Spirituality

Channeling my inner goddess of empowerment

Happy New Moon my dear readers. This is the second to last new moon of 2019. Since I’m a Sagittarius and will be turning 42 in two weeks, it’s that time of year when I reflect upon my past year. It’s hard to believe we are at the end of another year but even more astounding is thinking about the end of this decade. I recently got involved in a social media challenge to celebrate saying goodbye to 2010-2019 by posting a picture of myself from 2010 and one from now. It’s the time of year I get uber nostalgic by looking at old pictures, rereading my journals and cleaning out my closet.

Me at my 1st road race 7/4/10 in NJ

Me at the boutique I manage here in downtown, TX last week.

This decade has seen the ending of many important events in my life. I got separated and divorced from my ex-husband which was a huge catalyst for many intense and much needed changes in my life. I moved around more times than I can count or care to acknowledge in this decade, changing my address, even the states I reside in. I started this decade in Rhode Island where my ex-husband’s from, then I moved to Florida where I met my fiance and we relocated three years ago here to Dallas, Texas. Just the change of region within our great country has been quite an adjustment for me to say the least. My fiance’s Mom likes to call me a Damn Yankee. It’s a term of endearment coming from her which means I’m from the North, a Yankee, I moved to the South and stayed becoming a Damn Yankee 🀣

During these past ten years I took a deep dive, plunging head first into my own mental health by beginning my spiritual journey and awakening after a suicide attempt in 2011. Hindsight is always 20/20 and boy oh boy has this been a long, painful, challenging, beautiful and awe inspiring experience. I spent an entire year going from inpatient to outpatient and back again in a private psychiatric hospital where I learned life lessons that taught me so much about myself for an entire year! That hospital became a big support system for me for a few years, 2011 to 2013 exactly, while I began healing from the many traumas I have endured. At times I remember feeling really ashamed about needing to return so often to which my doctor replied, you are learning and require repetition, there is nothing to feel badly about.

Thinking about the woman I was then, very broken and fragmented, a shell of who I have grown into today is like reflecting upon the weather. That time feels like there was always a raging thunderstorm brewing creating hurricanes that at times became blistering winds knocking me to my knee and forcing me to crawl. This last year especially as felt like finally seeing the sun peak out from behind those dark clouds turning my gray skies into a clear and brightly colored blue hue accompanied by a peach colored warm sun.

As a child I loved to lay on the ground and watch the clouds dance across the sky. My sister, our friends and I used to shout out whatever shapes we thought we saw up there in their white puffiness. At times I feel like I am living a dream that I could’ve created out of those clouds.

Recently I have decided to stop apologizing for my inner strength and personal power while I shine brightly like a 1,000 watt bulb. While speaking to a dear girlfriend yesterday, I told her this and added that if others take issue with this, they ought to put on some sunglasses. This is my time. Period. 😎

It’s virtuous to think of others before yourself but for my entire life I did this to the detriment of myself. I held myself back and focused all of my energy on others. I first did this with family members. I’m a middle child and being born the fifth child out of the six my parents share together provided a great opportunity of how to get along with others. Then I got married and had my two boys. Needless to say, their needs took precedence over my own and I was obliging to that.

I believe I did this in search of unconditional love and acceptance that I truly never felt I could ever receive or be worthy of from others as a highly sensitive person, an INFJ personality and an empath. For my entire life, I have always felt different, awkward and not a part of. Some people are called the black sheep of their family. My Mom can tell you I definitely marched to the bear if my own drum! What I have come to discover is that ME and only ME can love myself in that way. I wrote in a previous post that only Maria can take the best care of Maria.

Awakening to a higher level of consciousness recently has taught me to name and recognize where my thoughts are coming from. For instance, when I’m having ego centered thinking, that is my psyche trying to keep me small and protected. When I’m thinking as my wounded inner child, my thoughts are centered around needs that weren’t met as a child. These mindsets are often triggered or tripped like a wire attempting to throw me off my peaceful voyage through life. When I am putting some space between these mindsets I can recognize and acknowledge my true and authentic self, my original spirit. I feel more ME than I ever have before because I’m integrating my fragmented self. The parts of me that I clung to for protection and safety. I truly am a multidimensional spirit having a uniquely human experience!

