Well, if I knew the path to solve this dilemma I wouldn’t be here stuck, eating sugar compulsively, procrastinating like a crazy person as if I had plenty of time to do whatever… Instead, I would be out there or just here, getting, in fact, some major business done.
And man, how I need to get some business done. I am desperately for it. Lately I have had so many good ideas that I want to put in practice, so many projects to work on, so many posts to write about, so many things to say, to share… Yep, overwhelming. And of course, I want everything to come across just perfect. As perfect as it is in my mind. And when I start to execute and notice that is not quite like it, I freeze, I get stuck. And I do because I doubt myself and my ability in doing something as perfect as I expect them to be. This curb totally my enthusiasm, my drive to do whatever.
I remember when I was a teenager and wanted to start a journal, write my thoughts or anything that came to my mind in a gorgeous notebook and obviously in a beautiful way. But I never ever managed to started one because in my mind my writing was not that great and my calligraphy was messy, rushy and ugly. So, no way I would be able to journal as “I should”. Therefore, why bother doing it in a first place?…
Right? If in order for someone to be pleased with that action, that level of perfection is required, then probably right.
However, if someone was looking for something else, like a vent escape, a place to anchor their thoughts and let their feelings unfold, then probably wrong.
As I read somewhere recently:
“Perfectionism is the fear of being criticized.”
Not so sure if I agree with that. Because if that is the case, as my example above illustrated so well, ship has sailed cause even before we start or when we are just starting something, we are already being heavily criticized by ourselves. And that criticism never stops. And usually a perfectionist’s critic on the self is way harder than anyone else could possibly be.
But maybe that is why we, perfectionists are afraid of criticism. What if other people’s critic is even harder than ours?
Would that be even possible? Just wondering here…
But if it is, we are so used to our own that it shouldn’t be much harder to deal with other’s harsh thoughts…
In any case, underneath it all, there is a serious mind and emotional game playing on and on that doesn’t allow me to live by the only mantra that I truly believe could break this perfectionism spell: just go and do it, imperfectly, but do it. Because there is no other way to address this matter. No meditation, no therapy, no breathe. Just plain behavioral mindset. Go and do it. Imperfectly but done should be good enough.
It is not for a perfectionist, but it should. That is what keep successful people doing. And greatly.
Because they know there is no such thing as perfection. Just:
Or Imperfectly Perfect.
They know perfectionism is an unreachable goal that we set to sabotage ourselves in doing something, anything. That is why it doesn’t matter to them. Not as much. Not to the point of keeping them from doing it.
Deep inside, I particularly know that to be true, but still, it is very hard to accept that and live by that. Cause even deeper inside we are programmed to reach perfectionism.
But I guess, if we want to move out of this perfectionism hole, this is the only rope around we have. So, that is my plan to beat that perfectionism monster within. Keep doing it. The best I can. Perfectly Imperfect. Imperfectly Perfect. Regardless what my bitchy perfectionist self think.
One of the things I always felt in my core that I needed to work on was to be truly grateful. For every little thing in my life right now and that ever happened to me. Every. Little. Thing. Good. Bad. And The Very Ugly.
In my mind, as a concept, I always got why this is an important thing to bring to our lives, how being and feeling grateful can open a window of prosperity and joy in front of us and the whole zen-bang. Without it, it is like you don’t move as fast as you should.
And you aren’t even on the right direction.
Having understood all that, every time I have tried to actually be and feel grateful I always felt as if I was not really being and feeling as such. It seemed to be something I was just saying but not meaning. Because, let’s face it, how can someone be and feel grateful when shit is happening in full force? And although I have been having some good moments, most of my life lately and so far has fell short in being fulfilling.
So, every time I did one of those exercises to write down a few things I was grateful for every day, I did (with certain level of difficulty but I did) but still, didn’t feel it.
My biggest a-ha moment on that, was a few days ago when one of my beloved Yoga and Reiki Master, Nicole, posted on her Facebook stories a holistic tip: “be thankful for everything in your life. Even for the hard times. Just be thankful. The next time you go for a walk, just say thank you, thank you, thank you all along the way. ” She has been through some shitty moments lately and it was one of those tips she was giving to others but mainly to herself. Those tend to be the real good tips, by the way.
And I just did it as she said. Right after I heard it, the next morning when I went for a walk and I have been doing it every time I remember ever since. Because when I heard it, it spoke to me. It resonate deep in my soul. For the first time, maybe. At that moment, I was in this really dark, cloudy, stormy and windy moment of my life, where hope was running out and a blind faith that everything would be okay, eventually, was the only thing that I had to hold on to and surprisingly I managed to be and feel grateful for all of that. And for the first time I felt as I was meaning.
And that is the key to master this being and feeling grateful for everything deal: meaning it. Deep inside. When you hit that point, it does shine a light in you and this light clears the clouds, brightens the day, stops the wind, takes the storm away.
