Is “Perfection” Preventing You From Getting Healthy?

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A few weeks ago I had pictures taken for the Grace & Grit website.  They exceeded my expectations in every way.   The stars must have been aligned because everything involved in the shoot turned out perfect:  the weather, the location, the team and…the dress.

I had long held a vision for what I wanted the pictures to convey:  grace, action, hard work and chaos.  I wanted those qualities to come out in the pictures because, in my book, that is what transformation looks and feels like.

Knowing that my search for such a dress locally would be hopeless, I scoured the internet for HOURS late at night looking for the dress that would bring the “Grace” of my vision to life.  Eventually, I found one.

The dress I ordered showed up 10 days before my shoot, and I cannot express how horrid it was…it was prom-gone-completely-wrong in every way.  It was bad…really, really bad.  SO, I did what any desperate girl would do, I returned it and I ordered another immediately.  With the shoot a week away, I had the new dress mailed 2-day air and waited.  And waited.  And waited.

The Friday before my Monday shoot, still NO DRESS.  I was informed by customer service that the dress had been shipped to a different state, to which I responded with a not-so-nice four letter word, a few tears and a very restless night of sleep.  I contemplated every conceivable way to postpone the photo shoot, but it simply could not be done.  So….

Saturday morning I left my house at 4am and drove 5 hours to Spokane refusing to submit to the “no dress” plague.  I spent the entire day on the hunt and at 5pm, head hung low, I started to head back to my hotel EMPTY HANDED. I had resigned to the reality that there would be no perfect, elegant, “movement making” dress for my shoot, and I started to brainstorm about what I might have that could work.

 I did have something would work!

It wasn’t perfect, and it certainly wasn’t what I had envisioned, but it would work.

And in that moment of acceptance for where I was, and what I had, and what must be done, I decompressed.  Everything was suddenly less complicated, possible and I felt simultaneously relieved, empowered and embarrassed.

After a few moments of absorbing my awakened state, I started to laugh at the absurdity of the gown hunt.  It was so unnecessary, time consuming, and expensive to boot.  I had wasted so much energy on finding what would work perfectly that I never stopped myself long enough to consider that what I already had would work just fine and save me a ton of  time and sanity.

Don’t judge me.  I bet you have done something similar.

How much time, energy and money have you spent on trying to establish the perfect conditions to improve your health?  How many times have you stalled on reclaiming your health because you haven’t found the right diet, gym, trainer, class, DVD, workout clothes, slot in your schedule etc.?

It’s ok.  We have all done it.

We wait for the perfect conditions to begin, and while we are waiting our vitality and deepest possibility are wilting.

So hear this….

You know enough and you have enough to start right here, right now.

Unless you live in a cave with NO access to any kind of media, you know full well you should be drinking water, moving around, sleeping 7-8 hours a night, managing your stress and eating nutritious foods.

You have running water, a bed to sleep in, a body that can move in some fashion and a CHOICE in what you purchase at the grocery store.

So starting where you are, with what you have might look like drinking 1 more cup of water, going to bed 15 minutes earlier, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or the furthest parking spot rather than the closest.  Maybe it looks like making 1 more healthy choice next time you shop.

There comes a point in our journey to better health where seeking guidance from someone who can help you conquer resistance and navigate obstacles is incredibly helpful.  And having lots of tools in your tool bag is an awesome thing.  But even if you only have a few tools, like a water bottle and an old pair of sneakers that haven’t seen daylight in 15 years, you have enough to START doing better in some way.  And as you build momentum…you will find that you actually have A LOT of ways.

You’ve heard it time and time again…the key is to START before your ready, before the conditions are perfect and to commit to placing one foot in front of the other every day.

Once you stop making the process of bettering your health so complicated, a lot of resistance moves out of the way and impossible becomes I’M POSSIBLE.

Work from where you are with what you have and you just might be surprised what opens up for you.

Before arriving at my hotel, I pulled over to get fuel and  saw a bridal/formal store across the street.  “It can’t hurt,” I said to myself.  I strolled over and there, just inside the front door, my perfect, elegant, movement-making dress was waiting for me.

Your best, joyful and fulfilling life is waiting for you to begin with where you are and with what you have.  It is enough.  And once you start moving forward with “a plan” rather than the “perfect plan”, you might be surprised what opens up.

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