What if everything you’re doing in your life right now were enough? What if right now, there was no need to strive for doing more or being better. What if you could truly feel, just like you are, right here, right now, you are enough?
You may recognise these lines from a popular Daft Punk song “Harder Better Faster Stronger”. There are times when I feel these words are the centre of gravity that I constantly get pulled towards.
It is an endless chase towards some state that is different from the current one. Whether that is wanting to run faster, to run longer distances. Meditate more, listen to more mindfulness podcasts to keep learning. Learning new things at work, changing jobs to evolve. Starting a new hobby, getting up earlier, doing more sports. Getting better at this, making progress at that…
Do you also sometimes feel like you are checking things off the list, while the list seems to be getting longer and longer? Maybe you want to be better at your job, be a better parent, get more exercise, eat better, travel more…Maybe you feel you need to use your free time optimally, making sure you don’t waste it, making sure you are being productive. Always with a soft whisper of you can do more in the back. Always with a subtle sensation of not enough as it is. As you are.
Letting go of the need for things to be different
Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoy partaking in and exploring lots of different activities. I love learning, surpassing myself, I enjoy dedication and reaching my goals. It is a natural human desire to want to learn, to grow, to evolve… And I am by no means suggesting that we get rid of that drive, that passion, that impulsion that we have to move ahead.
Yet, what happens when the voice keeps telling you “harder, faster, stronger” all the time?! What are you really chasing?
And what if you stopped? If you just paused…and felt what it is like to be exactly where you are, who you are…in this moment? And sensing that that is actually enough.
The tricky thing I find is that it is so easy to get sucked into this rat race, into the whirl of productivity and improvement. And no wonder, since we are constantly bombarded with messages that suggest we do more in less time. Also, there’s an app for everything, so there’s really no reason we shouldn’t be able to manage, “Meditate to become more productive”. While mindfulness can of course have such positive side effects, e.g. by helping you to focus better or to manage your energy levels etc., it once more suggests that we need to do things differently, need to be different. And if this sensation is constantly present, if it sticks with you in the long run, it can feel quite exhausting, mentally and physically.
Meditation as “an act of love”
So how does meditation fit into all this?
Maybe you can, maybe you want to do more and that is fine. But whether you do or not, it does not change the fact that you are already enough. Let’s keep in mind this distinction, as the lines get blurred too easily.
At this stage I would like to quote Bob Sharples, who in my view, said it perfectly in his book “Meditation – Calming the mind”:
"Don't meditate to fix yourself, to improve yourself, to redeem yourself; rather do it as an act of love, of deep warm friendship to yourself. In this way there is no longer any need for the subtle aggression of self-improvement, for the endless guilt of not doing enough. It offers the possibility of an end to the ceaseless round of trying so hard that wraps so many people's lives up in a knot. Instead there is now meditation as an act of love. How endlessly delightful and encouraging."
I invite you, I invite myself to stop from time to time. There is not necessarily a need to meditate more and certainly not to meditate better. Just taking a breath, right here, right now and sensing that this is enough… It really is.