Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Let's perfect perfection

Following on from last weeks ‘perfect’ retreat here at Les Cerisiers (and I use the word ‘perfect’ advisedly) there has been much reflection and sharing of thoughts between Mark and I and our wonderful new friends across the Atlantic.

Today an interesting blog was forwarded to me penned by Brené Brown http://www.ordinarycourage.com/ on the subject of perfection.

To quote a little of the text:
‘For many years I believed that being my best self meant trying to be perfect. After studying shame, authenticity, and courage for ten years, I realized that I was wrong. Yes, it took that long. I'm hardheaded and I was very invested in being right. Here's what I learned:
Being our best selves is about cultivating the courage to be vulnerable, authentic, and imperfect. Perfectionism, on the other hand, is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame. It's that simple. Perfection is not about healthy striving or being our best, it's how we protect ourselves’.

Brené ends with a rally cry for a protest against perfection: ‘A protest might sound a little dramatic, but in this world, choosing worthiness is an absolute act of resistance! My new battle cry: Authentic and messy is the new perfect!’

As I stirred pumpkin soup in my kitchen, I mulled over the definitions I hold on what perfection is. Perfect- is it something to strive for knowing, as all of us do, that it is something we shall never attain or is ‘perfect’ much simpler than that? Does perfection mean ‘without flaws or faults’ or does it mean (or do we choose it to mean) complete and whole? Perhaps it is more a question of semantics. Without perfection how can we ever be perfectly happy?

I have recently started a series of three minute interviews with tutors and facilitators who come to Les Cerisiers (Karen Ely will be our next star respondent). One of the questions asks for them to describe the elements of a perfect day. No-one has come up with wanting to get out of bed with perfect hair and make up, slip into a size 0 dress then step out onto a perfectly manicured lawn. Ironically, most peoples ‘perfect’ day does not include any element of idealised perfection.

It strikes me that when people (women) talk about wanting to be perfect, they are talking about living up to other people’s ideals and not their own. Learning to be true to yourself, to living an authentic life is, in my humble opinion, what it’s all about. To turn
Brenés first sentence around ‘being perfect means being my best self’ and understanding that we are enough, whole, complete. Perhaps we could have a campaign to proclaim that we’re perfect just as we are?

Here are some perfect friends enjoying the perfect end to the perfect evening in my idea of the perfect venue- just for good measure.


  1. I love your posts recently. they are shining out and brimming over with goodness!

  2. I just joined in on Brene's Perfect Protest. (Just found her blog last night, so I wasn't able to snap a picture), but, I know exactly what you mean. Once I hit a 30-something, I began to feel this way.
    I have learned there is a sense of peace that comes with accepting little imperfections. :D
    Have a great weekend!!

  3. Darling ,

    Congratulations on your really big dream company! and on following your your personal dream and making it happen, breathing it, seeing it, feeling, doing it and being it. Iam so full of joy and so happy for you, for us, as I look through your beautiful colourful 'brimming with life' website and blog. I salute you for spreading hope, expression and creativity, connecting with self, and facilitating others to follow and realize thier dreams.

    Les Criesier looks and feels ( even at this distance! and you know me I pick up energy!) beautiful, warm, inviting, serene and inspiring; like you! Iam sure Mark and his lovely son add to this warmth and inspiration. God bless you all. Enjoy every moment! I hope to visit you one day my lovely.

    (btw tell Harry his 1 min film is super. loved the concept: the 360 degree 1 shot and the commentary, and I am sold! WELL DONE! ps remember Iam a TV woman before I became a holisitic Life Coach!)

    I am thrilled that i have become I am "follower"! I just joined your blog :)

    and heres to a small bit of synchronicity ( are they ever small?) Earlier before visiting your site I had posted on my FB status a quote by the american poet, essayist and journalist ( and humanist) Walt Whitman ( 1819 - 1892):

    " There will never be any more perfection than there is now."

    So perfection in its many forms, and what personal meaning we give it, had been on both our minds last few days! nice!

    In answer to a friends comment on my FB wall regarding Whitmans words, this is part of what I wrote:

    "I believe there can be a series of perfect moments in ones life journey and its a lifes lesson to deeply appreciate them; even to gracefully and gratefully accept their transitory nature. This is what I think Walt Whitman was alluding too here.."

    So what is and feels perfect for each one of us is up to us. What I would say brings true perfection to a perfect moment, state of mind, emotion, feeling, relationship, communication is authentic presence. I have lately discovered the joy ( and liberation) of being authentic; truely who Iam and the exctasy of being fully 'present' in my moment.

    Blessings my dearest friend
    I miss you and I love all that you are