Fall, Body Image, & the Gift of Procrastination (Yep, you heard me.)
Do you feel the swing of fall kick up all the busy energy like I do?
It happens every October. The kids are back in school, schedules lock in step, and a cozy waft of pumpkin spice beckons our senses around every corner.
Fall is my favorite. I’m not sure if it’s because I was deprived of clear-cut seasons growing up in Mobile Alabama’s constant humid sweat or if it is simply the fact that I’m a sucker for jackets, boots, scarves, and those glorious warm colors. It’s both–perhaps. The moral of the story here is: there is a crisp, tangible shift that dials in and carries me through to the year’s end.
Festivity is the oversized centerpiece of fall’s table. The striking hallmark in that centerpiece—busyness. Work schedules often really wake up as do social gatherings and travel, leaving self-care and connection optional at best. For me at least, the treadmill starts to speed up, and I let go of all the rituals and reasons I’ve come to rely on for a sense of sanity and serenity throughout the year.
Last Wednesday, I had the distinct honor of joining my friend, Mary Hyatt, on her Facebook Live show. Mary’s an incredible personal coach, entrepreneur, and Essential Oil guru who shares a passion for empowering others to live their fullest and most authentic lives. We had the best time talking about perfectionism, especially as it relates to body image.
Now you may be thinking, “What the heck do perfectionism, body image, and Fall have to do with anything?”, and that would be fair. Hang in though.
After the show, I left her studio still marinating in our conversation. I was curious why perfectionism is this rampant, especially for so many women, and how we grow to get so attached to its limiting and fearful message.
Perfectionism is such a manipulative lie and one that actually stunts any lasting success, acceptance, creativity, and joy. It always backfires.
As a recovering perfectionist, I’m all too familiar with its soul-sucking grip. At the bleeding heart of it is the bondage of comparison with others, and/or some unrealistic version of who we should be that doesn’t actually even exist.
We can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater though. After all, the seed of perfectionism’s pursuit is a massive desire for acceptance and belonging, two things we actually block when we become captives to the prison of its stark and lonely cell.
Your Desire is everything! It indicates a longing for something more and leads you into the path of your truth. However, the straight jacket of control, typically fueled by fear, stunts the hope of desire.
Perfectionism won’t allow for vulnerability and acceptance, and belonging requires loads of that V stuff. It’s a tricky conundrum, indeed.
In my experience, when I’ve fallen so hard into the lull of perfectionistic sleep, it’s a subtle process, one that definitely doesn’t feel intentional. This typically happens in seasons of disconnection with self—busyness.
So procrastination is a thing. You get it. Chances are, you’re really good at it too. My hope for you and I in this yummy fall season is that we would practice awareness as to exactly what we are procrastinating. What are you putting off in order to facilitate the ramped up energy of fall?
Is it sleep, exercise, meditation, journaling, or simply downtime? Where will these deficits show up? Typically, they show up at some point in relationships with self and others. Another resulting deficit is our peace. I love the quote that says, “If it costs me my peace, it’s too expensive.”
With the alluring temptress of perfectionism lurking not so subtly on social media, presenting universes of shiny, packaged worlds, my challenge to you today is this:
Rebel. Procrastinate perfectionism— Just for today.
Perhaps tomorrow you can pick it up, maybe. Instead, slow down and lean heavily on the courage of self-compassion. Look at yourself,—your life, in the mirror and speak to that longing, loving soul as you would your best friend. No one ever accomplished great things by hating themselves into submission.
Life does get busy, and stress often feels like our annoyingly perky roommate. Just remember, your “me,” that little person who looks a whole lot like you, is patient and up for the adventure. Don’t leave her behind or worse, trade her in, for an illusory version. The most beautiful life happens when we embrace ourselves as perfectly imperfect, quirky, messy, and all.
Freefall into the unique loveliness of you. Perfectionism is playing far too small.
Love & Gratitude,