0 In Notes From Elizabeth

On Being Enough

One of the things I’m chewing on these days has to do with slowing down. But, not in the slow-down-take-a-load-off kind of way. But rather, slow down so you can receive the abundance that’s here all around you.

There’s a lesson in here for me about enoughness. 

I’m confronting this speed racer mode I have where I’m handling things in rapid succession — blasting through to-do lists, returning emails, scheduling appointments, and knocking out errands. This is not the centered zen of Neo fighting Agent Smith. It’s more like I’m up above my experience, skating on the surface of things, zipping along. Trying to catch something ahead of me or escape something behind me.  

I took Moxie for a walk this morning out on Mount Tam, around Lake Lagunitas. I’ve walked and jogged this loop more than a hundred times. I began with my usual purposeful stride. Moving along at a steady linear clip, tilting into speed racer, urging Moxie to keep apace. 

But she wasn’t having it. 

It had just rained last night. The air was filled with sweet earthy scents just begging to be devoured in greedy canine joy. I let her off leash and watched as she, nose to the ground, scurried this way and that. Catching the whiff of something over here, following the trail of it, shoving her nose under a pile of decaying leaves from last fall. Digging there. Lifting her head a moment to catch the hint of another tantalizing fragrance. And off she’d go in that direction. 

Seeing that she was on to something, I decided to follow her lead. I tend to pass people on the trail, my gait usually a little faster than that of other walkers. But today I let myself be the slow one. The one to stop unexpectedly here and there. The one with no finish line, no deadline. Simply spreading out into the experience of mountain, forest, lake, stream, sky, and sun. 

Ambling along as Moxie splashed in and out of a gushing stream, I pulled out my phone camera and began exploring. There’s something about seeing nature through a camera lens. The frame of the lens helps me to focus, to notice things.

What caught my attention today were hundreds of tiny flowers sprinkled among the undergrowth and along streams. I tracked the tiny blossoms, like Moxie tracking her earthy scents, with the frame of my camera to guide me. Here, a pale lavender blossom with three diamond-shaped petals. There, a white six-petaled flower forming a dainty mandala. I counted eight different kinds of blossoming plants. Low to the ground. With their exquisite, delicate blossoms, barely the size of a ladybug. Pale yellows and pinks and brilliant blues. Each plant with its unique pattern. Surprising, beautiful perfection. 

In my wandering, sinking into the richness of life expressing all around me, I was swallowed up into it, in kinship with it all, returning home to a natural state of allurement and awe. And in this space, a new awareness emerged. 

I became aware of the feeling hidden beneath my speed racing. I became aware of what is actually going on. That the speed racing is a response to a pervasive feeling of “not enough.” At any moment, the object of not enough could be anything. Not enough time, resources, clarity, love, space, or whatever. I saw how the object of not enough is not the point, but that it was the “not enough” filter itself that takes me out of being present to the richness of life unfolding in its abundance all around me. 

I saw how skimming along the surface of life comes from a fear of not enough, of not being enough. That being in the energy of not enough, I remove myself from the richness of life. I separate myself from the abundance of the present moment, from the resources that are offered freely, from the clarity of my own wisdom, and from the source of love that I am. 

And that the one thing I can do is simply pause, take a breath and notice all that is happening around me. To be with it. 

It reminded me of a movement class I attended a few years ago led by the legendary dance pioneer Anna Halprin. There were about twenty of us in the class and we were exploring the movement of the whole. As the music played, we were instructed to notice the movement impulses that arise from within us individually as part of a larger group movement.

It was a delicious amoeba-like experience. Flowing with my body first and sensing a magnetic pull to cluster with a group of dancers in one corner of the room. And then noticing the impulse to split off from that group and form a new shape with another. We were a flow of connecting, shaping, separating, reconnecting, morphing, and reforming. On and on.

About seven minutes into the experiment, a wave of silliness rippled through one side of the room, as several dancers began to giggle and prance. Anna stopped the music: “Drop the cute. You don’t need cute. Plenty is already happening. You don’t need to add anything.”

This moment and Anna’s words have echoed in me ever since as an invitation to discover the enoughness that is already happening, here. It’s the kind of enoughness that is sourced in an infinitely deep reservoir of life. 

It is here, right now, for and as each and every one of us. Nothing is missing. There’s nothing we need to add. Each of us is abundantly enough. 

With love,

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