All of this being explained, I awoke earlier than usual on Monday morning. Mondays are my days off and I was wondering why I was up so early, being so alert and awake, but something was pulling me. I put on one of my guided meditations and started free flow journaling. As my thoughts were coming together and I was feverishly writing, I had a thought to look up the different goddesses of empowerment.

I found myself being drawn to a blog post that described these 7 goddesses in detail. The first one struck me with such an intensity, I reread the passage three times before I decided to write it down. Immediately it made perfect sense to me why I was up before I usually am.

The more I read about the Egyptian goddess Isis, the more I felt myself channeling her spirit. She is known for her ability to transmute bad situations into good ones. According to mythology, Isis is the queen of the sky, Earth and moon by being the most enigmatic of the goddesses who embodies the female psyche as she has for thousands of years. As with any of the female deities, her strengths are motherhood, fertility and nurturing yet her main areas of expertise are in the areas of magic and healing.

Isis has an incredibly intense determination and excels most at alchemy. She is said to have served as the template for all other female deities around the world across cultures and religions. Most importantly she embodies the power of alchemical transformation. As the goddess of magic, she teaches us how to use our own unique gifts to create the life we desire. She also serves as an agent of change. By channeling her through my spirit, I am learning to use my ability to show unconditional kindness and love to others to abolish negative energy.

Her influential energy as been circling within me for some time now I believe. This most recent transformation is due to a Kundalini energy release. Kundalini is your life force energy. It’s believed that in those who are unawakened, their energy remains coiled at the base of their spine. For those who have an awakening event like me, we become conscious and that energy spirals upward, activating each chakra leading me to enlightenment.

That is where I believe I am at right now in my evolvement dear readers. Part of my soul’s purpose is to transmute negative energy into positive by using my powers of kindness, understanding and unconditional love for all who cross my path. This is a task and duty I humbly take on with a gracious commitment to create a life beyond my wildest dreams not only for me but for those around me. This is what I believe we empaths and light workers were sent here to continue to do. We are the seekers, the leaders pointing to the path by example of the way we naturally interact with others. It’s a blessing to be able to go forth with purity of heart and conviction for making this a better world for all to coexist in together. We are all connected. Life is truly a beautiful gift🌍❀✌🌠🌈😊

Spirituality

“Thou she be but little she is fierce”

This is one of my favorite quotes. It’s one I lean on when the weight of the world is on my shoulders. It’s by William Shakespeare from his play, “Midsummer Night’s Dream” from the third act…..
Hermia won’t hurt Helena even if you try to help her. Oh, when she’s angry, she is keen and shrewd! She was a vixen when she went to school. And thou she be but little she is fierce.

This post is dedicated to all the powerful women, soul sisters, a tribe of females who support, remind and inspire me on a daily basis. I firmly believe that I wouldn’t be where I am without these badass ladies. I am nothing if not a woman who sticks her hand out to my fellow female warriors just trying to make sense out of this wild wild world.

As competitive as I can be, I have always believed in rising up as a collective. Not only me but why not all of us, hand in hand together? It does sincerely take a village. There is true strength in numbers my dear readers. When I am in doubt, I don’t isolate myself only relying upon my own stinking thinking. Nope, not anymore because I know I have a solid counsel of women whom I can reach out to and ask for advice, guidance and to throw me a life preserver when I’m drowning in my ego!

I was raised in a family of strong women starting with my Mom’s mother, my dear Nana. If you have been following me from the beginning of this blog, you know I have looked up to this woman as the matriarch of our family. I also have three sisters and lots of female cousins. My Mom is a petite and feisty woman who has taught me to always speak up for myself. Here is a poem I wrote last year with Nana as my muse. Celebrating her beautiful and generous spirit and recognizing how she served as such an influential role model for me on how to treat othersπŸ’–

Since I was the age of two studying dance, I have always been around more females than males and I definitely feel more comfortable around girls. This sisterhood in which I am a part of share a camaraderie that is unmatched by any other group of women I am lucky enough to call my friends. We have bonded by sharing our growing pains, as young girls transitioning to our awkwardness as teenagers blossoming into women and mothers. Practicing all styles of dance, seven days a week for hours creates more inside jokes, silly stories and laugh out loud anecdotes than I can count, only these ladies and I know. They know who they are and are forever bonded in my soul.

