“At some point, the world’s beauty becomes enough,” (Toni Morrison).
I was walking around the quadrangle behind my mom’s building at the Senior Living Center. Marked by posts with how many steps walked and upbeat nature quotes, Morrison’s quote lifted my depressive morning mind from its usual abyss of careless worries. The word “enough” is fullness without complaint. When we push our plates away, and say “Enough,” we have chose fulfillment over excess.
As the agreeability of this planned nature walk shifts my restless thoughts from the waffling “what ifs” of youth to the wise acceptances of “mature” age, I think of my mom’s own mental transformation. She has no tolerance for complainers, as “life is too short.” She has learned to look on the brighter side of things. Her cronies at the picturesque senior complex on Long Island’s North Shore, are similarly upbeat. A self-selected group, they do not readily invite newcomers into their dining circle, as there are “enough of us already,” meaning people who are “positive, like us.”
If we look at our values as individuals, we each have to find that enough place inside, and set aside the pulls of family or a materially ambitious culture. When financial gain above or exclusive of all else is the driving value, enough-ness will elude us. A contemplative process such as the one below may help us feel at ease and satisfied with “enough, already.” With pen and paper at your side, try this:
1.Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths, inhaling from the belly and letting it puff out. Pause before exhaling all air and drawing the belly in towards the back. Repeat a few times until you feel a shift, an interior spaciousness or stillness.
2.For a few minutes, scan your day or week for times you felt grateful, rewarded, or appreciative. Focus on one or two of those experiences and how it feels. Sit with positive or neutral feelings, even if they seem forced or trivial. Notice if it is hard to stay there. What resists “enough?” What welcomes it? Breathe fully as you let these feelings come and go.
3.Gently shift towards acceptance of what is without complaint or story. Be open to having a sense of “enough” as a base or foundation, even if that enough’s only a faint sliver or glimmer of awareness. Open your eyes and journal or take notes.
What simple action or shift in attitude can I take to feel that I have enough right now in my life? Or, as Catherine Ponder writes, “I am rich in mind and manifestation now.”