Written by MJ Ryan, SheEO Development Guide
“Sufficiency….isn’t a measure of barely enough or more than enough. Sufficiency isn’t an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough, and that we are enough.”
― Brene Brown
This month at SheEO, we’re focusing on the concept of abundance, or sufficiency, as Brene Brown calls it. It feels like such an important mindset right now, as we face the tremendous hurdles of racial and social injustice. It’s a paradox, as it says on the SheEO website: the challenges we face as a species grow ever more complex and daunting AND we have everything we need to respond to them in creating a just, equitable, and beautiful world. To build that world, we must believe we have enough for all. To launch us off on an exploration of that idea, here is the essay Denise Hearn wrote on the topic:
“When the market crashed in 2008, we found $17 trillion in three weeks to bail out the banks. That’s equivalent to 600 years on the planet without hunger. We have more than enough money. It’s how we allocate it that is the problem.
“We live on an abundant planet, rich with life and possibility. And while global inequality is falling, within developed countries it is rising. Hoarding is a sign of a sick and diseased society — one that does not understand that when some suffer, all suffer. It is a sign of a scarcity mentality, which pushes us to always want more and never be satisfied with what we have in this present moment.
“Abundance, or sufficiency, is the opposite. It does not mean living in excess, but means believing in the power of `we have all that we need’ — perhaps not alone, but in community. Lynne Twist describes sufficiency as: `a state of mind in which our experience of who we are, what we have, and our full wealth of inner resources deepens, expands and flourishes. In the context of sufficiency we reconnect with our inner resources—creativity, collaboration, commitment, courage. When we bring these resources to our relationship with money, we generate authentic prosperity for ourselves and others.’
“Having an abundance mindset does not mean ignoring suffering in the world — in fact, it gives us strength to enter suffering (both our own and that of others), knowing that collectively we can provide and receive the support we need to make it through.
“When people ask us, `what if one of the Ventures fails and does not repay their loan’ (a classic old-world investor risk paradigm), we say `then it is a failure of our community to step up and support this business in thriving.’
“Knowing you have everything you need, right now, in this moment, within yourself and within this community to continue on your path is a core necessary belief for those in SheEO. We do not act in fear, but in trust and love. This mindset is key to shaping a new economy of the future, in which all humans and the planet thrive together.
“Reflection question: How do I know what is enough? How can I cultivate a life based on sufficiency instead of scarcity? How can I share my resources to help others thrive?”
VIDEO: The Power of Vulnerability — Brene Brown
SITE: The Soul of Money — Lynne Twist
BOOK: A Passion for the Possible — Jean Houston
BOOK: Walk Out Walk On: A Learning Journey into Communities Daring to Live the Future Now — Margaret Wheatley and Deborah Frieze