Monthly Archives: March 2017

Perfectly imperfect

That’s what the yoga instructor offered yesterday. “In this imperfect world,” she asked, “how can you try to be perfect? Why do you try to be perfect?”

The goal she offered us was imperfectly perfect, or perfectly imperfect, as I like to offer myself.

Not perfectly imperfect like my brother means when he points out that I “try to be perfect, even in my not being perfect.” Instead it’s perfectly imperfect as in “everything is perfect just as it is.” Even the imperfect parts, which is just about everything.

I can try to be imperfectly perfect, or perfectly imperfect. I can let the moment – and me, and you – be imperfectly perfect.

I can, and do, let my yoga practice be perfectly imperfect. My poses are what they are and then the instructor comes over and adjusts me and it’s a moment of “Oh, that’s what it was supposed to be.” Ah well. It is what it is. Decades of yoga and my body has the flexibility it has.

I can, and do, let my parenting be imperfectly perfect. Just ask my kids. I can, and do, let my work be perfectly imperfect, although some people might disagree with that one. I can, and do, let my self be perfectly imperfect – and imperfectly perfect – more and more and more.

In this imperfect world, why would you try and be perfect? Why wouldn’t you just try and be.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Every breath is a chance to begin again

Again yoga. Again life-changing, or at least day-changing. I’m sure the instructor was speaking about our practice that day when she offered, “Every breath is a chance to begin again,” but it pertains to so much more that my practice that day.

Every day is a new beginning, if I remember to start anew. Every breath can be too.

Every breath can be a reawakening, a shedding of the past (even it it’s just the past minute), and a moment to re-ground myself in the present. In the sunshine outside. In the joy of being alive.

Every breath can be a reminder to be where I am and – excuse the pun – breathe in the day. Every breath can be an opportunity to let go of whatever thought, emotion, or yoga pose I’m caught up in and be – just be.

If anger or shame is swelling inside of me, every breath is a chance to let it flow through and past me. If I’m feeling regret for what I did or didn’t do, what I said or didn’t say, every breath is a chance to do it differently from now on. If I’m caught up in worry or fear or stress, every breath is a chance to breathe in love and breathe out and release. If I can’t move my body into a yoga pose (and there are many times I can’t move my body into a yoga pose, even with decades of practice), every breath is a chance to try again and to let whatever pose I “achieve” be just fine.

Every breath is a chance to begin again. And again. And again.

And to notice and relish, and love and enjoy. And begin.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Maybe it will never go away

I’ve come to realize that my waves of shame may never go away. They can be related to nothing, and they can hit me out of nowhere. I can be walking down the street, enjoying the day, and BAM! get nearly knocked over with a sense of how wrong and unworthy and vile I am.

That may never go away. It may, but it may not, and that’s okay.

It’s okay because I know that that groundswell of shame is a lie. It’s a lie I’ve absorbed based on lies I was told and lies I made up to explain all that happened. But it’s a lie.

It’s okay because I’ve learned how to breathe through it. I’ve learned how to watch it happening to me, while it happens to me – like an impartial observer. I’ve learned to separate myself from it, even as it feels like not just a part of me but all of me.

I’ve learned that the shame swells up, and then it recedes. If I can wait it out – when I wait it out – it lessens.

I’ve learned to say to myself, “Oh, there it is. Damn it feels bad. It will go away. Just breathe.”

I check in on reality – I’m not vile; I am loved; I am lovable; at this very minute I’m not in danger; I’m not doing anything wrong; everything is okay – and then my heartbeat slows down, my breath becomes more steady, and the sun shines again.

It would be wonderful if I never had an inexplicable, out-of-nowhere wave of shame again. It would be wonderful if I never had a wave of shame at all. It would be wonderful, and it may or may not happen. And for today, I’m okay with that.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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