Today, I looked out the window and decided that it was going to rain. And then the sun came out, and I decided that it wasn’t going to rain anymore. And then it rained again. And then it stopped. And then it started again. (It’s actually a bit humorous, now that I’m re-reading what I’ve typed here.)
I stuck my head out the front door to check the temperature. It was hot and humid…typical summer weather in New Jersey, and perfect for stretching and yoga. I briefly considered going outside to practice in the heat, but I changed my mind when I looked up at the sky and saw dark clouds. Conditions weren’t perfect, and I could imagine slipping on my mat in the rain, and hurting myself. Who needs an injury on top of the searing pain that I already have in multiple joints?
I looked outside again. The sun was shining and the rain stopped. This was getting absurd. This time, I decided to head out to my driveway to practice. I started with a few rounds of sun salutations, some hamstring openers, a quick flow, and then I rolled onto my side, and got into one of my favorite yin yoga poses (Cat Pulling its Tail Pose), and I settled in for four minutes. Not even 30-seconds into the pose, the sky opened up, and it started to rain. I lifted my head (as you can see in the photo) and looked around. Yes…yes, it was raining. And that was really all I had to say about that. I put my head back down onto my upper arm and continued to stretch. The world was not ending, and I got through my practice in the rain.
So, what does this story have to do with you? Well, I’m guessing that I can’t be alone in this— I waste vast amounts of time, waiting for conditions to be perfect before taking action. I am reminded today that conditions don’t have to be perfect to take action. It’s so easy to get bogged down and remain stagnant while waiting for all of the right circumstances to fall into place.
Stop waiting for conditions to be perfect!
Stop placing expectations on how things SHOULD be.
Learn to act today, embracing what IS.
You can thrive in the current environment, and you don’t have to wait another minute, waiting for the stars to align.
Today, I expended unnecessary mental energy, trying to decide whether I should practice outside. All along, the answer was yes, I should practice outside, and once I’m out there, I’ll know how to adjust my plan if necessary. No, it wasn’t perfect, but I got something done.
Ask yourself if you’re holding yourself back in some part of your life because you are waiting for perfection.
-When it comes to your diet, are you giving up on healthy eating for the rest of the day because you “messed up” at breakfast and ate three doughnuts? Are you waiting for tomorrow to start over because you need a clean slate? Why do you need to wait for conditions to be perfect? Can you overcome your desire for perfection and just get started right now?
-When it comes to exercise, are you skipping it altogether because you only have 15 minutes? Have you convinced yourself that a full hour is the ideal workout length, and 15 minutes isn’t worth your while? Ask yourself why you need this perfect amount of time to workout. Can’t you begin to make a difference in your life with 15 minutes a day?
Life is rarely perfect. Usually, I allocate a solid block of time to write for this website. I don’t whip up my articles in 30 minutes, so if I happen to be very busy or traveling, the articles don’t happen. I spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to convey my thoughts with the right words. The perfect words.
Today, I don’t have that kind of time to spend on the website, but in the spirit of overcoming my own issues with perfectionism, I’m going to go ahead and post this piece in its rough, unedited form.
I had two choices when I came inside out of the rain: I could quickly type up these thoughts and share them with you (even though the article is far from perfect), or I could skip writing altogether. In the end, I’m glad I chose to write.