PROGRESS OVER PERFECTION
Progress over perfection... let's practice lightening up today and focusing on the progress and positive aspects of our life today rather than what we're still struggling with or what's still incomplete.
"Progress over perfection," has been the motto I've used with my students and those I've mentored from the very beginning. My first mentor 23 years ago used it with me, and it was what kept me from completely losing my mind or becoming debilitated when a self-sabotaging behavior would kick in to try to tear me down after I had made some type of progress in my life. We humans tend to have an "all or nothing" attitude in the areas where we don't have balance (which for me 23 years ago, was ALL areas!) Developing new, uplifting, positive habits to replace those negative, self-sabotaging habits needs to start small, sometimes only pointing us in the direction of freedom and peace of mind. Rarely are we able to make a full jump to perfection--in fact, we are less likely to sustain a habit that way. It's typically better to build new habits and behaviors slowly and then sustain.
ALL of my teachers in life have shared some form of this wisdom with me. My first real mentor told me "progress over perfection." My commodities teacher told me to "take the first step, no more, no less, and the next one would be revealed." Another mentor had me move one small step a day, even when some days it seemed I could have leaped the whole way. A health coach I had once told me not to worry about getting all my meals perfect, but to simply start by mastering breakfast before moving on to lunch or dinner, and my Ayurveda teacher instructed me just to "turn around" as my first task to face the direction toward what I wanted to accomplish. Even my Sunday school teacher when I was 4 taught me a little Bible song instructing me to "build my house on a rock, not sand." My yoga teacher started me where I was already strong and familiar and led me slowly into stretching my mind and body. One of my teacher's main motto is "Pade Pade" (step by step) "slow and steady" and then later instructing me to "push my threshold without blowing it out." Growth is all about creating a solid, grounded foundation before you try to put up walls or a roof. Without that solid foundation, the things we build in our lives won't withstand the storms and earthquakes that are a part of life.
So, celebrate RIGHT NOW. Wherever it is you are in the process, turn away from shadow in your mind and toward the light in your heart and take a single step. And if that is nothing more than the fact you didn't flip someone off in traffic, then GREAT! Pat yourself on the back. You are now consciously on the path, moving slowly in the direction of peace and freedom... and THAT is what matters.