Saturday, November 27, 2010

Enough, part three

You know how sometimes you just keep running into the same thing in a bunch of different places and you realize the universe is trying to tell you something? Well, imagine my surprise when I read Marianne Elliott's post this past week titled, "Enough for who?" Here's the part that I can't get out of my head:

"It didn’t matter that everything I am doing added up to a perfect alignment with my values in terms of outcome, what mattered was that the mix lacked my own particular recipe for being joyfully abundantly nourished.

"Even noticing this, my friends, was a revolution.

"If you haven’t known me very long then you may not yet realise that I have spent most of my 38 years throwing myself heart, body and soul into work that I hope will serve others. How many people I can serve? How much suffering I can ease? These have been my measure of enoughness.

"What nourishes me? What tops up my personal energy stores? Those were not questions I would have thought to even ask myself five years ago.

"Five years ago I thought that all that mattered was that I was doing good. If I was serving others, I was getting it right. Then somewhere along the line (somewhere near June 2007) I started to realise that taking care of myself was part of being of service in the world...

"So when I realised that my sense of not-enoughness was actually a sense that I was not getting enough of the nourishment and renewal I need it was with great joy that I embraced the opportunity to make some changes. So here are some of those changes:

"taking more walks on the beach
teaching more face-to-face workshops
booking more speaking gigs (they light me up like a fricken christmas tree, no lie)
giving myself more space to create
more working with others, more collaborations
more time to play with children (have i mentioned how much i love kids? l.o.v.e ‘em)
much more dancing
more slow travel (full immersion, no rushing, plenty of time to soak it all in)

In her post she talks about how she lived with the feeling of "not enough"-ness for a while to see what it would tell her. I've been doing that a bit in the past couple of days and will definitely continue to listen, but here are some things I'm hearing that I could use more of these days:

more time in my body, either through yoga or meditation
less time on the internet
more time with Sun magazine - I have TEN unread issues, people!
more evening tea
more quiet, more space, less speed
more presence in the work I do - slowing down and really being with it

It's interesting. Marianne talks about how her introvert needs are being fulfilled, but not her extravert needs. My list is exactly the opposite. Of course, part of me wonders if that's because she's experiencing spring in New Zealand and I'm here in autumnal North America... Still, it has been a revelation to watch Wayne Muller's talk and hear him say that we can only love so many people well. He writes about that in his book, too, and that's very helpful for me. In my usual workday I interact with probably an average of anywhere between fifty and a hundred people. That's a lot for this introvert. And I get a lot out of it, but not when I hold myself to an unrealistic standard of loving behavior and don't fill my well with quality time alone or with my sweetie.

So, how are you feeling these days? What is your soul calling out for more (or less) of?