Lately I’ve had one of those soul searching questions rattling around in my head, “When is enough, enough?” Whenever these types of questions pop up in my life, I always look to the same two sources for the answers. First I turn to nature and quietly pay attention to her many worlds, by observing their interactions with one another. I will sit and watch the behaviours and mannerisms of the birds and the insects. I will listen for whispers of wisdom from the grass, flowers and trees. I will feel the power of the wind, sense the vibrating rhythms of the earth and connect to the expansive radiance of the sun. When I listen to nature for answers, I know there will be no lies. Nature will always reveal itself openly and honestly displaying all life in an elegantly chaotic dance of harmony, respect and balance.
Next I look within, using as much self-awareness and self-honesty as I can hold and ask the same question. At first I must wade my way through reactionary answers like, “it’s never enough”, “not until I’m full”, or “not until I feel safe and comfortable”. I find these types of answers only reflect my insatiable, unaware side and the insanity of repeatedly seeking satisfaction from unsatisfying pursuits. We all suffer from the same madness. It emanates from the inherent primal need for survival and to make sure there is always more than enough. Admittedly I recognize a sense of entitlement within myself that gives me permission to wilfully horde, take, accumulate and stockpile as much as possible from wherever it can be found. This is a common human behaviour which has forged the foundation of a society; self-importantly driven to greedily over consume without any forethought of the outcome, impact or consequences. It has manifested in such appalling ways as the raping of natural resources, genetically modifying nature and extinguishing entire species of life. Continuing along this road will only lead to an even more horrific altering of our natural environment, more dissatisfaction, pain and suffering for humanity and inevitably our own self-extinction. It is critical for us to wake up and make the effort to start paying attention to the consequences of our actions in the pursuit of feeling safe and comfortable. The only solution to this “human condition” is to focus on increasing our self-awareness and the disciplining of ourselves to live with more mindfulness.
I’m not advocating the forming of yet another group intent on saving the planet, what I am in support of however, is for each person to save themselves from their own mindless gluttony by asking and looking for honest answers to the question “When is enough, enough?”
It can be phrased in many countless ways like, “How much food do I actually need to eat in order to live?” “How big a house do I really need to give me shelter and comfort?” “How many clothes do I truly need to stay warm and protected?”
Every part of nature is a member of a huge family sharing and feasting equally in an endless bounty. The flowers don’t try to soak up more sun than their neighbours and the sun doesn’t shine more brightly on one flower over another. The birds only build nests that suit their needs and don’t stockpile materials for future nests. These examples help me to see how my fear of not having enough shows up whenever I’m disconnected from nature’s abundance. This only breeds doubt, mistrust and an insecurity that I will have access to whatever I really need when I need it. By continuing to challenge myself with these questions I have not only developed more self-awareness about my real needs, I have also been able to touch and heal the deeper emotionally driven fear compelling me to acquire more than I really need in order to feel safe and comfortable. I have noticed little changes in my life, like eating less by not overfilling my plate, catching myself before buying something impulsively and a deeper appreciation for all the abundance I already have in my life. I am also discovering creative new uses for things I would normally throw away without a second thought. I have made a conscious shift to live in awareness by being more attentive to what I’m doing in each moment, asking myself why I’m doing it and listening to the answers. This has given me a greater awareness of what drives my impulses, higher levels of self-honesty and most importantly a clearer understanding of how to satisfy my real needs.
Nature is teaching us that there is enough of everything in abundance to support the needs of her entire family including humans. Nature’s ultimate challenge to humans is to sit at her banquet table as an equal member of her family, relinquishing the need to be the greedy relative who gluttonously devours most of the food at the family meal. In sharing my thoughts and concerns, I am aware that this topic goes much deeper and deserves more exploration. My intent is to stir the pot and spark others to start looking for honest answers to “When is enough, enough?” My hope is for each individual to live in a state of self governance, self responsibility and self accountability as we each pursue a more naturally satisfying, enriching and fulfilling life in harmony with all the precious worlds of Grandmother Earth.

May you walk in Beauty
Lou Worldweaver

Author's Bio: 

For more than two decades, Lou “Worldweaver” has been a guide, teacher and mentor, empowering people through counseling, teaching and ceremony, to heal, grow and evolve into their natural potential.

Lou has woven his multifaceted skills and mastery as an accomplished international teacher, human behaviour specialist, counselor, writer, ceremonialist and artist into his work. He became a Sacred Pipe Carrier, Sweat Lodge Dance Chief, Healing Dance Chief and Road-person within the Sweet Medicine Sundance Tradition. Through his skillful leadership, wisdom and profound understanding of human nature he guides and empowers people to live with more awareness and find greater purpose, fulfillment and quality of life.

Lou is co-founder of Sacred Journeys in Drummond, KZN, South Africa, where he and his wife share their passion for providing the tools, knowledge and wisdom for people to heal, free their spirit and pursue their dreams.

As an artist, Lou is notably recognized for his masterfully carved Medicine Pipes and the creation of the African Medicine Wheel Astrology with its beautifully painted images. This is a unique blending of the archetypal wisdom of the African animals and the Shamanic Medicine Wheels. The purpose of this unique form of astrology is to teach humans how to create their life into a beautiful work of art.