Most Monday nights all I want to do is curl up on my couch, watch The Bachelor (which there might be a post on that later, I'm still seething with rage), and call it an early night. The past few weeks, however, I’ve been plagued by the thought that I’m not doing enough. I’m not putting in enough effort, not taking enough yoga classes, not working enough hours, not writing enough, not cooking enough, not planning enough, not dating enough. On the other side of that is the feeling that I’m doing too much, that I’m always busy, that I don’t have time to participate in events I want to attend, that there are more priorities than hours to complete them, that I move from thing to thing without time to process, that I stack dates at the end of a day when I brain can’t even focus on another human. It’s a constant war in my head between too much and not enough, and more often than not I sit in the middle unable to do anything.
When Lululemon teamed up with a group of seriously empowering Kansas City women to discuss why we’re Worth Listening To I immediately signed up. I’ve long fangirled over Hailee Bland-Walsh, for the fierce authenticity she brings to the table; I’m a strong advocate of Indulge’s message crafted and amplified by Sarah Buchanan; MOCSA is an organization near to my heart; the event felt right for me to attend. On the day of the event I thought about all of the other things I could be doing from 6:30-8pm. I could take a yoga class or two (I’m behind for the month), I could actually go to the grocery store and meal prep (my meals have been atrocious lately), I could work on some websites, I could write for my sadly neglected blog, I could watch The Bachelor live, I could sleep. I could choose to show up and listen to women discuss the concept of not being enough, the idea of our worth and how we define it.
I chose to show up. I’d never been to Nella Yoga but the space is inviting and comforting the moment you step in the door. As we began with a meditation led by Shanell Petersen I immediately felt more at ease, I felt like this was where I needed to be. The discussion started with the question, “what are women worth?” and the answers ranged from power, life, love, but the one that suck with me is that we are worth the fullest expression of ourselves, today, right now. We so often put off goals, ideas, efforts, activities, for when we’re a more ideal version of ourselves, when we lose ten pounds, when we have more time, when we think we’re more prepared rather than embracing that we can shape the world we want by embracing our inherent worth. Coming from a place of love and acceptance we make our future efforts more powerful, more impactful, more purposeful.
It’s the internal “too much” or “not enough” dialogue that limits us far more than we realize. We start to self sabotage, we decide it isn’t worth the effort because we don’t find ourselves worthy as we are. Part of that struggle comes from comparison, even within a supportive, empowering community women can still fall into a trap of comparison. We see others rocking an amazing pair of Lulu Leggings, crushing it at their jobs, in their lives, just exuding confidence and belittle ourselves for not being exactly the same. I harp on social media enough that you know I think it’s part of the problem (you can read about that HERE) but I also think it’s part of the solution. We have the ability to curate what and who we place around us. When we choose people, images, activities that uplift us, we strengthen our comfort in our own skin. We can live and die by comparison, if we choose to always evaluate ourselves against the person next to us, against a past/future/ideal version of ourselves we cheat ourselves out of the present; we rob ourselves of our unique experiences, gifts, and power. We can’t depend on others to define or acknowledge our worth, we can place ourselves in positions to have our definition feel supported. We also have the responsibility to uplift others, to listen when they struggle, to support them in their worth.
Beyond the feel good, tell someone they’re awesome, chat we discussed our individual responsibility to uplift others. We discussed privilege and the difference between feeling that we’re whole as we are and creating a society in which others are safe to feel whole and supported as they are. That doesn’t mean that they’re ‘safe’ to practice in a sports bra even though they have five extra pounds, it means people being safe to have equal rights regardless of color, orientation, identification, ability. While I may have the privilege to more fully exist in my wholeness than others, I have the responsibility to use that privilege to uplift others.
From that space do we create a never ending cycle of feeling we’re not doing enough? When we focus on ourselves and feeling whole do we neglect the wellbeing of others? Do we create a cycle of shame of not doing enough for ourselves or those around us? It’s complicated. We still have things as a community to figure out. Know that when we say Enough, Already we say:
- I am enough, as I exist today; I am not defined by my achievements
- I have enough talent, ability, moxie, drive to create what I want, that doesn’t mean there won’t be work.
- The effort I put forth is enough as long as I do what I deem as my best. There are days that my best is making it out of bed, and that’s ok.
I am enough. You are enough. We are enough. When we accept that person, the one we are right now, when we love that person, every action we take from that place is amplified, becomes more powerful.
Happy International Women’s Day.