Expressing my gratitude towards my sisterhood tribe is the focus for this week’s post. As the holiday season looms near and the end of 2019 is close, I want to take this time to tell these ladies how much of an impact you have made upon my heart and soul. Your strength, wise words, laughter, hugs, comfort and advice is priceless to me. Love you ladies forever. I see you, I thank you and I love you all πŸ™ŒπŸ™β€

Mental health

Celebrating the small steps

In the last few days an undeniable and solid peace has washed over and is comforting me. My analytical mind wants to call out all of the reasons why I think this is so. Again, even while writing this and essentially downloading my thoughts on the subject of furthering this self healing journey I am on, I can’t help but see how both parts of my brain are working together. Not just the logic seeking, results driven analytical part but also the communicative, creative and empathetic part too working in a kind of see saw effect. I once dwelled so intensely in just the analytical part of my mind. So much so that I would get lost in the whys and feel terribly stuck. Sound familiar to anyone?

In the past as I just mentioned, I felt cut off and deprived at times from my creativeness. I believe that to be the lighter, more carefree and fearless part of me that can show myself compassion and grace. These two sides are no longer at war with each other. They have founded a new partnership and by doing so I am feeling a real sense of freedom.

I spend a lot of time these days reading about and exploring levels of consciousness. I believe that I am in the process of teasing out two concepts. One being observing how my ego mediates between superego and the id aspects of my personality. The stories each can spin in order to protect myself and impede the incredible shift that I’m undergoing are challenging my entire thought process while I expand my consciousness. Uncovering my true self, rewriting old and unfounded beliefs, lies really that don’t match my reality is for me just a higher level of awareness.

The second concept is integration of my shadow self and how much awareness I now have whenever I feel myself getting uncomfortable with parts of myself that feel at first shameful and threatening to my sanity. By digging a bit deeper and unconconditionally loving those parts of myself, I have created space for more acceptance of myself.

For example, the beliefs I have surrounding my own sexuality used to feel dirty and wrong. Instinctively I have been both dissoactive and dialectical when it comes to sex in general seeing it as both beautifully pleasurable, necessary as a bodily function while also feeling negatively full of shame. Yes, that is due to the sexual abuse and trauma I have experienced but it’s amazing how many other stories my ego would silently scream at me surrounding other aspects of my personality that aren’t part of my sexual identity as a woman.

I am continuing to tap into my self care rituals and reestablishing my yoga practice, breathwork and meditation has been hugely effective in gaining more mindfulness of both my thoughts and my physical awareness. How my feelings feel in my body. The most recent being a redefined focus of how anger feels. I know anger is born out of fear and while most of my life has been run by fear and anxiety, it makes sense to me that I am now paying closer attention to how anger feels.

I had blocked, stuffed and dissociated myself from these two most uncomfortable and troubling feelings. It sounds silly now to me but fear played a role in my drive that in the past I felt necessary to propel me on in life. Anger was something I completely denied and wouldn’t allow myself to truly feel. When I’m angry I have felt ugly, wrong and unworthy. These were the mixed messages my brain was being sent that only drove me further down sufferings path.

Now integrating these different yet vital pieces of my psyche I can clearly see how each one serves me and allows my resilience to grow. I’m having to have patience with myself which is extremely hard for me. I’m great at holding this space for others but when the focus is on me I immediately become impatient with myself. Meditation allows for and creates space between these conflicting thoughts. Once messages are challenged and the universe sends me signs that tell me to accept, love and care for myself in spite of my shortcomings, peace and contentment can grow and take root in my soul.

