Confessions of a Recovering Perfectionist

Perfectionism has been a thread in my life for a long time. It resides mostly under the surface, but can put an immediate halt to almost any project I want to complete. You may recognize the voice of perfectionism, saying things like: "I am not qualified enough to do X" "I don't have the right venue for this class" "This project/class has already been done a million times" "I don't really have anything special to offer", etc.

Perfectionism in my life has been a way to keep some parts of myself hidden. Especially those that I find to be scary, paradigm-shifting, or rebellious. I can't dress these parts of myself up neatly, nicely to be presented and maintain the "status quo". I am finding some of my most deep, meaningful parts actually want to be a bit messy. They come out in full force like a pile of unfolded laundry on the bed. My job is then to sort through, begin to fold, and take care of each thing that comes up. 

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Uncovering Joy: it's bubbling right under the surface

I have been reminded this summer that joy is not something to cultivate or to "achieve". Joy is a state that is inherent in all humans, accessible at any moment in time. 

Joy v. Happiness

We live in a culture obsessed with happiness. There are many self-help-y books, courses, etc which aim to increase one's happiness. While I am not opposed to happiness, by any means, it is a state that relies on external circumstances. "If only I had that car/ house/ relationship... I would be happy". Most likely you are familiar with the voice inside your head that tells these stories. Each of these are things that, once gotten, will eventually lose hype. And then, the quest for that thing that brings happiness begins again. 

So joy. Joy is an internal state, something that is not altered by external circumstances and is inherently primal in humans just like anger and fear. Joy is a state of being. So, I have come to understand that we uncover joy.

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Simple Winter Self-Care Practice

Last winter I got into a simple ritual that I have been enjoying again now that winter is here. Winter can bring a lot of dryness to our skin, mucous membranes, and hair, so it is important to supply our bodies with more fats and water than in the summer (damper) months. I have found that putting good fats on my skin is a great way to absorb them and feel nourished in a deep way. The following winter ritual keeps my skin soft and moisturized all winter. 

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Forgiveness: the art of letting go

I was walking home the other day, listening to a podcast by Rob Bell called The Forgiving Flow.  He is teaching a five-part series on forgiveness and this was the first episode.  As I was listening, I was also taking in Fall and all her beauty.  The burnt orange leaves slowly turning color, lining the street.  The refreshingly crisp air entering my lungs, clearing out old, stagnant breath.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine, fall is the season governed by the Lungs and Large Intestine.  The lungs, large intestine, skin and nose are the organs related to the Metal Element.  As you may imagine simply based on the function of each organ, they govern some important aspects of our lives.  

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The Healing Process: simplicity

As I learn more about this process of healing, there are a few themes that I am beginning to see repeated back to me.  I talked a bit about cycles last week and it has been my experience that the healing process (or journey) really follows this same pattern of cycles.  One theme that I revisit over and over again is simplicity.  

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A Meditation on Fear

Just sit.

Notice where you feel hard and sit with that.

In the middle of the hardness, you’ll find anger, sit with that.

Go to the center of the anger and you’ll probably come to sadness.

Stay with the sadness until it turns to vulnerability.

Keep sitting with what comes up; the deeper you dig, the more tender you become.

Raw fear can open into a wide expanse of genuineness, compassion, gratitude and acceptance of the present moment.

A tender heart appears naturally when you are able to stay present.

From your heart, you are able to see the true pigment of the sky.

You can see the vibrant yellow of the sunflower and the deep blue of your daughter’s eyes.

A tender heart does not block out rain clouds, or tears, or dying sunflowers.

Allow both beauty and sadness to touch you.

This is LOVE, not fear.

Craniosacral Therapy Part III: BodyMind Continuum

In this third part of the series on foundational aspects of Craniosacral Therapy, I am going to elaborate on the bodymind continuum.  While craniosacral therapy deeply affects the physical body (read more about the basic anatomy of CST here), it is also one of the best therapies that I have found to work with the bodymind continuum.  True healing is expressed when there is harmony between all aspects of oneself – Mind, Body, Soul.

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