I don’t know about you, but I’m tired.
Tired of trying to be perfect all the time. Tired of trying to get everything right. Tired of trying meet unreachable expectations and to be everything to everyone.
It’s not possible. And, even if it is, it certainly isn’t sustainable.
So I’m easing up on the idea of perfection and replacing it with grace and kindness, self-compassion and self-care.
Before Christmas this year, I purchased some art supplies. My plan was to make linocut block prints and give these to friends as holiday gifts. But I was busy and tired and a little bit daunted at trying this particular new thing, so the supplies sat, untouched, for months.
A couple of weeks ago, I finally put them to use. I came up with an idea, transferred the image to my block, and started carving. It didn’t take long to realize I had not chosen a simple beginner project.
This particular design had some details that were a tricky for my skill level. And, partway through carving, I realized I had forgotten that the image on the block needed to be the mirror image of how I wanted my prints to turn out.
I could have discarded my project right then. I thought about it.
And then I took a deep breath, gave myself some grace, and continued carving.
This bit of grace not only gave me the courage and perseverance to keep going, it allowed me to find joy in the process.
Is my design perfect? Far from it.
But it’s a beautiful reminder to me to be gentle with myself. That kindness is better than self-judgment. That self-compassion is better than perfection.
And that has a beauty all of its own.
Abandoning perfection for self-compassion feels so good. And I’m finding lots of opportunities to practice:
Ending a workout early because my body tells me it’s done. Giving myself device-free time to recharge even though I love posting on LinkedIn every day. Ordering pizza for dinner after a long day of work without feeling guilty that I was supposed to make pizza. Going to bed early instead of finishing everything on my to-do list.
Because, at the end of the day, self-compassion will take me further than perfection ever could.
Use these prompts as written or as inspiration to uncover what you need in your life this week. And know that I’m always here to support you and answer questions you have along the way!
Where in your life do you struggle with perfection?
What problems does perfectionism cause for you?
What could it look like if you replace it with a bit of grace, kindness, self-compassion, and self-care?
How could imperfection in your life be beautiful?
One Journaling Idea I Love:
Start with Breakfast
If you don’t know what to write about, start with breakfast.
Actually start by describing what you ate for breakfast. If you ate oatmeal, describe how you made the oatmeal. What did you put in it? What temperature was it? What was the texture?
Then talk about how your breakfast made you feel. Did your oatmeal make you feel warm and cozy? What else makes you feel this way?
Before you know it, you’re all warmed up and primed for digging deeper.
Not a breakfast eater? Start with lunch or dinner. Or something else that’s factual that can help serve as an icebreaker for your journaling.
More Good Stuff
I’ll be talking all things journal prompts on my Livestream this week - what they are, how they’re helpful, how to choose the right ones for you. Tune in on Tuesday night at 8 pm Eastern on LinkedIn, YouTube, or Facebook.
My next journaling mini-retreat is on Wednesday, March 22 at 7:30 pm Eastern. Register for this free event HERE.
If you’re curious to learn more about how I can help you use journaling to achieve your goals and to live a life you don’t want a vacation from, let’s have a conversation!
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Such a delightful post, Amanda!
Your linoprint is absolutely gorgeous - one of the things I love most about linocuts is the energy in the marks surrounding the work - they give it such a special quality. The books are perfect - I love that your shelf of books starts with a ♥️ - that is everything we need to know about what's fabulous about books, reading, writing and journalling just in that one glorious symbol. Start with a heart!
And hey, 'start with breakfast' is a brilliant journalling idea! I overcooked my soft-boiled eggs this morning, and I've got plenty to say about that to start off my time with my pen and my journal this morning. Here goes....!