“Perfectionism is a virus, widespread in Western culture, which keeps us running on the treadmill of never-enoughness.”
Took-pa Turner, from Belonging: Remembering ourselves home.
I’ve been giving my blog a rest. Like when the digestive system has been through so many new tastes and flavors, and maybe it has been “detoxing” from the outside world. The digestive system is the entry way to the external world, much like the lungs and the skin, as is my blog. It’s important to narrow these windows so that one’s insides are cast in far more light. It’s called focus, and it’s a beautiful and underestimated ability.
My blog is like skin, facing the outside world, but it needs hydration from me. It’s no longer about the things it was about before, and still, it is. It’s being exfoliated. It’s wonderful, and it happens, in part, with this resting process. Meanwhile a new layer of skin is prepared, effortlessly.
Freshness and inspiration has been flowing through (“new blood”) in the brief moments I get away from being on Zoom for necessary work, and from parenting and also trying to maintain my home, study, collaborate, and while still giving inner air to my dreams. The dreams that are born in the decisions I make today. The work I do is still based on my decisions I made ~4-5 years ago.
During lockdown, I’ve been less bothered by the rules around me and more grateful for the personal decisions and all the power I have over my every day life.
There have been so many stressful times. There have been lots of toss-and-turn nights, but in the end, or at the pause, there’s tremendous inner peace. There’s also excitement and potential everywhere I look. We live in rapidly changing times; innovation is the necessity of the day, and we already know thanks to Plato, “Necessity is the Mother of Invention.” So, who is the Mother of the Mother of Invention? Silence? The pause? Yes, the pregnant pause!
I’ve been watching my daughter grow and my laceration wound on my hand heal. I could easily have put all my attention into this and not done the 500 million other things I’m doing (including other body processes). But consider this: my heart did not stop beating because my hand was cut. My heart and all my body processes, in part, did their main jobs, which contributed to the good of my healing my laceration wound. Win-win for the whole body.
Sure I had to adapt a lot, but mostly that was in my innovation for dressing and caring for my wound while using my hand to care for my wiggly child.
How can anyone even talk about perfection in all this? The concept of perfection is a bit of a black hole. It sucks up the available energy by condensing it, focusing it. I think perfection is awesome, but it’s useless to fret over in organic inter-connected systems. I’ve been listening to podcasts about non-linear systems, but I haven’t delved into the modeling myself. The fact that it is possible to model the non-linear is pretty amazing to me!
We are already living in perfection. The rest of what we do, when we have the opportunity, when we aren’t immediately faced with maintaining our skin and our respiration, is our choice. Choice and perfection don’t exist in the same universe, but they also do and they have everything to do with each other. Once one chooses, one creates. Once one creates, one improves, and we never want that to stop.
We don’t want life to stop, because the animation, movement, Is the perfection.
13 thoughts on “Perspective”
Having the maximum degree of a certain quality is not difficult to achieve, but in the end it remains subjective. Everything can be improved but not everything can be perfect. Achieving perfection is getting into the black hole that you say.
A good article. I celebrate your return and that you have solved your health problems.
A big hug
Your comment brought me delight! I enjoy thinking over your insights 🙂 thank you, Manuel!
You are welcome
I appreciate your perspectives on perfection and the affirmations on the importance of rest. We need rest to process and integrate, changes. We need balance. I haven’t read or heard much about non-linear systems, but it sounds fascinating.
Thank you, JoAnna. It is perspectives, plural. Maybe I could update my title as a plural. Thank you for seeing and getting that. Yes, rest is something we can find creative ways to give ourselves and sometimes we get it given to us, even if we weren’t asking for it, so trying to make the best out of whatever situation we find ourselves in is an integrating “reaction/response.” Processing, digesting, integrating is an important phase of healthy expression and generation. The non-linear systems that are used in health- practitioner relationships is very interesting. Looking at ecologies and the widening the scope of research is necessary for meaningful development and understand for what works and why in health encounters. We can model complexities in ways that we can recognize the limitations of those models as well. Thank you for visiting and sharing your thoughts as we all try to come into meaningful balance within our shared precious life experience. My very best wishes your way…
I love your two core premises in this post Ka; that perfectionism is a virus and that time to rest is necessary for us to restore, rebalance and grow new ways of living/being. I’m happy that you’re finding this organic way of living and restoring. I haven’t had as much time to let myself rest since I’m still working and I’m also feeling the call to write less. Kudos on your “perfect path”. 🙂
Resting is such an integral part of restoring and recovering and I am finding ways to rest while being busy and working as well as mommying a young baby. It can be very tiring to be on video conferences for many hours a day, watching and interacting with all the members in a deep and meaningful while emotionally taxing way, and working in the midst of the pandemic. Not every day is great, but the balance is “getting through it,” with inspiration recovering and my hand healing. Brad, I hope you can restore *while* in motion. Stay safe my friend 🙂 Taking time off in one area helps give strength and opportunity to other areas of your life. May you be happy and healthy.
Thank you for the kind wishes Ka. I’m glad you’ve found a restorative rhythm.
A lovely reflection, Ka. My blog has changed to, and like you say, it hasn’t in some way. Like us. I can relate/empathize to all the swirling elements of this new life and time–the video calls, the domestic needs, the healing and renewing–all in the same few square feet of physical space it seems. We are whirling dervishes all of us! And I also appreciate your acknowledgment of the paradox at work here: perfectionism can cripple us, but the desire for new life and new understanding is part of putting a creative stake in the ground and acting. I think the desire for mastery in a field involves ultimately the art of deepening our relationships to all things, ourselves perhaps first and foremost, and this is not so much perfectionism as the following of that alluring, creative thread that runs through us. But I the true masters all realize: there is imperfection in the greatest work! It has to be there. That is part of what makes it whole, living, authentic… You’ve set me rambling you see!
Wishing you a beautiful Sunday!
Thank so much for visiting and sharing your whirls
I’m having an “off” tech day. I hit enter too soon. Also I tried to write a comment on your blog post this morning and it was lost. The paradox is also about focus and expansion. I think when we really are deeply paying attention to one thing at a time we can access all the things at once 🙂. I think that deep focus is a way to witness the perfection and while also not having blinders on, which would seem like an irony in certain contexts. Even my off-tech day might have implications and consequences that I am unaware of. Magic is afoot, and it’s scientific too. We meet at the crossroads and that is the center and a good vantage point for witnessing the multiple directions in space that our thoughts can and do go, while we reach for the beyond. Our current COVID19 pandemic is as they say “moving us rapidly into the future” and I think this will prove true, eventually—though there is tremendous discomfort and struggle for so many. I’ve been musing over the recent SpaceX launch 🚀 and looking into the future of 2030 and beyond. I want to see that future as a good one, and I will do everything in my power to believe in the best. I’m not focusing on the collapse of systems, I’m focusing on the growth of humanity as interrelated and integral to the earth and nature, and capable of overcoming and thriving in the face of whatever confrontation: politics, climate change, racism. I look beyond now to that point of peace and union. Wonderful Sunday to you as well!
Nice blog 🙌🏻
That’s a really nice compliment. Thank you very much for that. I enjoy your blog, too 🙂