I recently heard a talk by a businesswoman, Sage Lavine, in which she describes an Amazonian tribe she has worked with. Within their culture, one of the main roles for the women is to tell the men, whose job it is to hunt and gather resources and food, when to stop. Apparently when faced with Western and first world cultures, they look upon us with perplexity, wondering why no one has been told to stop yet. No one has called a halt to progress. No one has said we already have enough. And that not stopping at enough is tipping us out of balance, out of harmony with the world and its resources.
I can totally relate to this concept of enough and the importance of recognising when we have hit that point. Recently, in recovering from illness, I’ve had the blessing of time away from a computer. In going back to it and beginning to focus again, however, I reached a point where I could just feel the effects it was having on me. I had moved from a state of feeling driven and motivated to a feeling of restlessness, agitation and just feeling slightly off kilter. I was close to finishing a simple admin task, but I made a conscious decision with myself not to push through the feeling, but to stop. There was nothing that couldn’t wait until tomorrow. In that moment, I made a conscious decision to, as much as is realistically possible, only do tasks while they feel good (or at least, not bad!) and that my body knows best. Funnily enough, I’ve heard the same thing from a yoga instructor recently! Knowing I’ve had illness in the past that has been exacerbated by pushing through one too many times, I had to recognise that my body was telling me I’d done enough. It’s time to listen to myself. No harm will come from downing tools.
As a self-professed self-development junkie, I am aware of the paradox that surrounds the personal development and therapy fields. In chasing being a quote-on-quote “better” person, we can often subconsciously be sending ourselves a message that we’re not OK as we are. It is only in stepping out of needing to have and be more, more, more that we can see the futility and damaging effects of having such an end goal in mind. Chasing more “for more’s sake” has no defined end point; it can only lead to a state of dissatisfaction and a feeling of lack. If we want to feel fulfilled, we have to love ourselves first. And we have to find peace with where we are now. We have to realise that what we have, and who we are, is enough, exactly as it is. That’s the sweet spot where the magic happens.
And considering the point I’m making in this post, which is noticeably shorter than my last one, what could be more fitting than to say I’ve made my point, and that’s enough for now?!