The Pain of Perfection

Why are some of us so powerfully drawn to pursue perfection, while others couldn’t give a rat’s patoot?  Is it a particular upbringing that makes some people so driven?  Or do some people just have an innate call to seek exactness and purity?

Sometimes I wonder if some people are just more “yang” and some are more “yin.”  And I wonder if those with more yang are just yearning for a return to the heavens, or spiritual perfection.  Maybe the messiness and struggle and imperfection of physical existence is too much to bear.

Striving for perfection, though, can cause  us to miss the beauty of “lessons learned” and the satisfaction of overcoming an obstacle.  I know some people who will quit if they can’t be perfect, and some people who will tear themselves down for failing to reach perfection.  I’ve certainly been guilty of beating myself up for not reaching a goal  or standard.  I’ve even carried that guilt around for years when it comes to certain issues.

But maybe we should remember the yin-yang symbol, in which the white section has a bit of black and the black section has a bit of white.  And maybe we should remember that yin cannot exist without yang and vice versa.  They are complementary and interdependent.

Maybe we can strive for excellence, and leave behind the pain of perfection.  Fruitlessly pursuing something that is not even possible seems to be a waste of time and denies us the joy of learning.


YinYang Symbol

Essential Oils: Another Gift from Nature

Last night, lavender came to the rescue once again.  Well, technically it was lavender, patchouli, and chamomile.  And some citrus, I think.  Either way, I was just happy for a good night’s sleep.

Aromatherapy is probably as old as noses and plants.  According to the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) website (, there are mentions of humans using essential oils and aromatic plants for therapeutic purposes in the Old Testament and in written records from ancient China, Rome, and Egypt.  A natural and non-invasive way to promote healing and balance, aromatherapy uses essential oils, which are concentrated hydrophobic liquids that have been extracted from plants.

Many people know about some common essential oils like lavender and peppermint–lavender for chillin’ and peppermint for energizing.  And many know that essential oils can be used topically too (think of a peppermint foot cream or a tea tree antiseptic ointment).  A whole world of gentle, natural remedies are out there!

Here are a few other essential oils that have been used to support or treat what ails us:

CINNAMON is comforting and warming to the skin.

FRANKINCENSE is calming and aids in visualizing and meditating.

THYME is cleansing, antiseptic, and energizing.

YLANG YLANG is sensual and euphoric.

As with any remedy, exercise care and consult a practitioner if you are unsure or if you have serious medical concerns.  While these remedies have a long history, some of them are not acceptable to the scientific community and some of them may not be right for you.  For more information, check the NAHA website.  I also like and

2013 Resolutions

At the end of every year, I write New Year’s Resolutions based on my astrological chart.  I look at the 12 houses and come up with goals for each, according to the sign that is on the house.  Then, I take stock of the previous year’s resolutions.  I have them written down, and I carry them around with me in my wallet all year, to remind me of my stated goals.  Sometimes I’m really pleased with how well I did; other years I sigh and put my shoulder back to the wheel.  For 2012, looks like I’ll be doing the latter.  Of the 12 goals, I would say that I was successful with five of them, I began working toward six of them, and I had a change of plans with one and scrapped it altogether.  On to 2013. . . .

Here are this year’s resolutions:

  1. I tend to get mad too quickly, so I will focus on being more humble and gracious.
  2. I need to address my finances, so I will find a better balance between work and parenthood.
  3. I will learn one new skill this year.
  4. I will go on adventures with my child, and we will learn and explore together.
  5. I’ve been coaching a long time, and sometimes get frustrated, so I will focus on finding joy in leadership.
  6. I will complete at least one public service act this year.
  7. I will make one new friend.
  8. I’ve been putting my own fitness time to the wayside, so I will change my lifestyle to accommodate exercise again.
  9. I will take all the hard lessons I’ve learned the past year or two and make them a real, concrete part of my new life.
  10. I will find an agent and editor and get published.
  11. I will give back to and take care of my friends as they’ve taken care of me this past year.
  12. I’ve held on to some things that should stay in the past, so I will let go and focus on joy and wonder instead.

Whew. . . .  An ambitious list.  Good thing I’m pretty focused. . . .  🙂

Happy New Year!