Vicki Robin

What is enough? Part 1 of … many

In Uncategorized on September 1, 2009 at 11:04 AM

In the new Your Money or Your Life based teleclass, Discover Your Enough Point we’ll ask, “How much is enough of anything? How do we know we are there? What happens after you recognize you have enough?” This may seem like a mere personal lifestyle class (and of course it is) but it’s more. Get it… more :-).  We even need such a course because our culture, economy and worldview is rooted in more-is-better-and-it’s-never-enough. Many are now feeling a new hunger. A hunger for balance. For space. For time. For Clarity and integrity and ease. Too-muchness is too easy to get, while enoughness is elusive.  I’m here to tell you, it’s not just your own darn  fault you’re in the quicksand of too much. There are background forcesthat encourage it.

Because of growing personal, government and business debt the economy has to grow to pay it back. This means we have to grow jobs, grow the GDP, grow consumption… all of which create pressure on you and me to work hard to consume more even if we go into debt so we will have to work harder and longer. As long as we always want more – and our desires are stoked by everything from advertising to envy to big box stores laden with goodies – the whole financial, economic and monetary system can endure. Right now there’s a crisis of consumer confidence and a slowdown of consumer spending and we’re being told this is what’s keeping us in recession. We are on a work and spend treadmill that does not serve us well … but serves the economy.

We have absorbed this logic of growth so deeply that we evaluate ourselves by whether we are growing (money, importance, stuff, friends, awards) –  or in some cases shrinking (weight). To resist in your own life this more-ness is to “deprive yourself”, to “be a throwback’, to “lose status”, to be a “spoil sport, a prune faced tightwad, a party pooper, a …”.

The only resource we needed to regulate ourselves for our own survival was food. We needed to hunt when we were hungry and digest and conserve energy when we were full. So we were given an appestat,  a region of the brain that tells us when we’ve had enough. It takes about 20 minutes for the message of fullness to get from the stomach to the brain, at which point hunger is gone and we naturally stop.

Wouldn’t it be great if we had appestats for everything? A work appestat. A rest appestat (i think that one has been over-ridden by computer screens and fluorescent lighting), a stuff appestat, a number of reasonable appointments in the day appestat, an impressing others with how cool or important or rich or funny we are appestat?

So learning to notice your enough point is important cultural reprogramming (imagine if everyone stopped when they were full in every realm of life! would comedians have any material?) of self and others.

There’s another reason for discovering your enough point, but this is enough for one post :-).

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