It’s so richly rewarding to be taking care of myself in these ways. Reparenting my wounded inner child, loving and accepting the small accomplishments will lead me to succeed. I have always held space for others, putting them before myself being and being the ultimate people pleaser. These days I am reevaluating how I feel in each of my relationships and establishing stronger boundaries. I’m deciding what is and isn’t my responsibility and what I will or won’t allow from others. It’s the ultimate in self love dear readers.

I’m really seeing how much these last 6 months of deep diving into integration of my shadow and reexamining my self acceptance, holding space for grace towards myself has given to my entire outlook on life. I know success is in my near future now. Doing this work has allowed me to open up my ability to tap into my flow state more. Operating from a much more conscious place. Focusing on really learning to love me.

Untangling shame is so empowering and is helping me alter my perceptions which give my creative mind even more to explore. Dwelling in the sticky uncomforbility of it all, challenging difficult emotions and moods is becoming a new superpower. I have accepted that only Maria can take the best care for Maria. This conversation I’m having with myself represents true inner beauty and acceptance because both light and dark must meet in order to be completely authentic ❀️

Spirituality

Harvest Full Moon, a time for change and release

Today marks an especially spiritually charged and powerful day. This is the first full moon to fall on Friday the 13th in 13 years! According to numerology and astrology experts, 13 is auspicious, being a sign for future success. We have 13 full moons and 13 menstrual cycles a year. Friday is also associated with the goddess Venus, who’s functions encompass love, beauty, desire, sex and fertility. The moon is in Pisces, a water sign associated with emotions, intuition and artistic inclination. Ushering in a stronger flow of compassion and a holistically grounding time for us to access intuition and our feelings.

As for this empath, I awoke feeling lighter and full of hope. I’m a Sagittarius, a fire sign, so today’s energy is extremely calming allowing me to thoughtfully cleanse my mind, body and soul of that which no longer serves me. Here are a few of the things I have done today to celebrate this new phase.

Recently, I started making Shungite water which helps rid the body of toxins, improves skin conditions while improving its tone and elasticity. It is also said to be a powerful miracle stone that improves joint health, boosts mental health and induces positive energy. It contains long lasting antioxidants that further extends its healthy and positive affects on the whole body. Shungite is a stone used for grounding, related to our root chakra or our “survival center” in the body. I wear one around my neck at all times. Today the first batch is ready, it takes 3 days to fully charge the water. I love the connection to today and what a great combination for my healing ritual!

My dear friend who is a Reiki master and shamanic healer, Lindsey Luna (@spiritmetamorphosis on IG) offered to pull a tarot card from a new deck she just acquired for a reading for me. I got Estanatlehi(pronounced es-tan–AHT–lu-hee) which is the Turquoise Changing Woman.

She represents the ever changing woman that never dies or ceases to change. Guiding us along on our path while we embrace change, that is essential for growth. I am not to fear this shedding of old ways but retain my spiritual connection while I strengthen my inner knowing. She offers courage, peace, trust and reassurance that will help navigate the shift taking place within me so my life can improve throughout the process. I will allow it all to unfold according to the Universe’s divine timing having it’s own unique rhythm of creative and loving intelligence.

The healing mantra included on this card which I spoke aloud in a meditative pose like how we see Turquoise Changing Woman is:

“Through unconditional love, I am blessed and empowered to grow through change. All that I need to evolve into the next expression of my divine destiny is generously provided for me. I surrender into divine blessing for renewal, now open to receive my highest good. So be it.”

After completing this meditation along with my daily chakra balancing meditation ,I feel my spirit flying free. I envision myself actively letting go of all the fears from my past. Manifesting my intentions upon this full moon, I am cleansing my spirit and energy of all that no longer has meaning or a place in my life. I accept the pain I have experienced in my past and let go of the fear it created within me. I am evolving from my past traumas and I understand that they have brought me here and helped create who I am today. I do not forsake them or hold regrets but instead choose to honor it. I have learned what my soul desires and what it will no longer allow. I am safe, I am protected and I love myself.

Moving forward with grace and self compassion, I welcome all that I deserve in this life. In order to achieve success I reflect upon the boundaries I have put in place within all the relationships in my life. Like I wrote in my post entitled, “This is my watershed moment,” nothing will be the same after this moment. That is a promise I made wih myself because I have grown. I am enlightened with a renewed respect for myself.

