Enough. These few words are enough.
If not these words, this breath.
If not this breath, this sitting here.
This opening to the life
We have refused
Again and again
~ by David Whyte
I first heard this simple yet hauntingly beautiful poem over a year ago while attending an 8 day retreat with Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli. Jon recited the poem, from memory, while we sat in silence, breathing in, breathing out. The two of them did this throughout the retreat. The words of this poem struck me deeply. I memorized it on the spot.
Throughout that day and the days that followed, and now weeks and months later I still recite the poem. Enough. Each time I say it I feel my shoulders drop, my body gets a little heavier, my breathing slows just a bit. I arrive in the moment....this moment is enough.
Yesterday a patient of mine passed forward a wonderful story of the one word that brings happiness. This particular client is wildly wealthy, has more than most but still pushes hard filling most minutes of his day with doing more. He reflected he got into a cab in NY and the Ethiopian driver asked him if he knew the one word that brought happiness. My client said he did not and so the cabbie launched into his story and shared the one word which can bring happiness. Jerry told me the story, quite animated, arms gesturing, eyes sparkling, I knew it must be a fantastic word. When he got to the word, he paused, and then let loose "enough". Even as he said the word, just as Kabat-Zinn had recited the poem I slipped into enough.
Try it on.
Take a few minutes right now, right here and notice how you are feeling. Are your shoulders tense? Can you feel the movement of your breath in/out of your belly? Can you feel those parts of your body in contact with your chair, with the ground? Once you get a sense of this moment, try out the word enough? Does it have an impact on your awareness? on your words?
What would it mean to be enough? to have enough? to love enough? play enough? work enough? For me it is a powerful word filled with truth, I am, I have, I do, enough. And yet so often I find myself striving to get one more thing done, fill in one more gap, try just a little harder. Ever rehashing the past, projecting into the future, But with enough I can rest, I can enjoy, I can love, I can sing, I can dance, I can be here now.
I love the word enough and for most of us we don't let ourselves be....enough.
It has been proven, repeatedly, that stress causes disease and can even kill and yet I wonder if we lived in a world where enough was part of our daily conversation if in fact we'd have less stress related events. What would it be like if we just allowed ourselves not to worry about more but to be with enough?