After a particularly lamentable moment when I came across one of those “oh-dear-god-is-that-what-i-really-look-like” photographs and got back in touch with my yogic self and decided to research how many Calories I could burn by doing a million sun salutations a day, I stumbled across what is a standard practice of doing 108 sun salutations at every change of season.
For the record, that’s 108 chaturangas (and other poses) in a row.
Or if you’re not a yogi, torture yourself by thinking of doing 108 super slow pushups. In a row.
I turn noodle-ish just thinking of it. Especially given the fact that I currently do four in a row and feel relatively accomplished. And noodle-ish.
It was just what I needed to top the earlier self-flaggelation with another hearty dose of Not Enough.
I could never do that, I thought.
I’m not strong enough.
I’m not disciplined enough.
I’m not brave enough.
I would never have that much time to “waste.”
Sufficiently beaten down, I tucked myself in bed and attempted to drift off.
It was one of those despairing comments that comes from deep within when Tahd wondered allowed at this evening’s swimming lessons what we’d done wrong to cultivate a child whose behavior was chasms away from what’s appropriate. Perhaps, he intimated sternly, we should have been more authoritarian all along.
Those weren’t his exact words, so forgive me if I’m not quite getting it right, but in that moment I was engulfed in rage, furious that he’d be so critical of our parenting. General parenting – and parenting Gabe – are topics we’ve discussed with a number of professionals, and they consistently tell us to stay the course and focus on engagement. We try, we feel, we worry, we try again. We have no guarantees that what we’re doing will help our children reach their full potential, but given the specifics of our situation, the research is fairly clear that more authoritarianism won’t get us there.
I can’t fault Tahd for being frustrated at that moment; we were discouraged. We felt helpless. When in distress, he defaults to increasing his level of control, and when the situation passes and we’re able to talk rationally about our worries and experiences, we regroup back to the same page. (For the record, I alternate between defaulting to panic and anger.) This, I think, is a good thing, and tonight it led us on a meandering discussion across parenting and marriage and ourselves in general, and we talked about failing – at parenting, at marriage, and at life in general.
I sat down to work this evening amidst a house whose disarray whispered of last week’s busyness and parties and I groaned at having once again procrastinated at cleaning the house. When my work shift lulled, I pulled out my weekly planner and sat beside the empty pages, overwhelmed at how to manage them. Carols crooned in the background and thoughts of Christmas peppered my mental inventory of things to do. Regular to-do’s are one thing. Christmas to-do’s are entirely another; I only get this one chance at Isla’s first and Gabe’s ninth and my thirty-fifth and Tahd’s thirty-sixth Christmas. I want it to be perfect, magical, rich, full of tradition, hopeful, memorable, exciting, fun.
I could go on.
Through it all, there’s been a very quiet whisper shouting something I suspect more than one of us need to hear. This is what it’s saying…
You are enough. I am enough. Right now. Just like this. We are enough with extra pounds and messy houses and disobedient children and spouses on a different pages than us and bah-humbugs where we want jingle bells.
Stop for a minute and breathe in this beautiful gift.
In this moment, we marry the reality of ourselves with the gift of enough, and this marriage simultaneously fills us and empties us of all that is joyous and anxious, respectively. Inside us we find what we need for this moment, and every moment we live united to this gift ensures we will continue to have – and be – enough.
I returned to my yoga mat tonight intending to do a Certain Number of sun salutations. But with every chaturanga, with every twinge of my triceps and every ache of my shoulders, it washed over me again.
I am enough.
Go slow. Be gentle.
We need to know it, lovelies, to the bottoms of our hearts.
We are lovely.
And we are enough.