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Chasing "Perfection"

I have always been a perfectionist. Worrying and stressing over the smallest of details. Afraid to do or say anything because I might be wrong. Obsessing over everything. Thinking I might have forgotten something. Concerned about what everyone else would think if my homework, my project, my thoughts, my life, my whatever wasn't "perfect".

It's a trait that served me well in my many years as a bookkeeper. It's not a trait that has served me well in my general life. The stress has taken a toll on my psyche for sure, and even on my body. Goals and dreams that have not been reached because of my fear of failing. Pounds put on and also pounds shed because of stress. Sometimes I'm a stress eater, usually I'm a stress non-eater.

Making shifts

downward dog progress
June 2020

Thank you 2020 for the gift of imperfection. If there was ever a time for me to let go of my need for everything to be perfect, it's this year. I am learning how to "go with the flow" and let things unfold and just be. No controlling. No perfection. No stress or worry. Or at least that's my new goal. I haven't been perfect (haha) and I have definitely been a lot calmer.

Yoga has been a huge piece of my life this year. At first, it was a way to support my friend who was now having to teach online and wasn't sure if anyone was going to show up for her classes. Then it became a part of my new routine. Then it became a part of my life - so much so that I have registered for Yoga Teacher Training. Woohoo!!!

Lessons learned

downward dog progress
Aug 2020

I have learned so much about myself on the mat, and am finding that those lessons are showing up in my life off the mat too. I have heard many times that yoga is a practice. I never really understood that concept until this year. No matter how "perfectly" I stand in a pose, there's always more I can do. There are always deeper expressions of the poses. There are always more lessons I can learn about myself.

We've all heard the expression "practice makes perfect". I heard once that only "perfect practice makes perfect", which makes sense. Practice makes us better, it doesn't make us perfect. I'm finally learning how to enjoy the art of practicing, and consequently the art of living. I'm even learning how to laugh at myself when I "make mistakes". Literally laughing at myself. Good thing computers have mute buttons. haha

downward dog progress
Oct 2020

Getting flexible

The concept of flexibility on and off the mat has also helped me get rid of my need to be "perfect". Watching my progress in downward dog and the physical flexibility I am gaining to get deeper into that pose has been exciting. It's not "perfect" yet, and I've finally realized it never will be. I'm making progress though, and that's what I strive for now, not perfection.

As I have progressed in my yoga practice, I have felt muscles relax and strengthen. I have felt stress knots soften and release. My range of motion, flexibility, stamina, and energy have all increased. I have been building the strength, flexibility, and more importantly, the confidence to attempt things I didn't think I was capable of doing.

Looking forward

downward dog progress
Dec 2020

When I started yoga back in April, I thought it was a great way to support a friend and get in shape. I thought that "pretzel" poses were beyond my ability and just a fantasy. One of those "dream postures" has become a regular and favorite part of my practice. I've embraced backbends and am routinely practicing my version of headstands and arm balances.

My vision, my primary goal for myself for 2020 was health and serenity. I am so proud of what I have accomplished this year. It hasn't been "perfect" and I've realized that's why it has been such a great year. I'm excited about all the possibilities and will just keep practicing being me. Imperfect and proud of it.

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