Friday, June 24, 2011


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.


  1. Oh, Lois, it sounds like you've been up and down some steep ones, this week. And you found the truths waiting for you. Pulls on my heart to hear this - you have such a gift for beauty, whether it's your amazing artwork creations, or your gorgeous voice or just the way you walk in the world. I really appreciate you speaking honestly of your struggle. And, yes, darlin', breathe, center, center, breathe. We gotta let ourselves relax from those old misunderstood indictments - our work will be better when we do. And more fun in its creation! All through love - loving your work, loving humanity, loving yourself. Here's my love to add to what you have.

  2. Cristina, you know, I'm grateful every day to be able to do what I love. But I am my worst enemy when I let fear rule instead of love. Yes, dear friend, you are so right. It's time to let the old stuff go and breathe. Thanks for you love -- right back atcha!