Perfect vs. Ideal

sequenceHow many of you know someone who accepts themselves just as they are?
How many of you know people who are far too critical of themselves?

When I ask this first question in class, very few people raise their hands. Some think of their pets. Some have a friend or mentor. What is it we are waiting for?

If we held ourselves as perfect, I’m sure we’d have no problem accepting ourselves. So what is between us and perfection? What does perfect mean to you? What do you have to accomplish in order to be perfect?

PERFECT
Right now: In the taoist sense – everything is perfect just as it is. The world is playing out perfectly. We are now and always have been experiencing exactly what we need to experience to foster our growth in this life.

IDEAL
What we’re growing in to. What we’d like to become. What we’ll eventually be.
I have seen myself and too many other people I come across beating themselves up for not being ideal yet, and letting that beating slow their growth towards that ideal.

This plays into content vs. complacent. Content is being okay with what is now. Complacent is not taking the actions to improve where we can, in ways that would serve us.

IN PRACTICE
Here’s how it worked for me:
I was working on pressing up into handstands. I’d press into the floor with my hands, toes on the ground going nowhere, feeling frustrated. I got to the point where I could lift my toes off the floor, but that was it. Frustrated again. Suddenly I realized what an incredible feat this already was! I accepted myself for what I’d done. I pressed my feet off the floor and congratulated myself. My body relaxed and my feet lifted higher! I accepted myself again. In that acceptance I relaxed more, and they went higher still. On and on till I gotĀ up all the way.

For a second: Rats! I couldn’t stick the handstand.
Then: That was amazing.

Bring that same self acceptance to your edges: move close to your edge and ask yourself:

* Are you perfect enough yet?
* Do you know what your ideal is?
* Are you okay with the amount of strength, flexibility, endurance that you have?
* Are you open to more?
* Does accepting your practice as it is shift anything, allowing you to grow to your ideal?

Let’s rise together as a group of people willing to accept ourselves, to be some of the rare people who do actually accept ourselves, and others, exactly as they are, encouraging growth from there.

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