What is Enoughness?

written by Bari Tessler June 2, 2023
What is enoughness?

Dear Money Adventurer,

Sometimes, as we journey deeper into our relationship with money, we find that this work brings up old wounds or emotions that we thought had healed. Like cutting into an onion, new depths are revealed as we peel back the outer layers, and we find ourselves grasping for safety, stability, for enough ground beneath our feet to feel secure.

We seek solace in enoughness, but enoughness isn’t just an external state of having sufficient resources. It’s also a deeply personal, internal experience of safety that anchors you, allowing you to feel safe in your body through the ups and downs of life and money.

At the most basic level, enoughness speaks to our very survival, and the means of survival – having enough food to eat and a safe place to live – come at a cost. We live in a world where money is inextricably connected to our ability to survive.

So we strive to earn and accumulate “enough” to sustain ourselves. Yet even the most secure job can be downsized. Natural disasters and health crises can unexpectedly and dramatically alter your financial landscape. And even folks with a lot of savings, investments or family wealth can still question if it’s enough.

These questions of enoughness have been coming up again in the Art of Money community and it’s always been a thread woven throughout our community discussions and explorations.

As much as each one of us is on our own unique money journey, these themes and questions are universal across cultural and economic barriers and all walks of life.

None of us can control the unfolding of life. Still, we can learn to cultivate a sense of personal safety, nurture internal enoughness, and root ourselves in the security we find there.

We can bring gentle curiosity to this question of enoughness.

We can find practices that help us cultivate internal enoughness on a daily basis. We can bring intentional awareness to appreciate what we do have, to be present here and now, instead of just focusing on what we don’t have or the unmet goals we hold for our future. And in the process, we learn to hold the duality of what is good and meaningful now alongside our hopes and what we are still working on for the future.

Many years ago, I created a collection of daily practices for cultivating internal enoughness. These simple personal exercises are powerful tools that will help you nurture a deeper sense of security and enoughness in your daily life. More than that, they’ll help you discover how to find enoughness even when you don’t feel it.

Around the same time I was building this enoughness support kit, I had the privilege of exploring the personal experience of enoughness with author Geneen Roth. I’ve never shared this interview outside of my year-long Art of Money program before, but as these questions are top of mind for so many in our community, the timing feels right to share this conversation with you today.

Content Warning: Please be aware that while this interview is a candid conversation about our intimate relationships with money, enoughness, and ourselves, relationship with food, as well as disordered eating behaviors, do come up along the way. If today’s teaching is not right for you, please know I see you and always encourage you to honor your needs and well-being first and foremost.

In this candid interview, Geneen shares her own money story about losing her life savings to Bernie Madoff and how it changed her relationship with money – and herself – forever. She tells the full story in her book, Lost and Found.

If you are seeking to bring a deeper sense of security to your money journey, if the question of enoughness resonates with you, I encourage you to do a gentle body check-in and listen in.

You’ll hear:

  • What Geneen learned from her lived experiences with scarcity, abundance, and losing everything more than once.
  • Why Geneen struggled with feeling disconnected from truly receiving (and spending!) the money she earned.
  • How the money beliefs Geneen inherited from her father helped her save even in times of scarcity – and kept her from being present with what she had.
  • Why trying to change “undesirable” behavior keeps you from getting curious about what you believe and why you behave the way you do.
  • How Geenen overcame catastrophic financial loss and found enoughness within.

Tune in for a heartfelt conversation about the challenging money emotions, beliefs, and experiences that create common ground between us despite our differences.

May this money story encourage you to practice being present and appreciating what you have here and now instead of getting caught up in what you don’t have or your goals for the future.

And may you find insight and understanding here that empowers you to cultivate an inner sense of enoughness to ground you through the ebbs and flows and ups and downs of life and money.

This is my wish for you.

P.S. Do you need a private financial therapy session with me? I offer a one-time deep dive session for individuals and couples. You can read all about the details and sign up over here.

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