Enough Is An Inside Job

A note from Erin:

So much beauty around here these days… It’s rose season, we got an adorable new kitten, we’re in

love with our podcast, we’ve had great retreats in local canyons for Women Embodied and Embodying A New Masculine courses, I got to teach somatic meditation at Cancer Wellness House this week, our 8 beautiful chicks are swiftly turning into hilariously cute hens, I’ve dug up the front yard to turn it into a veggie garden, Carl’s summertime Tai Chi in the Park class starts soon, and we’re gearing up for a lot more goodness to come. We’ve got a schedule update for you at the end of this note about many beautiful offerings –  in person and online – and we’ll have registration open next week.  We also have a few new podcast episodes. Have you listened to Francis Weller on Grief and Gratitude and so much more? Or Dr. Leny Strobel on Decolonization? Later today we’ll release our beautiful conversation with Bayo Akomolafe, which is so rich and rewarding. We feel so grateful to share these conversations and love receiving all the wonderful feedback you’ve offered. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On to today’s note…. A few weeks ago I wrote about comforting the disturbed and disturbing the comfortable. Today, I want to look at another important topic: enough. 

A hugely important facet of intelligence in so many areas of life is the question of “How much is enough?”Enough money, enough exercise, enough food, enough “likes”, enough work, enough meditation, enough activism, enough resources. How do we recognize enoughness in a culture that encourages endless consumption, endless work, endless options for more more more?

I love this potent passage from Wayne Muller’s beautiful book, A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough:

“If we just put our nose to the grindstone, give it our all, do our best, give 110 percent, really put our mind to it, never give up, and work more efficiently, then we can, and should, be able to get absolutely everything on our desk, on our to-do list, on our calendars, finished, on deadline, without any mistakes, perfectly every time.

Then we can rest.”

I’m already laughing a crazy-woman laugh of hilarity and huge emotional release as I read. It reminds me of Francis Weller’s description in our podcast conversation about our heroic culture of ascendancy. I feel a strange combo of energized and exhausted just reading it. Like I need a big, long exhale…..

But this ridiculously impossible moment never arrives; and we cannot take that first step back. So we keep going. And going. Without permission from our culture, workplace, community, or even our own inner, grinding work ethic, how can we know it’s time to stop – for now, for today – and know that what we have done, and who we have been, is absolutely enough? It is time to put it down, let it be, go home, and call it a day.

How do we start on this path, holding who we are and what we have with peace and contentment? How do we claim a life of deep sufficiency? 

We begin with ourselves. The world around us will be unrelenting, saturating us with a multitude of offers of peace, contentment, and well-being through this or that purchase, event, affiliation or experience; it is a sufficiency tasted first through an intimate conversation between our own fully incarnated spirit and flesh. We feel the sacramental sufficiency most reliably in the body – in the heart, chest and belly.

In other words, enough is an inside job.” 

I love his recognition that we can feel it most reliably, right here in this body. Shall we do it right this moment?
Can you feel the gift of your weight right on this spot? Can you offer your weight over to the earth or chair or ground and receive the fullness of support that is there for you? This balance of gravity, weight and support is just enough.
Can you follow your next three breaths with presence, allowing them to soften anything that wants to let go, or to make a little more space for you in your body?
Can you open to the sounds around you? For me, it’s the songs of sparrows, finches, neighbors talking, kids playing, cars driving by.
If you place a friendly hand on your chest, offering kindness to your own tender heart, can you feel the enoughness of just this moment? 

A favorite reminder from my long-time yoga mentor, Donna Farhi, is this passage from her beautiful book, Bringing Yoga to Life:

“The degree to which you do not believe you have time to spend even ten minutes sitting quietly is the degree to which you desperately need to spend ten minutes sitting quietly. If we did nothing else in our spiritual practice but reduce our accelerated pace, the world would be transformed overnight.

When we find ourselves hurrying or pressing others out of our way, we might ask ourselves exactly where we are going in such a rush. What are we running away from, and what are we running toward?
Pause for a moment.
Sit down and relax.
Take a deep breath in and out…
The moment opens itself for you. Will you step in?”

We have so much great stuff to share with you!

Please mark your calendars:

  • Tai Chi In The Park 2018 starts June 4th! There is a reason tai chi practitioners are called “players,” rather than serious, disciplined practitioners. You play! I love this class so much. It offers an essential toolkit for being embodied in the world, and includes a great group of people moving, learning and playing together in the park on Monday evenings…(details and registration below)
  • Summer Embodiment Camp is happening August 25-26th, held between Vitalize Movement Studio and a local canyon, we’ll be exploring movement lessons, embodied meditation and more. Give yourself the gift of a weekend immersion nourishing your embodied presence and movement skills. Registration coming next week!
  • We’re planning a course in Embodied Meditation to be held both online and in person in a local canyon. Can you imagine practicing befriending your body and mind, growing your embodied presence while sitting next to a creek, under a grove of trees? We can!! Details and registration coming soon. We’ve also rescheduled our day of Embodied Sitting at Two Arrows Zen Center for the fall.
  • Empelvised, Embellied, Empowered: A powerful course for women with Erin is coming this fall, Mondays from October 1- December 3, plus a retreat day on October 27th. Registration opening soon!
  • Answering The Call of Our Times: A Workshop in Embodying Compassion & Alternative Activism with Erin is returning on the weekend of July 27-29th. Limited to 12 participants. Registration will open soon.
  • Don’t miss our annual retreat in New Mexico! Registration now open and filling!!! Embody Your Genius with me & Nan Seymour!
  • Come retreat with us in the cloud forest of Costa Rica!! Our 2019 Embodiment Retreat will be from January 5-10 at the lovely Finca Mia. 
  • Befriend Your Back: A 6-week Online Course is coming this fall. We’ve been teaching potent back-care practices in yoga therapy and Feldenkrais for many, many years, and are thrilled to share an easy, do-from-home course with you!!
  • A favorite offering, the next online Embody Gratitude Project will be coming this fall fromOct. 15-Nov. 23.
  • We’re planning our next rounds of Women Embodied & Embodying a New Masculine. More details coming soon!
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Erin

By training and profession, I am a somatic educator. Over the past 25+ years I have trained in and taught modern dance, tai chi, Indian and Tibetan yoga, yoga therapy (specializing in back pain). I completed a 4-year professional Feldenkrais training in 2007 and a 3-year Embodied Life training in 2014. I also study and work with somatic meditation and the profound practice of embodied inner listening known as Focusing.

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