Saturday, July 2, 2011

Perfection = Happiness

Perfection... what a scary word. Just typing the word and beginning to think about what it means gives me a mini anxiety attack. How can I ever reach perfection? By its very definition, I'm sure I can't. And yet, I still keep trying.

I try to accomplish more at work, do more yoga, spend more time with Billy, and still have some time for myself. As I was trying to get the most bang for my buck out of my Thursday, I was cramming in a 30 minute yoga practice posted on We were working handstands, and the teacher said something like "being able to float through handstand in each vinyasa wouldn't necessarily make someone happy."

What she said was true, but how often do we think that perfecting that next asana, that next transition, or completing a little more at our jobs will make us happy? Perfecting my handstands is a goal of mine; something that drives my yoga practice. And, I'll admit, the thought of the perfect handstand makes me a little giddy at the potential happiness that will so obviously accompany it. I always want more chances for perfection, for the happiness of perfection.

On Friday, at the conclusion of a hectic week where I felt I hardly accomplished anything, I told Billy that I wanted a re-do for the week. I wanted to start again and try to make it perfect. Billy told me that, luckily, I do get a re-do: the next week. And after that, another week. There's always another week, and another chance to make it perfect.

Hmmm. Sounds eerily familiar. Similarly, I always get another day for my yoga practice. I always get another opportunity to perfect that next asana... not that it will be perfect the next time; not that my perfect trikonasana one day will even be perfect the next time I attempt it.

And that's the crux of it. The practice, the doing, the day-to-day, is the perfection. Returning to something, committing to it, giving myself over to it, and being it. ...that provides me with perfection: the perfection that I experience in each day. Not the perfection of a pose, not the perfection of a completed job--but the perfection of simply being and doing. And there's happiness right there in that perfection.

That revelation may seem mini, but it's slightly earth-shattering for me. Maybe my life is perfect. Maybe I can be happy with that perfection.

So the next step in my practice (both on and off the mat) is to recognize that each day's perfection is another chance for happiness. If I just allow it.

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