Sufficiency: I Am Enough

June 1, 2023

Welcome back to our series about nourishing our whole selves by honoring soul, heart, mind, and body. So far we’ve covered the soul and heart levels to this process over the last several emails, though of course there could be (and surely are) entire books written about each of these spheres.

Today we’ll be talking about… (cue spooky music) …the mind.

This one will be fascinating to explore because of how entrenched in the mind our culture is today. We’ve likely all experienced the sometimes hostile internal dialogue, nasty judgments about oneself and others, loops, and traps of the mind. So– what to do?

Mind training.


Before I get too far into different methods, techniques, and practices for training and developing the mind, I imagine it will be helpful to first share a bit about my own personal history with the mind, systems I’ve engaged with, and some context that I find useful. 


Much of my background in mind training comes from Buddhism, which is essentially a spiritual tradition and discipline based around the mind. My experience of Buddhist wisdom is that it weaves together an understanding of the mind and implements practices that untangle mental knots, allowing us to settle into a calmer space with the mind as a vehicle for personal empowerment.


One of my heroes in this arena of the mind is Krishnamurti, who wrote and spoke about the mind in such a profound way that it influenced many of us, including people like Bruce Lee and Alan Watts. His life’s work spoke to how the mind, when trained with awareness and relieved of its subconscious programming, can be an invaluable asset in personal discovery and empowerment.

Other favorites to mention are Ernest Holmes with his book The Science of Mind, which is more of a spiritual discourse on working with our minds in relationship with Source, and Victor Frankl, whom most of you probably already know is one of my most influential heroes.


So when we talk about mind training, I like to describe it as a way to create the experience of greater empowerment, of moving from victim to participant in our life story. You may have heard me say on a podcast that this path takes us out of the mindset that “life is happening to me” and into “life is happening for me.” This subtle yet profound shift can help us accept whatever is happening in our lives–as uncomfortable as it may be–as an opportunity for growth and personal development. 


With more availability to this expanded perspective that sees challenges, friction, and obstacles as the very catalysts that uncover our gifts, we can actually engage with life as students and utilize everything that comes our way.


Eventually I can move into the next stage of “life is happening with me” and lastly “life is happening as me”, bringing us back to a place of wonder, awe, and curiosity about this incredible experience we find ourselves in.


But why are so many of us living as victims of our life’s events in the first place?  


Without bypassing and ignoring the fact that tragic, horrific things do indeed happen to people, it’s worth noting that ultimately one’s personal beliefs are what either keep them locked in the archetypal victim experience or empower them to use the experience as awakening potential. 


Again, I’ll name Victor Frankl here for one of my all-time favorite quotes, “The last of our human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given circumstances.” To think that that came from a man who experienced unimaginable pain and trauma in concentration camps, losing so many that he loved, makes me feel the realness of it. 


So if we look at personal empowerment, this is very much around our beliefs: what we believe about ourselves, what we believe about other people, and what we believe about life. I’d like to invite you to reflect on the beliefs that you currently hold. Take an honest look at past events when you felt like you were a victim of your life, and even some present circumstances that may make you feel that way. 


Here’s where we can get curious about the personal beliefs that must underlie that victim experience. What must I believe about myself, others, and life in order for this subjective experience to be here? Can I sum this belief, or set of beliefs, up into one belief statement?


If these beliefs are eluding you right now–which is quite possible since they tend to be just behind the threshold of our conscious awareness–maybe try repeating this statement as a starting point and see where it lands: “I love and accept myself fully.”


I imagine many of us would enjoy having that statement ring true in our beings and act as a cornerstone experience and reference for life, but in reality, most of us probably don’t fully acknowledge, accept, or embody that belief. So first and foremost, it’s helpful to just recognize if that lands as true, or not.


If I can love and accept myself fully, then I can come into a place of sufficiency.

Sufficiency, often spoken about by Lynne Twist, is the belief that I am enough, and that my life is enough. My contribution is enough. This doesn’t mean I can’t continue to improve and contribute more, but it’s coming from a place of abundance first and foremost, versus scarcity. 


That itself is a significant shift: to be able to co-create from a place of sufficiency and abundance.


But how do we actually make that internal shift? 


Some well-known contemporary psychologists like Brené Brown, Byron Katie, and Nicole LePera have been offering such great education around this piece, what we can call “the work.”


I appreciate how those three in particular have made this type of self-reflective work so accessible and easy to grasp for the masses, because so many of us are running around with lack-based belief systems fueling our every reaction and decision without much awareness.


Let’s take a look at our internal dialogue for starters, through the practice of listening. When the mind is going around and around on the hamster wheel, the internal dialogue is oftentimes around issues of not being enough. “I’m not enough. I don’t have enough. I don’t look good enough. I’m not doing enough.”

These are programs that we’ve adopted. If we’re putting it into a hierarchy of development, the  majority of a person’s experience of themselves is established in the first five years of life. Because much of this occurs before the language centers in our brains are connected to memory centers, you may find that these programs or belief systems are elusive in a psychotherapy setting. It can be difficult to create a narrative around our subconscious programs when working with a therapist, guide, coach, mentor, or friend.


That’s not to say that working with a therapist isn’t important. I just bring that up to highlight the value of developing your own self-reflection practices, and how they can make your time with your therapist even more fruitful. 


In the next email we’ll talk about the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious aspects of mind to dive deeper into our belief statements, as well as more practices and methods for shifting them, but for now I’ll invite you to take up a journaling practice and a meditation practice. Give yourself some space to listen, reflect, and explore any potentially limiting belief statements fueling negative internal dialogue. 


Begin with really listening to your internal dialogue to investigate any limiting beliefs or negative belief statements around lack or scarcity. How long have those statements been running your thoughts? Do they serve you well? Are you willing to engage in practices that shift them into statements of empowerment?


We will keep this conversation moving in a few weeks’ time, once we’ve had the chance to reflect on our current belief systems. Thank you for being on this ride with me. I get excited about sharing this type of information, because as I see it, this type of inner work offers the chance to experience myself, not from the primary lens of lacking, but from the primary lens of opportunity


What is the opportunity that’s here for us to experience and to offer in this one precious life?

To your health, 

Dr. Dan


Get healthy. Stay present. Help out.

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