The third week of December found me feeling completely overwhelmed and out of sorts.
I had a list (of doom) to complete before taking off for the holidays. So many things on that list were important to me and required huge chunks of my time.
I was in one of those places – those places where the overwhelm is so overwhelming that I could no longer discern what was truly important. Everything seemed equally important and equally impossible to finish.
My morning self-care ritual.
On the 16th of December, I took all this overwhelm and lack of clarity into my morning self-care ritual – where I spend some time sorting through what is going on in my life, asking for support, and invoking the qualities I would like my day to have.
Part of this ritual involves me saying things out loud.
Saying out loud and naming the things I’m struggling with and asking verbally for help and guidance.
This is a new practice for me. One that I’m finding to be very powerful for me right now.
I tend to frequently say things in my head or to write them in my journal – it’s a new and challenging thing to verbalize what I’m feeling and to ask for help out loud.
Of course, I am alone. It’s my time and space to practice honestly and openly speaking about what I’m going through. It’s practice for the real world and for my commitments to a) revealing more and b) asking for help.
That morning I was talking about how stressed and anxious I felt and mentioning the different qualities I’d like to have infused into the next few days – things like flow and surrender and ease. And enoughness.
Then, when I was sitting there quietly, just listening, this realization struck:
It’s all about there not being enough.
Not enough time.
Not enough money.
Not enough space.
My gifts surely wouldn’t be good enough.
It’s about me not being good enough.
Me not being enough.
Hello, pattern. I recognize you.
You’ve been here so many times it’s like… well, it’s like you are just a part of me.
In fact, you are so ingrained I feel you as part of my very structure. In my skeleton. In my bones.
That’s when something clicked into place.
I remembered the importance of the elements to many indigenous cultures. I recalled how it is the mineral element that forms the bones of the earth (the molten core and the rocks of the crust) just like it is minerals that form the bones of my body.
There is a part of me that knows that I am enough.
It’s just, so often, is it so easy for me to get overwhelmed and to forget that and to fall back into old, painful patterns of scarcity and not-enoughness.
I wanted something concrete to remind me of my enoughness. Something to remind me that I don’t have to be perfect.
That whatever I do finish is enough. That I am enough.
An image floated into my mind.
An image of a small rock. Comprised of, of course, minerals.
How perfect! A rock to remind of that I am enough – to help me find that sense of enoughness deep within me – in my structure, in the bones of my body.
And then, Oh! Impending doom!
I envisioned driving to the mountain on a quest to find the small rock that would remind me of my enoughness.
There wasn’t time for that! How possibly could that fit into my already packed schedule?
And then, another click. (Click)
This whole pattern is about enoughness.
I looked down. There, in my hands, was a small rock I’d picked up the previous summer while backpacking Steen’s Mountain. A small, rugged rock with lines of contrasting minerals etched deep into it.
Could it really be this simple?
The answer: It is enough.
And it was.
I carried that rock with me throughout the remainder of the holidays.
Whenever I felt overwhelmed, whenever that pattern of not-enoughness threatened me, I would feel it in my pocket.
I would take a moment and breath deep into my body, into my bones, and the world, somehow, would right itself. The overwhelm would pass and I would be able to walk on, unscathed and whole.
Enoughness (and lack thereof) are ongoing themes for me. This is one small, external way I’ve found to remind myself (internally) that I am enough.
What about you? Do you have a symbol or an object or something that brings you back to your center, to your enoughness? If so I’d love to hear about it.
Of course, just saying hello is always appreciated also. 🙂
Andy Dolph says
so this sparked a bit of a different angle in my mind.
My current practice is about asking for help and inspiration when I go into overwhelm.
I have found that if I stop before I go to bed and literally say to the Devine that I don’t know what to do with * specific thing* and I’m turning it over to Divinity to solve as I sleep – it just works – every time. Sometimes I’ve gotten an instant answer – an idea “out of the blue” totally outside my current trains of thinking that is perfect. Other times it comes latter and or in more subtle ways. But it has come every time, at least so far.
Yet this is remarkably hard for me to do, to (a) be willing to ask for help and (b) to receive that help – but it’s been amazingly powerful and helpful for me.
Beautiful, Andy. Thanks much for sharing.
And thanks for mentioning the piece about surrender. That is absolutely key when asking for help, I’m discovering. The willingness to surrender the overwhelm (the thing!) and to trust that help (or the answer) is on its way…which it always is.
And, oh boy, do I ever hear you about how hard it can be to ask for and receive help!
I love your reminder to ask out loud. I too process much on my own… little kid me thinks I am still an orphan. Asking for help from the universe is a little easier, since it still is all in my head and heart. But saying it out loud, to risk the vulnerability of asking for help is one of my big beasties.
I love the tiny rock of enoughness! i too have a rock, and an acorn, a seed, a ring and a tiny jeweled frog that sit by my desk. And a coin I carry in my wallet. Enoughness from many angles!!! Thanks for the inspiration!
Hello Cynthia 🙂
Yes, I’m finding the whole asking out loud thing to be a very powerful practice. It *is* a big risk. I so hear you on that one. That’s why practicing in private has been crucial for me.
And, “Enoughness from many angles!” That’s brilliant.
Sue Thomas says
Thanks for posting this, Larisa. I think I need to read it several times. Right now, “not enough time” is the biggest. At least 80@ is equally important and 60@ is equally impossible to finish on time. I am hanging out with the 40% (less important or slightly easier to finish) rather than the 10% that is actually critically overdue. I guess the idea is to find a reminder that there is enough time, I am enough, if I don’t keep feeling afraid that there isn’t and I’m not. I don’t think my reminder will be related to bones, though. I have something else in mind, I will try it.
Yeah, bones might not work for everyone. 🙂
I definitely think it is important to find a reminder that is meaningful to You. Happy to hear you have something in mind already.
I wish you ease and strength (and enoughness, of course) as you navigate all the stuff on your list.