Photo take by McCall Besten of @birds.n.bees
Perfectionism is something I have struggled with from my first breath of earth's sweet gases.
As a young woman in America, eating light and exercising was not enough. So in the name of a perfect body, I meticulously counted calories and sweated in surplus like an anorexic Olympian.
As a student, studying was not enough. So in the name of good grades, I abused Adderall and coffee.
If the average American spends 290 hours driving each year, shouldn't we use this time wisely or at least be present?
Many people loathe driving. But driving can be an opportunity to be mindful. Mindfulness is defined as "the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something." And mindful focus on the present cultivates joy.
In life, we don't always have control of our final destination or the speed at which we arrive. But in driving, we do. We can create driving experiences that cultivate presence, joy, and spaciousness for new ideas.
My father died 10 days after my 14th birthday. That was 15 years ago. I thought I was over it. I went to therapy, journaled, wrote sappy poems, and cried a lot. But that was not enough.
Grief does not decay as quickly as our bodies do. It's sticky, like the gum you can't get off your shoe. It arrives unannounced and ambushes you from behind, like a rear ender when you're already late. If you're lucky, you let yourself sob to a stranger on the street. Mascara smeared under eyes for a raccoon surprise.
What if our headaches, stressors, and lows are our gurus? What if our challenges saturated in uncertainty are waiting for us to ask what is this trying to teach me?
For the past three years, I have experienced the most uncertainty of my young 29 years. I sat in the discomfort of not knowing why I couldn't sleep, why was I ill, would I be able to sleep again, would I be able to work again, where was I supposed to live, and what the hell was I supposed to do?
Everyone has experienced a night of sleeplessness. But have you ever experienced years of troubled sleep? I have. When I first became acquainted with "the hour of the wolf," I ignored the seriousness of this problem. Instead of looking at the root of my sleeplessness, I drank more coffee and tried to inhabit the spirit of the energizer bunny. Guess what? It didn't work.