Friday, January 13, 2012

31 Writers, 31 Lessons-Lesson 13: Enough is Enough

All the way from England, I received a tweet that went something like this: "Oh darn, someone has already written my story." It turns out Fiona also married a monk! Her husband, an English native, took robes for some time and then hung them up after meeting lovely Fiona. I've really enjoyed my on-line exchanges with her. Here she is to talk about what it means to "have enough." Please welcome Fiona Robyn:

For most of my life, I've expected that one day I'll get more clients/write a best-selling novel/win the lottery. This current state of having just-enough-money has always felt temporary.

Towards the end of 2011, I had a thought. I was 37 already. I might not ever be any richer than this.

Around the same time we were helping our Buddhist Sangha out with ten days of continuous chanting, which they do once a year to celebrate the Buddha’s birthday. Everyone had a very different experience of their time chanting. My experience included a lot of worrying. Was Sumaya going to get any rest? Had Kaspa eaten enough? There need to be at least four people chanting at any time - would anyone else come into the shrine room and relieve me so I could go and get a cup of tea?

I noticed these thoughts, and then I noticed what happened next. Somebody usually did turn up when I wanted a cup of tea (sooner or later). Sumaya had gone to have a nap at the back of the room. We were close to the wire, but we had just enough.

It got me thinking about the word 'enough'. Is enough enough?

A word I've come across a lot during the years is 'abundance'. Self-help books encourage us to welcome abundance into our lives. If we think abundant thoughts then abundance will automatically grace us.

The dictionary tells me that abundance is, ‘an extremely plentiful or oversufficient quantity or supply’. In these difficult financial times, is it realistic to expect abundance? Do we really need an 'oversufficient quantity'?

I'm coming to feel pretty fond of the word 'enough'. Enough is saving the washing up water and putting it on the roses. It's appreciating every melting moment of a square of bitter chocolate. It's chanting for an extra half hour, even though you're dying for a cup of tea. It's having a terrible morning and then noticing beautiful red berries on a walk to the post-box. Those red berries!

Enough feels more realistic than endless abundance. Enough is satisfying. Enough is not-always-what-I'd-prefer and just-what-I-need. I'm coming to trust in it.

Maybe the money I make now is as much as I'll ever make. That's OK.

Enough is.... enough.

Fiona Robyn co-founded Writing Our Way Home with her husband Kaspalita, and is passionate about helping people connect to the world through writing. Practice finding your own red berries and join us in our River of Stones Mindful Writing challenge during January. Fiona lives in Malvern in Worcestershire, England with her husband.


  1. I'm following Fiona and Kaspa on the River of Stones project, and am having a lovely time. I like your word of the year, Fiona. To realize having 'Enough' is to be mindful and to be grateful. Having enough is good.

  2. In a world as possession-oriented as ours, it is wonderful, and refreshing, to find someone else who believes in "enough."

  3. After reading this lovely post by Fiona, I am appreciating all the 'enough' that I have: lovely garden, beautiful family and friends, a job.....and this wonderful blog where I get to share space with so many inspiring writers! What a GIFT!

  4. Enough, honesty toward authentic life. Good thoughts taken from your own life experiences. I can easily wrap my mind around your words, an incorporate possibility into my own life, and share with others.

    Thank you, for taking time share.

    I believe my journey is, for the most part, in my own hands.

  5. Thank you all for your comments and for reading. And to Katherine for her kind hosting!