The Navajos wove a flaw into every basket.
Only the Gods are perfect.
I begin every class by announcing, “Don’t put me on a pedestal. I will fall off and we will both get hurt.”
It never occurred to me to announce this to clients as well (further evidence that only the Gods are perfect!) until I watched a client go into angry melt-down when she discovered my essential humanity.
Our shared humanity is the essence of the healing relationship. The place where we are stronger together, where shift can happen, comes from exponentially magnifying our human-ness.
I know, I know: it’s easy to define humanity by our flaws and sins, by the reports on the nightly news and the lowest common denominator of our behavior.
But part of the joy of being human is being the skin-suit for a spark of the divine, for creative energy. When we harness the creatrix within, change happens; we begin to choose our emotional and mental lives, creating our perception consciously.
When I am working with a client, we connect with each other from this place of human essence… not because I am a stand-in for an absent mother, an abusive father, or an omnipresent God.
The “pedestal people,” those who hoist me up and expect me to live up to their expectations, are often stuck in a need for perfect. Their perfectionism creates both self- and outward criticism, topped off with a dash of righteousness.
It does to me — I’ve been there.
Here’s what I know helps:
Perfectionism often goes hand-in-hand with over-thinking, stress, rigidity, or “lack mentality.” The best medicine: train your brain. Negative thoughts release a hormone cascade that encourages more negative thoughts. Catch yourself and redirect your brain.
When I hear a negative thought zipping through my frontal lobe, I consciously say to myself Do you really want to think that? And then redirect the thought along a more positive route.
Until you get used to this, chasing your brain around all day can be exhausting, so reach for some herbal support:
If your mind is on a gerbil-wheel, try Passionflower tea.
If you have what I call “Bully Brain” (i.e., your very fearful amygdala is running the show), try Milky Oat tincture and Rose tea.
If your thoughts scatter six ways to Sunday and your perfectionism is an attempt to keep control (especially if you are ever tempted to try some kid’s Ritalin), try a bit of Gotu Kola tincture (and let me know how it works for you!).
For rigidity in the body, try Wood Betony tincture; if it’s in the soul, try Willow flower essence.
If nobody can do it as well as you, you need Oak flower essence. Like, now.
And beware of the pedestal. It’s a long drop… and somebody’s going to get hurt.