Friday, September 25, 2015

thoughts on being enough…





Last Saturday I walked into the Yoga studio at the beginning of my five hour class and I immediately felt ripples of tension moving through the air. This was to be our first time “teaching” a sequence of Sun Salutations and our Yoga instructor had just informed us that we should be prepared to use our memorized body cues for each pose.

Instantly, I noticed the wide eyed surprise on the faces of my classmates.

What?! We didn’t know we were supposed to have all our body cues memorized today. Our understanding was that we were only practicing the asanas with the breaths, and in the proper sequence with their Sanskirt names.

We need to know the body cues too?!! 

I had a moment of panic too. It’s the reaction of someone who wants an “A” in their subject. Who relishes the comfortable sensation of being totally prepared, no surprises please.

But our reassuring Yoga teacher simply smiled. She listened attentively to the anxious questions and nodded her head and afterwards, she asked everyone to sit in a circle with our hands resting comfortably on our knees or thighs, and she led us through a meditation.

Eyes closed. 

Quiet stirrings. Outside someone slams a car door shut and I blink.

And then slowly I begin to hear the steady, rhythmic sound of my own breathing as it moves through the back of my throat. Ujjayi, otherwise known as Ocean Breath.

For a moment the collective breathing is the only sound in the room until I hear our teacher’s voice break the stillness.

The first words out of her mouth are clear and loud.

“Your preparation was enough.” She begins.

Oh. Wow. That’s different. What did she say? My preparation was enough?

Hmm…I could feel myself relaxing into my seat as the meditation continued. Letting her words melt away all my worried “but-what-ifs” at the back of my mind.

And afterwards I reflected on those first words she had said, and how powerful that line felt to me. I realized that this idea of being ‘enough’ no matter what, felt like a curious novelty, something bordering on foreign. Like the first time you nibbled a curry dish, and the pungent flavors swirl over your tongue while your eyes gaze to the ceiling.

Yes. It was different.

Whatever I did to prepare today…all the focus and memorization and studying…it was all ENOUGH. Period.

Which got me thinking.

What would happen if we walked into each new, stressful situation with this same feeling?

I am enough.

My preparation for this moment was enough.

And whatever happens from here will inform me. It will teach me what else I might need to learn in order to keep growing.

It’s a strange world living without an Ego dominating our perspective. And I admit, I don’t know this world too well.  Me? I’m a “controller” from way back. I like to take charge so that I don’t have to worry about things getting done ‘right.’ I tend to worry about people I love and fret over all the things that could possibly go wrong, especially when it comes to my kids.

My yoga teacher tells me that’s the ‘monkey mind.’ And it’s the opposite of living a happy, harmonious life.

She reminds us that it’s the Ego that has us comparing ourselves to others so that afterwards we end up feeling either diminished or superior, as if we’re all in some kind of imaginary race or competition.

It’s our Ego that sees our results in terms of  “A” grades, and lulls us into caring too much about being the best , the most popular, having the most followers, making the most money or being the most admired in our work. 

In the beginning my Ego was quick to look around my yoga class and see others getting their bodies into the Grasshopper pose and think, “Oh my god. Are you kidding me?” And then feel that rush of disappointment with my own progress.

Even now I’ll be in yoga class listening to the precision and mastery of body cues flowing from my yoga instructor’s mouth and think, “I can’t even imagine learning all this. No way, there’s just SO much to remember.”

And then I’ll hear my yoga teacher telling me, “Trust in the process.”

Which is another way of reminding me to let go.

This is something I’ve been learning lately, the idea of letting go of our unhealthy attachments also means letting go of our attachment to the end result.  But this mind-set is hard for me…we’re like little mice trained to hear the ding of the RESULTS bell.

This weekend I’m entering into week 3 of the Teacher Training course and I’ve got another quiz to study for and tons of reading to catch up on, more memorization, and-oh-did I mention that my body is always a bit sore because of all these classes I’m taking…?

