Hello Embodied Wise Ones –
Perfection…the drive to attain the unattainable, at least that is how it often plays out in our culture. Yet in older cultures the idea of perfection was found in the imperfection itself. The idea that beauty lies in the messiness and the not quite polished product. In other words, an honoring of our humanness and a celebration of our unique and varying expressions. Which was also seen as an expression of divinity!
These days there is an odd and continual pressure for everything to be pristine and ‘perfect’, from the airbrushing of fashion models to the choosing of pretty produce for the grocery shelf (check out Imperfect Produce) to the select pictures of yoga poses. This tireless requirement can translate to an incessant internal demand to match and catch up with something that is not accurate or truthful for us. This drive for the exacting and perfect can be incredibly tiring and soul crushing. I know because I feel it and deal with it daily.
Here’s one simple example…I aim to send out this missive on the new moon of every month. This month it occurred on Monday, June 3. I missed this self imposed deadline this month as other things demanded my attention last week and then I was on retreat and off line for the four days prior. I spent quite bit of time stressing over this and coming up with wild and crazy schemes of how to get it out ‘on time’. And then I simply stopped. I realized that it was just fine for you to receive this email a few days post new moon. And that more than likely you wouldn’t notice or care that it was not delivered on that particular day. So perhaps I could let myself of my self imposed hook of perfection and go away without my computer and enjoy my time off-grid. And this is what I did with a big exhale and a smile of compassion for myself. And you are receiving this just two days later and I am trusting that that is just fine!
It is the practice of dropping the perfectionist ideal that there is only one way something can be done and instead working with the inspiring idea that there are many ways to offer the same thing. There is the ideal of the yoga pose that only one or a few can attain OR there is the idea of a yoga pose that all can practice and express uniquely.
It is a revolutionary act to allow ourselves and others to be human in this digital age of idealism.
It is a potent reclaiming of ourselves to practice being true to the moment rather than to some fabricated concept of who and how we are supposed to be.
It is crucial for us to notice the made up ideals we impose upon ourselves and each other and start to offer more a more compassionate and kind idea of what is possible.
We need to reclaim our imperfection as one of our most precious works of beauty.
- Come in for a Resiliency Session. Learn some simple and potent practices to come into the here and now and access more of your human wisdom and divine presence.
- Notice when you are being hard on yourself and demanding that you do something a particular way because you did it this way before or someone else did it that way or you were told that is the only way to do it. Stop and attend to the sensation in your body that this demand of perfection creates. See if you can create enough space to allow yourself to find another way of doing it that is more humane and truthful to you.
- Notice when you are imposing a perfectionist ideal on your yoga practice, or any practice for that matter, and see if instead you can work with the idea of the practice and your particular way of doing that. Allow rather than demand.
- Practice looking for beauty in odd and unsuspecting places.
by Joy Harjo
Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is. I met her
in a bar once in Iowa City.
Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother’s and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories too. Talk to them,
listen to them. they are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of the universe. I heard her singing Kiowa war
dance songs at the corner of Fourth and Central once.
Remember you are all people and that all people
Remember that you are this universe and that this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember all language comes from this.
Remember the dance that language is, that life is.