Don't Be Perfect...Be Brave!

"Nothing that is complete breathes."  ~Antonio Porchia, Voces

If you don't go to my gym or my work, you may have thought I'd given up and am wallowing in a sea of donuts and coffee and tequila.  I know.  It's been that long.

Well, my absence has been due to three beautiful reasons: 

#1...I stabbed a steak knife basically through my hand while pitting an avocado in the world's worst way.  Ouch.  Yeah, stupid.  But, a blessing in disguise, believe it or not!  
I think this looks sharper than the one I plunged through my hand.
#2...Anusara yoga.  It's been taking up my weekends and filling my brain with so much AWESOME it led me to spend my time in different ways than my usual deal.
Life-changing stuff.  Eff yeah.

#3...is a big ol' honkin' secret.  For now.  And it is a huge time-sucker...you'll just have to trust me on that one.
We all got 'em.

It's around the six month mark of the Clean Year and I've been finding myself in a mode of uber reflection recently.  Even though I have by no means been exactly perfect (except in the area of alcohol), I look at my brain and my life now and realize that habits/ideas/processes ARE changing.  I get so excited about my fancy waters at the bar and have stopped gazing longingly at bubbly beers and tannintastic reds.  I no longer get flustered when people ask why I'm doing this.  I am clear-headed and feeling the ups and downs of my life in an intense, less-cluttered, laser-precise, so-clear-you-can-literally-see-to-the-bottom-of-the-lake kind of way.  Is this good?  Yeah.  Is this super uncomfortable?  F*$& yeah.  But that's the point.  I feel like I'm getting so much better at facing things head on, being open to sucking at life sometimes, not burying my head in the sand and "crutching" till the yuck goes away, and being really honest and accepting of myself at all points.  Not just when I'm awesome.  It's so easy to like yourself when you're awesome.  It's so hard to like yourself when you suck.

I could bore you with a bunch of details, but I'll try to boil it down to the essence of what's on my brain right now.

Steak Knife Lesson:  Freakin' let go for once.  Slow down.  Stop thinking.  Stop doing.  Skip work for a few days and be high on percocet.  Sleep 18 hours a day and don't feel guilty.  Read a sh*% ton of young adult novels because it makes you happy.  Love your body.  Start to notice the wonder of every miraculous movement it makes.  Thank the stars/the lord above/the Skidmore genes for a marvelous, functioning and able body and brain.  Realize the school/the students/the family/the friends/the world will all survive without you.  Disappear for awhile, but not because you don't feel good enough...just because.  Be grateful for people who support you unconditionally.  Just be.

Anusara Yoga Lesson:  My yoga instructor, Buffy Barfoot, is truly a source of inspiration.  The title of this post is straight from her mouth this morning.  "Don't be perfect...be brave," she urges and then tells us to do an arm stand that seems impossible.  Until I just GO, and find myself balancing my body sideways on two hands.  "Press into your edges, because that is where you find the treasures of learning," she says, as I grunt and shake and grimace and sweat on my mat.  "Shaking is your body carving new pathways.  Just breathe."  I shake and breathe and listen to the battle in my mind.  "We do hard things with our bodies, so we are prepared to do hard things in our lives."  Word.  I realize that's why I love CrossFit.  And why I love these Anusara classes with this instructor.  My knees and my heart and my soul are finding solace and relief in this practice, within a compassionate and loving community that is united under a genuinely beautiful leader with profoundly impactful words. 

From a person who tries to prevent "the bad" in life by being as perfect as possible and having an illusion of control in her life, I'm taking on that statement as my new motto:  "Don't be perfect...be brave."  And from the steak knife: "let go and just be."

Can it really be that simple?

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