Book Club: A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough- Part 1 & Part 2
Part One and Part Two Thoughts
At the beginning of the book Wayne quotes a poem from the great poet, David Whyte. Upon first glimpse it seems simple but the more I read the poem, the more it settled into the areas of resistance in my life. “This opening to the life we have refused...again and again...until now.”
David’s words prime our hearts, leading us to deeper thoughts, deeper questions, and a honest look within. What life have you been refusing? In what areas do you feel like you or life just isn’t enough? How would life be different if you sank into the reality and or a new understanding of what “enough” really is in your world?
Wayne made the case that knowing and feeling the fullness of enough has to start within the body. That enough is not a static moment in time, it is a choice we have to make time and time again because like life, everything changes. Therefore, our measure of enough will most likely change as we change, as life changes. He goes on to ask a life long question many spiritual leaders have asked for years, “What if you already have what you seek?” I hope that was a question that stopped you and made you ponder what it is you really want in life. I hope that it also opened your eyes, as it did for me, that so much of what I really want in life...I already have in imperfect fullness.
There is a section in Deadly Sins and American Values where Wayne asks a series of introspective questions, getting to the root of what kind of life do we really want to be living. Then contrasts our answer with the type of life we actually are living now. How often and how easy is it to say yes to things that don’t fill our souls but yet drain us. It is no wonder we as a culture increasingly feel drained and not satisfied, our attention is spread thin and we are not setting up our days or lives to seek the natural order of joy innately embedded into some of the simplicities of life. He called this “empty substitutes for authentic needs.” Naturally when those needs aren't met we strive harder, we go faster, we hustle, we become busier with things that do not give life back to our souls.
So how do we get to a life of enough? Wayne points us to evaluate our day to day choices. That within these seemingly small little moments we have the power to transform our time, our attention, or energy, and our inner life...if we are choosing in a way that is based out of love not just efficiency.
“We overload our expectations on ourselves and others, inflate our real and imaginary responsibilities, until our fierce and tender human hearts finally collapse under the relentless pressure of impossible demands. No living organism can sustain this kind of violent overwork before it breaks or dies...Why then are we so reluctant to ever stop, be still, or allow our work to feel sufficient for this day?” (pg 5)
“How do we reclaim a life of deep sufficiency? We begin with ourselves. The world around us will be unrelenting, saturating us with a multitude of offers of peace, contentment, and well being through this or that purchase, event, affiliation, or experience. But our most reliable experience of enough begins within our own visceral experience...it is a sufficiency tasted first through intimate conversation between our own fully incarnated spirit and flesh.” (pg. 6)
“There is no guarantee that we will ever find enough of anything in the same place, or in the same way, twice.” (pg. 7)
“Am I truly able to say that I really love this? Or is it more honest to say that I can handle this?...The more we choose the next right thing based on what we love and less on what we can handle, we are likely to have many sources of sufficiency and nourishment.” (pg. 13)
“Our journey is an adventure in listening for how we find sanctuary and see more clearly what is good, what is whole, what is beautiful and holy, and what is, in the end, this day, this moment...enough.” (pg. 19)
“A life that becomes spacious and full is a life made of moments chosen carefully, decisions that each, one by one, lean into an abiding trust in the power of life, the fecundity of love, and the wholeness of our own heart’s wisdom. Each choice that feels like the only and perfectly next right thing plants a tiny seed of ease and well-being in our day.” (pg. 29)
Questions to think about?
In what ways have you experienced the fullness of enough in your days?
How often do you find yourself overworked and over committed?
How often do you feel satisfied with your days?
How often do you say yes to things that do not fill you with joy?
How often do you say yes to things that drain your energy?
How often do you base your choices off of efficiency? Love?
What do you want to change in your day to day life?
Does the thought of slowing down scare you?
How often do you get time in your day just to enjoy the simplicity around you? The sun setting. Birds singing. The sound of children playing. The passing of clouds. The fragrance of a meal. The warmth of a fire.