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I am enough

Tuesday, September 1, 2009 by Marianne Elliott

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At the Off the Mat yoga retreat in Big Sur last month we spent one day exploring our own voices. The voices in our heads and the voices we needed to liberate so that we could speak with truth and love in the world.

Part way through the asana practice that day, as we were in camel pose, our hearts wide open and our heads dropping back to open our throats, Seane invited us to let the words we needed to hear most arise. When your heart is fully open and you have exposed your most tender parts to the world, when you are looking at the world upside down and you have relinquished the need to be in control it is amazing the simple truths that become self-evident.

The words that came to me were "You are enough". That was what I most needed to hear. Those were the words that would answer the question that accompanied me throughout life, leading me to work too hard or to love unwisely. Am I enough? I'd been asking.

When we had come out of camel and were gathered in a circle in the centre of the room, being led by the amazing Suzanne Sterling to explore our voices in song, we were offered the opportunity to say out loud the
words that we most needed to hear. Actually – it was more terrifying
than that. We were invited to SING the words that we most needed to

I have long believed that I couldn't sing, that when I sing it sounds bad. So there I was I was standing in a circle shaking with fear at the thought of singing, alone, in front of all these people and yet sobbing with the need to hear these words, to give these words to myself.

So I summoned up all the
courage that yoga has given me and stepped into the circle. I opened my
mouth and sang with all my heart "I am enough". As I sang others in the
group picked up the phrase and started singing it with me. I shook my
whole body with the joy of finally answering my own fearful question.
Am I enough? Yes. I am enough.

Over the course of the day and the
remaining days on the retreat five different women came to me in quiet
moments and told me that the words I sang were the exact same words
that she had been saying to herself – the very words she knew she also
needed to hear. We are enough.

A week or so later I saw this photo on
Andrea's blog
. It lead me to this post by Tracey Clark. I had initially thought that the photo was of Andrea and I was struck that we had both
chosen the same words for ourselves. Then I realised that it was Tracey who had chosen those words. But maybe it was all of us. We are enough. Say it to yourself. Sing it out loud. Go on, you only have to do it in the quiet of your car, or your kitchen. I sang it in front of 45 people and three of my heros. If I can do that then anyone can.

This is what conscious activism means to me. Excavating deep into my motivations to do service work and uncovering my own shadows, owning them, addressing them and healing them. So that when I turn up to do the work of serving others, of bearing witness in this world, I'm not looking to those others to answer the question that only I could really answer – head thrown back and heart open.

I am enough.


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15 Responses to "I am enough"

  1. As I read this just now something rattled inside me and I realized she has verbalized that which I myself feel as well. I look forward to reading more of your words.

  2. asiyah says:

    So beautiful. I am always astounded by your courage. Thank you.

  3. Paris Parfait says:

    I’m so glad you’re having this time to do what you love and what you need. It’s important, particularly as you’re always giving so much of your time and energy to others. (I decided long ago that you are more than enough; in fact, you’re quite special and many other people whose paths you’ve crossed undoubtedly agree). xo

  4. Emma says:

    Beautifully written and felt, Marianne. Thank you for sharing this.

  5. oh beautiful woman, i am so very moved by this. tearful and nodding in agreement. i am just now deeply getting to the morsel of truth that in order to be of service in way that i want, to get my message out and open doorways of truth and freedom…i have to be the first to walk through. the first to break the lock…
    so proud of you. you are all things and so beyond “enough”.
    much love, lisa

  6. Andi says:

    What an eloquent entry!!! Don’t you love when synchronicity occurs? Makes the message that much more powerful. I don’t know if I would have had the courage to sing in front of 45 people, so I’m really proud of you for doing it. 🙂

  7. susanna says:

    This past and your last post really resonated with me, Marianne. I admire your courage in opening up so fully and voicing – singing! – out the words that you needed to hear. I think I would have been dreading the moment when I was to sing out my own words…how would my words be perceived?…but then that’s the whole point, isn’t it? To say those words to/for yourself and to trust that those around you will be kind to your heart.
    I’m glad that the time spent in Big Sur was so fulfilling for you. 🙂

  8. Swirly says:

    Goosebumps and tears and awe.

  9. Lubna says:

    I needed to hear this. Now I need to muster enough courage to say it.
    Warm regards,

  10. linni says:

    No words…just admiration for your bravery! Loving oneself, knowing that ‘i am enough’ is truly one of the bravest things you can do xx

  11. Steffi says:

    So beautiful!
    I am actually planning on putting a large sheet of paper on my living room wall which says: I am enough as I am right now.
    Thank you for sharing!

  12. Marianne says:

    Good for you! You are indeed enough, right now.
    On Mon, Sep 7, 2009 at 8:14 AM, wrote:

  13. gypsy Alex says:

    We are enough and so much more, aren’t we all? We definitely need to start owning it. Wish i were there in BS with you. Maybe next year xo

  14. StephK says:

    Marianne, this really moved me. I have been struggling with that very question also for so long. Am I enough? Am I doing enough, being enough? Especially can I be enough without a partner beside me, and children etc. I’m glad I met you in Ubud and found your site. Much love. Stephx

  15. Abbie says:

    Just read this post of yours – so beautiful!

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