I love a good theme. As I’ve been thinking back on 2017 and looking ahead to 2018, the phrase that keeps coming to mind is: “2018 is the year of enough.” I’ve been reading this incredible book by Lynne Twist called The Soul of Money and in it she talks about the lie of scarcity (we never have enough and more is always better) and the truth of sufficiency (we have everything we need right now).
Today’s post focuses on the lie of scarcity: “I don’t have enough and more is always better.” I’m choosing money as the example for this post, but you can replace this with anything:
weight: “I’ll be happy when I’m skinny enough”
love: “I’ll be happy when I’m in a relationship/married/divorced”
success: “I’ll be happy when my book sells xx copies”
experiences: “I’ll be happy when I finally visit Paris”
First of all, if you’re reading this and barely making ends meet or reading this and making more money than you ever thought you would, you both have one thing in common: you feel like it’s not enough and you’ll be happier when you have more. I’ll make a blanket statement and say 97% of people feel that way. I get it because I feel the same way. Living in NYC can be challenging because there is so much money in this city. I regularly walk past 22 year olds in my neighborhood carrying expensive designer handbags. I’d have to be a robot not to notice the financial wealth around me.
But then I think back to 25 year old Amy. She lived in an apartment at the beach in Florida with a roommate, drove an old beat up car, was regularly overdrafting her checking account because she could barely make ends meet, was cleaning houses on the weekends to make extra spending money, and was eating Lean Cuisines before she went out with friends so she wouldn’t be hungry and need to pay for expensive restaurant food. She was also having a BLAST. I don’t really know how you measure happiness, but if you could have measured my happiness then and now, I think they would be about the same. Materially I might have more now, but I’m the same happy, funny girl with the same heart, spirit and soul.
Now, this doesn’t mean that we should be broke and never make more money or have more things. Not at all. What it means is that making more and having more isn’t the key to achievement and happiness and shouldn’t be the cornerstone of how we value ourselves or our place in the world. I promise you as someone who is living a more financially secure life than she ever imaged at 25 when she was cleaning houses and eating Lean Cuisines…the finish line just keeps moving.
A story that so many of us have seen this week is of a girl in Australia who died of cancer and her last words of advice. On her deathbed, she didn’t talk about her net worth or that she could finally afford those fancy designer shoes. She talked about wanting one more day to snuggle with her dog. She talked about a night at home with her family over the holidays with just each other and handwritten cards and no gifts because suddenly gifts lacked meaning and time together and expressions of love were what really mattered.
When we free up the constant energy and time we spend in the pursuit of “more,” and put that same level of energy and passion into TODAY and into appreciating the gift of life and what we already have (friends, family, love, a roof over our head, food to eat, a beating heart, a spirit and a soul that lifts us up) – that’s when magic happens. That’s when abundance multiplies.
Today is the future you thought about last year. And I promise you, a year ago when you dreamed about today, you didn’t think “I can’t wait until a year from now when I have a nicer home and get that raise so I can still feel inadequate.”
So what does a year of “enough” look like? For me, it looks like this:
A conscious, daily practice in being present and appreciating what I have right now, without needing more or wanting to check off some box to feel like I’ve “made it.” I have enough.
Appreciating my body, my health and my appearance without always thinking “just 10 more pounds and I’ll feel skinny” or “if I could just get rid of these wrinkles, I’d look better.” I am beautiful enough.
Knowing I am worthy of love. I don’t need to change who I am or work on something about myself for love to come into my life. I am enough.
This doesn’t mean straight up chillin’ and not continuing to make exciting and meaningful moves in your life. You have no choice but to be awesome and do great things because that’s engrained in the spirit of who you are. It means knowing that YOU ARE ENOUGH and YOU HAVE ENOUGH as you are, right now, today. The rest is just house money.