As a realized empath, I have specific needs essential to my healing. They include solid boundaries for myself and when dealing with others, having a clear vision for my life, while cultivating a strong sense of my power. I must surround myself with others who are like me, maintain their connection and support because their validation helps me embrace the willingness to do whaever it takes to work through this process. There is no place for victimhood. In the past week I have attracted three other women who have become my new friends and are empaths too.

As I leave my position with Starbucks and take on a new role as a boutique attendant inside an awesome hotel in the downtown area of Dallas, all of this makes perfect sense. I am doing something that is healthier for my well being and serves my personality a lot better. Less stress allows my creativity to blossom so I can fully focus on my writing. I can also now incorporate more of my yoga practice and love of dance back into my daily routine.

All around I feel so much joy and inner peace that I’m on the right track. My future looks bright and feels so good

πŸ§˜β€β™€οΈβœŒπŸ™πŸŒˆπŸ™ŒπŸŒ πŸŒšπŸ˜Ž

Spirituality

Making peace with my past and moving forward

I have really been going through quite a transformation as of late. The universe is always there to provide what I need when I need it. A return to caring for my emotional health, really a blessing in disguise. A sort of tap on the shoulder to remind me to always make my mental health a priority. Another opportunity for growth, understanding and healing. As an emotional, intuitive and physical empath and a woman who has Complex PTSD, I must work extra hard sometimes at maintaining my whole body health. This summer has been both tremendously painful and incredibly enlightening. I have learned to accept my shadow self in order to reap the benefits of a deeper understanding of myself and my personal truths.

I have uncovered more of what makes me ME, my authentic self. Disconnecting from the daily grind and using this leave of absence I am on to truly heal is a gift. I am eternally grateful to those who have crossed my path and helped me along the way. We are all connected and we need each other to survive. Speaking one’s truth can be scary sometimes but ultimately so liberating!

I had the pleasure of visiting with my oldest son, my parents and other family members in celebration of my Mom’s 75th birthday. What a milestone to ring in and what a month August has been for me. In order to think on a more complex level we must feel more and in order to do that, I have realigned myself by living in the moment.

Last week ushered in an abundance of gifts. Reconnecting with my oldest brother, having the opportunity to be there for somebody who needed support and spending more one on one time with my boy er man (he’s 18 now) lifted my spirits like a homeopathic medicine!

On my last day with my family, my Mom and I spent time at our favorite beach. The beach in general has always been my safe space, my happy place and where I feel most alive. This day was made extra special because I helped my Mom overcome her fears of living in an aging and sometimes failing body by getting into the ocean. It was so serene and refreshing, becoming one with the waves as I float on top of the water allowing the sheer power in it’s current to rejuvenate my soul. It’s the best cure for whatever is ailing me. Nothing brings a more peaceful vibe to me than floating in the ocean!

Once we were in the water and working to stabilize ourselves, we noticed this man. I instinctively could tell he was summoning the ocean’s great power for something. Turns out he is an energy healer and claircognizant. After a brief conversation he invited us into his energy grid of crystals. The intense warmth I felt while standing inside of it was so welcoming and soothing to all of my senses. He then proceeded to transmute the negative energy we each carry due to trauma into positive life affirming source energy. When I glanced over at my Mom, she was glowing! Absolutely beautiful and engulfed in this bright white light, it was amazing to witness! I’ve long suspected my mother too shares some metapyschical gifts and that experience proved it to me. He also successfully healed the trauma cord between us.

I also shared some very special time with my son. He admitted to me that he too has intuitive instincts, knowing things before they actually happen and feeling on a deeper level. I’m so happy he has me to talk to about his extra sensory perceptions because I didn’t have anybody to share my own experiences with at his age. I didn’t even start talking out loud to anyone about what has always been a huge part of my life until five years ago. Sharing these gifts with him is so deeply ingrained in who I am and I feel has brought us much closer.

