Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tip #44: Perfection is not the goal

So, the meditation challenge came and went and I did some but definitely not much. And I'm a bit upset about it, because I have done well in other personal challenges. I do have multiple excuses: much more homework to correct than last year, I'm doing yoga more often now, I do keep up with my walking and gym (that's definitely thanks to Gym-Pact), "leaf-catching"anyone? but still. I also did notice that, the days I meditated something else gave in, maybe the yoga, maybe the walking, maybe the green-smoothie. I have definitely not done any arm exercises in a long, long time. Those were the first to go (can you tell I kind of didn't really like those?).

But, although I'm upset as I said, I'm going to try to not beat myself about it. Today I was listening to Dr. Dan Siegel, in a talk part of a series called The Compassionate Brain: Activating the Neural Circuits of Kindness, Caring, and Love. Practical Neuroscience for Transformation, and he mentioned as an example someone who hurts himself in the foot and reacts by cursing himself for being so clumsy and stupid. He said that instead, that person would have to look at the situation from outside and tell himself, "It hurts, I feel the physical pain, I have been clumsy but maybe I can learn not to do this again. But I'm human, it is not that important. I can go on." Easier said than done, but he also mentioned several other mental exercises one can do to train your brain to think this way. Considering I don't feel right now like I have so much time for meditation, I guess, I'm not going to do his exercises either, but I did learn something already: it's definitely OK to do as little or as much as I can. I will continue trying to mediate, this time without a challenge. Maybe I can do it three times a week. That will be fine. Those of you who know me (probably all, thank you so much for reading!) I'm sure are thinking, "But, of course, you do so much already!!," but we just cannot see what we do, we keep beating ourselves up because we feel we are inadequate in so many ways. Dr. Siegel also talked about how society makes us geared for competition, rather than collaboration, and I feel maybe sometimes it is a competition within yourself. We want to be perfect. We need to be cured. But perfection is overvalued and a cure means really little. Are you fine now? Right this moment? Yes, you are. That's all that really matters.

So, I found that lovely quote from Leonard Cohen's song Anthem, and I'm going to try to remember it the days I don't get to do everything I had on my long list for the day. Another crack. But how beautiful is the light that goes through it.

Any other tips for me? I love your comments.

1 comment:

  1. Danger: Hurricane- and vodka-induced rambling follows. Nobody needs to read this unless it draws you in :)

    There are a few "type A's" in my life. (I don't think of you as one of them, Pilar; I think of you as being among the better balanced.) But - haha - the type A's are even "good at" trying to be (or appear, or pretend to be) balanced in their lives. However, it's evident that it's not really working so well.

    Me? I just know I have my limits. I know I cannot do it all. Does this make me happier or more sane? Decidedly not. What might actually make me happier or more sane would be to ACCEPT that I have my limits, not just recognize it, and stop comparing, stop judging, stop analyzing! Life is too short!!!

    But what are the goals of all our scurrying anyway? To be happy? To be fulfilled? To serve? I was thinking about those goals in relation to my son recently. What do I WANT for him (if asked)? Well nevermind - his goals are up to him. But (did you ask?), I would, off the top of my head, hope that he is healthy, happy, kind and loving (to himself and others), and maybe somehow productive.

    One thing I would say to my son is: just be yourself. (Wish that could be easy.)

    I guess, most of all, we really should see if we can find ways to relax and try to take it a little bit easier. Be a little more reflective. Aren't most of us a little bit too wound up? Are we trying to do too much? What's pushing us? Our modern lives in our modern world?

    Maybe we need to slow down a little. The hurricane is an interesting experience. I know many of us would kind of like to be without electricity for a day. I know one friend has already acknowledged that this was a welcome reprieve and she was able to get a little more of her overload of work done because some things got cancelled. Hmmmmm.

    Anyway. Seems like "happy" would be a good guideline, no? In my case, if I feel overwhelmed at times I guess I could look at that a little bit more carefully and maybe deconstruct it. What is making me feel that way, and how can I tackle it?

    Okay. Enough. It was fun rambling. Love love love!