I mean really, what is perfect anyway?

Happy Friday!

imperfect-action (www.empowernetwork.com)
(image found at empowernetwork.com)

And happy Feb. 1st ~ the first of a new month! A ‘perfect’ day to bring up the theme I would like to discuss. Imperfection. And more specifically, imperfect action.

There have been times in my life where I will admit I have been a bit of a perfectionist. And if I’m honest, I still sometimes get those perfectionist tendencies. But see, here’s the thing. Perfection is an ideal that just doesn’t exist. I mean really, what is perfect, anyway?

Well, I looked it up in the dictionary (the on-line version, anyway — out of curiosity, does anyone still have the real book version?!?)

Here is what comes up:

Perfect [adj., n. pur-fikt; v. per-fekt]

adjective

  1. entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings
  2. conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type
  3. accurate, exact, or correct in every detail
  4. exactly fitting the need in a certain situation or for a certain purpose
  5. excellent or complete beyond practical or theoretical improvement

I don’t know about you, but it seems a pretty tall order to achieve any of these definitions. (entirely without any flaws, defects, or shortcomings?!?) Especially when it comes to something we want to create, the job we are hoping to land, the regular workout routine we want to stick to, the loving relationship we are striving for. How can anything when it comes to real people’s actions and behaviors be without any flaws… I mean we’re all human after all, right? Of course we are going to make mistakes every now and again. It’s how we learn. And quite frankly, life would be pretty boring if everyone had everything figured out at all times.

And so, instead of aiming for perfection – which will inevitably evoke disappointment anyhow – let’s instead be okay with a little bit of imperfection.

When I was doing my yoga teacher training, one of the big posters hanging on the wall, staring at us as we held our focused gaze in all those warrior and tree poses, read ‘you are a concern for looking good.’ I didn’t want to believe it at first, but I had an epiphany one day when I realized that, in fact, I was exactly that. And moreover, one of the big reasons I was striving for perfection, was because I wanted to look good, and I was scared of looking bad. Well, that fear caused what some have termed perfectionist paralysis. Instead of trying something on – be it an idea, a job, a business venture – if I wasn’t sure it would be perfect, I wouldn’t do it. Which meant I played it safe, and I played it small.

Well, folks, I am ready to step out of the safe zone and play it big.

Today I am taking an imperfect step.

I’ve been creating a happy friday blog for a little while now ~ something I have wanted to do for a LONG time, but scared to go through with it in case it wasn’t perfect. Well it is CERTAINLY NOT perfect, nor will it ever be! But, well, I’m going to share it with the world anyway.

Imperfection action is always better than perfect inaction.

So, please, take a peak around! And I welcome your feedback… it’s in the early stages, but we all have to start somewhere, right?!?

Have a FAB week, everyone!

Happy Birthday to me!

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.

~ Abraham Lincoln

Carol birthday

Happy Friday!

Most years on my birthday, I allow myself to spend precious time and energy thinking about all that I have not yet accomplished. ‘I can’t believe I’m already x years old and I haven’t done this, or that, or _________ (fill in the blank)!’  Sound familiar? Why is it that we so often use our age — which is just a number in the end, anyhow, right? — as a measure against how we’re getting on in life, how much we’ve accomplished, how succesful we are, how many things we have already checked off the ol’ list, how ‘well’ we’re doing. I’ll admit, I’m pretty good at this. I’ve even ended up on more than one occasion in tears, upset with myself for not being ‘further ahead’ in my life.

Well, my friends, no more I say! Instead of looking back at my life and choosing to look at all that I have not yet accomplished, I am going to look back today at my 32 short years and choose to look (and celebrate) all that I have accomplished. And so, if you’ll all indulge me (it is my birthday after all!), I am going to share a few amazing moments (it was going to be 32, until I realized that is a pretty long list, and I’d probably lose most of you by the midway point anyhow!) of wonder, joy, excitement, fear, pride, and achievement that I have been lucky enough to experience thus far in my life.

