To be present. To be fully in a moment. To be intentional with my time and my decisions. That has been a goal of mine these past few months. But I never thought about how perfectionism tied into the idea of being present until I started reading 'Present Over Perfect' by Shauna Niequist. The cover itself says, “Leaving behind frantic for a simpler, more soulful way of living.” Sign me up! At one part, the book states:
“Sink deeply into the world as it stands. Breathe in the smell of rain and the scuff of leaves as they scrape across driveways on windy nights. This is where life is, not in some imaginary, photo-shopped dreamland. Here. Now. You, just as you are. Me, just as I am. This world, just as it is. This is the good stuff. This is the best stuff there is. Perfect has nothing on truly, completely, wide-eyed, open-souled present.”We get so caught up in the idea of perfect, we lose focus of who we are and what we are doing. In the quest to be perfect, we forget to be present. These past few months I’ve tried to worry less about how my hair looks or if I’m saying the right thing or when my next appointment is and more on being fully where I am in the moment. It changes everything. It’s like wearing glasses for the first time. You become more aware, of yourself, of others, of your surroundings and thoughts and behaviors and feelings. It looks a lot like random smiles walking to the mailbox or tears in the middle of a workout class. It looks like feeling deeply and trusting emotions and active listening, to myself and to others. It’s midnight journaling and deep breathing and vulnerable phone calls to friends. It’s a whole new world when you choose to focus on the present, in all of its beauty and mess, rather than the false idea of perfection and the ‘shoulds’.