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I Am Enough. Really?

Are we ever ENOUGH? Being Enough. We hear this. You are enough. You are not enough. These are conflicting messages we feel bombarded with in all stages of life in any category, no matter what gender or age we are, what career we're in, any choices we've made. And yet, there are countless sources in our personal, musical, and development spaces that gather around and rally cry - You Are Enough! What does it feel like to say, "I am enough?" Do you always believe it? When do you? When do you not? What makes the difference?


What is the root of the question, “Am I enough?" and the pressure that has us asking so often within us if we’re enough? We want to be loved, accepted, belong, encouraged, recognized, supported… what else does it mean to you? We want to feel like what we do matters. Matters to who? Our families, our work spaces, our loved ones, a romantic partner, society… our selves, our God? Is it about legacy? Reputation? Being witnessed and known as how we feel we are? Perception - our inner stories as well as our ideas of the outer view - what it may seem to be.


Being Enough is a BIG topic. It creates anxiety inside of all of us. It is this BIG bar of UNOBTANIUM. When do we decide or ever feel like, YES, I AM ENOUGH? We might feel like I did enough, but that is not the same...


I am Enough. We all explore, question, deny, celebrate this at some time, maybe for years or even a lifetime. What does it take to shift or understand our enough-ness? What about it is ours to understand? Are we asking the "right" questions?

I love a maple tree in my front yard. It is slowly dying. We are supporting it, trimming and protecting it. This year it is producing so many maple copter seeds. It is showing aware-

Birdi Sinclair Maple Tree Sentience maple copters Am I enough Blog Post Begin Peace
Tree and We. Tree Sentience, Maple Copter Maker.

ness of its condition. It is preparing its legacy. Does it feel it is enough? Doing all it can do, being all it can be as it faces its mortality. It is well documented that trees do this. It is tree sentience. What is this sentience? This responsiveness and awareness? It is not detachment, because tree is involved and responding to the reality of the processes. Is there also emotion? Is there wanting? Does the tree question if it is Enough? Please pause, sit with this in curiosity. We and tree.


In the spirit of tree, let’s try something different than a quality based ideology. We can step away from to-do lists and if onlies. We can tour the ideas of impermanence and presence as we feel into the challenge of what it is to BE ENOUGH. It’s a different approach than affirmations and learning to love yourself, asking what are your limiting beliefs and the other buzz around this. Who cares about all of that, really. It’s a big-self help industry slice of pie because we all experience this. There is a ton of helpful and not so helpful content to sift through. At the end of it all, does it really speak to that core of us that needs to know, I am Enough?


Let’s do something that doesn’t cost anything. Something that doesn’t spin (unless it’s a maple copter) Something that doesn’t add to the do list, or self-improvement ladder, or the how we can heal wheel. Let’s lean in to our core, our inter-being, dare I say: curiosity and stillness. It does take some unlearning. Let’s take a breath and give it a go. These are not more buzzwords if we approach them from within through a lens of stillness, curiosity:

Impermanence, Presence, What Else is True, Liberation, Enough… be with the tree.


First, let’s get more still and quiet. That’s a big ask, I know. We want answers, and we want to feel differently. Sometimes, it sounds really good, resonant, and so we take one of these concepts and hit Google hard, want a book or an appointment with an expert, a podcast, a class, and while these resources can be helpful at the right time with the right match, these types of actions can also often keep us in a spin of not enough because we’re swirling around how to act on, integrate these ideas in addition to what brought us there!


To be clear, stillness is not actually being still on a rock or a pillow somewhere, although it can be. Stillness is a mindset, a state of being. We can be still anywhere, while doing anything. Bring your focus to your core. Your core is that space within your body, your being, somewhere between your heart and your belly button. Maybe you experience it differently. Maybe it starts within, and suddenly you are free from your body. Notice if it is wild and everywhere, tight or jagged, or if it is smooth like calm water. You could be in a city subway. It really doesn't matter. This is the you of you. This is the seat of knowing and curiosity. Your stillness.


What is impermanence?