To be honest, there is no easy way towards it. You just have to keep on practicing your gratitude even when it doesn’t seem real and makes no sense to you. Keep on being and feeling grateful that one day, eventually, you will mean it.
And that will make the whole difference in your life. Hopefully. 🙏 🙌
Today I woke up thinking about comparison. Because it is impossible to navigate through Instagram without comparing yourself at some level. Especially when you are placing yourself out there as a brand, as I am trying to. My idea when I decided to have a presence in that particular social media was to voice my perspective regarding my life as a post-menopausal woman who went through hell and came back not only to tell her story but also to live in style. And loving every moment of it. But in a realistic, down to earth way, not in an Instagram way.
Well, first my moment at this moment is far from being lovable. Lots of dark clouds around, uncertainty, sadness, even some depression… Which is ok, it is part of living. And at least I am glad to be able to feel it again, even the bad things, cause for a long time I was simply numb. To everything. But still, not a shiny moment to be out there.
Second: I found a lot of stylish, interesting women around my age and older doing their thing out there. And rocking it. It is really fun, inspiring to look up to them. They got their place already and I think women around my age is pretty well represented. Which makes me think that I am late and kind of irrelevant right now. That is what comparison is all about, right?
Third: as I said above, my idea was to bring some down-to-earth kind of style/lifestyle. But the feeling I get on Instagram is that people over there want an Instagram reality not a real-deal one, with its ups and downs, its beautiful and ugly sides. People want high-production, shine happy, fun people all the time. And only that. For me this a bit tiring, draining even because nobody is like that all the time. Life is not just black or white, it is a mixture of them both and every color in between. And the energy to fake it is touchable out there. Which makes the whole experience extremely exhausting for someone empathic as I am. And I am not even gonna talk about how eventful their lives are: traveling every where, going to places all the time… I get tired just by looking at their busy routine… Oh, my!
Also, it is impossible not to look up to other feeds and compare to yours. And for a person like me, with a very lively sense of aesthetics, my feed looks terribly underwhelming. Pretty much my mood lately at some level. Which makes me want to up my game. But then I will lose my main inspiration to be there.
Fourth: man, how hard it is to grow organically out there. And here as well, for that matter. Some times it can really get into you. It is disappointing. And lonely. And it makes you want to give up because you think you are going nowhere and everything you are doing is pure crap, anyways. The others are the ones who are mastering it, so you don’t belong there. Or here.
And yes, I do know I do. Blogging at least is my place to be. I love it. And I know I used to be damn good at it. Just looking forward to find my voice and speak the hack of me. Because after all, everybody has its place. We just have to find it where it is. And let it shine.
And how about you? How are you dealing with comparison?
The very first time I tried Reiki was probably in my 20s. I was feeling lost, drained, with no energy to live. It felt as if I only had a few drops of fuel to go on. Maybe an early side effect from my back then unknown B12 deficiency already kicking in or due to my empathic ability that is draining on its own. Who knows? In any case, I looked for some energy therapy and Reiki was the one that resonated with me. I found a really nice holistic therapist in Rio de Janeiro and had my first of my many sessions. I really love it and felt it was helping me. That is why I kept on going, it was the right thing for me. Some sessions were just relaxing others more emotional. But always insightful and warming. In my way.
Back then my therapist was starting to work with another holistic therapy: Qi-Gong. And she started to train me on that as well. And since I responded so well and like it very much, I started to practice Qi-Gong with her and stopped my Reiki sessions. And again, it was the right thing for me at the right time, as Reiki had been so far. And that is how I went from Reiki, a holistic therapy where the practitioner channels the Universal energy and through it heals and restore ours to Qi-Gong, an alchemist practice to transform and cultivate our own energy.
And I have been practicing Qi-Gong basically daily from then on.
And before I go any further let me point this out: I am very grateful for those both practices for restoring my energy and for putting me in this amazing spiritual, self-discovering journey. It was the first time I felt I was really going to this energy path. Because for me everything is energy. And energy for me is not something abstract, it is very concrete. It is something I can sense and feel inside, around, every where. And it is so real for me that I can almost touch it. Energy is what we are, it is what connect or repel us to one another. Now writing about it I feel as if I should meditate on this subject because it is something that speak immensely to me.
But going back to Reiki… for many years I stuck with Qi-Gong only. But some times I felt a desire to take a Reiki session. Or two. Because it was something that spoke to me. And in some way, Reiki stuck with me ever since. Even when I was not taking any sessions.
