When you allow love to touch you in your most vulnerable spaces it will affirm and heal and inspire.
My energetic intention for the month of February is to *embrace imperfection*. (If you would like to join us in the complimentary energetic circle for February, please click the title link to register and add your intention. The circle is open through February 7th.)
I know that much of my life has been spent striving to be this impossible version of perfection. I used to put off learning new things until something within me was “perfect”. I could celebrate “imperfection” in others; in fact, I absolutely enjoy connecting from such a space. I could celebrate imperfection in external conditions.
I could neither accept nor celebrate the imperfection within me.
For instance, I had it in my mind that in order to practice yoga–to come to the mat–I needed to have the right cloths, be in full alignment internally, and to have full trust in the teacher (to surrender control). “Perfection”.
However, if I kept those rigorous standards for myself–to be perfect before vesting presence--I would have missed out on many of my favorite experiences in life, including my yoga practice as well as: mothering, raising my children as liveaboards on a sailboat, this website and all of the work I do through it, relationships that have moved me in all ways….
I would have missed out on life!
Basically, all I “know how to do” in most instances is to vest presence with love and gratitude, and celebrate unfolding into new spaces and/or depth of consistent journeys in “old spaces”.
We can use that as a mantra, emphasizing each individual syllable as we take one full breath for each time say say the phrase:
(breathe)*Love* is perfection. (breathe) Love *is* perfection. (breathe) Love is *perfection*.
My dear friend, Jean Sampson, whom you might know through the comments she leaves on this site, as well as through her reader bio in our recent newsletter, teaches painting. In many of her comments, she describes the process of sharing her “work in progress” with her students, as well as the idea of a “mistake” in painting later evolving into a masterpiece.
When I apply her examples to living life, and the concept of presence with love, I learn “how to show up” as my imperfect self. It is a pleasure to share with you a paragraph from an email exchange that we had this morning..in Jean’s words:
“Oh, my dear Joy, I feel so appreciated by you! It feels wonderful to know that you are being affected by how I teach my students and myself—–sooner or later, they all figure out that the class is really a life lesson and not just a painting class! :) I didn’t intend it that way but that is how the class “revealed” itself to me and that is what I pass on to anyone who is receptive. I am so glad that it is also teaching you something important for your life.
Perfectionism gets in the way of creativity—-messes lead you to joy and surprises! I don’t like to know what I am doing——I love for the work itself to call forth something in me that I didn’t know I was capable of doing. I love living on the edge, creatively. And it helps my students so much if I can show them my messy process. They just cannot believe how many changes a painting goes through to become “the finished painting”. I try to let them see the struggles and how it is not just putting down something beautiful at first. It is really an adventure to put paint on canvas, or words to paper, for that matter! :) “
I would love to know, is there a space where the myth of perfection might be holding you back from vesting full presence? And, as you read Jean’s words, what arises within? When you share, we all learn.
I wrote the beginning quote as I reflected on this series–it is a vulnerable space for me. To open my heart, here, is to show my imperfection, with the sole intent of encouraging you to do the same within your life…not necessarily here, if you are not comfortable, but in life. In your way.
Am I afraid? Oh, yes. But, here I am, in my imperfection…with a heart full of gratitude!
Much peace and abundant love,
Reminder: Linger. Savor. Relish.