The Seven Stones Blog

Receiving Reverberations Lead to Awe

By Shea Adelson

The reverberations from our community call about Receiving is the New Giving, continues. A friend who joined the call for the first time said how the concept of sufficiency is new to her, and incredibly radical. “What do you mean I am enough already? And that I get to receive freely?!”

Even after so many years of studying and practicing being enough, remembering my sufficiency remains just that, a practice. I still forget how truly unbelievable it can feel at the beginning, how slippery and ethereal, more like a belief than a thing. And I think this beginners’ mind approach offers access to the awe that would actually cause the truth of enoughness to arise, spontaneously and naturally.

Rather than a thing, sufficiency is a living phenomenon. An experience. A mindset. A context, from which to act, not the action itself, not a definition or a diagnosis or a criterion.

Author Oliver Burkeman talks about awe in an interview on thehairpin.com (Nov. 13, 2012) about his book, The Antidote: Happiness for People who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking (2012): “I really like the way the psychologist Paul Pearsall put it — that what we need is more “awe,” an emotion that mixes wonder (the positive) and fear (the negative). The things you [the interviewer] mention, bravery and kindness, are definitely going to lead to more awe if you pursue them seriously.”

I’m beginning to think that to receive the truth of our enoughness – to receive anything – we might have to give up the pursuit of happiness, at least the pursuit that is in current style. I’m going to open up to awe. Will you?

 

2 thoughts on “Receiving Reverberations Lead to Awe

  1. Awe as blend of fear and wonder; that’s interesting. The fear that usually goes with wonder seems to be about something “greater” and more “powerful.” It is a something beyond control and defense. Something that creates and destroys without explanation. Perhaps this kind of awe leads to a sense of sufficiency because there’s nowhere to turn for safety. It is a paradox of sorts: there is nowhere to turn for safety, yet there is some kind of safety. What kind of safety is there? Does it last? What makes it possible? These seem like sensible questions to ask in contemplating sufficiency.

  2. Michael – these are awesome questions. We have come to see that the truth is somewhere inside of the paradox you name and begin to explore … If life is fundamentally mysterious, dangerous and unpredictable, how do we indeed find “safety”? What is safety? Where does it come from? For me, at my current understanding, sufficiency has something to do with being centered and awake to the constant flow of consciousness in and around me. Perhaps the safety resides in that awareness … ?

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