection about “enough.”

And, my confidence and worthiness issues are less present when I know my worthiness through my Essence.

I wish I could report that, these days, I only finish my sentence “I don’t have enough___” with something as easy as, “chocolate,” but that would not be completely true. But the old concerns have lost some of their hold over me, and I continue to invite in more consciousness of my Essence because that, truly, is enough.

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