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I’m 40 now and my ongoing worries about creating wealth have been decisively replaced. I’ve chosen to stop worrying, no matter the status of my bank accounts, investments, credit cards and debts. I’m experimenting with affirming throughout each day, “I have what I need now.” What I enjoy about this statement is its ambiguity. Do I mean that after all these years things are arranged such that I finally have what I need? Do I mean that in this now moment I have what I need? Am I speaking only of essentials? Am I speaking of accomplishing my dreams?
My focus is on creating human flourishing, which happens in The Now. Today. It does not happen in the future. The future lives in our imaginations, and never arrives. Paradoxically, people say, “The future is here,” and they are right. The future is here. The past is here, too. It lives on through us every day in our past-informed choices, in our artifacts, but it isn’t The Now. The future lives here through our future-inspired choices, but it isn’t The Now. Our flourishing is a present-moment phenomenon. It happens in The Now. It is human flourishing. Not human flourished, not human will flourish. The Now is where flourishing exists. And so I live in the experience of “I have what I need now.”
In the presence of this simple truism, what fades away are the desires for new unnecessary things. In the time of The Great Turning, the time when we are shifting from an Industrial Growth Society to a life-sustaining civilization, we humans get to evaluate what is necessary for the flourishing of our species. The purple Zachary boots at the John Fluevog store are something I admire and love to look at, and would have once uncontrollably lusted over…“I must have those!” I have stood hundreds of times (no exaggeration — the store is two blocks from my home and I have been shopping with the company since 1999) in front of the Fluevog store windows seeing what is new, what would go great in my collection, identifying the next pair that I must have. The result is dozens of fabulous heels, boots, and flats in my closet. In every sense that’s a lot of resources represented in my footwear, excessively more than is necessary for one person. They tell the story of years of a person silently saying, “Love me. Accept me. I want to belong. I want to be enough.” They tell the story of feeding a hungry ghost who is never satiated. Over the years the deep hunger for More has slowly disintegrated. It still lingers, for sure — the forces of marketing behavioral nudges are mighty. Even in the face of that however, daily that hunger is being replaced with a joyous appreciation for all the beauty and True Wealth I have — self-love and confidence that I am enough, romantic love, the love of family, health, nourishing food, clean water, comfortable safe shelter, and tools to express myself. This is wealthy living. Off the treadmill of addictive consumption, living in The Now, I am very very rich.
I no longer have the insatiable, “Oooh, I’ve got to have those” desire for new shoes, new clothes, new handbags and accessories, although I do love me a good vintage shop, and I haven’t bought my last pair of Fluevogs. Through presence, gratitude, and love, this formerly shopping-addicted fashionista is satisfied. I hold a 1950’s Italian sequin cardigan that my mom bought for a handful of dollars for me in mint condition at an estate sale, and think, “This is a gift.” In every sense, it is. In the moment, I experience joy and love for what I have right now. When we do that, desire disappears. The wool threads of the sweater are now 70 years old and when I pull the sweater on, my tugging on the sleeve breaks the seam. This has happened numerous times. I stitch the holes shut with new thread, bringing the sequins back together again. I love this sweater. “I have what I need now.”
In my forthcoming book FELLOW: Essays on Mass Human Flourishing, I put forward a new model for flourishing. Learn about The 7 Ingredients for a Life of Human Flourishing here.
Thank you for your time and attention. If you like my perspectives on Human Flourishing, please follow me on Twitter @rosievonlila.
 Macy, Joanna. “The Great Turning.” Center for Ecoliteracy, 29 June 2009, https://www.ecoliteracy.org/article/great-turning.