I was thinking how whenever I work through a self-improvement book or module, there are always check-ins…usually weekly…where we’re asked to check-in with ourselves to see how we did that week, what came up, what’s working, what’s not. Well, it occurred to me that I really need those for this project! Maybe not weekly, but definitely every so often. And rather than writing it all down in a journal, I thought the most rewarding way to do it would be through a chat with you. A candlelight chat! Welcome to the first…
So, for those of you who were able to check out the June New Moon Missive sent last week, you know that authenticity…my own, especially!…has really been on my mind, especially around Imperfect Zen. In other words, I’ve been thinking about if I’m really being authentic in this project. How do I feel before a post…after a post? How’s it fitting into my life, into my overall goals? Am I even making a difference?
When I was coming up with the idea of Imperfect Zen I had endless inspiration for posts. In fact, I made a list of at least 75 posts easily. And I was so excited to get writing. The right side of my brain was definitely in its happy place! Then the left side of my brain kicked in and did what it does best…organizing, coming up with categories and a post schedule, essentially creating structure and a plan…important elements for success. But what I’ve found as I’ve put all this into practice is that, while the schedule and category rotation keeps me productive and the content varied, the inspiration and fun has sort of gone out of the process recently. Not only that, but I’m having a hard time finding balance with other creative endeavors and a full time job! Here’s an example of what’s happened recently: I show up to my computer on a Tuesday evening feeling like I must get a post out by Thursday, and my schedule says I need to write something for the category of “Giving Back”…but all I want to do is tell you about a recent trip I went on!…or work on a short story idea that has nothing to do with Imperfect Zen…or go curl up with a new book. How does one be productive & responsible, while also being creative & authentic? Tricky…
In my recent self-reflection, I’ve concluded that I am being authentic with this project, in the sense that I mean what I say when I write it, and when I get comments or see that something I’ve said resonated with someone I am genuinely over the moon. At the same time, I’m also being a bit too rigid with myself, which is limiting my creativity, inspiration, and voice…here at Imperfect Zen and in my other projects. I’ve recognized that on my path to imperfection, I’m still clinging to self-imposed perfectionism and expectations! In other words, I’m afraid to be fully true to myself because it might create a mess, or I might do something wrong or let someone down. And ultimately, in my quest to create this beautiful thing, I’ve become so focused on how to create it, that I’ve started neglecting what inspired it! And that doesn’t help me or you!
So that’s where I find myself on this first check-in. I could keep all this to myself, behind the scenes, but transparency is key to embracing imperfection and achieving authenticity. Now what? Imperfect Zen is in its infancy. Having done this check-in, what are the next steps to nurture this project and to serve myself and you all? Well, you may have noticed that I took a little pause in posts, and here with the Candlelight Chat I’m doing something completely spontaneous. I think these were good, necessary steps. Going forward I’m giving myself permission to deviate from the post schedule and follow real-time inspiration. I’m going to try and get a little organizationally messy…for example, completely ignore Self-Care and Spirituality if all I want to tell you about is Nourishment and Exploring over the summer. (After all, are not food and travel the essence of self-care and spirituality some times?!) I’m going to refocus on the things that inspired this project and let them drive it for awhile, rather than my idea of how it should all fit together. I’m not sure what any of this will look like but my intuition tells me it can only be positive. I appreciate you sticking around and letting me know what you think!
Now that I’ve got all that off my chest, and since we’re chatting, what else can I share? Well, as I hinted above, I’ve been really remiss with my meditation (amongst other things), which actually has a great deal to do with having to be at work by 7:00am in the summer months, and is definitely throwing off my calm & creativity. So I’m trying to revive my Morning Routine, which you all know I love. I’ve also been focused on losing a little weight and getting back in shape, especially since I’ve signed up for a one-year Yoga Certificate Program starting this fall! (There’s a secret dream brewing inside of living on a narrowboat in Oxford and teaching University students yoga.) Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to returning to Carmel in July and heading to England for a quick Labor Day trip. (See why I want to talk about travel?!) Finally, yesterday was the summer solstice! I didn’t do much to formally celebrate it, but the day was blessed by a beautiful green heron greeting me in the morning and my husband and I marking twelve years of marriage! (Thanks, Mom, for the beautiful card, pictured above and handprinted by my uncle.)
Baring it all this summer! X