Deciding Not To Be Perfect
I can’t remember the exact moment when I decided not to be perfect.
I’m not sure if I just mellowed out with age or finally started doing what I encouraged my clients to do.
To be still.
To not wait to start living.
To be enough, right now, in the moment.
I made a decision to be happy now and not wait until I started being the person I knew I could be.
Living With Less Fear
This was a scary proposition. Would complacency and sloth take over my life? Quite the opposite. I have actually made more positive, long lasting changes when I decided to quit trying so hard to change.
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There is something peaceful and calm about mindfulness. Mindfulness allows me to pay attention in the present moment without judgment. I relax, I have less fear. Fear of judgment or rejection fades. Living with less fear allows me to breath, notice and appreciate what I do have and who I am. I’m happier.
Could I be more…everything?
Yes, I could. But I don’t have to be in order to be happy. Letting go of perfectionism allowed me to find the middle ground. To live in the sometimes and mostly. Sometimes gives me margin. I am OK with being mostly something.
Intentions For Living
I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions this year. I made a list of intentions for living now, semantics right?
Not really, I have come to know myself. S.M.A.R.T. goals make me crazy stupid. They say that if goals are not specific, measurable, action-oriented, realistic and time-oriented, I’ll fail.
Learning To Live Right Now
I’ve had plenty of failure in my life, when I’ve been too focused on exactly who, what, when and how I was going to be. I realized that goal setting for me created a void, an abyss. The space between where I am and where I wanted to be was dangerous. It created a world based on the future and right now didn’t exist. I did a lot of damage in right now.
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I lived in the future. I created elaborate plans, schedules and ways of being that were so far from who I was today that it excited me, but scared me at the same time. This cognitive dissonance was so uncomfortable that I decided to “flip a switch” and dissociate in the right now until tomorrow, Monday or New Year’s Day.
Endless “last suppers”, weeks without shaving my legs, complete absence of productivity. I behaved as if what I was doing didn’t count right now, because it was before I was going to start…being perfect. I wasted a lot of good years waiting to be the perfect version of myself. In the meantime I created so much damage that it took weeks (or months) to catch up to baseline…whether it was my weight, my self-care or self-respect.
So how does it work now?
First of all. I create a pleasant and loving environment for me to live in today. For instance, I made a decision that I would only have clothes in my closet that fit and looked good on me. My day begins on a happy note, instead of….
Then, when I feel like I’d like to create positive change in my life, I create an intentions for living list. These are ways of “being”, mostly. I see myself doing more of something. For instance, I intend to eat more fruits and vegetables today. Sometimes I eat a maple creamee (this is my favorite new Vermont treat). This doesn’t have anything to do with my intention to eat more fruits and vegetables. Guess what? As I eat more fruits and vegetables, I feel better and therefore I eat more fruits and vegetables.
Another intention is to play more outside today. I strap on my snow shoes and take off on a short hike in the woods near my house. I notice the stillness and quiet of the snow and the ease of the hill that was harder last week.
This is how I stay happy now.
What makes you happy now? What might be on your intentions for living list? Let us know!