The universe is taking care of me by providing all the answers to my many questions and fulfilling my desires. I’m vibrating on such a higher plane now. It feels amazing that I can clearly manifest my intentions. The love I have inside for myself and humanity is overflowing. I know how loved I am in return. My spirit is so bright and this human vessel I am in finally matches my insides! I feel completely whole. I possess an inner knowing, so much more makes sense to me.

Everyday I make it my 1st priority to meditate and align myself. It’s as important to me as breathing. Keeping myself balanced not only facilitates my own ongoing healing but is vital towards assisting others in theirs. I’m right where I’m supposed to be. My feet are planted firmly in today. Being present in this moment allows my free spirit to soar to new heights!

Mental health

Reclaiming my authentic self

Understanding who I am and making sense of the world around me has always been something I have focused on. From an early age, especially because of my intuitive gifts, I have been on a quest for “why”. I’ve had major breakthroughs and then some serious setbacks. What I’m understanding now is that life has a purposeful way of unfolding so that we can uncover our own truths.

I have regained focus on my journey to self discovery and made a renewed commitment to my own spirituality. Keeping my energy clear from toxic people and their emotional turmoil is a boundary I will not have crossed. It has become crucially vital that I must continue to cleanse, ground and balance myself in order to not only heal myself but to be present for those around me that I love and cherish.

On a larger scale, my goal and purpose in life is to help heal others by sharing my experiences. I must continue to heal my inner child, reframe my thoughts and challenge conditioned beliefs that no longer serve me in order to find meaning in my life.

Life has an uncanny way of unfolding just as it’s meant to be. I do the work, put in the blood, sweat and tears. Sometimes metaphorically and at times physically. I allow myself to feel the emotions I tried to cut off because they were unacceptable. Showing up for me and rescuing myself from drowning on a daily sometimes hourly basis from the emotional world I live in energetically can be daunting. It’s painful, not sexy and down right annoying at times. It’s also absolutely worth it.

Once again in my life I am reinforcing the desire of choosing me and I have no guilt about that choice. As an empath, I can easily get lost in other people’s stories and emotional lives while fighting the urge to “fix” and rescue those around me from themselves. As a woman and mother in our Western society, I believe we are falsely conditioned to deny ourselves our inner desires. We are taught to be people pleasers, to play nice and that leads to putting others needs before our own. Fear of being judged and cast off as “that girl” or being called a “bitch” because I said no to someone’s demands played an unhealthy role in my life.

Today I say, no more. I have drawn my invisible line in the sand. I have rediscovered inner peace and I’m not willing to let it go again for anybody or anything. My two greatest challenges in life are boundaries and balance. Recently so much has “clicked” and I finally can see that my emotional boundaries with others are vital to my sanity and survival. Maintaining them is crucially important to my wellbeing and are a non negotiable part of whom I choose to be in my life these days.

A supreme awareness and understanding of how as children we are all conditioned and taught to give up our authentic selves to appease others, fit into other’s perceptions of how things should be and conform is now so abundantly clear to me. Few humans become self actualized. Therefore we continue wounded cycles into adulthood because certain necessary needs were not met.

I’ve written before about my love for Maya Angelou’s quote, “do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. It has always spoken to me because it allows for self acceptance, growth and the belief that change is possible. Now that I am consciously aware I can change. I have all the power. It is a choice that is within me. I’m continuing to awaken, become enlightened and evolve. I have reclaimed my power.

It takes practice and humility. Denying my ego to completely take over so that self may emerge unfiltered. I was emotionally stunted because I allowed my conditioning and the confusion of feeling other’s emotions so intensely that it derailed me and my ability to be successful in other areas of life. I became paralyzed by over analysis of myself. I can honestly say that I am proud of myself that I can recognize my progress. As with everything it is a work in process as I choose how much or how little to show up for myself by making myself a priority.

My fellow INFJ’s and empaths understand what I’m saying here I’m sure of it. I’ve not chosen a major career and financial security has always eluded me up to this point. Those two things used to make me feel less than because I was comparing myself to others. That tactic has proven self defeating because what I have chosen to chase down in this life is a deeper understanding of me and who I really am.

