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QUINTESSENCE

The Whole Self

Pebbles of the San Juan
VARIATION ON A THEME BY RILKE

A certain day became a presence to me;
there it was, confronting me - a sky, air, light:
a being. And before it started to descend
from the height of noon, it leaned over
and struck my shoulder as if with
the flat of a sword, granting me
honor and a task. The day's blow
rang out, metallic - or it was I, a bell awakened,
and what I heard was my whole self
saying and singing what it knew:
I can.
- Denise Levertov

I think we try so hard to be perfect, we miss life.

What if we let ourselves stop the pendulum swing of self-critique? The swing from "Nailed it!" to "You loser..."? Allowed our souls to find center - to neither push nor desist, but just hold space for awhile, and in that sacred space find permission to be, to try, to perhaps change our minds, or give it a shot and fail, gently settle in with ordinary happiness? None of these daily human emotional and mental experiences are the antithesis to success: perfectionism is. In the pursuit of what is "perfect" is the negation of all that is not. A huge eraser we drag across life. And when we devalue our smallest efforts, be they sufficient or barely forward motion, we devalue the essence of our human nature - which is to strive. Humans are not born perfect, they are born to evolve. To understand, to take action, to plan, to expand, to be joyful. Life is not a target. There is no bulls-eye that says, Bingo! Got it. Life is about process, about being present in your own skin. Accepting that however, or wherever, you may be today on the spectrum of your goals, it's good enough. It's you.

Let today be a day of presence. Welcome yourself in. After all, you're pretty special - and you always have been. Pretty sure you will be tomorrow.
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