Enough

This word, “enough,” has been a force in my practice since 2014. My personal backstory is that of an unrelenting overachiever, and in my mind, “enough,” used to mean “could be better.” Why settle for enough, when you could have more?

I had fun in the pursuit of more, and I learned a lot, but not what I thought I'd learn. Something needed to change. It’s a lesson I’m still learning, but what yoga seems to show me is that the place out beyond enough is not actually called “better.” It’s called “too much.”

These photos are from the time before I started exploring what was enough. At the time, I was wishing hard that I could be more flexible than I was.

On a yoga mat, you can fine tune your sense of enough by noticing your flexibility edge. Next time you are in triangle pose, slide your hand down your leg until you feel enough stretch.

Then, notice what enough feels like. Did you choose a place with a strong sensation, or a mild one? That tells you something about what enough means to you. Do you find yourself wishing that your hand could reach one inch lower, or are you happy at enough? It’s a fascinating glimpse into your own mind.

Another way I practice feeling enough-ness is my morning glass of warm water. I highly recommend the ayurvedic routine of beginning your day with a glass of warm water. I’ve been doing it every day for a few years. Before I eat or drink anything else in the morning, I pour myself a glass of warm water, then I sit down and drink it. It’s been described to me as rinsing and awakening your digestive tract for the day. I love it.

In case you’d like to give it a try, here is a troubleshooting guide:

Some things to not add to your water:

  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Ginger
  • Honey
  • Salt
  • Herbs
  • Tea
  • Coffee grounds
  • Flavor drops
  • Artificial sweetener
  • Anything that isn’t water

It is enough to drink plain water.

Some things to not do while you are drinking your water:

  • Read the news
  • Check facebook
  • Check your email
  • Plan your day
  • Watch TV
  • Assemble your breakfast
  • Work
  • Anything that isn’t drinking water or breathing. (Just plain breathing. Not pranayama.)

As my ayurveda teacher, Kerry Harling, said, “Americans! You are always adding something to everything.”

It is enough to just sit and drink water. This can be startlingly uncomfortable at first. You are not alone if you feel that way. Our culture reveres multitasking and productivity. At first, I’d sit down with my water and think, “Surely, I need to be doing something right now. I can’t just sit here.” But it has become easier with practice, like everything does. 

In a world full of marketing, we are told that if you feel unhappy you must need something. You are unlikely to see an advertisement say, “You have everything you need! Have a great day.” It would be nice though.

From my yoga mat, it seems that more often than not, the unhappiness is from having too much or doing too much, rather than not having enough. So if too much never feels like enough, then I’ll practice feeling enough as enough.

Leigh Ann Handel2 Comments