Perhaps right now, more than ever before, we are being confronted with our profound insatiability. An unforeseen pandemic has robbed us not only of grand plans to travel to Europe or see our best friends get married, but also of little every day pleasures, of sitting down for a latte at our favorite cafe or meeting our sister for pedicures on a Sunday afternoon. With so much loss and uncertainty about when and what we will regain, we are forced to experience our desires, cravings, wants, and needs all day every day.
How then are we to cultivate a sense of enoughness in a time ripe with deprivation?
Shifting our lens toward what we DO have is one way to start. Firstly, although it may feel like prison, we are not being robbed of our freedom. We have access to sunlight, food, water, fresh air….well sort of (I recommend brushing your teeth before putting on your mask, makes a massive difference), contact with friends and family, clean clothes, a roof over your head, and access to that place we all come to connect, the internet. Now I know this may sound preachy, like I’m suggesting to take a “glass half full approach” which, for those of you know me, know that’s not my style. But what I am actually suggesting is to shift your awareness to those things you do have enough of and to experience a sincere appreciation for them.
For those of us with an inner critic that likes to remind them of their inadequacies (guilty myself) your critic may be screaming from the balconies of your roof decks right now. See if you can observe how loud your critic is, and ask that critic to give you some space. Perhaps you will find more solace when you are able to believe “I have worked hard enough today” “I interacted with family enough this week” “I got enough fresh air” “I moved my body enough today” “I ate enough vegetables.”
One of my own struggles has been my dangerous tendency to become captivated by daydreaming. I now realize that my daydreaming is often if not always coming from a state of desire, wanting more. Since the pandemic began, I have been stuck on the daydream of buying a home. I moved to Massachusetts just 5 months ago! What am I thinking!? But rather than judging my obsessional daydreaming, I am listening to it, compassionately. This is the part of me that craves something new, exciting, a project, and escape from my 1100 sq foot apartment with no outdoor space. But when I have spent hours and hours looking at the same 30 homes on Zillow, I need to have an honest conversation with myself about the health of this behavior. Oftentimes, the solution is to shift my attention to something else, like the amazing book I’m reading or a new blog article I want to write. I am not always able to catch myself before nose diving into the Zillow rabbit-hole, but my awareness that this behavior comes from a “not enough” place, has helped me to begin shifting both my attention and my behavior.
So I challenge you to this...The next time you find yourself engaging in something that feels like “too much” whether that’s scrolling through Instagram for hours, berating yourself for how many slices of sourdough you ate last night, or counting the number of grays growing in since you’ve last been able to color your hair, see if you can identify where you feel “not enough” and look for evidence that affirms the truth, which is that you are in fact just enough as you are.