Monday, June 7, 2010

Excuse My Dust

So, I got to thinking, maybe I should Google around a little bit and get some tips on how to really get this thing off the ground, spiff up the blog design. You know, make it look like I really know what I'm doing. And oh dear. I really shouldn't have done that. Apparently, I'm doing it all wrong.

You see, I am a perfectionist. But not the kind of perfectionist that is super driven and never satisfied until every last jot and tittle has been polished and shined. (Did I just use the word "tittle" in a serious sentence? Sorry about that.) But anyway, no. That's not me. Not at all. Not. At. All. I'm the kind of perfectionist who completely takes this phrase to heart: "If you can't do something right, don't do it at all." And so usually, I don't. This is something I've been trying to work with for the past few years. Notice I didn't say, "trying to overcome" or "trying to fix", or any other word that smacks of permanent change. Those words just don't work for me. I feel defeated before I even try.

Now when I start something new, or intimidating, or anything that makes me want to hide under the covers until it passes, I say to myself, "I'm just practicing"." I'm not a Buddhist, but I find the zen idea of life as a practice so incredibly appealing. This is another one of those themes that kept coming at me from all sides, in big and small ways, as a message of grace to my soul.

One of my yoga teacher's favorite sayings is "yoga is a practice, not a perfect." The first time I heard her say that was like a 2 x 4 hitting me right between the eyes. But in a good way. In the best of ways. It was an epiphany moment. I realized in that moment that I had been trying to live my entire life as a perfect, and not as a practice. My creative work could barely get off the ground since I was constantly comparing myself to those I admired. My housekeeping was never enough since it was never officially "done". My parenting brought me loads of guilt as I failed to be the perfect mom, every single day. But, to think of these things as play, as practice, as something to work with as a beginner was completely life changing. I'm still practicing at putting it into practice.

So it is with this project. I know now to just dive in, and not to wait for everything to be perfect to start. So I'm already in headfirst, head over heels. Please excuse my dust as I work out the kinks, add to the design and content, as I find my voice and my courage. My writing will not be perfect, and some weeks I'll post more than others. According to the experts on Google, I'm going about this all wrong, but I'm ok with that. I'm just practicing.

Is there any place in your life where you are holding back because you're afraid of not doing it perfectly? Of starting and not finishing (again)? Of not measuring up? Me too! Let's all start at the beginning, and simply start practicing our art, practicing believing in ourselves, practicing being gentle with ourselves, our families, those we disagree with in the world. Be curious about all these little bits of life. Curiosity is a really wonderful thing. Let's change the phrase "Practice Makes Perfect" to something a little more gentle. How about "Practice Makes Peace"?

So, practice with me, with all of us. Show us what you're working on. Don't wait for the perfect moment to submit something. The time is right, right now. The world will be a brighter place because of you.

Congratulations to Jeanette, the winner of The Project's very first giveaway! Thanks to all who entered, I loved all the quotes that were shared. We'll definitely be having more giveaways soon, so stay tuned!


  1. YES! This is great.

    I am experimenting with this, too.

    I'm inspired to create and submit something to you this week! :)

    And thanks for diving right in to this project. It doesn't have to be "perfect" however someone else defines "perfect." I think it's just wonderful.

  2. Wonderful Emme. I need to read this post once a week! I need to be more gentle on myself and know what to let go of.

  3. Love ur post here! I procrastinate cue to perfectionism too. I am excited to see what u do to your blog so and I like ur writing style so I'm going to check in on u!

  4. "I'm the kind of perfectionist who completely takes this phrase to heart: "If you can't do something right, don't do it at all." And so usually, I don't."

    eek! me too.

  5. Hi Emme,
    I was brought to your blog via Kelly Rae's flying lessons. I live over on Bainbridge island, so we must be close, yes? I can really relate to your post. This is me in a nutshell. I have let it paralyze me at times. I have so many ideas that never come to fruition. I too, stay at home with my two kids and find it pretty challenging to find myself through all of this. I'm especially feeling this way after processing all this info coming our way through the course. WHOA.
    The best we can do is to keep on keeping on and stay true to our spirit. right?

    anyways, just wanted to say hi. look forward to "seeing you in class".


  6. Emma-Thank you for your encouraging words! Can't wait to see what you're working on. :)

    Sara-Thanks, sis. :)

    Anna-So glad you're just down the road. ((hugs))

    Kerri- Thank you! So glad you found me.

    Lemon- So glad to hear I'm not the only one! Yikes. Let's gently work on that together! :)

    Serena- Yay! So glad to find another local friend. I'm out in Carnation, so a bit far still, but not too bad. I'm loving the class, but yes its A LOT of info! Babysteps are ok, yes? Babysteps, babysteps. :) Yes, see you in class!