Perfectionism has always been, in my mind, more of a flaw than an asset. I embarrassingly admit that I used to judge people who were perfectionists at what they did, until about one week ago when I went to visit my uncle in Pennsylvania. I’ve often noticed when I teach people the Art Of Making Things Happen through Intention, Action and Letting Go, that letting go is most often the hardest thing for people to do, so it’s the piece that I work most on with my clients (and inspire my friends and family to work on).

 

I often saw perfectionists as people who had difficulty letting go, until I spent a week with my uncle.

 

As I entered his house after an 10 hour road trip and looked around his home, I felt an instant sense of ease and peacefulness settle in. Everything in his home is so perfectly placed and though through. The decorations, how he organizes his things, where he places everything so that the flow of your human experience is just so magnificent. Every room has everything you might need. Being in his home was kind of mind-blowing for me and I learned so much about the beauty of perfectionism while I was there.

On the first morning as we were preparing coffee in the kitchen, I opened one of the cupboard drawers, only to discover a perfectly arranged tupperware drawer! “Seriously” I thought? Any human I have ever met, always has a mess in their tupperware drawer. It’s always the space that becomes out of control in most homes LOL. I couldn’t believe my eyes. But it was so beautiful. Arranged by size, type and colour and so easy to navigate. I turned around and looked at my uncle in awe and said “OMG I’ve never seen anyone with such an organized tupperware drawer. Your whole home is so clean and tidy, it’s amazing”. To this he responds with a relaxed smile “You know everyone keeps telling me that, but for me there is just no other way to live”. Life lesson instantly downloaded! This was his way of living and it was effortless to him because it’s the way of being that made most sense and aligned most with his values.

I always thought that being a perfectionist required so much more work but what I realized is procrastinating and doing things half-assed (excuse my language) requires way more effort. Things pile up, so you have more work to do and then feel more exhausted and frustrated with the larger task at hand that awaits. We waste so much mental energy with procrastination because the thing we are procrastinating stays in our mind so we keep thinking about it AND we waste energy then feeling guilty about not doing it.

We spent 5 days at my uncles. We visited Philadelphia, NYC and trotted around a lot. I observed my uncles way of being outside of his home as well and his presence was the same everywhere. He was always in the moment, dealing with what was right in front of him, smiling and just going with the flow. I was talking with a dear friend Monica yesterday about how inspired I was from spending time with him and her analogy of how he is in the world was really nice.

 

Meditation in movement is how she saw his way of being. I love it!

 

In this last week, I’ve tapped into a new inspiration to live well. At home, in my work, in my personal time and I’ve noticed that just dealing with one thing at a time and doing that one thing really well with all my heart and soul is not only satisfying, but I feel so much more present and I’m seeing beautiful results. What I’ve learned is that perfectionism really is an art of living, a way of life, a chosen lifestyle!

Jennifer

Here are a few books that might help spark some inspiration for you as well

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life

The Not So Big Life: Making Room for What Really Matters