It was just one of those days.
It was a Sunday, a day when Theresa usually works and I usually spend the better part of the day cooking for the week. I woke a little edgy from bad dreams. Out of the window was a fresh blanket of snow that soon led to a text from Theresa’s manager telling her not to even bother trying to drive, it was too dangerous.
I regrouped my cooking list into Will Cook and We’ll See categories, made a prep list for only the former, and divvied it up between us. Once a batch of soup was in jars, a couple dozen veggie pancakes were fried up and laid out for flash freezing, and a brisket was tucked away in the oven for the dual purpose of delicious eats and passive heat for our home, I said enough. We had enough for a comfortable week of eating; the other section of the list could wait.
Later that day, I got a text from a dear friend who is also my yoga accountability partner. Our video that day was 50 minutes long, a freestyle at the end of a Yoga with Adriene 30 day challenge.
The text from my friend said, “I lasted for 33 minutes on the DIY yoga. Feels like enough for today!”
To which I responded with the report of my adventures in cooking and, “I think we’ve found our theme for today: do enough. Then stop. Ahh.”
If texts could high five, ours did at that point and we each rolled into what our days would bring from a space of Enough.
Enough can be a tricky concept when our gremlin voices masquerade as voices of wisdom and self-care. It reminds me of being at a coffee shop early in my days of dating Theresa, eyeing a double chocolate scone that is still one of my favorite treats. I suggested we get one and Theresa asked, “Is this one of those times that I’m supposed to discourage you from a splurge or encourage you to enjoy a treat?”
That’s the question of Enough: Is this one of those times when my gremlins are giving me an excuse to bypass what is truly nurturing, or is it one of those times when wisdom is saying, “Hey you, allow a little flexibility”?
Practicing recognizing and being with gremlin voices is the backdrop to navigating the question of Enough for me. Splitting my cooking list into two chunks was a trained response that acknowledged both the hard-earned awareness that workweek evenings feel hectic to me without prepared food cued up and that I was muscling through the first steps of a Sunday habit that usually brings me a lot of pleasure.
I don’t know about you but my feeds are filled with articles on how the route to success is paved in automaton-like adherence to routine. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a fan of routine. Thanks in large part to my friend, I’ve done yoga nearly every day since April 1, 2020; I can think of four days when I missed. I absolutely refuse to feel bad about those four days, or the days that were technical check marks when all I did was five minutes of gentle stretching before rolling my mat back up.
I think we’re missing a profound opportunity, though, when we soldier through every bit of resistance for the sake of adherence rather than using those moments as cues for the kind of curiosity and checking in that can lead us to understand ourselves more fully, to learn to distinguish between the gremlin voices and the inner wisdom more easily.
That is, routine is a wonderful way to provide structure to our self-care habits while resistance is a messenger inviting us to ask, “What does Enough mean today?”
p.s. When, later on that Sunday, I unrolled my yoga mat with the commitment to Enough still fresh, I wandered my way through various shapes, adding poses to stretch areas that felt tight, others to add some satisfying heat, and still others just because I like them. When I felt that sense of enough, I laid back in shavasana, the traditional closing pose, breathed until that felt like enough, then rolled onto my side to gently press up into a seated position. When I glanced at the video, Adriene was doing the exact same thing, gently pressing up from a fetal position to end her practice. Sometimes Enough is also the whole kit-n-caboodle.
If how to even begin recognizing your gremlin voices seems as mysterious to you as the concept of a multiverse, send me a message; I’ve got a tried and true approach to going from “Gremlins?” to full-blown, productive inner relationships. If you’d like some community along the way, The Bigger Badder Crew always has open arms stretched your way.