My Snub to The New Year
What happens in January is predictable, isn’t it?
We are flooded with messages, offers, marketing, and ads that tell us that the new year is here, and therefore a new you ought to be here, too. It’s a deep-seated belief that because the calendar has flipped to a new year, surely we, too, would flip to a new self.
Admittedly, I’ve gotten caught up in the belief that what I did last year was somehow not enough; that there’s more for me to do, more for me to be, more for me to see and (definitely) more for me to buy. I end up feeling that I need to kick into a higher gear and go faster, get more done and keep up with everyone else who has already passed me and is doing better than me (and everyone is doing a lot better than me).
When I’m in this whirlwind of feeling not enough, I’m limited, and I don’t breathe evenly or fully. Everything feels tight and repressed. My perspective for possibilities narrows. I become cranky and judgy of myself and others. I feel like I can’t catch up or keep up and I’m trapped, doubting, and worrying that what effort I put forth is never enough to get me there. Even writing about this makes my heart beat anxiously.
I say, “no, thanks”
I moved into this January, this new year, feeling strangely empowered. I’m rejecting those pop-culture claims and the messages from outside myself. I decline the view that more is better – a view that renders us units of accumulation and production, rather than human beings wired for connection and community.
What I’m practicing instead is to see what is enough in my life. Ever heard the quote “enough is a decision, not an amount”? – btw, whoever wrote it/said it, thank you!
Lynne Twist, (https://soulofmoney.org) refers to this acknowledgment of enoughness as sufficiency. Twist distinguishes between scarcity and sufficiency as ways of engaging with the world (this is explored deeply in Lynne’s book The Soul of Money, which remains one of my top 10 favourites of all time). Standing in sufficiency offers me a broader vista through which I see my life. It allows me to realize what is available now, and with appreciation. It feels more grounded, steady and deliberate.
Sufficiency has me notice how I am often tempted to act out of impulse and inclined to succumb to external pressures to buy the cute sweater, order the new gadget, or upgrade my subscription; and it has me choose differently….to say, “no thank you, not today”.
Here are a few other things I’ve done this month to stay more in the space of practicing sufficiency and self-guided enoughness:
- I’ve stopped clicking on the links in my feeds that promise solutions to spice up my life (a.k.a. my life is boring and dull), make me better (a.k.a. I should be dissatisfied with who I am now), be more successful (a.k.a. I’m not making as much money as everybody else), and finally get the body I’ve always wanted (a.k.a. I should be ashamed of how I look, and never admit that I like bread)
- I’ve become more discerning about messages that promote listening to the outer world over the inner self
- I’m unsubscribing from email lists that foster these ‘not enough’ messages
- I’m unfollowing ‘influencers’ who promote themselves using tactics that are meant to provoke guilt, shame, comparison or fear
- I’m favouring and following the messages and people who inspire our humanity, kindness, and peace toward self and others
- I pay attention to when I’m overdoing, overburdening and overriding myself
- I notice what I have and who I am, and I give blessings of appreciation and gratitude
We have innate wisdom about what’s right for us, about what is enough. When we connect regularly to the question ‘what do I care about?’ and listen to the answer, the wisdom guides us to commit and act out of what is meaningful and resonant.
With a clear intention to be in appreciation of what is, a journey to decide and declare day-to-day what is enough, I’m starting off 2022 with a greater sense of connection and inner peace. Yep, this feels different….in a good way.
I invite you to join me.
“When we create a conversation focused on the bounty of our lives, then our fear subsides.”
~ Lynne Twist
Umm…what does that mean?
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