What If I Make a Mistake?

When my boys were learning how to write, they would freeze in their tracks for fear of making a spelling mistake. Their perfectionist tendencies were not a surprise to my husband and I – after all, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – and it was both fascinating and painful to see how powerfully the perfectionist halted their creative and free expression. I would say to them over and over again, “Make mistakes! It’s how you learn. I don’t care about spelling mistakes. I just want you to be able to express your thoughts.” Eventually the message penetrated and they were able to move past their blocks and just write.

If you’re prone to perfectionism you know well of which I speak. The perfectionist is not only the voice that says, “You have to be perfect” but is also the voice of self-doubt that stems from the inner … Click here to continue reading...

Compassion or Comparison

My yoga teacher has said this phrase dozens of times, but one morning it went in differently and landed in the places where breath meets bone, where sinew aches with loss and the water in the pelvic bowl of my hips shimmered like a moonlit lake. The words traveled along ancient blood-lines to the place where ancestral memory digs a spade into foreign soil, where the grandmothers and great-grandmothers hummed the melodies of their lineage while baking the day’s bread and folded their pain in the flour.

Compassion rather than comparison. Connect to what’s needed in this moment instead of to what everyone else is doing or what you think you “should” be doing.

She cued a pose and I did something else. She cued another pose and I remained where I was, following my breath into the places that needed attention. The beginning of a poem filtered into … Click here to continue reading...

The Escape Hatch of Perfection

There are so many ways that we can avoid pain. We can choose denial. We can self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. We can fall prey to fear/ego’s insidiously convincing beliefs that to turn inward is “selfish, indulgent, and will get you nowhere.” We avoid pain because we live in a culture that teaches us to avoid pain. We avoid pain because we don’t know that turning toward pain (and I use pain as an umbrella term for anything uncomfortable that we wish to avoid feeling) is one of the secret pathways to joy.

If you’ve found your way to my site, one of your default methods of avoiding pain is likely to travel up to the safe regions of your mind where pain can’t find you. There you sit at the Great Loom of Intrusive Thoughts and spin your web of “what-ifs” and “if-onlys”, each thread keeping you stuck in … Click here to continue reading...

The Cookie-Cutter Marriage

With grateful permission, I’m sharing yet another brilliant post from my Conscious Weddings E-Course forum. This will give you another taste of the insight and wisdom that often pass through the virtual doors of this very special forum via the words of the compassionate, supportive, wise women and men that are working their tails off to break through their relationship anxiety. This particular member is a bright beacon of light for many of the E-Course members, and I’m delighted to share her wisdom and poetry with my broader community.

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I was journaling today about perfection and the resistance that arises when things don’t look like the mold I try to shape them into when a big ah-ha popped into view.

So often fear wants my marriage and life to look like a cookie-cutter. It doesn’t want life to not have shape and form. It wants it to look a … Click here to continue reading...

The Search for Perfection: From Marrying to Buying a House

“Perfection is for the Gods; completeness and wholeness is the most humans can hope for.” – Marion Woodman

One of the most common and pernicious beliefs among my engaged and newlywed clients is that they’re supposed to marry their perfect match. While they may be rationally aware that perfection doesn’t exist, it’s not the rational mind that is activated during the wedding transition, but the fantasy mind. This certainly isn’t true for everyone who marries. There seems to be a segment of the population who sail through transitions with ease; those just aren’t the people who find me. And I would venture to hypothesize that those people aren’t perfectionists in other realms of their life. I think it would be safe to say that at least 99.9% of my clientele over the past twelve years are perfectionists. And that includes me.

Let me use a different situation to elucidate the … Click here to continue reading...