You’re doing your money work. You’re shedding light on your money story, healing your money shame, and mustering the courage to really look at your numbers.
And then: Wham. Ouch. Brick Wall.
You’re still spending more than you’re earning.
It feels like it’s still not enough.
And, you worry it will never be enough or feel like enough.
What happens now?
Recently, a woman in my Art of Money community asked me exactly this – she had just started an exciting new job and was feeling incredibly deflated to look at her numbers and see that she was still spending more than her new salary.
I know she’s not alone in her inquiry:
How can we lovingly and effectively work with the experience of not enoughness?
Here are some suggestions for practicing enoughness.
I. Get Curious about it… in your Body.
The first place to start is almost always in the body. Body Check In.
What does this “Not Enough” feel like? Where can you feel it? Can you locate the experience of not enough in your body? Ask it what it wants and what it needs. Are there words of wisdom from this place? Can you give it some space to been seen, heard and understood? Sometimes a little body-check-in is all we need.
After you get curious about ‘not enoughness’ in your body…
Get curious about ‘ENOUGHNESS’ in your body.
See if you can feel the difference.
There is a guided body check in at the bottom of this post, in case you missed it.
II. Fill yourself up with Choice.
It may feel like you are out of options, as if there are no choices. It may seem as if this is a black and white issue of Not. Enough. Money. I invite you to pause here, and do a deeper investigation.
I worked with a woman who was making $200,000 as a single woman in San Francisco. But she found herself spending more than she was earning, and beginning to go into debt.
Was this because there was not enough money? Or was this because she needed to add in a big dose of consciousness and choice? The point here is that it may not be about the numbers.
I’ve seen this play out with income levels far lower than this and far higher as well. Before we make assumptions about how much is enough, take a peek at where the money is going.
The woman from San Francisco took some time to really look at where the money was going. From there, she could make empowered choices about which expenses and experiences she wanted to keep, and which ones she wanted to let go of. From this place, she was able to cultivate enoughness in a beautiful way, sculpting her income with choice and clarity.
I recently wrote about the concept of a Money Cleanse, which is a powerful way to spend less with clarity and love. And, I have written on crafting your money map, depending on the life phase you are in and what lifestyle you are going for, and adjusting and tweaking your expense choices to help you live within your income.
How can you fill yourself up with Choice? Choice leads to a sense of freedom, which leads to growing your sense of enoughness from inside.
III. Add in Spiritual Ingredients to Practice & Cultivate Enoughness
I often talk about the three levels, or phases, or your money relationship: there are things to do on a practical level, things to do on an emotional-psychological level, and things to work with on a spiritual level (however you define that).
I like to work with a few of these spiritual ingredients with what I call the “Four T’s”. Bring these in and see how they can grow your sense of enoughness, and move out of lack/not enoughness.
How can you start adding in, or growing, or cultivating trust more in your relationship to life and money? What do you do to grow trust? Is it listening to your body more? Is it doing your version of a meditation practice? Is it doing yoga? For me, it’s hiking it the woods — I go out my door, I go talk to the trees, I go with my questions, I go with my fear or anxiety . . . and I bring it all on my hikes, ask for guidance, and I listen.
What’s your version of stopping all of the practical things and going out there to rest, to rejuvenate, to open up to new possibilities? Does that come from rest, play, prayer for you?
Trust. It’s an ingredient, to be adding in with all of the practical stuff and all the emotional stuff. Let trust in.
Tithing is a concept found in so many religious and spiritual traditions. Tithing is the concept of giving. Traditionally, tithing is 10% of your income that you literally give in some way. And that’s wonderful! There have been years of business where we were giving 10% to organizations. And then there have been other years, where my family was in transition — I just had my son, or we have a medical challenge, switching jobs — any kind of transition — one of those times in our life where our money is not flowing as much, we’re not working as much, we don’t have as many hours to give.
Can we still tithe? Yes! In other ways. Consider Trade, volunteering, or other non-monetary ways of giving yourself. Though it can seem counter-intuitive, putting energy into what you can give to others can be very powerful in cultivating your experience of enoughness.
Please note: Also make sure your GIVING and RECEIVING is flowing. I know these influence each other. Sometimes the more I give, the more I can receive. And, sometimes the more I receive, the more I can give. Check in with this dynamic and see what needs to be adjusted here to make sure both sides are flowing.
A lot of folks also call this Abundance – choose the word that feels best for you. So what does Thriving look and feel like for you? It can happen with making a certain level of income, of course. It’s rarely that simple, however — we can make a lot of money and still experience “not enough”. Sometimes, thriving can mean simply getting in there and better directing the income we have, and sculpting what we have to work with. So maybe I can find my feeling of abundance by actually living within the means of my salary. Thriving can come from knowing what you have and making choices.
For others — what are the smallest things that can make us feel that we’re thriving? And abundant? This is may sound crazy, but when I have a lot of toilet paper in the house, I really feel abundant! Truly! Or when I have a few different facial products — two or three lotions to choose from — big time thriving. : ) Or flowers in my house! Just the act of going to the store – even if I’m choosing the sunflowers, two bouquets for $10 – I sit in my house and I feel abundant.
So ask yourself, what are the simplest things that fill you with abundance? Add those in and give them to yourself.
Gratitude. This is waking up each day or most days or doing this a few times a day — and say “Okay, over here these things are hard – this is my challenging pile. But this over here — this is my gratitude pile.” Name the things in the gratitude pile! People in your life, experiences you’ve had, that new job, the piece of art hanging in your office — big or small, bring special awareness to what you are grateful for.
This is the fourth spiritual practice to add in to help us sit in more enoughness, and move lack to the side.
In closing, “Enoughness” is not a static or simple state of being. Enoughness lives and breathes in you. You can cultivate it through engaging with your numbers, or deepening your spiritual relationship with money or a combination of both.
In this way, we’re asking ourselves to be in the now (staring down the “in the red” financial reports), while also holding a light for change and a different future. How can we hold both of these things side by side?
So, Dear friends:
How is enoughness living in you right now?
And, how CAN enoughness live in you right now?
Really, ask yourself these questions and consider taking them on as what I call “living questions”, ongoing inquiries as you walk through life.
Keep asking, and you WILL receive answers, direction and guidance.