You Don’t Need To Be Perfect

I loved this sentiment because the reality of life is that none of us are, nor ever will be, “perfect.” Bound to countless socially and personally imposed definitions, the word “perfect” encompasses far too much for any one person to attain. And to what end would we wish to achieve the title? To appease our inner critic and absolve ourselves of any future self-deprecation or doubt? To impress someone else in effort to quell the internal need for belonging…or to bathe in the external, social rewards?

It’s a tough path to travel, the one to “perfection.” The word itself is saturated with such infinite criteria – as defined by everyone in a different way – that it would be nigh impossible to satisfy all conditions.

 

We are, as human begins, all flawed and fragile. But, it is in imperfection that the world then becomes so beautifully diverse. Our quirks and eccentricities may in fact be what others can relate to. So too can our personal struggles and challenges be what brings others into our circle, or to look to us for advice. These things allow us to connect to others in the world, and therefore provide us an opportunity to inspire every day.

How do we handle adversity or when things that don’t go our way?

Can we be the bigger person and admit when we are wrong or say we are sorry when appropriate?

Can we treat others with respect and kindness, even when we disagree or are upset?

Do we approach the world – ourselves and others – with an attitude of acceptance and appreciation that we all have our “stuff”? (e.g.: we aren’t perfect, we are learning.)

Our behaviors and actions can inspire others to “rise above,” to find strength in tough times, and to do what they can to see the positives in each day. We don’t have to do those things perfectly ourselves, either – remember that others may be inspired because they see YOU trying your best. They see you struggling but still holding on to hope and working hard… They see you being the bigger person in the face of another’s poor behavior…

Those things might give others the support and strength they need – they see that it doesn’t HAVE to be executed perfectly to work (and that’s the whole point.) 

We will never be able to achieve the grandiose “perfection” because it is a word that has no single, defined definition. Perfection is many things to many people and it – by default – leaves no room for humanness, for growth, or for mistakes. Mistakes, however, are a huge part of life, as is a human vulnerability that we all possess. How we approach life on those terms, however imperfectly, can be even more inspiring than if we were the “ideal individual.” Why? Because if we can do it, in spite of a world that is ever-changing and challenging, then so can others – seeing the effort in the face of difficulty is why those actions ARE so inspiring.

So fear not if you falter, if you have flaws, or don’t make your mark every day. Because you are always working towards your goals in a positive and meaningful way in spite of your missteps, “mess-ups,” other people’s poor behaviors, you are inspiring others to do the same. You are inspiring others by being exactly who you are – unabashedly – and that in and of itself is empowering.

Inspire Others

This has always been one of my goals in life – honestly, since I can remember. I can’t say that I’ve always done the best job, and I know that I fall short at times… But there is nothing that gives me greater joy than contributing positively to someone’s life. My father calls me the “cheerer-upper,” which I desperately hoped I lived up to through the years (and I continue to strive for it!) But even more than that, I take such “designations” to heart – when someone says I inspire them to do something good for themselves, it’s like my heart wants to burst out of my chest.

It is a pursuit that will last all my years, and one that teaches me as I go… But I’ll never lose sight of it because I know what it’s like to be in the darkness with nary a spark to light the way. I  know what it’s like to face our deepest fears alone, and I don’t wish that for anybody.

SaveSave

Leave A Trail Of Smiles

It’s easy to judge and to be harsh – I catch myself all the time.  Without snap judgements, we argue, the species might not be where it is today. Right…?

The deeper reality is that Life is hard.  The more positive we can be, and the more we can bring light into our own lives, and to those around us, the better the ride for us all. There are so many wounded souls, evil in their actions, to whom I wished I could have stressed this point (maybe with a fist!) over my lifetime. . . But along the way I realized it takes oneself to learn, to know the difference, and to make the change – wishing does nothing.  

To, however, act in such a way ourselves is to lead by example.  Any day could be the one that our upstanding or positive attitude alters the destiny of another.

A single word or gesture is capable of changing a Life – we never know the wars raging around us, nor do others know the ones we face ourselves daily. To inspire a smile can create shifts so great that – without even realizing – you shed light on a once darkened path for a once hopeless soul.  Life-giving indeed. . .

Shine you light, for you have much to give, and in so doing brighten the world.

 

The eSpin and Cardio Days

A few years ago I got a refurbished Star Trac eSpinner – I am not a Soul Cycler, a spin-class-attender, nor an outdoor cyclist by any stretch.  But I love spin bikes because they are one of those cardio options that are safer for bad knees (I’ve got two!), or when you are just not able to (or up to) the treadmill or outdoor running.  

There are, of course, tons of other cardio options beyond a spin bike or treadmill! For example:

  • Recumbent Bike
  • Stairmaster / Stepper
  • Stairmill
  • Elliptical
  • Adaptive Motion and Arc Trainers
  • Versa Climber
  • Rowing Machines…

It is totally a matter of preference.  For me, the bike is one of the more comfortable choices if I’m not doing treadmill sprints…and the reality of it is that if I was going to spend money on a machine, I wanted it to be the one I’d use most!  I happen to like this older eSpinner because it has a fan, which admittedly helps me push harder longer.  Don’t laugh! 

IMG_1842

Even then, though, it’s not always easy.  When people ask about my cardio they seem to think I must enjoy it – I love activity, but trust me when I say…cardio that I am aware I am doing is not on my “love” list! It does take some self talk and encouragement most of the time, and definitely some good music!

IMG_1838

I also try to focus on the feeling of finishing – there is a sense of accomplishment that comes with getting through a workout, especially one you struggled to start!  It is worth pushing through just for that sense of “I did it!” 

