Hello Fellow Body-Mind-Hearts –
“Perfection is the ongoing commitment to self-doubt” ~ Prentis Hemphill
Self-doubt has been my best buddy for a long time and striving for perfection is what keeps her close. To be honest, I am tired of it…the striving, the second-guessing, the comparison with others, the unwillingness to allow myself to be. My continual self-doubt created a place where nothing could ever feel at ease or sweet ’cause it was ALWAYS being compared to what I could have done that was better or more right!
I have been giving my self-doubt a break from her habitual demanding hate-speech. This is no easy task when we live in a culture that seeks to make her the queen of my roost. I am much more able to allow for the mistakes and idiosyncrasies that are my truth and process these days. And I strive to support others in allowing for this as well. My understanding of the roots of this are deepening as I explore the hierarchal assumptions of our society. When we assume there is a perfect ideal that everyone must match up to, everyone fails and looses. We experience this in different ways, but it poisons the air we breath and our connection to self and other. My inner dialogue of self-doubt has been incessant and utterly exhausting for as long as I can remember. Yet today, I actively and kindly endeavor to inform my being that my choices are fine and part of my unfolding and presence here. That I am in a process of living, learning and evolving.
So I am making a clarion call for us to be messy! For us to be a little less demanding on ourselves and to explore the process of living versus being focused on the product of perfection. How might this look? Well, for me, it can be sending this post out without endless revisions and suggestions from others, doing the uncomfortable practice of resting on my days off, and of speaking up even if I don’t always know how I want to express my thoughts and trying new things. It could look a lot of different ways. If we are all trying achieve a perfect image/place/idea then no-one stands out and we all the same! Not to mention the utter exhaustion that comes with not allowing myself to be human.
This messiness, or might we say authenticity, is at the heart of how I like to invite folks to move and practice. There isn’t just one way to do something…there are myriad ways. And each day we are different and changing. It is the expression from inside that the world needs, not the desperate work to fit an unattainable goal. This can be hard with so much crazy input from our culture but this is the revolutionary work we need to do daily. Making a mistake does not mean we are a mistake, doing wrong does not mean being wrong. Let the messiness be a creative process for our unique beauty.
Come play and be messy with me…come make mistakes and learn…come be human…I cherish that about you.
May we hold ourselves gently as we endeavor to grow through our mistakes
May we commit to a sense of Self that honors our humanity
May we be willing to make mistakes and grow
May we offer ourselves and each other the deep kindness of dropping the whole idea of perfection
May our messiness bring more beauty into the world
Artwork from Apraku Psychiatry
- Find your inner human student. Softly notice when the inner critic sparks up to let you know ‘you should’ve done it differently’…pause…see if you can let go just a little of this perspective and embrace that there are many ways to do something, this is how you are doing it, and if you discover later it didn’t work out, then you can do it differently next time.
- Notice how many times you ‘should’ on yourself…see if you can find another way to consider your choices without the pressure of should. Remember, be gentle with this.
- Try something new today…perhaps walk a different trail, change the order of your routine, a new food, etc.
- Dance like no one is watching…including your hypercritical self-doubt!
- Please schedule a free 20 minute Introductory Consultation to learn more about what I offer and how I can support your healing journey. I currently have two spots open in my private practice.
Upcoming Live Streaming Practice Opportunities:
- All Levels Yoga, Mondays, 10-11:30am PDT live stream through Seattle Yoga Arts
- All Levels Yoga, Sunday, May 23, 5:30-7pm PDT, live stream through Two Dog Yoga
- Yoga Nidra Practice, Sunday, May 23, 5:30-7pm PDT, live stream through Two Dog Yoga
- Full Moon Mandala Practice, Wednesday, May 26, 7-8:30pm PDT live stream through Seattle Yoga Arts
- Continuum Inquiry Playshop, Second Monday of the Month, 6-8pm PDT live stream through Body of Insight
Ancient Story, Modern Message: The Cracked Pot
An elderly Chinese woman completed a daily trek to the stream past her home and back to supply her family with fresh water. In order to do this, she fashioned a heavy pot on each end of a long pole, which she carried across her shoulders.
One of the pots was in perfect condition and always delivered a full portion of water. The other had a deep crack in it, causing water to leak out. At the end of the long walk, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
This situation occurred daily for two years, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the cracked pot was ashamed of its imperfection and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it had perceived to be bitter failure, the cracked pot spoke to the woman by the stream. “I am ashamed,” it said. “This crack in my side causes water to leak out. You work so hard and yet have little water once you return home.”
The old woman smiled and replied, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path? I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path. Every day, while we walked back home, you watered those seeds and helped them to grow. For two years, I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table and give to neighbors. Without you being just the way you are, there would not have been this special beauty to grace our homes and lives.”