Move on and create more

So many dear and wonderful women I know (including me) get caught in trap of perfectionism on a regular basis.

We wonder: Is this good enough? Will it land with my audience? Am I doing it right? What if I mess up? 

These are all common concerns, but they stop us from taking the necessary actions that will propel us toward our ultimate goals. Sometimes this can happen in decision-making as well (as illustrated by my questions below in thinking through my job search):

-academia? public sector? nonprofits? small companies? (note: I have temporarily ruled out large companies)

-program management? project management? people management?

ease flow and beauty
While I am not a visual artist, I did not hesitate to create and share this piece. Some might be embarrassed but I find it endearing that my inner 7-year-old likes to do art. 😉

But when we allow ourselves to linger too much on each of the options, we just allow confusion to cloud our judgment.

This is how I feel when I am writing blog entries. I give myself about 20-30 minutes to draft an entry. Then I figure out a picture (~5 minutes?) and get it posted up. If I have a little more time on my hands, I spend another 5-10 minutes editing. In total, I spend no more than 45 minutes on each post.

It is not that I don’t *think* through ideas when I brainstorm topics. But the writing itself is typically posted without a lot of anguish or delay.

And that’s why I can write often without much stress about it. I press the publish button and I let go of the result. I am grateful that so many “citizen journalists” can exist today without editorial gatekeepers.

Sometimes I notice there are typos when I go back and read prior entries, particularly if I did not remember to go back and edit. But well, what can I say? This is the internet. Everything has a pretty short shelf-life.

Very often I will go back and read a month of entries (or entries from the year before) and discover themes emerging that I find interesting. Or I’ll realize: wow, I keep learning the SAME lesson over and over again! 😉

I move on, and I create more. There is very little advantage to spending lots of time to polish each post until it shines. Good enough is good enough.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

 

On the freedom of breaking streaks

Much of the literature on happiness and habits refers to building routines that work for us and support us every day toward achieving our goals. I like to have a daily routine, especially in the morning.

The grounding and centering I achieve through regular routines of meditation and journal writing in the morning seems to have a lasting effect on my mood and overall happiness. My weekly “writing days” when I will post to WordPress have built up trust in my ability to create pieces on a consistent basis.

Every Sunday since October 2017 I have posted a haiku. This past weekend, I was at a 3-day yoga teacher training weekend Friday through Sunday. For 9-10 hours a day, we did yoga practices, learned new things, and explored many facets of yoga. It was amazing, and it was also physically and emotionally taxing.

Yogi tea IG photo
Another favorite routine is my late morning or post-lunch tea break.

On Saturday evening, I was pretty wiped out. The longest of the 3 days, it began at 8 and ended at 6. With 20 other students, a lot of dyad work, and a couple of teachers working with us, it was a LOT of people interaction. It pushed my capacity to the limit, and rather than writing haiku when I came home, I was wrung out to the point of exhaustion.

After I got home for the day, a tiny part of me said: “You still have not written your Sunday haiku yet; you can’t go to bed yet.” But the wiser higher mind said: “Turning on the computer and risking your quality of sleep is not a good idea. Get some rest.”

And thus, a streak which had continued for ~75 weeks was broken. While I felt a little sad about it, I also felt freed by it at the same time. It was a habit I had built up that gave me joy and practice at the art of haiku. It served me well for that time period. And now I am moving to a new phase of my life that requires a focus on different things, at least through my certification in September.

While I actually did think of a haiku on Sunday morning, during my savasana meditation at the end of yoga practice, I had no access to a computer. So it lived only in my mind. I was grateful to generate it for myself, even if it was not shared that time around.

Long live your streaks! And when they no longer serve you, let them go gracefully and with compassion for any inner compulsion you may have. This is freedom.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

Seasonality

Today was a trip down memory lane in a way, but at the opposite side of the season in which I was married a year and a half ago (September).

Gooseberry Falls
Gooseberry Falls – still quite icy but flowing as well

I reflected on how different Gooseberry Falls State Park appears when it is covered in snow and ice, but also with strong and flowing currents. Seasons change, and nature has cycles. And yet humans so often want to keep push, push, pushing forward rather than allowing time for stepping back, reflecting, and renewing.

My biggest takeaway from this current phase in my life is that these “winters” of our souls are healthy and necessary for our growth. As I contemplated my gratitude for this time, I realized that I have no regrets.

I appreciate the nature of the cycles in my life.  There are ways in which I take in knowledge and wisdom and then process them. I use them as raw materials to create the next phase of my life. And even if I have a vision for what that might become 5 years out, I can only take the next step in front of me. I need not know every step along the way.

Spring is a season of re-birth and re-discovery. We do love our Spring in Minnesota. We emerge from the cozy habitats we have occupied for the winter, renew our connections to other people. We are prepared for new journeys, and turn our attention toward a new set of activities. There is so much beauty in allowing and appreciating those cycles.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com