A few weeks ago, Karen Schulman Dupuis invited me to take part in this year’s Ignite Stratford. So of course I said yes. The title of my presentation was, yes, “Relax. You’re Fine. Just The Way You Are.” A few people have asked me to post the transcript here, which, hey! Easy blog post! The videos will be up on YouTube soon and I’ll post that as well, for those of you who weren’t able to make it out last Thursday night.
Many years ago, while browsing through the Self-Help section of my favourite bookstore, I thought that if I ever wrote one of those things, I’d call it “Relax. You’re Fine. Just the Way You Are.”
Inside would be blank…
And then someone invented blogging, so I did that instead.
As I look around, I am always amazed and saddened by how dissatisfied we are with ourselves. How we enact Get Tough policies against ourselves on an almost daily basis, thinking we need to lose more weight, get more organized, be more successful. We think we need to become perfect when, really? There’s nothing wrong with who we are!
We are, all of us, miraculous.
Throbbing with life.
Every single one of us is completely unique. Since the dawn of time, there has never been anyone quite like you. And there will never be another you, ever again.
I say, let that shine and to hell with those last ten pounds!
As a Reiki Practitioner, I get to touch people. And the variety of proportions of people is amazing. Upper arm to lower, arms to legs, left side to right, no one matches. No one is “in proportion”. We are all ourselves – a unique and miraculous measure of humanity.
And in the face of that, notions of correctness and perfection go right out the window.
Perfection and definitions of perfection are an arrogant and frightened attempt to corral the wild wonderfulness of life into something manageable.
Give it up!
Let the wildness and the wonder of it wash over you. Wallow in it. Drink it up and understand that perfection is everywhere. Yes, even in you!
Whether you believe that humanity evolved over time or that we each come straight from the hand of God, isn’t it strange, after your Mother’s been through 97 hours of labour to have you, to then look at her and all the ancestors who formed you and say, “No. It’s OK. I can fix this!”
It’s like looking at a sunset and telling it to try a little less orange next time. Or telling a robin that his song is too high-pitched. Or telling flower that it needs to drop a few petals.
YOU DON’T NEED FIXING!
There are so many better things you can do with your time, your limited, once in all eternity time on this earth.
This is your trip of a lifetime. Do you seriously want to spend it whipping yourself into shape? Forcing yourself up that ladder of success? Feeling bad about yourself?
There are so many more things to see and experience. Stuff to try. Trouble to get into.
Big crazy projects to launch, just to see where they go.
Friends to discover and cherish.
There are babies to snuggle.
Books to read and wine to drink.
Ideas to follow down strange and wonderful tangents for no productive reason, but because they’re interesting.
There are old people to learn from and love (and to mourn when they’re gone).
And dinners to share, during which you tell the stories of the people you’ve known and the ideas you’ve had.
I’m not saying to never make improvements or to let everything slide – humanity jsut isn’t built that way.
Lord knows, I’m a huge improver! I like to keep my house on the cleaner and tidier end of the spectrum. It suits me.
Eating healthy food and getting enough sleep lets me function better so that I can really enjoy the big adventures when they come along.
And, when I’m out walking my dog, I have been known to break into the occasional light run. It feels good and Ruffles loves it.
So jog if you want to. Cut out the junk food if it makes you feel better. Give to a good cause if you really believe in it.
But please, do these things because they bring you joy, because they’re part of the wonderful banquet of life and not because you think you’re loathesome. Because you’re not.
Believe me. You can relax. Because you’re fine. You are SO fine.
Just the way you are.