Monday, March 26, 2012

"Intention", not Perfection!

Over the last few weeks my Bikram's practice has been at an all time low.  When you stop practicing anything regularly you have to expect that your skill is going to decrease to some level.  This can be hazardous to the ego!  So many times when we feel as if we've gotten really good at something, and then we let it go to S#!+, it's embarrassing!  If we let it be!


The longer you put something off the longer it gets put off!  How could one ever expect any improvement without practice.  We have all heard this phrase:

"Practice makes perfect."

But this didn't seem good enough, so then it became:

"Perfect practice makes perfect!"

No doubt it was a perfectionist that changed it!

So much emphasis on being perfect in our culture, in our families, inside ourselves....whew, I'm tired!


As I was getting ready to start my Bikram's class this morning I was worried that my practice was going to suck.  When I feel that way, as I have a few more times than I like to admit, I remind myself that I'm the one putting the pressure on myself.  No one else could give a care whether or not I can hold "standing bow pulling pose" for an entire minute!  I remind myself of the reason I'm there.  I'm there to "practice" getting into and holding the poses to the best of my ability that day, not to judge my poses as Olympic events!  What is the purpose of practice afterall?  The purpose of practice is for improvement towards ease.  For ease at the skill and strength of balance, stability and flexibility, and the improvement of ease into my meditation, my focus, and my relaxation.....and the stress of perfectionism is the opposite of ease!



It's not a competition, there is no finish line.  This week, next week, next year, the day I turn 85, I'm going to be practicing....God willing.  My intention is for improvement, not perfection. Physical improvement that day with the body and mind that shows up for my sport and skills.  Improvement everyday in my living conditions and relationships with my family, friends, people I meet and work with.....and even the people I share the road with, lol!


But let's not confuse intention with action to intention with NO action!  You have to show up!  Improvements in life, in yoga, in your training, any kind of training, depend on you showing up! But be easy with the judgements of having to be perfect.  At the end of the day there's another day waiting for us...if we are lucky!


Can you tell the difference of the three pictures above?  There is no difference!  In all three pictures my intention was the same, to do and be the best I could...and I was!

9 comments:

Tracy said...

"Intention with action in not the same as intention with NO action!"

I need to post this where I can see it every single day - along with my print out of the word, "consistency".

It applies and carries over to everything else in life too, doesn't it?

Been getting back to my regular kettlebell routine and it feels great. Especially since I'm doing it every other day rather than trying to do it every single day which was wearing me out. My big goal now is to get out walking every day.

Once again, I have to tell you Tracy, what a huge inspiration you are. Thank you.

Tracy Reifkind said...

Tracy,

Seriously, if you could train kettlebells everyday I would! But I know we can feel impatient for change when we finally decide to do something about it.

When I say "just show up" that means "take action". Move in the direction of improvement and you will feel improvement.

Diana said...

The difference between who you are and who you want to be, is "what you do".

My mantra for life!

Tracy Reifkind said...

Diana,

I like that.

When "what you do" becomes first nature, there's no question about who you are, you don't have to try and be anything...you just are!

ljbarron said...

This is perfect timing! I am sad to say I let go of my kb practice for months due to injury and months more due to imperfection and disappointment in myself. I'm back now and learning to get past all that and just get it done. This post speaks to me. Thank you Tracy!

ljbarron said...

This is perfect timing! I am sad to say I let go of my kb practice for months due to injury and months more due to imperfection and disappointment in myself. I'm back now and learning to get past all that and just get it done. This post speaks to me. Thank you Tracy!

Lisa said...

Thanks, T! I needed to read it; was helpful to have you say it.

Tracy Reifkind said...

Leslie,

So many times we let things go with the greatest of intention of returning, and returning "better"....but if we don't actually physically move towards it in some way, we move away from it.

The further we get from where we want to be the harder it feels to ever get there, much less get back.

Tracy Reifkind said...

Lisa,

You are welcome! thank you for commenting!