Can You Be Enough and Still Want More? Celebrating 100 Posts and 2 Years

I have been watching the clock today because I know I am supposed to write a blog post to be published tomorrow. It’s my 100th blog post and tomorrow (December 27th) is the second anniversary of the founding of the blog. You’d think the words would flow like the bubbles from a bottle of champagne, but they haven’t. After publishing my first book this November, I think I am a bit celebrated out. And, I have a work-related project that is occupying my mind.

As I was praying for an idea to come to me, one of my LinkedIn contacts did a post reminding the world in this season of goal setting and resolutions that we are all “enough.” It was a beautiful post with a message I endorse but I immediately thought “Rude! Not helpful.”

As I have written before, I am a self-doubter. On a normal day, I would have liked the post and said something encouraging. But on this day, when things were not going as I had planned, the post made my mind start to churn. “Wait,” it posited, “am I letting myself be enough by struggling to get this post written just because of some arbitrary numbers?” When I couldn’t answer the question immediately, it sensed weakness and roared “Were you letting yourself be enough when you started this blog?”

I bet you’re hoping that I refuted the voice with a bold assertion of my self-worth, but I didn’t. Instead, I did what I’ve learned to do when my mind is noodling away on a problem that seems unsolvable: I did nothing. That is to say, of course, that I meditated.

Over the years, I have learned that it is the best way to take care of myself because it lets the thoughts have space and bounce around until they settle down on their own. This may sound painful; at first it was. But experience has shown that it works. Have you ever had to get a knot out of a necklace? You don’t do it by pulling tighter on the knot. You do it gradually and gently by opening the knot up.

And when I sat with my mind in a jumble, it opened right up. Yes, the uncomfortable thoughts bounced around. Yes, my doubts danced before my eyes. But eventually they drifted away, and I was left with a few moments of clarity. In this lull, came the commonsense notion that being enough and pursuing goals aren’t antithetical at all. In my case, I didn’t start pursuing the goals that mattered just to me until I had realized after years of struggle that I was enough.

Though it takes effort and sometimes causes frustration, this blog isn’t an albatross of work for me. As I have written before, it’s fun, it lets me explore some silly and hilarious ideas, serves as self-care, and has helped me develop a community I never would have had without it. In addition, I didn’t start the blog to prove some point. Instead, I did it to celebrate getting certified to teach meditation and because I know my struggles with anxiety, overthinking and depression aren’t unique.

Beyond this, I don’t think there is anything that declares “I am enough” more than creating work of your own. Like a magician, you get to wave your wand and make something appear in the universe that wasn’t there before. Like a brazen, unruly woman, you get to boldly take up space on the internet and declare your truths to the world. And, like any parent who fiercely loves the beautiful, imperfect child they made, you beam with pride even as you share your story full of missteps, screw ups, fears, and misgivings.  

Of course, I have had to remind myself that “I am enough” by occasionally slowing down. I have republished or repurposed old content for weeks when I felt uninspired. I have learned tricks to create content quickly to just get the job done. I have learned to have faith that an idea would appear when I needed it. I looked to pop culture for inspiration to keep things lively. And, I even took a two-month hiatus from writing new posts when life changes and the creation of my book left no space for extra writing.

To my surprise, getting through those hard weeks didn’t make me feel less than. They inspired confidence and helped me reflect on the vast difference between progress and perfection. They reminded me that I am enough, not because everything comes easy to me, but instead because I don’t give up as soon as things get hard.

As we head into 2023, I hope that you are reflecting on the fact that you are enough. I hope you know that you don’t need to accomplish huge goals or amazing resolutions in the new year to be enough. But when you’ve got being enough down, I hope you celebrate it and share it with the world. I hope you let yourself thrive and take the weird paths your soul asks you to take. That’s what I have done these past two years. I’m so grateful I had enough faith in myself to do it and to all of you for celebrating it with me.

Want to learn more about mindfulness and compassion? Check out my new book, How to Be a Badass Lawyer, which is available on Amazon.

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Abundance Is Something You Can Create

This week is Thanksgiving, so it may not be all that surprising that I have the idea of “abundance” on my mind. As someone who loves to cook (and eat), Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. When I was a kid, Thanksgiving meant cooking all day for my mom’s large family and then eating all night. This is the traditional (and maybe American) view of abundance: having so much that even when you share it with a group you still have too much.

But you know that abundance doesn’t only mean a glut of stuff at one time. There’s another view of abundance that doesn’t get nearly enough attention.  It’s the idea of abundance that is not dependent on the amount of stuff we have at any given moment. Instead, it’s the idea of being abundant ourselves: being enough so that we are willing and able to share. As many of us Americans regularly experience, this kind of abundance is much harder to come by than a perfectly cooked Thanksgiving turkey.

You’ve most likely heard of the term “scarcity mindset” to refer to those times when we can think of ourselves or our lives as if we do not have enough. For lawyers, this mindset is most likely to come up when we start to think about our time. If, like me, you are in private practice, your time is literally your livelihood. When family obligations are added to the mix, it can be difficult to feel like there is any time at all left for growth and prosperity because so much of life is consumed by surviving the grind of work.

To be sure, vacations and time away are essential to managing work as stressful as law practice. But, for me, it’s not necessarily weeks off or trips to exotic locations that have helped me find a sense of abundance in my life. Rather, my life began to feel more abundant, more prosperous and open, when I began consistently devoting small pockets of time to my passions.

I am celebrating these small pockets of time this week because this is the blog’s 50th post. I remember when I launched the blog worrying that my writing wouldn’t be consistent. Somewhat stuck in a scarcity mindset, I worried that things would get too busy. I worried that I’d run out of ideas. I worried that I would decide it was too much work. I worried that nobody would care. In the end, as it turns out, none of these worries born from the idea that my time and I weren’t enough ended up being true.  

My writing was not always consistent but that was not actually a bad thing. Some weekends, I could crank out blog posts for the whole month, so it didn’t matter if I didn’t write for a few weeks. Life was very busy for much of the year. My law practice was hectic and I did a 500-hour yoga teacher training. This life craziness, however, inspired me to write rather than keeping me from it and fortunately some friends pitched in with guest blog posts too. And, while none of my 50 posts have gone viral, the blog has some followers and I still love writing.

Now, at this point, you could say I have written an abundance of blog posts. Indeed, this year I’ve written about the same amount as a short novel. But I didn’t need all the things my mind in its scarcity mode told me that I needed. I didn’t need unlimited time, freedom from all distractions, and a group of fans cheering me on to keep writing. Instead, all I needed was my laptop and some bits of time, when my law practice and kids allowed it, to deposit a few words here and there.

These little bits of time helped me produce a sizeable body of work and remember that I have enough time to live and work and also reflect on it occasionally too. They helped me remember that I can not only produce, but also create. In random, sometimes stolen and rushed, bits of unbillable time sprinkled throughout the year, I found abundance because I learned it was always possible to make something new to share with friends.   

This Thursday, as you celebrate the abundance of the season, remember that the bounty on your table is the product of small acts done consistently over time. Abundance is not just something you can experience, but something you can create. This Thanksgiving, I wish you abundance in your celebrations and that you find it in yourself.

Want to learn more about mindfulness and compassion? Check out my new book, How to Be a Badass Lawyer, which is available on Amazon.