Impermanence is not focussing on how we are all going to die, so live present and ready like there is no tomorrow. That’s like living as if there is a reaper guiding our decisions. That is actually a form of anxiety guiding choices, and this can be a defensive or reactionary way of responding to the idea that we’re all gonna die, which we all are super aware of. So let’s release any bias or ideas of what impermanence is. Ice cream is also impermanent. So are mosquitos. We’ll explore how presence can neutralize bias if we allow it, flips us away from reactionary being, and opens us to consider what else may be true . Impermanence and our place in it in this way, liberates us … and brings us to our enough-ness.

What is the foundation to our wondering: I am enough. This is like lifting up a layer of impermanence to peek under the rug and exactly finding presence. Now we can go in a fresh direction, away from the outer buzz language of limiting beliefs, self love, other comfort speak. We are getting still with curiosity, going in to our core. Let’s use an example to hone in on presence. This will help us get away from some mainstream use of the word also. It is all very good to bring our attention to the present moment. Sure, let’s do that, but what we’re talking about is going to the core of us in another way. Let’s start here, expand on that, and dive in.


RING

We can use the sound of the bell in many buddhist communities as a good example. At different key times, a bell will ring. It may signal time for a meal, a gathering to learn, meditate, discuss, switch to a new activity, a reminder for something specific, and so on. The bell is a key element in buddhist practice to bring awareness.


Each person is going about their activities. Maybe they are gardening, cooking, teaching, meditating, working, stitching. When the bell rings, we put aside what we are doing, even if we are in mid-stitch.

Birdi Sinclair Begin Peace Blogpost I am Enough. We are like the stitch.
Each stitch is its own moment. Each stitch is enough. We are like the stitch. (My Pup is inspecting. She is Enough too.) Birdi

One reason for this is to live into Impermanence, another is Presence, and this leads us to I am Enough.


We recognize that everyone has their unique essence. Let’s be like a leaf for a second. Every leaf on the tree is unique and there is no other leaf that will ever be as that leaf.


Each leaf lives its purpose and is a beauty in all time, even if the leaf seems to be like the others. It is here now, in a its own place and time. The sun and shade, the position of how high, low, shielded or exposed, and perspective of the leaf is unique to all the other leaves. As such, the leaf is of different possibility to the community of the tree and wider ecosystem that the whole of the tree is a part of, a park, a yard, a forest, the birds, insects, animals, people, traffic, technology, weather, invisible conditions, and so on that engages with this leaf and tree.


Birdi Sinclair Begin Peace I am enough blog post tree and we, exploring the individuality of leaves
I am as I was made. ~ Birdi

It comes from the inside of the tree, bursts forth from the branch as a bud, which then unfurls into a tiny leaf that grows fuller and fuller, changing color to reflect the light and movement of sun and weather, eventually drying and releasing from the tree and falling to the earth, composting to become the soil that nourishes the very tree that created it in a new way. Every experience of the leaf is unique in its own time. It waits for no one and asks nothing much of the other leaves, and yet they are in community with each other and inter-being, inter-dependent, having both distinct and woven experiences. The leaves are in communion. How are we like the leaf? It is good to notice ourselves in the relationships of nature. We are not alone in our experiences. This is the idea of self and no self. This also helps us recognize the paradoxes of eternity/timelessness, presence/impermanence as we view cycles and our place within them.

RING

When the bell rings, it is a reminder we are like the leaf. We are in an unrepeatable yet timeless and present experience. We cease what we are doing, we lean into compassionate awareness of all beings, releasing our self-importance of wondering if we are being enough - one more stitch in this moment, matters how much?

Birdi Sinclair Begin Peace blogpost I am Enough, mindful stopping image of stitching metaphor
Mindful stopping. What is enough?

We are reminded the tree goes on when the leaf falls, and the leaf has done enough being its best self. If we push ourselves so hard, we are less available to be present, always distracted by the stitches still needing attention, how we are not enough until it is finished - until some imaginary moment manifests as proof of our enough-ness.


We can remember, there are always going to be un-sewn stitches. Are the stitches we did sew our best stitches?


When this is a challenge we can ask ourselves, What else is true?


What Else is True?

