In the quiet of my head, there has always been the echo of an angry ballet teacher. She is perfect. She walks with beauty, grace, and poise. With every step you can see her muscles rippling throughout her body. She sculpts the rest of us into hopeful copy cats – beauty, innocence and quiet strength. She demands you succeed.
Combating perfectionism isn’t easy. Perfection of technique, perfection of body, and in the self-help world – perfection of soul. And all this striving for perfection, by such imperfect beings, creates tremendous imbalance and psychological shadow. Spirituality has become about an attempt to transcend the mess and the much of the human condition. For most of us, that’s not only impossible, it’s unhealthy and is making us sick.
With almost every client I have ever worked with, shutting up the voice that’s always saying “you are not enough” has been addressed at length. And sure enough, a lot of their sicknesses will start to fade away.
Getting the ballet teacher in my head to shut up has taken so much work. She was determined. She did not go down without a fight. She bourre’ed, and frappe’d her tired message of “you’re not good enough” deep into my heart. And after much crying, pleading, and begging to god,” let me be enough!!” Eventually I karate kicked / swirl-leaped my own dorky dance into the zone of “I don’t give a fuck”. After that, she shut up pretty quick.
She definitely gets out a few squeaks out here and there – but I can recognize it more quickly now. It’s getting easier to not get caught up in it. She gets louder when I’m in a transitional time of my life. Or when I’m sitting on the chance of a lifetime. She starts piping back up “What was THAT??” or “pretty girls are silent” or “Being good means being in pain” etc. etc. etc.
My work is about having my feet on the earth. It is not about transcending it into some idea of perfection. No perfect body, perfect form, perfect relationship, perfect life. I’ve learned to be with myself in all of my dignity, humility, vulnerability, and have found real, raw power in that.
Part of what I LOVE most in my work is giving others access to a full spectrum of what it means to be a very alive and flawed human being. We have enormous capacity to love life in all of its flavors and messes. We can actualize this potential in career, family, health, and intimacy. If this kind of work calls to you, I would love to help you find your own groove and go against the grain of that voice in your head. Unless of course the perfectionist in your head is demanding some kind of unique funky thing. If that is the case, we can walk together on the path slowly, planting one firm step in front of the next.
** Pictures of me taken in 2012 by Rhianna Mercier of Cosmic Photography.