Enough, Already

“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.”

 

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About sheilaklewis

As a writing coach, meditation teacher, writer, and academic tutor, I'm passionate about words and the silent spaces between words. In this context, I run book clubs and writers' groups where the resonance of carefully crafted words can spark readers and writers to share their own stories. Connecting through conversation; making memories matter; embracing editing and revision, and imaginative wordplay are some solo and collective outcomes. I came to what I call my "Meditate Write Now" practice after years of art-making, writing grants, curriculum, children's stories, and more. Meditation kept my mind from meandering too far off point and also led me to write from the still point within. May our paths cross in creative journeys across time and internet connections! Other details: My husband and I are the parents of two amazing sons and one daughter-in-law, and smitten grandparents of Micah (born December, 2013). I don't drive, and have lived in the same apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, for too long.
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6 Responses to Enough, Already

  1. Pingback: Enough, Already | sheilaklewis

  2. Lia says:

    Sheila – I find that “enough” mostly comes into play when I am allowing other people to get more from me than I really have to give. Actually, since 2013, I have pared down my address book by 2/3. I got rid of everyone who I felt was not having a “respectful” relationship with me. Am I somewhat lonely? Sure, but better off by myself than getting ripped off by those who don’t have “enough” of their own. So here I sit, waiting to see what’s coming next!
    Thanks for your thoughts, as always. Lia

  3. Kathleen says:

    Thanks Sheila, excellent contemplation.

  4. AJ says:

    Enough, Already, made me think about objectivity’s role in life. It seems the more objective we are, the more we can observe that which simply is with a no-strings-attached wonder.

  5. sheilaklewis says:

    I like the no strings attached wonder–how great to remind us. And to be objective is certainly an art and a practice.

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