Comparison is the thief of joy--how very, very, heart-breakingly true. I don't know if we can ever stop comparing ourselves to others, but I do know we can catch ourselves as we do it. We can remind ourselves that we are worthy, that we are magical, and that we are hella strong to have gotten this far and still be as kind as we are, as gracious as we are, as creative and whip-smart as we are. As beautiful as we are.
Because you know what? We are beautiful, and thank-you-very-much-but-eff-off to those who would say otherwise, to those (including ourselves) who insist on upholding a standard that is unhealthy, one that has made us miserable for far too long. Succumbing to this whole comparison-stealing-joy thing is to uphold those standards ourselves. And we all know where change has to begin...
So we start noticing habits, reminding ourselves along the way that we are enough--we have always been enough.
I feel like I've been phoning it in with the Satyas lately. Not that they're any less true, any less sincere, any less born of a moment, but that, maybe, I haven't been fully present.
This morning, for some reason, I decided to call myself out on my perceived slacking, when I realized both the futility and the unfairness of whatever chastisement I had set up in my head. That small, cowering bit that so rarely stands up for herself finally spoke up--Hey! I was here. I showed up. I lived the moment as it was handed to me and I did the work. What else do you want?
And, you know, I couldn't help but give a small cheer for that small soul--she finally found her voice, and she is finally unafraid to use it.
However you show up today, know this: you're here. You've arrived. And today? That's more than enough.
I don't think it's that we forget, but that we've never believed that we are enough. We are exactly what this moment needs and we have everything needed for this moment. We don't believe it because, most of the time, it feels as though we're fighting--circumstances, authority, ourselves. It's unfortunate, really, that we were born into a tribe with such keen memories of, and inclinations for, war.
We were raised on the idea that we'd always have to fight for what we wanted, for what was right, for what we deserved, for what has been or will be taken from us. We were born into existing scarcity, real or imagined or taught. We were burdened with social, emotional, intellectual, and/or actual debt from our first breath.
Or so we believe. That's the story we were told, and we swallowed that puppy whole--nursed on it and grew (crookedly) on it. Well, let me tell you, I'm tired of it. I'm tired of the story. I'm tired of feeling defeated at every turn. I'm tired of never feeling as thou...
We have no choice but to rest where we are. We can fight that choice, sure. We can wrestle it to the ground, exhaust ourselves, fill our minds with the screaming frequency of frustration, fill our bodies with the acrid burn of 'if only.'
I've done it. I've got the self-inflicted scars to show for it. But eventually what seemed like lack becomes so overwhelming, carries with it such a gravitational pull that, this time, there really is no choice. We give up.
And, oh, is that a relief. To give up. To give in. To realize you may not still be standing, but you're here and you're empty. And, good goddess, is that ever enough.
One of my favorite mantras to repeat in my classes is this:
You are enough; you are more than enough.
It covers everything; the bonus, of course, is that everything about that statement is the absolute truth. Because we *are* enough. We are brewed in a cosmic, chemical, creative soup that has prepared us for the lives we are leading. We have good ideas; we have good instincts.
We only have to realize the truth of that statement, and we'll be just fine.
I don't know, you guys. Sometimes it's just too much--too much work, too much debt, too much work to pay off too much debt. It's exhausting. And grinding. And it wears you down until you end up with the latest, trendiest flu, and have to stay in bed, fretting about this new, tiring development.
And, you know, I hate "at least"--probably the worst phrase in the English language. But (that that's the other one--"but"), at least there are herbs and the earth and some kind of raw, ancient power into which we can tap--a power that knows no debt and, at least energetically, knows no exhaustion, no illness.
Preaching to the choir, sure, but we're all one tribe. There's that, too, to be grateful for.
I've had this epiphany: I am too strong for my own good. Or, rather, I rely too much on the strength I have and, because strength is safe, I develop and over-develop it. And then, when life gets hard or scratchy or blisteringly uncomfortable, I keep going--but only by arming myself and fighting my way through. And then I wonder why I wake in the night quaking with anxiety, then run exhausted through my days.
So, the other day (actually, while I was teaching yoga, which is how and when most of these channeled-type thoughts come to me) I realized the answer is just in falling apart when you need to fall apart--not needlessly and not constantly, mind you. In other words, not making it a habit and certainly not breaking down in front of everyone you know, hoping for some kind of answer or platitude. No. The answer is in falling apart, being vulnerable and transparent, in front of **yourself.**
Because that's the only audience you're really trying to impress here...
Anyone can balance anything--a body, a checkbook, a schedule, a relationship.
But we don't *really* want to put in the time, the effort, the schematics, and the nitty-gritty discomfort it takes to find or (goddess forbid, topple) over that tipping point.
We might hurt ourselves, after all...
Well, let me tell you this: we're hurting ourselves already, trying to cram ourselves into days, lives, hours, jobs, relationships that don't fit. It may not be car-crash painful, but it's repetitive-action-forty-years-at-your-desk-or-on-your-feet kind of painful. It's wearing you down and you're too numb to feel it.
Or maybe you're not. Maybe you're just really, really good at ignoring pain, and eventually it becomes rote. Until (!!) someone or something pushes you (gently or no) OUT of balance. Suddenly you're forced into a new perspective and, holy cats, are you lucky if you get one of those opportunities. See it for what it is--an invitation, a hand up, a new skill, a Superman cape...
Happy Earth Day, sweet herby-yogsters, sweet renegades of wildness, wilderness, foraging, and forging.
Go rogue. Get creative. We can't glue that priceless Ming vase back together, but we can make one hell of a functional piece of art. We can adapt. We can sit-in with our glue and our paints and our brushes, our creativity and our essential selves.
We can reclaim. We can't go back. We're not meant to go back.
We sit with pain, with knowledge, and let it build us from the inside-out. We breed compassion and empathy in our bones and we express it through our eyes, our words, our fingers, our colors, our kindness, our acts of grace.