Reprint from Rosebud Woman:
Av few days ago, I led an hour-long workshop in the Womxn Space at SummitLA. The topic was Receptivity. I’d like to relate something to you that I’m encountering all around the country: Even in that room of activated, empowered women, there was a deep feeling of not being worthy, of not being enough. Many of these women told me that even though they were simultaneously working, raising children, earning degrees, and trying to keep house and be beautiful… and they still felt they were never enough. They felt in some way that they weren’t worthy.
The idea that you are valuable because of your achievements or productivity is a capitalist imposition on your fundamental worthiness. Don’t buy it. The purpose of life is not to be a tireless engine of production. The purpose of life is life.
If I could wave a magic wand right now, every person on earth would feel their inherent worthiness, and experience themselves as nature—as part of the Earth and its biome. They would see their miraculous body as a growing thing that experiences, interacts with, and co-creates with all the other parts of nature. This includes other people and all the animals, plants and fungi, and the single-celled organisms. It includes rocks, minerals, air, water, and all the ingenious things people create, using other parts of nature—from brick houses to advanced robots—as well as the source of energy that animates it all.
This “not-enoughness” keeps people on the run. Many people wake up anxious, move fast, stuff as much as possible into each day, and fall to bed exhausted. Living like this can mean we’re not even really experiencing the world. Much of the time we’re only receiving minimal sensory impressions, extrapolated from what we already know. This goes for our interactions with people, as well. Often we’re not really seeing another person; we’re just getting abstract, fleeting glimpses largely based on what we already know or expect of them.
Consider what it would feel like to believe that life is for enjoyment. Not for entertainment or amusement, but a sense of well-being and gladness in the midst of doing. Enjoy the work you do, and the service you give. Enjoy your parenting. Doing from enjoyment rather than from an internal dialogue insisting that you are not enough, and somehow need to earn your place on this planet.
When I started to adopt this idea, it showed up as increasing softness toward everything. With Rosebud Woman, for example, I’m working just as much, but the energy behind it is playful and expansive, not grasping. This softness applies to beliefs. too. For example, I enjoy eating vegan. My body feels better, and it’s good for the earth. But when I am in this softness, I don’t act like an ass to others who don’t share my experience or belief; I just enjoy my choice. And if there are places where I don’t enjoy a task (e.g., like cleaning up after the dog), I recognize the larger value (I love the dog). So I do the chore without resentment or hardness, but with the enjoyment of the relationship at the heart of it.
Enoughness is a big shift to make internally, for ourselves and for the planet. If we see ourselves as enough, imagine how many more times we would allow ourselves to say a soft “no” to things that don’t bring joy, but are agreed to out of a sense of obligation. How we see ourselves if often tied to how we see the world. If we are enough, we need less; which means we need to extract less from the pools of resources that we all share.
So breathe in your own worth. Step away from the planner. It’s enough.