Get Moving

by Patricia Spadaro

cropped.start“You’re not good enough.”

It’s difficult to step onto the stage of life, spread your arms wide, and say “Hello, world!” when you hear disparaging voices rumbling around in your head reciting the litany of your past “mistakes.”

Although we might be adroit at hiding it from others and even ourselves, that feeling of being “not good enough,” often rooted in childhood experiences, can still be alive and kicking in the subterranean world that rules so many of our thoughts and actions today.

The problem with that scenario is that if you classify yourself as “not good enough,” when will you give yourself permission to start fulfilling your dreams? When will you finally enjoy what life has to offer right now? When is it okay to stop judging yourself, your relationships, all the conditions of your life against that illusive target of perfection? And when will you finally come out of hiding?

The Paralyzing Propensity to Procrastinate

Many of us have been duped into believing that everything we do must measure up to the stiff standard of human perfection. For those of us who are perfectionists (I’m raising my hand), that’s a trap that can shut us down and shut us up. We procrastinate and ruminate, analyze and spin our wheels instead of taking the next step, any step, even if it’s a baby step.

The sages of both ancient and modern times take a much more balanced view. While they certainly encourage us to strive for excellence, they also emphasize that the goal of our life is not to live up to some unapproachable ideal of mechanical perfection. Human perfection is not the goal. Learning to express more of your true self is.

The beautiful ancient classic of India, the Bhagavad Gita, gives the following antidote for the paralyzing propensity of too much perfectionism and procrastination:

“Action is greater than inaction: perform therefore thy task in life. . . . Greater is thine own work, even if this be humble, than the work of another, even if this be great. . . And a man should not abandon his work, even if he cannot achieve it in full perfection; because in all work there may be imperfection, even as in all fire there is smoke.”  (translation Juan Mascaro)

In other words, it’s better to do something rather than nothing. It’s better to put your time and energy into what you are called to do, deep inside. And it’s better to act now than wait for some future perfect time when your future perfect self is perfectly ready to perfectly execute the perfect project.

As a perfectionist myself, those wise words of the Bhagavad Gita are always a great inspiration (in fact, when I came across them again today they helped me get up the umph to write this post). They are a wonderful reminder to snap out of it and move forward.

You don’t have to be perfect to start giving your gifts. You just have to be you.

It’s time to get moving.  Now.

For more inspiration and tips to snap out of the “not good enough” syndrome and embrace your passion, read my book Honor Yourself: The Inner Art of Giving and Receiving, especially the chapters in Part 4.

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SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS: What wakes you up when you’re stuck in procrastination or perfectionism? We’d love to hear…

What Are You Giving Birth To?

by Patricia Spadaro

ducklings_sm_2What’s the next part of you that is being born? And are you paying attention to what it needs? I was about to make a right turn onto a busy two-lane street today when I noticed that the cars in the left lane had come to a halt. I thought the girls sitting in the red car at the front of the line must be having engine trouble. But as I made my turn into the right lane, the car in front of me stopped, too, at exactly the same spot those girls had. What was going on?

Then I saw it. For one long, sweet, breathtaking moment, I watched a speckled mama duck proudly waddle across the lanes with a dozen speckled ducklings falling over each other to keep up with her. They tumbled onto the curb in beautiful disarray like something out of slapstick routine as the mama pushed ahead in pursuit of safety. Thank God for careful drivers, I thought. And thank God for mothers.

That heart-opening moment made me think about the fragile things in life and our own role as mother.

We are all mothers. In each of us, there is something young and tender that needs our guidance, nurturing, and maybe even the fierce protection of our love. Identifying what that is at this particular moment in our lives, I realized, can help us play our role of “mother” better. It can help us focus on exactly what most needs our compassionate attention so it can grow to its fullest and express itself.

What are you meant to be mothering within you right now? Maybe it’s a new habit you’re trying to give birth to or an undervalued quality or talent that needs shaping and support. Perhaps what needs tending within you is some aspect of hidden creativity or emotional distress or a mission-driven project waiting to see the light of day.

Are you taking care of your inner duckling?

Are you paying attention to the next part of you that is being born? Or are you too busy to recognize what it is?

When we’re too busy to focus on what’s really important in our lives, the part of us that is just budding or is still a seed can become smothered instead of mothered.

Is there a part of you that, like those little ducklings, needs nurturing and protection—that needs you to honor its presence?

Try asking yourself these questions to find out:

>> What am I being called to give birth to, to mother, or to bring to fruition? What part of me is fragile and in need of protection or even rescuing? What is calling out to be recognized, nurtured, or strengthened?

>> Have I been too busy to give it enough attention?

>> What choices can I make to give that part of myself more room to grow in my life?

>> How can I stand up for that emerging part of myself? Do I need to draw boundaries to make room for this budding potential within me to blossom? How can I do that?

Join the conversation and share your comments, questions, and lessons with us…

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