I never realized how much of my life I'd spent holding my breath until I took my first yoga class. Since then, I mostly am aware of my breathing. But I seem to have stumbled across a old pattern of breath-holding this week.
I took on a project a couple weeks ago, excited and full of creative energy. I jumped in head first hardly coming up for air at meal time, eating in gulps at my computer. And everything flowed perfectly. I couldn't sleep at night imagining my perfect end result and eagerly began each workday. Obsessive compulsive you say? Yep, and huge adrenalin rushes as each new idea sprang to life. Not breathing yet.
And then, it all took a nose dive. Last weekend I began to run into one problem after another. Appropriate for Father's Day, in my head I heard my Dad's voice say, "If you can't do it right, don't do it at all." That was his way of encouraging me to do a good job. But somehow it got translated in my brain to, "If you can't be perfect, you might as well quit!" Now really! I'm an adult and I know better, but my gut was in turmoil and things went from bad to worse. I fought with this all week and was a basket case by Thursday when I finished the project. I felt defeated. Still not breathing. Achy body, headache, verge of tears all because I hadn't allowed my breath to help me find my center and my real truth. The truth is, I know few people will see the imperfections that I see. I gave it my all and I did the best I could do. I didn't quit.
I went to yoga this morning and breathed in deep. I feel much better today and am taking a much-needed break. I know that being a perfectionist is not a bad thing when it comes to my work. The challenge is to break the old pattern of beating myself up when things don't go smoothly. I even know from experience, sometimes the unexpected end result is much better than the planned results. And there are always lessons to be learned from the mistakes. That's not a bad thing. And there's always a new week to begin again.