Then, some years later, when I was spending some time in New York 3 or 4 years ago, in my 40s, I had this feeling that I should retry yoga. For many years I thought yoga was not for me and ignore it completely. So I was looking for yoga places near my neighborhood, my beloved Greenpoint and saw that in one of them, at the Awakening Studio, they had something called Restorative Yoga with Reiki. Immediately I loved the idea and decided to try. And guess what? I absolutely loved it. It was relaxing, resting, warming, restoring… What I needed it. I felt hugged by this glowing energy. And so, the whole time I was in NY I took this Restorative Yoga with Reiki class. I loved the instructor, Nicole and I was so impressed by her energy and her warming hands… She is an amazing healer and an inspiration for me. And they made my reencounter with Reiki even more special.
So next year when I returned to NY, obviously that I took her Restorative classes AND her Reiki level 1 course. Because I had to. And that is how I became a Reiki practitioner myself. I took it first and foremost to heal myself. Back then I was beginning to feel better again from my now discovered B12 deficiency. And I was doing everything I could to restore my health to its optimum self: Meditation, Yoga, Qi-Gong, eating nutrients, supplementing, detoxifying, keeping myself away the most I could from toxins, Body Talk… things like that. And it was working. Slowly and steadily but working.
My Reiki level 1 experience was very smooth. But quite warming. I loved giving Reiki to myself every single day. I felt I was caressing my soul, taking care of my whole body. After a long time kind of numb to this whole energy thing due to my hell moments during my B12 deficiency, I was feeling this thing called energy in a more concrete way again. Actually, the only thing I felt during my attunement was a lot of energy flowing through my hands. I didn’t have any a-ha moment or anything like that. Just energy flowing in my hands.
I never actually gave Reiki to anyone else in my level 1. I didn’t feel ready for it. And I am quite shy about it. But I was my own client. And a very needy one. hehehe
Anyways, one year later when I returned to NY I took my Reiki level 2 with Nicole again. And it was pretty intense. First it was only me and somebody else who had experienced the same B12 deficiency ordeal. We basically went through the same exactly hell. What the odds? And on its own it was an amazing encounter. During my attunement all I felt was a lot of energy in my crown.
But it didn’t end there. Afterwards, through the following week, it was pretty intense. Maybe because I decided to start Kundalini yoga classes at the same time. I don’t know. All I know is that it amplified the whole she-bangs. I felt as if my crown had expanded and there was so much light coming from it or towards it… It felt inebriated with all this renew energy in me. I felt as if I was giving my first steps back towards myself. Slowly but steadily. And after a rollercoaster of emotions, for the first time in a very long time I felt unapologetic happy for a long while. And I enjoyed every moment of it.
So many great things happened to me after that. Like I finally got back to the dating action. And even managed to melt my frozen heart. Something I thought as an impossible thing to happen. Obviously I had some set backs and problems to deal with it. Life as usual. Actually, at the moment I am going through a really dark phase in my life where I feel that a lot has to fall apart so I can start to rebuild my life as the life I should be living and deserve. With my own dreams, bliss, values… I know I still have a long journey ahead, but up to this point, I am so grateful for this reconnection, to be myself again and feel as such… This is truly priceless. And for that I am forever grateful.
And yes, I had a few Reiki clients but I am still my biggest client. Plus I am still shy about it. I am not very good in marketing myself. But I am learning. And yes, as I said, right now I am in a dark phase. I am not even seeing some light at the end of the tunnel yet. But I have faith that at the end everything will be okay. I am trusting the Universe. And because of this dark moment I feel even shier to offer Reiki. Even knowing in my core and by my experience that when I give Reiki I am a channel to connect the Universal energy with the client’s energy and let the heal and restore happen. I am not giving my energy, I am just a tube, a vessel to the Universal energy. It is the Universal energy taking control and care of it all. And as an empathic, I love it.
Still, I feel a bit self-conscious about it. Although deep inside I am dying to give Reiki again. And maybe that is what I should be doing, especially at this moment. Because when I give Reiki, I feel so empty and at the same time so fulfilled. It is like giving Reiki to myself at some other level. A magical level. And maybe that is what I need at this moment in my dark phase: some magic.
Today I woke up around 3:30. Nothing new since usually I tend to wake up around 2:30 or 3:30 and then I go back to sleep. True that sometimes I am not able to go back and sleep again. Menopause side effect in full force. It still happens, but not that frequently anymore. 🙏 Anyways, the view from my bed when I opened my eyes (and removed my sleeping mask) was this gorgeous, glowing full moon. Looking bright, shining, so close yet so far. She was staring at me, smiling at me, bathing me, watching over me. That was the feeling. I felt embraced, taken care of, caressed. At the same time I was amazed by the beauty and the power of nature, of our lovely Universe.
I inhale deeply that view of this beautiful and bold moon and I could not help but put a huge smile on my face, on my soul. It uplifted me, unexpectedly. It gave me a sense of hope, a sense of everything is gonna be alright if not now, eventually. Because little things in life can make a difference. Just like that, just like magic if we open up ourselves to it. Beauty and hope are everywhere, in everything around us. We just have to see it with a fresh, early morning eyes.