The Imperfect Experiment

 

Image courtesy: lifepurposematters.com
Image courtesy: lifepurposematters.com
I am careful not to confuse Excellence with Perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; Perfection is God’s business.  Michael J. Fox

Today, I begin my experiment.  It’s about taking a risk, taking a chance, not knowing all the possible permutations but having a go anyway without knowing about the outcome.

As a perfectionist, I need to know everything. But as a reforming perfectionist, I’m learning that I don’t really need to know “every thing”.  And the universe is helping me in my quest. You see even this post has started off as imperfect. I made many attempts at centring the image below, the text size changed and I couldn’t see how to fix it, and you know what, it didn’t matter. Despite my mind protesting, I just gave in and left it imperfect, because I realised that this imperfect post would not caused a major earthquake, or other similar calamity.  Funny thing is, when I gave in to imperfection, the faults magically corrected themselves!

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Our beloved dog Star

As for the Imperfect Experiment, well, since my beloved rescue Greyhound passed away recently, I’ve been in a complete state of sadness and despair.  I couldn’t imagine getting another dog ever, because I felt she was the “perfect” dog.  My family adored her too, and they also miss her but also wanted to honour her by rescuing another Greyhound, which I know is a wonderful thing to do.  Problem is, there are so many dogs that need rescuing, that need homes but as always, I managed to narrow the choice down to 2. I just couldn’t choose the next  “perfect” dog. I flipped a coin, I used a pendulum, I meditated but I got nothing, no guidance, no inkling, just a big fat zero, and now I know why. I’m being guided to just choose.  Either dog will be perfect and imperfect at the same time.

Image courtesy: bandt.com.au

So today, I thought, ok, let’s look at this as an experiment. Let’s just choose one, and go with it.  Let’s see what it feels like to just make a selection and be ok with that.  Even if the dog we’ve chosen turns out to be somewhat imperfect, perhaps it may dig up my garden, or hide all our socks, does it really matter?  No.  There is joy to be found in saving any animal.  There is joy to be found in having a playful dog, even if it does cause mischief.  There will be joy in knowing that I’ve made a decision, that will make a huge difference to at least one animal’s life. In fact, being able to be imperfect means I will help save another dog’s life. Surely that is the only kind of perfection worth striving for.

Our perfectly imperfect new rescued Greyhound, Storm.
Our perfectly imperfect new rescued Greyhound, Storm.

So this morning, I’m off to collect our new family member from her foster mum, and I look forward to seeing what alchemical process will take place as I try on a new idea about what it means to be perfectly imperfect.

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No map required

Ever have times in your life, when day, after hilly day, you feel like life is just one constant uphill climb, but not the climbing up the ladder kind of climb, with all its pots of gold and rainbows as dangling temptations, nope. This is the “Oh my goodness, when will life just plateau a little so I can catch my breath kind of climb, and where did that boulder come from?”

Image Courtesy: kindasassy.com
Image Courtesy: kindasassy.com

You see, as a perfectionist, I like to be in control.  I like to know where I’m going, what’s the journey going to be like, what’s the weather forecast, what’s around the corner, what does the corner even look like and what’s at the end of the journey.  I want details, details, details.  I want directions. Lots of them.

map

So what does directions have to do with pushing boulders up hills?  Well, with perfectionism, comes the desire to tell the universe just how you’d like it.  I’m talking specifics here, in full technicolour glory, about doing it your way, because your conscious mind knows better, and yet, continually pursuing that dead-end job, or that crumbling relationship means you are pushing it up hill.  Despite the advice of some well meaning gurus, you know that thing about manifesting what you want, well sometimes what you think you want, isn’t what your soul really needs, and so all this wishful thinking means, your “thing” just ain’t gonna happen.  We think we know what we want, what course our life should take, the right job, the right house, and the right possessions that will really make us happy, but too often, those are things we “think” we want.

Right now you’re scratching your head saying, “Yeah, that’s right it’s what I think, so it’s what I want.  What else is there?”  Well you see there’s this “thing” we carry with us into adulthood and it’s a bunch of circuitry that has it’s own unique program. That circuitry is our brain and the program comes from the environment we grow up in.  We are deeply influenced by the thoughts and beliefs of our caregivers as we are growing up.  So when we consciously think we want the White car, is it really “our” choice or that subconscious parental voice saying, “White is the safer colour. Choose no other”, when what we really want is the Orange one because it better matches our own soul’s desire.

Image Courtesy: pressrewindblog.com
Image Courtesy: pressrewindblog.com

Excessive Perfectionism, like all other limiting or self-defeating beliefs requires us to stop and examine which are programmed thoughts and which are those coming from our heart and soul.  So back to uphill climbs.  If we can move from “thinking” what we think we want, and instead connecting in with our heart’s desire, and then step back, we allow the universe to meet us half way and give us what our soul needs, thus removing many a boulder and hilly climbs.

