Category Archives: Recovery

Allow it to get messy

A different yoga instructor. A different learning. “Allow it to get messy,” he said. What a concept.

Allow myself to not know the answer, to not know what to do. Allow myself to slip up, to make mistakes, to try different things. Allow myself to mush around until something works.

As a recovering perfectionist – who somehow still seems like a complete perfectionist to people around me – the notion of doing something – anything – messily is somewhat foreign and quite mind-blowing.

But I’m doing it. Contrary to the belief of those people around me, I am living my life quite messily. I am intentionally living my life quite messily.

I ran and stopped midway to stretch, rather than pushing myself to complete the run without stopping. Nothing much to many, but radical to me. I thought I skipped a post last week. In retrospect I don’t think I did, but the fact that I told myself it was fine and didn’t give it another thought (until I was surprised to see a post post) is again radical. I stumble through my yoga practice and poses, connect with people when I don’t have the “right” words to say, and practice, play, and try more than I ever have.

I allow life to get messy and enjoy the mess. Like finger painting – isn’t the experience of your fingers mushing in the paint at least part of the reason behind finger painting, not just the picture at the end? I think that’s true for life overall. I’ll probably remember this day more if it gets messy. If I get messy. I’ll probably have more fun and learn more new things if I allow things to get messy.

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

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I have to create the habit

“If I want to be happy, I have to create the habit, just as I had to with daily writing, and flossing.” Anne Lamott

As I’ve written here before, I am taking a certification course in Positive Psychology, and one of the things we’ve learned is that happiness and thriving can be – must be – habits you create. I also read this years ago in Help, Thanks, Wow by Anne Lamott.

I have to create the habit of being happy – the daily habit of being happy – just like I did with my writing and my flossing. I don’t (very often) think about flossing. I (usually) automatically do it. Well, at least my tooth brushing. Brushing my teeth has become such a habit that not doing it feels weird.

Is that the goal? To make being happy such a daily habit that not doing it feels weird, just like not brushing my teeth?

I have worked hard to create this new habit of being happy, and it now feels a bit off when I’m not. What a blessing. It feels weird when I’m stuck for too long in anger or anguish. It’s starting to feel strange, and I’m starting to notice that something’s not right when I’m not noticing what is right and what brings me joy. Then I pause for a moment and remember. “Right. I have a choice.”

And I try again to choose. To choose to be happy. To choose to love.

To make being happy a daily habit.

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

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Don’t work too hard on anything…

That’s the advice I heard. It’s very different from the advice I used to give myself. It’s very different from what I learned, and thought I had to adhere to, way back when.

In fact, I think it’s the opposite of where I used to come from. I think my motto was to work as hard as possible on everything. And then some. And never notice I was doing it.

I was playing tennis with my son a few weeks back. When I last played, years ago, he was really quite bad. And I therefore, in comparison, was really quite good. Or so he thought. But since that time he’s grown and he’s learned how to play tennis…well. And I haven’t. I haven’t played in years. I never really played. I never took a lesson. And I kinda stink.

As I hit the ball weirdly one too many times, or missed it completely like I never have before, I could feel my frustration rising. “I hate not being good at something,” I said to my son, feeling as if I was making a huge revelation and that it would therefore be a great teaching moment. “I know,” he answered. All I could think, once again, was “how does he know?” Apparently my need to not fail and not mess up have been obvious, even though I was certain I was doing it differently and not showing my kids that side of me. I guess it still runs deep.

I like the idea of not working too hard on anything. I like the idea of playing more, relaxing more, and enjoying myself more. And working hard when it’s something I want to work hard on…but not too hard.

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

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