Last week, I had another of my lovely coffee dates with my two mentors. We decided to try a new cafe and our new selection was LOUD. So through shouts and huh?’s I learned about a wildly enlightening concept: dayenu.
Florence, one of my mentors, is Jewish and as I was telling her about plans for my blog (more on that later), she responded, “Oh, so you’re talking about dayenu?” This is where the “huh?” came in.
Florence continued by saying that dayenu is a Hebrew term that literally translates to “it would be enough.” I’m not Jewish so I’m not going to expand too much, but the translation itself was enough to set my wheels turning.
Dayenu, in a word, encompasses the feeling I have been processing and formulating for the past year. The idea is this: No matter what happens today, it would be enough. If you have beer with a friend, it would be enough. If someone compliments you, it would be enough. If you spend today alone, it would be enough. Whatever it is, it’s enough.
In dayenu, Florence gave me a word, albeit not from my own cultural tradition, to express my inexpressible.
Over the past year, I have been faced with struggle in just about every category: career, friendships, partnerships, spiritual (un)growth. As I’ve mentioned before, this whole blogging project started out of failure. I hit my bottom right before I started writing on here about crafting a life. In fact, this blog was part of a several pronged approach at clawing my way out of depression.
And what I learned through all that failure, through all those conversations with my closest friends was this:
Contentment is never about your circumstances.
We often think, “If I had one more dollar, no more debt, a cuter boyfriend, a nicer house, more friends, [insert your newest desire here]” that we would be happier.
The truth is that happiness and fulfillment are accessible every single moment.
So… you’re saying if I was friendless, homeless, and had just been robbed of my last dollar, happiness is available in that moment?
I’m saying that yes, if you had no friends, no home, and no dollars, happiness would still be available to you.
Whaaaaaaaaat? What is the magic guru trick?
That’s it. Just pay attention to this moment. Notice what you’re experiencing. When you feel yourself slipping into whining, depression, anger, or anxiety — just observe the moment around you. What do you smell, hear, feel? That’s the first step. Incidentally, it’s also the hardest. But for now, get out of your mind and start looking around you. Peace will come.