“Which do you want: perfection or wholeness? Often we strive for perfection. But perfection is unattainable, and striving for it limits us. Today sit quietly for a few minutes. As you breathe, imagine becoming a large container within which to hold your perfection and imperfection. When you can hold both, then you experience your wholeness.”
Judith Hanson Lasater (from A Year of Living Your Yoga)
A few weeks ago I randomly chose this passage to use as our opening meditation for the yoga classes. I would have never guessed then, that these few sentences would come back to mean so much to me right now.
I have a confession to make: I am a recovering perfectionist. And just when I think I have it under control, something will trigger those perfectionist tendencies. What snaps me out of it is usually a big dose of reality.
Take, for example, the studio. Back in May I had it in my head that when September rolled in, the place would be perfectly painted and decorated; the retail space would be stocked and ready; we’d have a new computer system and software installed; there would be a beautiful sign over the door; a new website and a full class schedule on the roster. We had three months to accomplish all of this, no problem; this was going to be a piece of cake, right? Wrong!
What’s funny about all of this is that our mantra throughout the construction phase has been, “Letting go of perfectionism.” The building is old, which I love, but that comes with imperfections, which can create some challenges in the construction phase. But was I really letting go of perfectionism or was it still there all along, hiding in my idea of opening the “perfect” studio in September.
And then, wait for it…a big dose of reality hits!
My mission is to promote healthy living in an encouraging, welcoming and beautiful environment that is also affordable. That meant a tight budget and lots of work done by us. Oh sure, I could have hired the pros to come in and do the job in half the time and, in a few instances, I did, but that would have increased our budget and moved me away from my mission of affordability.
You guessed it. September’s here and the studio is not yet complete.
But wait, there’s more! As if one dose of reality wasn’t enough, round two hits, even harder, the recent death of my father-in-law.
His passing was not unexpected. How quickly he left this earth was a surprise. I think God showed great mercy in taking Dad Crerie as He did. My husband, Bob, made it just in time to say good-bye. He reassured him that the family would take care of Mom Crerie, which had been a huge concern and stress for his father. Bob expressed his love to his father and told him it was okay to let go. Dad Crerie passed shortly afterward.
And that, my dear friends, has put everything in perspective.
Okay, so there’s still no carpet on the stairs and the retail space is not open and my office is unpainted and full of construction trash! All of that is superficial. The studio will get done slowly and surely. What really matters in the end is the deep inner connection we establish with our loved ones, our friends, and with each other.
So what do we have? Even with all of its imperfections right now, we have a beautiful, light-filled studio in which to find connection with each other and a place to take care of our health and well being.
Judith Lasater is absolutely right perfection is simply unattainable. She asks us to become containers in which to hold our perfections and imperfections and when we can do that, we experience wholeness. Which do we want perfection or wholeness? My prayer is that Body Grace becomes an amazing studio of wholeness.