What is Enough?

I would love to live

Like a river flows,

Carried by the surprise

Of its own unfolding. John O’Donohue

I’m a master at completing to-do lists and accomplishing short and long term goals. Goals, with various difficulties, have pulled me forward in life giving my life purpose and meaning. I know how to maneuver down life’s river over rugged rocks and through impossible obstacles. What I haven’t seemed to learn is how to relax and let the river carry me. Grief and transitions have a way of dragging you through the river bed until you learn to let go, or continue getting your knees skinned-sometimes even shredded.

I have been mentally and emotionally exhausted the last six months.  Although I have struggled with anxiety, ADD and other learning disabilities my entire life, I remain a neophyte at determining when to exhale and surrender. I have used goal mastering as a means to focus and calm my racing thoughts and heart, like trying to quiet an internal bumble bee that has decided to take flight for reasons only it knows.

One of the most cited reasons for anxiety is negative thinking. Ple-e-e-e-se!! I have spent years studying positive thinking, changing my thoughts and having an attitude of gratitude. I have a great life. Still, anxiety persists. Usually this anxiety feels like the gentle wings of a butterfly ever fluttering about my insides, kissing me gently with the softness of its wings. Other times the bumble-bee is rapidly beating its strong, tough wings against me causing a ferocious reaction that makes breathing difficult. In this instance, I have to wait out its insane flight pattern. During these phases, time, trusted friends and meditation sustain me.

Growing up Catholic, I was taught that we each have a guardian angel. Well here’s a secret, I have always had a book angel. She uncannily directs me to the precise book that I need in my darkest hours. This time−while struggling with several personal issues during the past six months—my angel directed me to the beautifully written book by Wayne Muller, a minister, therapist, and bestselling author who superbly addresses this topic in A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough.

When I started my blog a year ago, I never dreamt the arduous learning curve involved. For example, if I wanted my blog to be noticed, I would have to learn Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Every day I am barraged with how-to-ideas, how-to-utilize these forms of communication, and what I should do to maximize their resources—all the while my insides scream for some time out. At this point in my life I want to worship at an altar of peace of mind instead of bowing to the tyranny of social media—regardless of how important and forward thinking it may be.

Muller, says that every day we face a hundred tiny choice points. For example, do we tend to this person who needs us or that situation we have been putting off? Do we go to the gym or sleep late, eat lunch or squeeze in another appointment? Choice points! But if we have been pushing the river instead of flowing with it, we miss our innate intuition, that tiny voice or spark of the divine that gently directs our making of the next right choice.

“Each choice we make that feels reliable and true produces a sense of being and having enough in this moment. A life made of such moments, strung together as pearls on a necklace, can become—as surely as gravity guides a stream to the sea—a surprisingly elegant and beautiful journey of deep contentment and sufficiency.” Wayne Muller

I’ve been aware of the principle of mindfulness and making the next right choice for years, but I forget and lose sight of spontaneity and grace. I am grateful for my book angel who reminds me once again of what is enough by gently guiding me through Muller’s  timely book. Through making moment by moment discerning choices I will intuitively know when and what is enough. Enough is synonymous with receiving my daily bread. When I slow down and practice mindfulness, I have an abundance of time, energy and all manner of assistance from friends, intuition and above all, the spark of the eternal. All I need do is exhale and let the river carry me so I may live as a river flows. Sounds so easy doesn’t it?









Be Sociable, Share!


  1. This is a refreshing and lovely post, Dawn, reminding us that we each have unique challenges on finding our inner peace, and we each have our own way to find it. Thank you for the recommendation of a new book that can help us all with these tender bits of human response to whatever makes us anxious, human, and vulnerable. We are all in this together, flowing down the river of life, sometimes falling out of the boat, sometimes holding on as we rush through rapids. But here we are! Thank you for your deep and wise thoughts.

  2. HI Linda Joy,

    You are so right about holding on and/or falling out of the boat. I have just fallen head first back into the boat and am resting for awhile. Thanks for your support. Dawn

  3. Helen Lowery says:

    My dear friend Dawn, We started our journey together over four years ago. You have grown from acquaintance to sister. We have the same parent, Spirit. Like you the last six months have been some of the most trying of my life, and each time I have reached out to you for comfort, you have been there for me. I too equate life like a river, and long with a friend of mine last July we decided that we were not going to make too many plans nor too many lists. We decided we would wake up each day, and decide that day what we were going to do. Each day I am busy, and I have chosen first of all every day to seek Spirit. This has given my life true purpose and I find meaning every day in giving love to whatever comes my way. Like you, I am wanting to be a duck on the water, just floating and no longer dictating where I will go. I will go where Spirit takes me. Just writing this increases my anxiety, like the anxiety of which you speak, but I know it is time to totally give my life to God, and all things Spirit. Thank you again for being with me through my ends and outs, through my fits and my starts, through my crazy and sane. You are a good friend, and your blogs have been a source of spiritual food for me these last few months. I am sorry I have not said this enough. Love and peace, Helen

    • Dear Helen,

      Wow! Four years of writing, learning, sharing, tears, laughter and friendship. During these last six months we’ve both faced loss, sadness and a multitude of loose ends to be neatly (hopefully) tied up and let go. The amount of energy it takes to close down the remains of one’s life is astonishing. I tip my hat to both of us. God bless you as you proceed with your spiritual journey. I too would be unable to proceed without my “daily bread”.

      Blessings, Dawn

  4. Dawn,

    Thank you again for showing us, in words, a way to interpret life as you have discovered and how it may help us to cope with the incessant current in which we are immersed.


    • Hi Ron,

      Sorry it took so long to respond to your comment, I was out of town and forgot to bring my website password. I wish everyone had a comforting place to rest into/upon when worn out with life’s unpredictable currents. It seems that I am only able to gleen strenght and wisdom from these rough currents. However, I still wish I didn’t have to bang up my knees so badly along the way.LOL

      Warmly, dawn

  5. When we attempt to steer ourselves down life’s river, we hit those rocks, get stuck in the sandbars and put ourselves in the roughest part of the rapids. When we allow God to steer us, He maneuvers us around the rocks, misses the sandbars, and rides us down the smoothest parts of the rapids.

    • Hi Teresa,

      Wouldn’t it be great if we could remember this at all times? No worries, no fears, no conflicts, no wars. A wonderful thing to strive for, “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”

      Thanks for commenting.

      Warmly, dawn

  6. My daughter tells me only dead fish float downstream, and that is true. I like to float with the stream and some say that makes me passive, submissive and what do I get out of that? Go with the flow yes and pick the people you want to float with, they can be mind altering. Since I am giving up arguing I will agree that I am enough, I do enough and I love enough. I agree that positive thinking saves the day. Hope you are loving yourself today. Peace of mind oh where can you be. I looked for it up in a tree yesterday and got pitch all over my arms.
    Nail polish got it off. Love you.

  7. AMEN. Thank you for your words of wisdom, hope and honesty even though, even though, even though….. God Bless/Angel’s Peace.

Speak Your Mind


Sparkles Won’t Bring Back Her Laugh
Too much “backstory” in Memoir?