From Not Enough to More to Give

2014-03-06 09.27.38

“I think it was Lynn Twist who said that the first thing most of us think when we get out of bed in the morning is this: “I didn’t get enough sleep.” So we start off the day with this feeling of not enough-ness. And then it grows into not enough time, not enough money, not a good enough mom, not a good enough friend… it’s endless!”

Those words from Andrea Scher’s happiness interview hit me hard. I recognized myself in them instantly.

It’s not that I don’t know better.

I know all about scarcity thinking and abundance mindset and reframing and blah blah BLAH. But I can still get sucked into that not enough spiral.

Maybe it starts with being tired one morning. Or when one of the kids needs $75 for a field trip right now and I have no cash on me. Or when I realize I forgot to fit dinner into the evening schedule of appointments, practices, and games; and then my daughter’s baseball gloves breaks – and I didn’t even know that was possible! – right in the middle of a game.

I can’t say exactly when I slipped down the slope of not enough. I just know that I looked up one day and I was hoarding.

Hoarding dollars. Minutes. Sleep.

I was thinking about how to hang on tighter to what I had instead of dreaming up ways to give, make, and do more.

And the tighter I clung, the less I had.

That’s how Not Enough works; it morphs into Never Enough.

I was clenched around my meager resources when I read Andrea’s interview. “Living in a world of not enough doesn’t allow for much joy,” she said.

“No shit,” I said to myself, bitterly thinking of all the joy I was missing out on because I didn’t have enough in my life.

But then something happened. I don’t know exactly what. Something switched in my brain and I remembered all the ways I know better.

I remembered that practicing gratitude shows me I have more than enough.

I remembered that I have experienced so many things that make no sense in the logical world – things like swimming with dolphins and traveling for a year and dancing on stage at a Prince concert.

In Gabrielle Bernstein’s TEDx talk she says when she was freaking out about not having enough time for her talk, she was reminded to “speak your truth, and time will expand.”

As crazy as that sounds, that seems to be how the world works: it expands in completely illogical ways.

But it can only expand if you aren’t bear hugging the snot out of it.

So I let go.

I unclenched. In the literal sense that means I relaxed my muscles, stopped grinding my teeth, unfurled my fists, and breathed in and out as deeply and slowly as I could.

In my head, I lowered the walls that were trying to keep everything in.

Really that’s just a tiny shift in perspective. It’s looking out and thinking how instead of caving in and thinking not enough.

And do you know what happened next?

I slept better.

Time expanded so that I could work and play and love all in one day.

And I got my car fixed for free.

No shit.

I dropped my car off at the mechanic shop because it was shaking horribly and the check engine light was flashing. I said a little prayer of gratitude that we have savings and a back-up vehicle. A few hours later the mechanic called to tell me the problem was so easy to fix – the “massive misfire” was caused by something that just needed to be tightened – that he wasn’t going to charge me.

A weight has been lifted and I feel like myself again. And this version of me knows that I always have more than enough to give.

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  1. Angelica says:

    It’s amazing what happens when we just relax – that’s a practice in and of itself along with yoga and gratitude!

  2. Andi says:

    I really needed to hear this today! I feel like I have been “clenched” for far too long and am finally coming to the realization that I have control over that feeling. Thanks for the reminder! :)

  3. Nice blog!

    I relate to what you are saying!

    The way I figured it out is that, whatever append, append for a good reason, we just need to relax, have confidence in who we are and everything is going to unfold at it has to be… We just need to go with the flow a little more and stop worrying about all those ”problem” that we actually create in ours at the first place.
    Chuck Freeman’s most recent post: Why and how to find your life’s purpose.

  4. I’d like to get there: to more to give stage
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