Several months ago, I was talking to a client on Facetime. We were talking about routines and expectations and how unrealistic we can often be.
“It doesn’t have to be perfect to be precious.”
I liked the sound of my words, and I wrote them down. Later that day, I put them on a post-it. And it is stuck to my desk.
It doesn’t have to be perfect to be precious.
It is so easy for us to set expectations of perfection. My house should always be spotless. I should be able to run like I used to. I should be doing an hour of yoga a day. I should have straight legs in Downward Facing Dog. I should be able to check off everything on my to do list. I should be able to get up at 5am and journal every day.
As I have learned to let go of expectations of perfection on my mat. I think this shift mainly happened because I had to. I have tight hamstrings, so my legs will be bent in lots of poses. I am having some hip issues, so I have to spend extra time warming up. My expressions of poses don’t look like what I see in books, but they are mine just the same. And my practice is precious.
And I am starting to feel this shift off of my yoga mat.
My house is precious, even if my living room is full of cat toys. A friend is coming over for dinner this evening. I loaded the dishwasher and swept the bathroom floor. But all of these cat toys? They are staying there. Herschel will be better behaved if her natural habitat isn’t disturbed. In the past, I would have felt like I should have a spotless house, and should probably shut Herschel up in the bedroom. But, nope. Not today.
My gym time is precious, even if I’m not running distance. For the past few weeks, I have been going to the gym almost every day. A few miles on the treadmill, walking at a pace that feels good. I’m basing my time on whatever podcast I listen to. 22 minutes? 45 minutes? Whatever. Just walk until the podcast is over. I may throw in a few running segments if my hip is feeling okay, but I play that totally by ear. Then I’ll lift weights – legs one day, arms the next. I don’t know what the weight is on the machines. I don’t care. I start at the lightest weight and work up until I am at that comfortable edge. I work through my machines and call it a day. I’m not stressing that I’m not performing to my past ability. I’m not shaming myself for just walking, I’m just doing my thing. Consistently.
My teaching is precious, even though I can’t keep left and right straight to save my life. Friends, seriously. I learned how to mirror in training. And I could do it for a while. But when I started selling running shoes and sitting across from people, I completely lost my ability to mirror. Completely. I let my students know to follow left-right based on what they hear, not what they see. I sometimes instruct using navigational tools around the room (lobby wall, front door, piano, etc). I make do. And sometimes I make us all laugh. I don’t get down on myself. I admit when it gets confusing. And I just teach from the heart.
I have learned that releasing my expectations for perfection has allowed me to keep trying.
Letting go of things having to be exactly right has allowed me to be more social and more adventurous and release offerings that I would have typically held close.
It doesn’t have to be perfect to be precious to me.
I'm leaving Finding Space open until Wednesday! 6 weeks of video yoga practices and journal prompts. We'll process all sorts of questions and reactions in the secret Facebook group. Over 5 hours of yoga practice designed to help you create space in your day and your home for a consistent yoga practice. We'll also look at the space you create in your mind and your body and be intentional with what you put back into that space. Open ONLY UNTIL WEDNESDAY!