Thank you for being part of this special community. Over the years, we’ve received hundreds of questions from you and today, I want to address a specific theme that keeps coming up again and again.
This common theme has to do with enough-ness.
You’ve asked these questions;
“How can I feel okay about letting some things go in my life to make room for more important activities?”
“How can I get rid of the guilt (I didn’t spend enough time with my family one minute, then I didn’t spend enough time with work another) or the fear of missing out (should I have taken on that extra opportunity at work, even though I have no time?)”
“How do I know that I’ve done ‘enough’?”
Are you feeding a hungry ghost?
As a culture, we’re somewhat obsessed with more. Getting more done, buying more stuff, having more, doing more, even being more (be happier now! meditate more!).
We assume more is better.
This pursuit of “having it all,” coupled with advances in technology that enable 24/7 connectivity, cause many of us to feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and burned out. Not to mention deeply inadequate because we can never do it all, all the time.
Feeling like you’re constantly coming up short is not a fun way to live.
Good news, it’s an optional state of being! You can choose a new reality.
Underneath all the striving for more is what Buddhist cosmology calls the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts, ancient figures who are riddled with powerful desires they can never really satisfy.
The hungry ghost is that part of us that feels like no matter what we do, it’s never enough.
(Quick sidebar: I’m a big fan of having constantly evolving desires. It’s great to want things in life. But when we’re never satisfied, or we chase desires that aren’t really our deeper truth, there can be a hollowness to it.)
The reason it can feel as though it’s never enough is because you have some version of the belief; “I’m not enough.”
If your core identity is tied to believing you’re not enough, then you’ll create circumstances in your life that reinforce this belief.
You’ll over-commit, feel guilty and struggle to feel satisfied with your accomplishments each day. The key to feeling like you’re doing enough is to shift your core belief to; “I am enough.”
I’ve worked with this belief a lot in myself. And it keeps coming up. It’s been one of the biggest impediments to my happiness. And one of my best teachers.
I’ve learned how to begin shifting it, and how to tune into a deeper, wiser part of myself that knows I’m not flawed or broken, that knows I’m perfectly imperfect and I am enough just the way I am.
The more I connect with this deeper, wiser part of me, the less I suffer from the hungry ghost syndrome.
It starts with honoring your deeper truth and values. How do you really want to be spending your time? Making choices that are aligned with your values will help you to feel like you are enough, even if you’re not doing enough.
When I’m struggling with not getting everything done, I’ll say to myself; “Ok, I’m going to get less done with my business this week because I value time with the kids and I made a commitment to work part-time while growing a $1 million company. I honor my values and my commitment. I give myself permission to do less.”
Giving myself permission to do less has helped me stay grounded in my truth and my inherent worthiness. It’s also helped to practice a heck of a lot of self-compassion, patience, trust and surrender (not to mention visualization…I’ll get to that in the next blog!)
Sometimes, I still feel a bit sad that I didn’t get everything done at work. Or that I’m not playing outside with my kids on a sunny day. But overall, I know I’m being true to who I am. And that, more than anything else, is what helps me feel like I am enough.
When you’re connected to that deeper part of you that knows you are enough, it’s easier to do less.
There are lots of tools and strategies to help you connect with this deeper, wiser part of you.
Today, I invite you to connect with your wiser self by closing your eyes, taking 2-3 deep breaths, placing your hands on your heart and then gently asking this simple question; “Hmmm, if my soul could speak to me about how I’m feeling right now, what would it say?”
Receive the advice your deeper, wiser self offers you.
After you ask yourself this question, we’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.
Let us know, if your soul could speak to you about your current situation, what would it say?
May you hear the whispers of your soul, the longings of your heart, and have the courage to follow them on your true path,
Photo Credit: Narain Jashanmal