For me and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is “I didn’t get enough sleep.” The next one is “I don’t have enough time.” … We spend most of the hours and days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don’t have enough of… We don’t have enough exercise. We don’t have enough work. We don’t have enough profits. We don’t have enough weekends. Of course, we don’t have enough money – ever.
We’re not thin enough, we’re not smart enough, we’re not pretty enough or fit enough or educated or successful enough, or rich enough – ever. Before we sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we’re already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something.
This excerpt, from The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist, speaks truth, doesn’t it? When I read this I literally pulled out a pen and wrote “WOW” next to those paragraphs.
Today, I’ve spent most of the day trying to have a day off. All weekend, I was assisting in a training that was incredibly fun but also incredibly tiring. Rightfully so, I felt as though I deserved a day off. Normally, on Mondays I teach 2 privates; sadly, one of those clients has just moved to L.A. and the other client had a conflict today and needed to reschedule. Equally Normal, on Mondays, I have a list a mile long of to dos like “check email,” “update website,” etc. etc. But today, I didn’t set an alarm. I woke up around 9 and sat on my front porch with the coffee and the paper. Sounds awesome, right? Except the entire time I was “reading” I was actually making lists in my head of things to be done. I need to book another private client to replace the one I’ve lost. I need to start reading this month’s Yoga Book Club selection. I need to pay the American Express bill. And then, HOW am I going to pay the American Express bill….
So, I put down the paper, picked up the computer and started responding to emails. I added more to my to do list. I snapped at my husband. I tried to let go and take a nap only to get back up because it felt too decadent to take a nap. Who has time for naps? Finally, in a fit of frustration, I rolled out my mat and committed to a 20 minute practice to help clear my head. I ended up practicing for a little over an hour, and then I sat down to reflect on what I’d like to share in my classes this week. Something about Elizabeth Gilbert’s new book and her TED talk? No. Something from this weekend’s training? How many times have I done that already?! No.
Nothing resonated until I picked up this book and read the paragraphs above. Wow. There was my day staring back at me from these pages. While telling myself I was going to enjoy a day off, instead I spent the majority of the day worrying about not having enough time, clients or money. None of which is actually true. So, what is the solution? How can we clear our heads and hearts from this auto-pilot thinking that we don’t have enough?
Twist suggests the following:
We each have the choice in any setting to step back and let go of the mind-set scarcity. Once we let go of scarcity, we discover the surprising truth of sufficiency. By sufficiency, I don’t mean a quantity of anything. Sufficiency isn’t two steps up from poverty or one step short of abundance… Sufficiency isn’t an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough, and that we are enough.
Now, I get that just believing in sufficiency or believing in abundance can seem a little woo-woo, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said, “I only have time for a 20 minute practice today,” and then ended up practicing for 60 minutes. Or 90 minutes. Somehow, by giving myself the space to do what is needed (for me, I always need to practice) I still magically have enough time to get done the other thing that need to be accomplished for the day. I don’t practice in lieu of doing something else on my to do list. I practice and then I tackle those never-ending bullets on my lists. And somehow, some way, it all gets done. Sufficiently.
After wasting my morning in a scarcity panic, I enjoyed a practice and walk (truly decadent), I read most of the paper (actually read it this time), and planned out my classes for the week. Now, I’m taking the rest of the evening off to enjoy a glass of red wine and the crossword puzzle. Totally sufficient.