Part of what humanity, in my view, is suffering from most deeply is a lack of inner space… Everything is so cluttered. Everything is so noisy. Everything is so now. Everything is so rushed. -Mooji-
I like to have a resolution when I start the new year. This year, it turned out to be more of a theme than a resolution. My instincts led me to prioritize the idea of enough. Ten months later, I’m still reflecting on the different connotations of that one word. Having enough. Doing enough. Being enough. Also, as in the state of being fed up: “That’s enough!”
Anyone who reads my blog posts knows how preoccupied I am with this. How many times have I mentioned that we tend to buy much more than what we need?
If we consider Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, our consumerism would be justified for the basic, bottom-level needs, especially for shelter, clothing and food. Except that we do tend to go over the top in those areas and we create a lot of waste in the process.
I find it interesting to look at all the levels in this model and note where we might be trying to fulfill emotional needs with consumer goods. Are we buying things for others to ensure love and belonging for ourselves? Are we buying status symbol goods to boost our self-esteem? If we discover that it is so, shouldn’t we be using our actions and words instead of our wallets? To achieve authentic confidence and connection? Wouldn’t this type of process would lead us more directly to self-actualization?
Like many people I know, I fall into the trap of trying to do too much. I just get so stimulated by things that I want to experience and projects that I want to take on! We have access to so much information and it makes us want to spur into action. Which can be perilous for our peace of mind, as I pointed out in a previous article.
At this point in my life, early retirement, I feel lucky to have the time to take care of myself and enjoy all sorts of activities. The duties of working outside the home, raising children, taking care of elderly parents—all of which I willingly took on—are behind me now. But at the time, it was a real balancing act. I learned that setting boundaries, taking time for self-care and injecting fun wherever we can along the way helps immensely.
Wouldn’t it be great to feel like we were enough? That we didn’t have to accomplish so much to feel good about ourselves? Is it because growing up, we lacked some of the steps in Maslow’s model? Like love, belonging and self-esteem? Or that even with a fair amount of these, social pressure is so strong that we often feel unworthy? I’d be curious to hear your views on the subject. Your comments make me feel connected and help me to broaden my perspective.
A lot of us are feeling overwhelmed these days. I find it helpful to reflect on what, exactly, is making us feel that way. Are we doing too much, feeling short on time? If so, what do we need to let go of?
Are we spending too much time on the Internet?
Is there any way we could reduce our workload? By downsizing, getting out of debt and spending less?
Are we doing things for others that they should be doing for themselves?
Are young children making us feel overwhelmed? It’s okay to set boundaries and to let them occupy themselves when we need some space. (See more here)
Meditation or time spent out in nature is a great remedy when we’re feeling overwhelmed, but only if we’re not racing against the clock to do so. First, we need to unclutter our schedules. Only we can decide how and what to prioritize. Enough is enough!