Spiritual Baby Steps

"Doing" spirituality in the real world

Deprivation 101

I’ve just started reading a book about self-care. The first chapter talks about deprivation. It’s interesting because on one hand, I recognize the abundance in my life and could easily convince myself that I am deprived of nothing… or at least, nothing that is truly necessary for living a complete and happy life. On the other hand, when I was tasked with the exercise of completing the sentence, “I feel deprived of…” the list was longer than you could possibly imagine for someone who just said they have everything they need for a happy life! Wait… is that what I said?

Deprivation is interesting. On some level, it seems to be just a matter of not having what you want. I feel deprived of sleep. I feel deprived of alone time. I feel deprived of time with my girlfriends. I feel deprived of periods of rejuvenation. I feel deprived of regular exercise. I feel deprived of time for daily yoga and meditation. As you can see, I am sooooo deprived! I guess it’s true what they say about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs… once one level is satisfied, you just move on to the next!

As I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about deprivation, the areas where I feel deprived and what I could possibly do about it, one thing has become perfectly clear to me. At some core level, I am fully responsible and completely accountable for every bit of deprivation that I feel. If I am deprived of time, it is about how I use my time. If I feel deprived of sleep, it is that I am not choosing to go to bed at a certain time each night. If I am deprived of regular exercise, I am not choosing to make that activity a priority in my life. Yes… as much as I would like to blame the world for my complete and utter abundance of deprivation… the fact remains that at the end of the day, I believe it is I who am completely and totally responsible for each and every bit of deprivation that I experience.

The other thing that has come to my attention as I’ve been observing this deprivation stuff, is this: I’ve come to realize that the biggest deprivation that I inflict upon myself is that of not being enough. I do not acknowledge and appreciate that I am enough… in any given moment, what I have brought to the table, whether the table is set or not, whether the tablecloth is dirty or clean, is enough! The seeking is not necessary. The proving of oneself is not necessary. The people pleasing and constant drive to be more… not necessary.

I guess on some unconscious level, I’ve always believed that if I accepted myself as “enough,” I would stop trying to be more. I would stop striving to be a better person… to leave a legacy… to make a difference. Here’s what I’m coming to believe now… depriving yourself of being enough takes energy away from being all that you can be. Accept yourself exactly as you are… and make room for abundance to flow! No more energy alloted to needing to be more… do more… have more. All the energy now gets focused on being your best self – whatever that looks like.

Where do you deprive yourself of being enough? How can you find ways to accept what is and turn your energy toward living fully in your current state? Love and laughter to you on this amazing journey!!  ~Rashel

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