I remember growing up always hearing that practice makes perfect. While I hated hearing it at the time, I do know it is true. The thing about practicing is that it does not matter what you are practicing, over time you will master it. It does not matter if it is positive or negative. It does not matter if it is a healthy or unhealthy behavior. It does not matter whether it will be beneficial or not, all that matters is that practices makes perfect.
Think about this for a moment, how much time have you spent in your life practicing anger, jealousy, lack, self doubt, suffering, worry, frustration, impatience, or denial? My guess is that if you have been practicing them long enough you have probably mastered them. A friend of mine has practiced procrastination so long she has mastered it. Practice does make perfect.
If we can master these feelings and behaviors, as well as others, through practice, then we can also master other gifts, feelings, emotions, and skills. We can master self-confidence, joy, and peace. We can master awareness, transformation, and love. Practice after all does make perfect.
In my last blog, I talked about simple ways of practicing self-awareness through a simple practice of breathing. Breathing is something those of us who are still alive and not on life support due automatically every day. We breathe in and we breathe out. However, rarely do we take the time to be aware of the flow of breath in and out of our bodies. Rarely, do most of us take the time to be aware of how it feels when we breathe. Nor are most of us aware that when you breathe when your mouth open slightly there is a space in the middle of your tongue where you will feel the breath differently. Nor are most of us aware that there are four stages to breathing. There is the inhale and the exhale, which most are aware of, however there is also that momentary gap between the inhale and the exhale and the exhale and the inhale.
Being mindful of our breathing is just one thing we can do to practice, and ultimately master, awareness. When we practice being aware, we become more in tune with who we are, what we are, where we are, and what aspects of our lives need to be liberated.
One of the things I hear all the time from my students and clients is this feeling that they will never be perfect. From the time we are born, we learn to develop this image of perfection that does not even exist. Perfection is always something other then what you are right now. Many people are striving to fulfill the ideal that if they fill this imaginary perfection then they will fit in and everything will be ok. The problem is that this image of perfection is like the airbrushed and computer generated images on magazine covers, it does not exist.
So this week, practice this idea. You are perfect just as you are. If there is this little voice in the back of your head that is saying you are lying, acknowledge it but tell yourself you are perfect just as you are. Because the reality is, you are. Whether you are happy or sad you are perfect just as you are. Whether you are a size 1 or a size 36 or a 56 waist you are perfect just as you are. Whether you are on welfare or earning a 6 or 7 figure income, you are perfect just as you are. As I once read many years ago, “We are each unique and precious individuals. There is not, never has been, never will be a single individual exactly like you.”
No matter where you are at in your journey, you are perfect. No matter what you are feeling, you are perfect. No matter what you look like, you are perfect. So this week – practice this simple idea as you breath love in and out – I am perfect just as I am.