August 6, 2013

Crushing Ideas of Perfection in the Yoga World: 8 Reasons to Embrace the Wobble. ~ Buffy Barfoot

Are you feeling stuck in your own ideas of perfection, both on and off the mat?

It’s time to crush these unreasonable ideas and embrace the wobble—the place that sometimes feels uncertain, but that holds the greatest treasures.

Our most creative and worthy ideas often come from wobbling and falling into the dark, and crawling out with a gemstone. Likewise, when we wobble in our poses, we often come away with a stronger connection to the world beneath our feet.  So, learn to wobble.

When we wobble, we…

1.  Are at our edge. This is where we grow.

If we do not reside at our edge and wobble, we are not growing. I love Steve Jobs, and his famous line “stay hungry.”  This doesn’t mean we never relax and soften because we must. But while it’s important to stay balanced between strive and soft, we still need to expand the limits of our practice. Don’t get stagnant and fixed in your comfort kangaroo pocket. Get out and wobble at your edge.

2.  Learn more about our tendencies, patterns and habits.

Often when we wobble, whether in a yoga pose, a relationship or our careers, we stumble in similar ways. If we pay close attention to our bailing patterns, our heartbreaks, and our dead ends, we will see where we need to redirect. This process of attention creates a treasure map to find more ease and fewer falls. Wobbling is great. But don’t keep falling the same way. Learn and redirect with a specific plan.

3.  Are takings risks. This is how we flourish.

People who are really bright and happy are not afraid to take great risks and say no to the easy path. They know that bigger risks equal bigger rewards. A happy, balanced and flourishing life often comes with an understory of bravery and courage. So instead of being perfect, be brave.

4.  Become stronger.

The more we show up for hard things, the stronger we get. Coming from a ballet background, where wobbling is not the preferred pathway, I used to be afraid of the wobble. I even used to leave the room for handstands in yoga because I was afraid to face the lack of control. But hiding from the wobble didn’t make me stronger. Today, for hard things, I go further into the middle of the room, strong and bright. I promise it works. Try that pose you’ve been afraid of, and wobble into strength.

5.  Open to creativity and joy.

Being in control all the time clamps us down and destroys the creative process—and it’s a lot less fun. Life is short; so don’t skip drawing outside the lines. That’s part of the wobble, too.

6.  Create authentic conversations and break the seal of perceived perfection.

Often times we pretend to be more perfect than we actually are. This closes off true connections. Especially if you are in a position of leadership, break the seal. People will be relieved to share and talk and connect to you as you really are. Nobody is perfect. Remember that, and invite authenticity—wobble and all.

7.  Start a process of  exploration.

When we explore, we get to see all parts of the pose, the relationship and the day. You deserve to take the scenic route and feel it all. Don’t discount precise decisions and specific manifestations because that is essential for living how we want. And don’t forget that precise alignment in your pose is still essential to a healthy practice. But be easy on yourself, and follow the wobble into what you love.

8. Accept the frayed and unfinished parts for the beauty that they hold.

The most beautiful people are not walking the runways. They are the ones in the streets looking for what inspires them, wobbling around in their own imperfection. Those creating a collage of authenticity, inside and out, are always the most attractive. Look around. Get excited about your life and reach for your edge. Learn to enjoy the wobble, and be your most beautiful.

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Ed: B. Bemel

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