IMG_1844

Even if someone else appears to be loving Life while they sweat profusely and gasp for breath on the treadmill next to you…don’t assume it is a piece of cake for them, and therefore that there is something wrong with you because it feels tough.  There ISN’T – you are doing great (they probably would love to be done themselves!)  

Getting ON the bike, or treadmill, or elliptical is a start.  Once you are THERE, you will push through it, proving you can do more than your brain wanted to trick the rest of you out of doing that day. Your pumping heart, and a body flooded with endorphins will remind the brain that its demotivating techniques just won’t work this time!  🙂

IMG_1840

The Art of Up-Lifting

This quotation resonates deeply for me…

IMG_7118

I’ve been through my share of painful experiences and, for whatever the reason, I always believed that I was meant to.  It isn’t that I believe I had to suffer, necessarily…though in so doing, I learned far more than any book, or traditional schooling could have imparted.    

Rather, I was presented with, if not specifically granted, the gift of “illuminating” the oft darkened paths of lost souls…

There is more and more literature surfacing about being an Empath, whether on social media, in print, or in the form of videos, podcasts, and newsletters.  I myself have taken great solace in the growing exposure, as it is not always easy to explain.  But, for those who are familiar, or harbor such traits themselves…the role of “illuminating” will be clear.

For those to whom this sounds a perhaps unusual use of the word…

For as far back as I can recall, I believed that people are inherently woven of “goodness.”  As time elapses, some of those fibers fray along the edges – it was evident to me early on that many had lost their way…become bitter, vengeful, melancholy…or worse.  It could have been for any number of reasons beyond my imagining, and beyond the scope of my help.  But in my heart, I wanted nothing more than to wake their sun, and rekindle the Light that once danced in their eyes.

I couldn’t explain it then, nor can I now.  

I never travelled with Green Peace to build a schoolhouse in impoverished countries, as my brother admirably did.  

Neither was I able to endow a school with a new wing, as some in my community could afford to do.

Nor did I become a doctor or policeman who saves lives, as some dear friends do every day…  

But though my contributions seem in some way smaller…they have been contributions all the same.

 NEVER underestimate yourself, nor the value you offer – you CAN make a difference, always, with even the smallest gesture.

I yearned to touch, inspire, bring joy…in whatever ways I was able.  I was born with lenses that see the Light in EVERYTHING – it is a blessing I ever wished to share.  Even if not with some momentous celebration or fanfare…it gladdened me to brighten others’ days, when all seemed so downtrodden.  It still does. 

To lift others up…to incite a smile…is a true gift.  One we are all blessed with the ability to provide.  

The reason this quote strikes such a poignant chord for me is that it speaks to the deep-set love, desire, and sincere hope to uplift.  If I could bear a torch bright enough to chase painful shadows from another’s Life, I would do it.  I cannot rightly say it is my place to – I am not sure it is, in any circumstance.  But in relationships, I felt that two of us had crossed paths for a reason.  For each of us to learn.  

To lift others up can…literally...inspire a dream, and save a Life. 

To lift ourselves up is also incredibly…extraordinarily…important.

Many Empaths fall into codependency – it is a much deeper and more complicated conversation – one, however, that those of us with the propensity must delve into, as “illuminating” can lead to us giving all our Light away.  We need not do so in order to make a difference!

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 8.25.34 PM

We must be mindful, as in some cases we endeavor to help when we haven’t the capacity.  We must therefore be certain to care for ourselves as well – Even when we cannot provide the level of assistance someone may need, we can still have a positive influence.  We needn’t bring another down, nor ourselves – inspiring others can be as simple as leading by example . . .  

Be kind to, and respectful of others.

Smile.

Say please and thank you.

Laugh.

Be genuinely thankful for the good in your Life – people, circumstances…the singing birds.

Work hard. Succeed.  Stay humble. 

Say you’re sorry and mean it.

LOVE.

Smile again.

When our Light shines, we naturally uplift those around us – when we care for ourselves, we are able to care for others.  When we motivate ourselves, and lift ourselves up, we do the same for others.

You do not need to move mountains to enliven, nor to inspirit another human being.  It can be as simple as smiling back at them.  

There are enough trials and tribulations in Life…for all of us.  There is no room to put one another down, for any reason, at any time.  

Let us inspire, bring Light, and smile…TOGETHER…along the way.

 

Just Bloom

This quote really resonates for me…

“A Flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it, it just blooms.”

Just Bloom

My Grandmaster told me how he describes me to others: “she doesn’t compare herself to others, just to herself.”

Those words meant so much to me – not only in and of themselves, but because they were the words he chose.  I felt such gratitude knowing that he recognized my purpose and my passion.

I am not there to be better than anyone else.  

I am not there to compare myself to anyone.  

As saying goes, I just want to be a better version of myself TODAY…than I was YESTERDAY.

Each of us have our own goals.  We have our own backgrounds, beliefs, feelings, sensations, experiences, physiologies, philosophies – All of them, valid. Comparing ourselves to someone else…to ANYONE else…not only diminishes us broadly, but in our very own eyes.

We deserve to acknowledge that we are unique and amazing, and doing the best we can at each moment.  Sometimes we falter, sometimes we stand out in our achievements. We can always look to others for inspiration, especially when we are having a tough day, or we lose focus.  But comparison to anyone other than ourselves is futile, and unjust…to US.

Don’t worry about what the flower NEXT to you is doing.  No two seeds are alike, after all.  Not even the soil is the same…

So bloom in YOUR way, in your OWN time…and just worry about that.  I’ve never seen a flower that wasn’t beautiful… Have you?

X ❤