It’s a very American concept that more is always better. However, today I’d like to talk about the idea of enough. I am reminded of the idea of just this much, and no more that I first discovered the classic chinese text the Tao Te Ching. The Tao declares that a knife can only be sharpened to its precise sharpness. If you go beyond that place and continue to hone the knife, the knife itself begins to wear away. In this case, enough is absolutely perfect. No more, and no less. This concept of enough has helped me understand that more isn’t always better. I only need enough, and that has helped me relate to myself with greater compassion.
There is often a deep-seeded fear of scarcity behind that relentless pursuit of perfection. My younger self accepted as much praise, attention, notice, kind words, and recognition whenever and from wherever it was offered because I believed that there would never be enough to go around. If only became the hidden drive. If only I could do more and compete more and win more trophies and ribbons and straight A’s. If only I could do more, I would be more.
You all know how special it is to have Grandma in your life. There are more treats with Grandma,and she’s a lot less strict than Mom. Even though my Grandma didn’t live in the same city as I did growing up, we saw her a lot. She was the first—and best—babysitter my parents called. She came to our performances and recitals, and we spent every major holiday together. My Norwegian Grandma grew up on a farm and married a farmer. She was accustomed to growing and cooking her own food and sewing for her family. In fact, my Grandma was a voracious creator of quilts. She sewed so many different kinds of quilts. Every bed in her house was topped by one of her creations. She gave my sisters and me quilts to mark special occasions.
Henri Cartier-Bresson was a photographer from the early twentieth century. He had no interest in staging or prearranging photographs and pioneered what came to be known as the decisive moment photograph. He became well-known for capturing human interactions with an eye for telling a story. I had my own metaphorical decisive moment when I was brainstorming the overarching theme for this business. I was employed in a job I knew I would leave. I knew that I wanted to start my own business. However, I didn’t know what that would look like. At that time I returned to a cherished book, Women Who Run With the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. After I reread a favorite story, a contemporary take on the myth of the seal woman, I had my own decisive a-ha moment. The seal’s movement into and out of the water and her need for both—along with the restorative properties of the water—inspired my business’ mission to help busy, giving women nourish themselves first.