So right now instead of feeling totally overwhelmed and wondering how the heck I’m ever going to get through the next seven weeks, I’m just trying to focus on staying in the present moment and I’m asking myself, “Ok. What do I need to do right now?”

And I’m pretty much taking it moment-to-moment when it comes to this course.

Which really seems to help. 

Also… smiling helps.  A sense of humor helps (…watching a lot of Veep with the hubby)

And remembering this helps.

In this moment.

In this breath.

I am enough.


(I mean that for you too)

peace and love




(my other yoga posts)

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Have you ever feel like an imposter?



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Sarah said...

Always, always enjoy and benefit from what you share, Leslie. '-)

Denise said...

I am a new reader to your blog and a yoga instructor.
Your experience with your training is so familiar. Trust the process. You are there for a reason. I too worry something terrible about my kids! I suppose we need to trust that process too!

enjoy your training. one of the best things I've ever done!

Thehouseofhampton said...

I can't tell you how much I enjoy your blog. Thank you for the time you spend on it, and for sharing your thoughts. It's sometimes just what my soul needs.
The House of Hampton

Karen said...

Your way with words always calms me. That word "enough" is a wonderful word. Thank you for kicking off my busy weekend with a sense of calm.
Enjoy the summer heat expected this weekend. Fall will come to us eventually.

Blondie's Journal said...

I think you are going to do fine---you are so in tune with your thoughts and beliefs. You will be a great teacher, I wish I were there to be a student. I used to take yoga classes and fully intend to start again. Please continue to share the progression of your training--it's fascinating.

Jane x

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Leslie, if we could walk through life with that mantra in our head we would be a lot better off! I wonder at what stage in our grown do we think that we do not measure up?

Thanks for sharing this! I

michele said...

oh i love this discussion! i too am working hard on BEING and not DOING. boy can i relate to monkey mind these days--i have begun a more disciplined meditation practice--christian meditation (centering prayer and contemplative prayer) so it's a little different in that instead of observing thoughts i let them go and keep returning to God. apparently i will always have beginner's mind so that is encouraging. i love that we both started a new journey at the same time, and i look forward to hearing about the many ways you are growing and awakening. i am creating a blog to catalog quiet interiors (rooms and soul stuff) and hopefully when we move in (next week) i can begin posting. peace to you, friend.

La Contessa said...

ARE THOSE YOUR TOES??I love that photo.......from the jeans to the rug and the toes are lovely!
SO, well written and so informative and SO TRUE!

Unknown said...

I love this post, Leslie....we are enough. It is so important to remember...that and getting to the state of 'ocean breathing' as often as possible.
xx, Heather
PS-Hope you can join our lifestyle linkup starting Friday. :)

Sheepskinsandfairylights said...

What a great post. You are more than enough, doing something so totally new, seizing opportunity with both hands, having belief, you can do this.
Love reading how things are going on this journey, inspires me for the journey I hope to take next year.
Thankyou so much for sharing, your kind words on my blog, wishing you a lovely weekend, Xxx

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

I can feel the panic that went through your group at the instructor's announcement at the beginning of the class. I'm like you in that I need to be prepared ahead of time for everything. My clothes are ironed and my lunch is prepared the night before work or I feel unsettled. Creature of habit, I guess. I was so stressed out about a once every 3 years inspection at work last week and once it was over, I realized that I follow company policy to the letter, so I really had nothing to worry about. You're right, it's hard to change the way you're programmed to think, but you're headed in the right direction! You'll do well in your training and have new skills for a mindful life, too, Leslie. Thanks for sharing!

Stonecropsister said...

Hi Leslie,
after reading your comment on my site, i popped over, and oh my god, I had no idea that you had written this. It was reading the book that got me thinking about my lack of self confidence, but for sure, this post would have rung a bell deep inside myself as well. I think you are a breath of fresh air, taking on a new direction like this. I totally agree with it being so hard to change how you're used to thinking, wish it wasn't so! Thanks for sharing with us. xx Nancy

Unknown said...

I love the post! Have a wonderful weekend:)

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