Conditions of Enoughness
Con·di·tion [kuhn-dish-uhn] noun: a state of being.
Enoughness [ih-nuhf-ness] adjective: sufficient to satisfy a factually stated desire; a satisfactory amount.
What is enough? What a tantalizing question. Can you feel it in your body, maybe around your belly button or your heart? The draw of inquiring: what is enough for me?
“For me” is a crucial addition. Because, of course, there is no one or final answer to the question, “What is enough?” but rather an ongoing relationship between you and your desires. It is in the asking of what will satisfy you, and then the declaring, “This will be enough,” that you experience satisfaction.
And when you don’t ask and don’t declare? There lies the aching void and often the lost agency to build the life, and the world, you want.
It is also about learning to train the Hounds of More, More, More who bay:
“Improve yourself! Make more money! Be more awesome! Rise to the top! More, more, mooooooooorrrrreeeee!”
The Hounds of More yip at you until you become a woman who completely forgets it is up to her, and only her, to declare what is enough.
The hounds also love to mess with your routine, yammering:
“Meditate first thing in the morning! No, I meant start with yoga! No, you should go to the gym! But it’s summer so walk in nature! No, I meant writing, working on your side gig/sketching!”
Notice how the Hounds of More use a lot of !!! points? They are always on the search for perfect. They are never interested in enough. Their baying is exhausting and distracting and, quite frankly, boring because it keeps us from diving deeply into anything. The Hounds keep you from taking action.
Conditions of Enoughness quiet the Hounds and sustain you in consistent, mindful action.
In a nutshell, COE’s are using four simple steps to create a boundary or container around anything in your life (and I mean anything – parenting, finding a partner, writing a book, doing the yard work) that you want to shape and build.
The four steps are:
1. Name what is enough in simple facts.
What you will actually do next. Measurable. Factual as in no aspirations. “I will write new material on my project. I will start and finish an exercise video. I will write one section of my Match.com profile.”
2. Include a time element.
For how long…
Name a boundary around your efforts so you know when you are finished. Not the big finish, each step. I will write new material for 30 minutes. I will do a complete exercise video before the kids come home. I will write one section of my Match.com profile by Satruday at 3 pm.
3. Ensure they’re dependent on ONLY YOU on an AVERAGE day. Not a superhuman day.
The quickest way to experience enoughness? Stop making an aspirational to-do list that you could never complete. Stop expecting a day in which you are someone you aren’t. Start planning for average – a day in which you have to take the car in because it’s making that funny noise again, a day in which you have a bad headache, a day in which you get brain fuzzed at 3 pm: a day of reality.
4. Declare you did you what you did when your conditions are met—even if you don’t feel satisfied.
Everybody likes to skip this step. They feel stupid, especially saying it out loud (super powerful) “Good on me, I did what I said I would do.” But this is where you stop to notice, and very briefly celebrate, which means you are creating new positive associations in your brain, associations where enoughness is experienced rather than just imagined. Research shows this is incredibly important for your success. So don’t skip it.
A COUPLE OF FINAL THOUGHTS
Use COE’s in areas of your life where you feel less than or overwhelmed.
Use them to break down a big project or to get unstuck.
Do not use them as a to-do list, it’s overkill and can become oppressive.
The overall idea: clarity. Doability. Living your human scaled life now.