Like all reforming perfectionists, I’ve had to let  go of the need for details and directions, and understand that the universe dishes out information on an “needs to know” basis.  The more I let go of what I think I should be doing in any aspect of my life, the more I get clarity on where I really need to go.  Mysterious synchronicity weaves it’s web, one strand at a time, so that like a graceful spider, I can inch my way along the path, as each delicate thread magically appears. And while the journey may not always move forward and more often sideways, it is the detours that can often yield the most unexpected surprises!

Image Courtesy: sodahead.com
Image Courtesy: sodahead.com

I’m certain about uncertainty

Image courtesy: apkdownloadget.blogspot.com
Image courtesy: apkdownloadget.blogspot.com

Uncertainty, how you seem to want to follow me

I seek to rest on a safe and stable shores,

And yet, an ocean of unknown destinies dislodges me even more.

The more I resist, the more you persist.

Why can’t you let me be, with my diary of certainties that help me avoid calamities.

But you won’t be beaten, you stalk me, an ever present shadow.

I feel secure in my safe haven of monotony and predictability,

But you laugh as you continually pull the rug out from under me.

So today I stop, I no longer insist.

Your mysterious ways can have me,

For resistance is useless and fighting, wasteful.

I fling myself into the open, uncertain if you will catch me.

But throw myself I will, trusting in uncertainty’s whim.

Silvana Nagl 2015 (copyright)

Why I write?

Image Courtesy: extraordinaryintelligence.com
Image Courtesy: extraordinaryintelligence.com

As I dumped yet another head full of ideas into another potential blog, I asked myself, “Why do I write?”  It’s a question that comes up as I pen my 10th draft, another evolving wordy infant, in a growing queue of gently nurtured babies, patiently awaiting the right kind of encouragement from their creator to take their first step.  So why have the 10 infants not yet made the move into first grade and been published?  Well it’s because for their caregiver, the writing process can at times, be like a burning itch, or a completely distracting urge to unleash yet another burst of neural ideas onto paper, before the untamed rush petered out into a fizzle.  It’s what happens when an “ideas person”, (read, Chronic Thinker) wakes up each day, stopping temporarily when one goes to sleep, but even then, vivid dreams can unleash potential fodder. Ideas, solutions and intuitions rush in, uninvited into the draft box, with another dose of raw material, awaiting a spit and polish so that they can be birthed into the Blogasphere.

As I try to finish this post, another rush of blood to the head spawns another embryonic idea and potential post.  But I resist the urge to open yet another blank page, because today, I promised myself to try something called, completion. Note to self: explore concept of completion in next draft.

Image courtesy: stratify.co
Image courtesy: stratify.co

So what is it about the writing process that has given rise to a plethora of blogs, gently nudging closet writers out of their hiding spots, and finally taking a precarious step into the spotlight?  And why not just write in a journal I ask myself?  It’s that itch.  I write everywhere, the back of receipts, empty toilet rolls, cardboard boxes, whatever makes itself available when “the urge” strikes.  But why? Because behind the itch, behind the urge, there is an unnamable drive to share stories.  It’s the need  to share the nanoseconds that coagulate into a life, experiences that have been earned through joyous luck, or searing pain, sometimes both at the same time.

Image courtesy: hannaharendtcenter.org
Image courtesy: hannaharendtcenter.org

Apart from being inundated with ideas, the most important reason my work has remained hidden, is that I wondered who would want to read this?  Yesterday, a soul-sista shared wisdom which I hope inspires all wanna-be bloggers and writers. She said, “Your particular way with words, might be on the same wavelength that reaches that one person who is feeling completely lost and isolated right now. Why wouldn’t you want to reach out and help her?”  I know that feeling of isolation and emptiness, and what it means to have just one soul who says, I see you.

Image courtesy: barriedavenport.com
Image courtesy: barriedavenport.com

As we become increasingly isolated in our ever-expanding cities, our lives have become more condensed and our ability to support and share with each other, slowly eroding.  It is through our shared narratives of walking our often precarious paths, that we feel a sense of belonging and connection.  My  hope is that through my writing, ideas and inspirations, I may help another person walking a similar path, facing similar joys and sorrows and everything in between.   It’s the reason many of my posts are written in cyberspace and not my journal.

Image courtesy: greenearthchoice.com
Image courtesy: greenearthchoice.com

So, for that one person who might gain some comfort from a shared experience, I’m getting over my own self-doubt, and exploring this place called courage,  as I begin to release my babies out into the world, in the hope that they may nurture, encourage and support a fellow traveller.