This past Friday I had the profound pleasure of hosting a class at Sage + Sound - the new wellness center in NYC where I’m going to be teaching every Thursday (starting Nov. 3). It felt like real, healing nectar to be in such an intentional space, in person with others, sharing time together.
So many insights came up for me throughout this experience.
I was super excited about Friday for weeks leading up. But when the day finally arrived, the excitement turned to fear. I felt myself wobbling between the two like a surfer trying to stay on top of a really big wave.
“What are you actually, specifically worried about?”, my partner asked me.
The reply came pouring out before I could consciously think: “I’m afraid what I want to say won’t flow perfectly.”
“Ah ha!”, she said and then we both looked at each other smiling. The demon of perfection was suddenly sitting there, in plain sight between us, on the kitchen counter. I’d called him out inadvertently.
I wanted to flow ‘perfectly’. I was unconsciously imposing the impossible standard of perfection on something that was actually asking to be real and heartfelt and free. It’s the old battle within me, of bonsai vs wild flower.
It felt strange, as a coach, to be coached like this. It doesn’t happen very often, if I’m honest, because the wound in me doesn’t like to allow the tables to be turned. Help has to creep up, under my Ego’s radar, for me to accept it it seems.
My partner was spot on though. When I had to stop and articulate what was actually scaring me, the fear dissolved. Another way of saying this is: the fear was something which was not properly understood.
How often is this the case for us, I wonder?
Connection is so much more important than perfection. And it’s so much more enjoyable too. When we’re conscious of the shackles we’re slipping into, we can slip right back out. Like a magic trick.
Fear and excitement, as we’ve touched upon many times throughout these newsletters, are the same feeling to our nervous system. The only thing that distinguishes one from the other is the story we attach to the feelings.
Many times the missing ingredient is curiosity. When we get curious about what we’re afraid of, the story we’re telling ourselves, the words, the tone, the associations - we can radically, quickly edit the story and shift onto a completely different frequency inside ourselves.
When I dropped the need for perfection I was able to show up for the whole spectrum of my experience on Friday: the nerves, the happiness, the clumsy moments, the gratitude, the depth of connection and the fleetingness too.
There is so much to feel beyond the stranglehold of fear.
I hope I’ll see you at one of my Thursday classes once November hits. I’ve started using the word “teacher” to describe myself and this new work I’m integrating into my practice but it doesn’t feel totally accurate. Because a teacher needs a student and that model connotes a hierarchy.
What I felt on Friday, and what I know I’ll continue to feel in these classes, is a sense of deep sharing. Learning from one another. My aim is to be the very best space holder, listener and mirror I can be for all who entrust me with their tenderness and vulnerability. This is where the real wealth and richness of life can be found - between authentic exchanges of big hearted beings. There is nothing quite like it.
Sending lots of beauty, joy and excitement your way this week,