Here they are (and in no particular order):

  • Crossing the finish line of the Indianapolis marathon.
  • Singing my first solo as Bunny Sue in my 1st grade production of Get Hoppin’.
  • Hearing my mother’s bracelet jingle in the audience at every Opening Night performance of any show I ever did.
  • Bungee jumping (in my birthday suit no less!) in Greece.
  • Sitting in the audience experiencing my first musical ever – Cats.
  • Having my head shaved in front and friends and family – and Oakville Mayor! – and raising $10,000 for breast cancer research.
  • Coffee dates with girlfriends – one in particular post bridesmaid shopping – feeling such connection, love, and sisterhood!
  • Getting the envelope that June day saying I made it into the Ryerson theatre program.
  • Seeing my brother-in-law walk down the hospital hallway announcing the birth of my beautiful niece Emery.
  • The nerves, curiosity, newness, and wanderlust of my first kiss (ah, the innocence and naïveté!)
  • Riding my moped along the chaotic streets of Chiang Mai,  dreadlocks waving behind me, enroute to explore Buddhas in underground caves.
  • Experiencing my first standing ovation.
  • Receiving the call from my agent saying I had landed the part (wow – lot of theatre and acting references in here!)
  • Waking up in an Ashram, bald-headed, in India, ready to take on the world as a spiritual yogi.
  • Getting up for the first time and riding a (small) wave on a surfboard.
  • Being woken up by my excited sister on Christmas morning, stocking trailing behind her, exclaiming “Santa has been!’
  • Standing in front on my first class to teach.
  • Running through live barbed wires before completing the Tough Mudder.
  • Watching the breath-taking view of the sunrise over the Himalayas.

I’ve had some fun times over the years… and I look forward to lots more fun times over the next 32 years and then some.

And so, let us all raise a glass to birthdays ~ for reminding us of not only how much we have already lived, but for getting us pumped for all that is still left to explore.

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Have a FAB week everyone!

inhale. exhale. repeat.

inhale. exhale. repeat

Happy Friday!

One of my professors in Springfield had a t-shirt that read these words:

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

I have to say I found it quite amusing. And it was so apropos for her, as she was such a ball of energy and it was go go go all the time. I suppose I could relate. Have you ever had those days or weeks where you are so busy sometimes you simply just forget to breathe? Well, I seem to be experiencing one of those right now. We have a family wedding tomorrow (actually, it has now turned into today!) – which is very exciting – but in true carol fashion I have left far too much to the last minute. You’d think I’d have had more time on my hands what with M in Wales and all, and yet apparently I made sure – whether consciously or not – that I would have absolutely no time on my own! Dare I have a moment when I could potentially register that I may be lonely.

I mean, it’s not as though that would likely have even happened, as I quite enjoy being on my own, but I somehow made sure there couldn’t possibility have even been the opportunity. Besides my teaching two nights a week, I also began another German course, which takes up another two evenings a week. There has been overtime at work, some yoga, late night bike tours and runs thrown into the mix, a birthday party, a Hamburger Fish Markt, a doctor’s appointment, a choir rehearsal – and that was just this week. And somehow I needed to then squeeze in dress and shoe shopping, a much overdue hair appointment, wedding gift shopping, plus all of the organizing of the 50’s style costume pieces and garb, and accompanying scrapbooking supplies, for the photo booth we are setting up. And oh yes, I also I wanted to get the place spic and span for M’s arrival. phew. 

Now as many of you I like being busy – but there is a fine line being busy, and being absolutely crazy. And sometimes in the event of the latter, you can forget to breathe. And then it’s no fun anymore!

Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. I feel as though there are many ways in which this simple unsolicited t-shirt advice could be read. Just breathe – yes, that is important. Take a moment for yourself every now and again to notice your breathing. To really be in the moment, if only for a moment, and to enjoy that moment. It also reminds us that life doesn’t really have to be all that complicated. We breathe in, we breathe out, and we do it again.

Sometimes we (and myself included here!) want to make things so much more complicated than they are, or need to be. Sometimes we move a mile a minute and have no time to even notice the flowers, let alone take the time to smell them.

And sometimes life seems so overwhelming we don’t even know where to start… So, let’s just start with the inhale, and then the exhale. Take it s-l-o-w.

It’s fun to be busy, but we also need to be okay with not having a jam-packed schedule, and to perhaps take a moment or two to do absolutely nothing. Perhaps I should listen to myself… well, perhaps one day soon. But not this morning! We leave for the ceremony in a few hours and still lots of wrapping and writing and prettying up to be done!

Have a FAB week, everyone!

Carol