Enough? Not enough?
There’s are a series of phrases in my book I call “softening attitudes.” One set in particular is designed to ease the mind’s tight grip on the idea of “having” and “lacking.”
Three simple phrases that don’t look like much on paper, but have magic powers when you drip them – with awareness – into your daily practice of clearing:
- I am enough
- I have enough
- There is enough
Repeat them quietly or out loud – one phrase at a time. Drop them into your awareness like pebbles in a still pond and notice the ripples it creates. Notice the sensations in your body. Notice any emotional weather that it stirs. Notice what goes through your mind.
This simple practice is not about repeating the phrase or expecting a certain outcome. It’s about clearing the noisy stuff in between that holds the charge.
Clear the charge, and lightness follows.
As a little bonus goodie, I offer this essay by Merlin Mann I found by in a free e-book called What Matters Now, compiled by Seth Godin. Beautifully written, it’s a humorous look at the unmitigated appetites of human beings. Also invites awareness with a good question at the end. What do you think?
Sometimes, I forget to eat lunch. So, 3:30 arrives, and I attack an infant-sized hillock of greasy takeout. I inhale it, scarcely breathing, a condemned man with minutes ‘til dawn. Two minutes after stopping, yes; I feel like I’m going to die. Filled with regret and shrimp-induced torpor, I groan the empty promise of the glutton: “never again.” What happened? How’d I miss when I’d had enough? I wonder the same thing about folks who check for new email every 5 minutes, follow 5,000 people on Twitter, or try to do anything sane with 500 RSS feeds. Some graze unlimited bowls of information by choice.Others claim it’s a necessity of remaining employed, landing sales, or “staying in the loop.” Could be. What about you?
How do you know when you’ve had “enough?” Not everything, all the time, completely forever. Just enough. Enough to start, ﬁnish, or simply maintain.
Unfortunately, foodbabies only appear after it’s too late. And, if your satiety’s gauged solely by whether the buffet’s still open, you’re screwed. Like the hypothalamus-damaged rat, you’ll eat until you die. Before the next buffet trip, consider asking, “How do I know what I need to know — just for now?”
Then savor every bite.
–Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster who’s based in San Francisco. He is the author of Inbox Zero, published next year by HarperStudio.
–From What Matters Now, e-book compiled by Seth Godin. Download your own here (it’s free)