This questions is one of the top questions I introduce to my clients. It is a disrupter. When we are stuck, looped in a mind path, we can disrupt it with this simple question, "What else is true?" We find this gives permission for our mind-heart to open, to wonder, to reach inward or outward, or both, whatever is required. We seem to know in the moment we extend the invitation through the question. What else is true is like saying "Open Says Me!" and magically, our mind-heart complies, finding a wider list, breaking the loop. We find more emotions, more thoughts, more bridges... more, just when we need it most. The more of truth is settling, calming, centering and opens a door.


In this shift, we are recognizing we are enough as we are in each moment, and we are not more important than the moment itself, than another who may be waiting for us to be present for them, or an activity. It’s not about comparing our importance to others or other demands.


It’s not even about priorities. It is a presence with our being-ness, and a release. We are not burning ourselves out with the pressure of striving. The leaf turns to the sun, turns away from the rain and cold. It creates and communicates, it withdraws. It defines and celebrates. It restores, rejuvenates, shares. It has an understanding of how to protect and thrive within its being, its environments and capacities. It is present with its resources, its changes, and adapts. It is invested in its importance and also in its presence and its release of importance and presence.

It is as it is made.


When death itself rings the bell, it doesn’t wait for one more stitch. This is not to create an anxiety loop. It is to liberate us into presence of how we are within our stitching. As we stitch our life moments, we are creating our best stitches, such as they are, such as we are with our knowledge and circumstances at the time, stitch by stitch, with our inner and outer resources and environments in the mysterious conversations like the leaf. We are also in presence of each other’s stitches. A rhythm of compassion, stitch by stitch is created, of connection and noticing, of our awareness of importance and release from self-importance. We are equally important. It is not a conflict, a competition. Like the leaf, if we release and allow, it is not matter of anything at all. It is. Equanimity is possible -mental calmness, composure, adaption and evenness, especially in a difficult situation

It is as we are made.

We may call this control, or releasing control when we talk about it in every day language. Where are we holding onto a bloated sense of control that was either imposed on us or self created, that we can release? Sometimes, especially when we have difficulties, we have the idea that we have more control than we do, that things are happening because of what we did or didn’t do, who we are or aren’t. It’s good to be present in the moment when we notice this and wonder, what do we actually have control over, how and why? What can we release? Is it really happening this way because of who I am/who I’m not or what I’ve done/not done?That sense of things will fall apart if we do or don't X.. and if it does fall apart, then what does that REALLY mean? Sometimes when things fall apart, that is actually ok. The leaves need to fall. Seeing bare trees is stark, but they will bud again. We do not need to measure our sense of safety and worth, that concept of enough - being, doing, by our accomplishments. We can switch that to our presence.

Am I present?

Presence

Can you remember a time you met with someone who was very present? And a time when you were with someone who was not? How can we ask ourselves to step into this presence as a form of recognizing impermanence, freedom from the anxiety of performance, self-doubt, whatever our stitches represent, and respond to the bell that calls us to be like the leaf. I am as I was made. This is as it was made. These are my stitches. AND I can set them down when the bell rings. They are enough, because I am enough. In each moment, I am present to the impermanence of moments, and the timelessness of how everything continues in cycles and being.


Liberation

We are unique in all of time, contributing what no one else could, and yet, so are all beings. We are equally most important in all of time, and therefore timeless in the cycle of change and happenings. The pressure releases to curiosity. We can then be liberated to be very present, to turn inward in stillness and curiosity for self, for others, asking different questions when that worry and strain of AM I ENOUGH shows up, and ask it what else is true? Recognize in this moment, as it is, with all of its metaphorical circumstances of shade, sun, wind, rain, stitches, bells, - What can I release, how am I present, how am I the core of myself in these moments?


I am Enough

From stillness, curiosity, and a pinch of disruption, we liberate enough so we go inside and we are guided in our uniqueness, we move out to our connections, we are reminded in our communions, and through cycles we are able to release and renew, to know that in each moment we are always enough. What else can we be, really?


May all beings be in peace.

Ama la vita d’altro,






Rev. Dr. Birdi Sinclair

Interfaith Spiritual Care and Counseling

Wholeness Arts Specialist and Creator

“Begin Peace now. Each now is new.”


 

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