Respect your uniqueness and drop comparison. Relax into your being. – Osho
It’s probably true. I’m wanting to reinvigorate my yoga practice, so when I had the chance this morning, I probably should have done the WHOLE yoga practice.
That would have been impeccable of me.
But my mind was restless and my heart was only half in it and my lungs had checked out and my body was bored and asking for more. Much more.
It wanted to shake and flail and release and stomp and pound and that’s how I ended up dancing (more like, flailing clumsily) for 30 minutes, starting with Spirit of the West’s ‘Home for a Rest’.(A mainstay of all Canadian wedding receptions everywhere. Turns the dance floor into a raving mob of high-stepping lunatics. Guaranteed.)
So I should have deepened my commitment to my practice and I should have worked on my arm balances and I should be well-deep into savasana by now. Glowy.
But I didn’t. And I’m sweaty. Like…really sweaty.
Over the past ten years that I’ve been doing this work in the on-line space, I’ve been thanked for being approachable. Accessible. A model of grace in imperfection. I deeply appreciate the gifts of every last acknowledgment.
But I’m not gonna lie: every time I get thanked for the last bit, a part of me bristles.
The part that wants to be perfect. Impeccable, even. Committed to her yoga practice. Shiny haired. Polished.
The part that still believes after allthistime that those things matter.
Because that’s how the patriarchal system has worked, you see…for thousands of years. (Being the best mother, friend, sister, daughter, wife, careerist etc. whilst looking impeccable wins all, with extra points for glowing, not sweating.)
And every time I bristle, I am surprised. Of COURSE I am. I know the system’s bullshit. You know it's bullshit.
And then I have to go through a process of all my own tools, including the one where I forgive myself for wanting to be impeccable.
It’s exhausting, and frankly, just like my wise wise body was bored of my yoga practice, I’m bored of it.
I spend a lot of time talking about the Impostor Complex. Because what’s happening is that people discount their gifts, attribute their successes to outside influences, and internalize their failures as proof of their incompetence. Fear of being found out means they stop short. They opt out of situations and opportunities that would have them living up to and into their potential.
But the other part of the story, of course is that when we CHOOSE to don the mask (consciously or otherwise), then we ARE acting out of integrity. We ARE showing up as frauds. Because, well, we’re not showing up as we really are.
Here’s at least two things that DO.NOT.WORK:
“Be the person your client wants to buy from” → and live in fear that they’ll find out you’re a fraud and the trappings are a façade.
“Fake it ‘til you make it” → this may get you out of the house (a good start, to be sure), but it doesn’t get you off the hook of being your self.
So I’m gonna go ahead and skip the middle part where I continue to half-heartedly don the weighty mask of impeccability only to discover (once again) that it doesn’t fit, if it ever did.
And go straight to the place where I can do my best work, unencumbered by expectations of what is or isn’t perfect and reveling in the appreciation for the many many gifts I have been given. Rooting into proof-positive about what IS true about my skills, talents and capacity. And activating from there.
(Flailing clumsily as the case may be. Which is its own special kind of impeccability.)
Because the systemic issues that have contributed to the creation of this phenomenon boggle the mind in their vastness.
We will need our hands free from holding up ill-fitting masks so they can tear down the system, brick by gilded brick.
Skip the middle part with me, will you?
PS - Stay tuned for an upcoming post about the mask of IMperfection.