Enough is enough.
I woke up this morning with this word reverberating in my minds-eye. I wasn’t quite clear where the message was coming from, but I knew better than to shoo it away. Instead I chose to listen.
Whenever words or phrases like this come up for me, I always start by reverting to the literal definition in order to ascertain more deeply what’s coming through. Sure, I know what the word enough means, but how does it apply to me right now. So, I looked it up. Here’s a refresher, in case you needed one too.
The definition that stood out to me the most today was the first one. As much or as many, referring to a quantity, either in lack or abundance. Enough, equating to sufficient or plenty.
When I think about my life over the past few years, there seems, at times, to not have been enough and then, so much all at the same time. Patience, trust, support, energy, love, forgiveness, etc., all of these values have felt inconsistent throughout my sojourn into motherhood. At times they varied up and down, filling like water bottles at the fountain of life, and other times they felt withered, dried up and depleted and without sustenance.
How can this be? I am so awesomely in-love with my son and our growing family, how can I feel like there is not enough? Honestly, it most often feels like a cloudy muck. At times I’m grasping for my former pre-mom self and other times I’m laughing at that older, outdated version of myself. My teacher Kathryn says “I don’t know what I don’t know” and it’s so true. I’m always striving to do my best with the tools I have. Hindsight, along with intuition, have really become my best friends these days.
Over the past year, I took a big step away from my yoga teaching and in particular, writing and sharing on this blog. In the practical realm, I needed to because my health was suffering from not enough self-care and my personal family and travel schedule was full to the brim. If I’m really being honest—which is what this blog is all about anyway—on a deeper level I convinced myself that I did not have enough to offer as a teacher and stepping back to make way for others was the next step for me. I did not have enough “knowledge/students/charisma/spark/spirit/creativity” to keep teaching. In retrospect, I realize I did not have enough love for myself.
You see, stepping back in to my role as teacher after taking time off to tend to my health and have my son, left me feeling really disconcerted. I felt that the yoga industry and dramatically shifted and I could barely keep up. So much of it seemed fluffy and superfluous. None of it really related to what I was going through. What did stick wasn’t what people wanted to hear about. I didn’t have enough time or energy to keep up. It was an extremely messy time for me. Not only was I dealing with postpartum depression, but I was achingly holding on to the identity I had created for myself as yoga teacher and what that meant for me. So in that, I felt I couldn’t share about my postpartum depression or show any weakness, because yogis know better, right? Well, no, not really, but that’s the narrative I kept digesting. With my new role as mom, those pieces of my identity didn’t really fit together. It felt exactly like what my toddler’s attempt at doing a puzzle looks like. The pieces are there, but the fit isn’t quite right.
From what I understand, a lot of moms feel this way. Notice, I did not say all moms, but a lot of moms. Some handle their stuff likes pros, so you don’t know, but I gather that a lot of us out there are struggling with the identity crisis of being a 21st century mom.
Here you are raising a tiny human and you’re actually still trying to be that old version of yourself, which doesn’t make sense, because you’re this newer, improved version of yourself, yet you yearn for the “good ole days.” And, if you really want to break it down, at your core you’re really the same but moving through such vastly different experiences and landscapes, that it’s hard to stay connected and grounded to your true Self. But I digress….
I don’t care if you are a stay-a- home-mom or a mom that works full-time or anything in between, it’s really hard. There is no greener grass on either side of the fence. There’s just green grass. It’s hard and you do your best and most of the time you’re fumbling around anyway and it’s really just messy and amazing all at the same time, which in and of itself doesn’t make a damn bit of sense, but it’s true.
I also feel a generational thing going on. For example, my mom’s generation, seamlessly slipped in to the role of mom. Again, I realize this is not all moms, but most moms I’ve talked to at least. My aunt—I love her to death— lectures me on it all the time. Sure it was hard, but it was what you did. But now, it’s like “I’m a strong, independent career woman and I want to be a mom and how can I be both? How do I let go of this thing I’ve been working really hard on for so long, this treasured independence and personal goals, but at the same time raise a family?” Beats me ladies. Most every woman I know that’s doing their thing right now, feels the same way. The end result is amazing, but the journey is fucking crazy.
Glennon Doyle Melton in her book Carry On, Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life says “life is equal parts brutal and beautiful. And/Both. Life is brutiful.”
She’s right. Life is brutiful. It’s brilliant and bright and bountiful and hard and messy and amazing and crazy all rolled up in to one.
I just want to hug all the mamas out there. I know some of them have it all together and probably think I’m full of it, but I just want to hug the crap out of them all and tell them they are good enough and doing a great job. I want to tell them to not be afraid to cry or be messy, because the messy part of life is where all the good stuff (you know that growth and spiritual revelation stuff) happens. And I’m not going to tell those moms to not sweat the small stuff, because I hate it when people tell me that, but I really want to let them know I love them and they are enough.
You are enough.