Loving the Mess

photo-4“… Because at the end of The Challenge…what I learned was everything isn’t going to be done and life needs to be about prioritizing and being OK with the half foot finish.” Claire Baer

Three kids, fed and out the door. Two at a babysitters, one off to school and I rush down 19 to get to the studio on time. Halfway there I realize, I forgot my yoga clothes. I’m teaching, so I don’t have time to turn around and pick them up. I pass the mall, but don’t have time to run into Target. I’m going to have to teach yoga, in a 98 degree room, in jeans and a t-shirt.

We went on vacation three weeks ago; I have yet to unpack. I’ve washed a ton of laundry, but haven’t folded a single shirt. Dinner was garlic kale, cheesy rice, soy-chorizo, and cumin roasted carrots. The kids devoured it, but nobody did the dishes. Everything in my life is half-done- half a mess, half perfection.

The middle is holding together, but the edges are frayed. Although, I know this I keep trying to tie those edges back together again. But the trying to tie things up is driving me crazy. I get so bent out of shape because nothing is as I have imagined it. Nothing is even close to perfect.

I know better. I know that when you fall out of balancing half-moon, you’re supposed to breathe as you fall, and get back up with grace. But, sometimes the falling pisses me off. Many times we want the practice to be perfect. I jump back to low-push-up and cuss under my breath every time I hear my feet kick the ground. I keep tweaking my down dog to try and straighten my spine perfectly. I keep forcing my practice towards perfect. And I know the perfect is a lie. It only exists in photoshopped fantasies. I tell my students all the time, perfection is boring. Perfect doesn’t grow. It is stagnant; there is no where else to go after things get perfect. Perfection is the death of your practice. I need to take my own advice.

So on my mat I’m trying, trying very hard, to enjoy the mess. The moments of imbalance and struggle are the moments in which I get to grow. It doesn’t mean that I won’t keep trying to let it get BETTER. But better isn’t perfect. Better still has room for growth. Better merely means that I fall less, that sometimes my quads won’t quiver in warrior II, sometimes my mind won’t wander in child’s pose. Better understands that I am human; I am imperfect; I am a mess.

I want to bring that lesson into my life. I’ll keep trying to focus on the good- the kids are fed and happy. I made it to a job I love. The house is a mess because a family that cares more about time together than cleanliness lives there. It doesn’t mean that I won’t do the dishes. It just means that when they are a mess I will try to be ok with it. Sometimes, trying our best isn’t putting the frayed edges together. Sometimes, there is no strategy to calm the chaos. We will all run late at times. We all have those days when the laundry must get done, or we’re going without clean undies. No matter how long you have practiced, we all fall, some of the time. We are all a mess and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you; anyone who looks perfect is just good at hiding the mess. So what does all of this mean? It means that I can keep trying to do better, and appreciating the mess along the way. After all, isn’t life just the mess in between birth and death?



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