It’s the path less traveled by most. The majority of us go through life with blinders on, half dead to who we really are on the inside and just going through the motions. I tried that throughout my 20s and even into my early 30s. Now I’m 41 and I’m finally seeing clearly for the first time. My behaviors and maladaptive coping mechanisms no longer make sense. I want to live my life more inline with my spirit. Shedding the past and embracing the now.

It’s taken a village! Over the years establishing a support system, putting some tools into daily practice and discovering what works and what doesn’t for me. Taking time for me and making myself a priority sounds simple but I did anything I could to not focus on me. Me was too fucked up and uncomfortable. I used to sometimes say that it felt like my brain was at war with itself. It left me in a cycle of pain dissociated from myself and the world around me ultimately feeling so lost.

Lately I feel so alive, renewed, refreshed and reborn. I have read about my astrological trajectory often through the years and it always stated I would be a late bloomer and come into my own later in life. Boy is that ever the damn truth. I have regained trust in myself, belief in myself and most importantly I have maintained my hope and faith. Now I am free to set my intentions and manifest my own dreams into becoming a reality and that not only feels possible but truly amazingπŸ™

Mental health

Little Ms. Perfect

What is perfect? There are two separate definitions. Using it as an adjective means this, “having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be“. When used as a verb, perfect means “make (something) completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible”. Either way it’s used I have suffered from perfectionism my entire life. In psychology, perfectionism is described as a personality trait characterized by a person’s striving for flawlessness and setting high performance standards, accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations.

My Mom has told me that when I was younger she used to find me obsessively organizing my room. I loved to neatly arrange my books, toys and knick knacks. Cleaning and straightening a room, tidying up things brings me a peacefulness and calm that’s hard to match by other activities. It’s also something that has made me feel strange and weird.

There was a period in my life when I literally couldn’t sit still or overlook a piece of lint on the carpet without having to immediately stop whatever I was doing to pick it up. After the birth of my first son, I found myself in a perpetual state of motion, always wiping a countertop or vacuuming a room that was already spic and span to everybody else’s eyes. I got caught up in routines that kept my in a “loop” for hours. So many routines and rituals had to be achieved compulsively and repetitively. Some days I got so stuck I didn’t even leave my house. Looking back those were dark days.

I’m a shift supervisor at a Starbucks and at 41 this is the first time I accepted a management position. In the past, I had been offered/recommended this role but I always turned it down due to my overwhelming fear of failure. Truth be told my perfectionist ways have plagued me throughout my life. Recently at work my manager challenged me to stop working like a superwoman. She asked me to examine my leadership skills by holding others on my team accountable for certain tasks. At first it felt awkward delegating the things I have been doing alone without help. Lately however I can feel an important shift taking place.

A favorite quote of mine by Maya Angelou is,”Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better. Boy does this sentiment ring true in this regard!

I’ve always been an analytical thinker, wondering why things are the way they are and trying desperately to make sense of the world around me. I had this book as a kid called, “The book of why” and I loved it. I’ve especially been intrigued by my own emotions and the emotions of others. That intense curiosity has sometimes kept me up at night.

A former therapist once told me to disengage myself from the outcome of a certain problem I was having a difficult time finding a reasonable solution for. My perfectionist ways and drive to control a situation can leave me breathlessly spinning my wheels. Despite my efforts I end up feeling exhausted mentally with no end in sight.

When I start to feel my old ways creeping back into my daily choices, I try and recall his words. Letting go of the outcome and maintaining an open mind sounds logical enough but my heart stands stubbornly doubtful.

Establishing a connection within myself has been key to easing off my perfectionist attitude. Grounding myself really quiets my mind and eases my fears. Whether these fears are real or hypercritically blown out of proportion, I can often find myself overwhelmed and grasping for my idea of perfection. I’ve learned I’m only hurting myself when I put this kind of pressure on myself.

For there is no such thing as perfect my dear reader but perfect imperfections throughout life. Try shifting your perspective taking a closer look at yourself. Deepening your own connection within your soul. Becoming your own best friend, saving yourself from yourself. Like Shakespeare said, “to thine own self be true”.