Over a year ago I picked up Brene Brown’s book, “The Gifts of Imperfection” to give to a friend who had been wanting to read it, but hesitated to buy it for herself. As I was thumbing though the book, some strange words jumped out at me.
Perfection…Can you see where I’m going? I wrapped the book and gave it to her one day, but couldn’t help feeling that I wanted to stop and read the book myself. Resistance when it comes to reading is a strange feeling for me. Generally if I find any small aspect of a book interesting, I read it. But this book was different; I now believe I resisted out of fear.
Fast forward to mid-2013; the book on my night stand patiently waited to be read. Emails start showing up for an Oprah class called “The Gifts of Imperfection.” The book stared at me every night. I boarded a flight to Singapore with every intention of reading it. I made it 14 hours to Singapore and didn’t touch the book. Every time I opened my bag though, it stared at me, just waiting to be picked up. The flight home and I finally gave in, but the funny thing is, I know I still wasn’t in the right place to read it, because I don’t remember a word of what was on pages 1-62 (which is all the further I got) except for the word perfection that jumped out at me again.
Fast forward again to December of 2013; recently graduated, longing for more learning, I decided it was time. Another email showed up for “The Gifts of Imperfection” class, and without a second thought, tucked away in my closet so no one could see, I enrolled in the class. I felt free, liberated as if something had finally let go when I hit the “register” button.
Please understand that this is not a solicitation to run out and sign up for the class. It is a story of my whole-hearted journey over the past 3 weeks and how the cracks in my life are slowly learning to stay exposed instead of being glued shut. It is me letting go of perfectionism and embracing who I am and letting go of who I don’t want to be. It has been an emotional journey so far with more to come. But here is what I have experienced to this point.
I am on a journey from “What will people think” to “I am enough.” I am learning (2 steps forward and 1 giant step back at times) that I need to let go of who I think I am supposed to be, and embrace and love who I am and what I do offer the world. It is a journey about me; all about me. The journey brings creativity back into my life.
Our intention is set (thank you Brene!) “I will carry courage, compassion and connection in my heart while on the journey. Even when the road is bumpy. Even when I’m so busy that I feel behind. Even though there is really no ‘getting behind’ in this course. And, especially when I start to compare and judge myself. Courage, compassion and connection will be my constant companions.
My Permission Slip (for when I’m doing something scary)
…and how I am going to take care of myself on my Imperfection Journey:
1. I give myself permission to engage in self-care, to take time each evening for myself without feeling guilty.
2. I will be and stay inspired by sharing my journal with a close friend. I will also carry my journal with me where ever I go and add inspirational notes to it.
3. My journal will become an extension of me; not just during the course, but after it is over.
And there we are, week 1 feels to be a success. So much so, that I am carrying another purse with me everywhere I go, so my journal and my commitments are close by when I need them, or when I find inspiration I can add. Stay tuned for week 2!