Gut reaction to The Enoughness Project, my study in gratitude, receivership and transcendence

I’m going out with some girlfriends tomorrow night. It’s not any place super fancy, but it is in Lincoln Park, which is a place the mommies tend to dress up a little more than they do in my neighborhood. As I sat in the bath last night thinking about what I wanted to wear tomorrow, it occurred to me I might need a floor-length skirt. Yes, that would complete my wardrobe and my girls-night look if I just had a very-now floor-length skirt to wear with the sheer polka-dotted, button-down, tie-front top I plan to wear.

A ha! But, Emily, you made a deal with yourself. No shopping for material things for three months. You are enough. You don’t have to go buy stuff to prove it. Make do with what you have. Get creative. And may I remind you, you are enough.

Without realizing what I was doing, I began pondering the idea of going to Marshall’s tomorrow to look for something appropriate for this one night out with these dear friends who, though decidedly glamorous and aesthetically inspiring, would love me just the same if I met them wearing faded yoga pants and a sweatshirt. After all, that’s what we were all wearing when we met five years ago, just after we’d birthed our newborns and were settling into a state of shock over suspending our careers and plunging into stay-at-home motherhood.

But if only I had the right kind of skirt to wear… Better yet, if only I was a little thinner. Then those really cool jeans hanging in my closet would fit without my having to conceal the side-bulge with a jacket. And, if I were a smaller size, if my stomach washboard, then not only would those jeans fit better, but they would look awesome with that top, no under tank necessary…

Stop! Red light!

I am enough. I am enough. I am ENOUGH, I remind myself. I have everything I need, and most of what I want. Life is good and, know what? Tomorrow night, despite not having the floor-length skirt or the daily-Crossfit-style body I desire, I will look lovely enough. Not because of what I’m wearing or because I’ve lost or gained weight or because my hair and makeup are in place, but because I just am.

Note: This post is part of a series about my experiences in uncovering my own innate enough-ness. For three months, I am abstaining from frivolous material purchases, accepting all blessings that come my way and focusing on gratitude for all that I have. The idea came to me in a meditation-induced haze and it has nothing to do with politics or morality. I’m just a girl who’s hoping to: separate the association between looking good and being good; get comfy with receiving; become a glowingly grateful human being; get acquainted with my own motives for material consumption; grow my understanding of when/why I buy things; and establish new habits that are more aligned with my values. We’ll see how this goes…

5 thoughts on “Gut reaction to The Enoughness Project, my study in gratitude, receivership and transcendence

  1. I like the idea. Have you seen a change in your outlook? I ask, because I have often made sweeping proclamations regarding what I am going to do or not do, and most times (and by that I mean every time) I find that, for me, it dissolves into an exercise in self-control and/or discipline, with no greater meaning gained. The activities become more about the accomplishment than the enlightenment.

    Do you have a trick to finding the meaning in self-control?

    • You bring up such a great question, and one I haven’t considered. I can so see the question of self control vs. lasting change. This could be applied to so many things I’ve approached in my life, too, many with the outcome you mention. If I have a trick, it’s observation without attachment. Like, “oh, look. Isn’t it interesting that I want X right now. I wonder why I’m feeling/doing this.” Sometimes I have an answer, sometimes it takes many slip-ups to uncover my motives. Once I understand what’s driving me, I can consider whether my behavior is in line with who I want to be. And, then make conscious choices accordingly. Over time, I feel like I am able to create new habits/dissolve old ones. Not without trouble along the way because, well, nothing I do is very graceful, but it eventually happens.

      I often say with friends that once I know my own crazy, I can set it free. So far, close observation and heart-centered reflection are the best way I know to release me from my crazy. And prayer. And any other support I feel I need, as in, enlisting the help of resources from pros to friends.

      It’s hard to say how the Enoughness Project will shake out as it’s still so early, but I’m sure hoping for a new outlook on self and stuff. I hope the same success for you in your own awesome endeavors!

  2. Pingback: Enoughness Project series: Ask and ye shall receive (3rd installment) | emily en route

  3. Pingback: Enoughness Project series: Tie me to the bed. I am jonesing for a new duvet cover. Also, beats, not beets. | emily en route

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