Posted in after the diagnosis, Emotional Health

Are You Chasing Your Own Tail?

One of the things I’ve learned over the years is that perfection is a great ideal, but in reality just makes you chase your own tail.  You move very fast, but don’t get very far, and that’s exhausting.  So what is it about perfection that drives us to have ridiculous expectations of others and ourselves.  Perfection is a nice idea, but as a goal to strive for seems pointless.

Last week on, “Oprah Winfrey’s Master Class”, Jane Fonda put it so simple and elegant, she said, “We’re not meant to be perfect; we’re meant to be whole.”  At first glance you may expect that perfection and being whole would be synonymous, but perfection leads us away from being whole.  It drives us deeper and deeper away from our true selves.  Trying to be perfect creates an emotional and spiritual wedge that prevents us from achieving peace.  It doesn’t give us the momentum we need for health and healing.

After receiving a diagnosis of a chronic or life-altering illness you would think that perfection would mean being well.  However, for many, the illness creates deeper problems than just physical.  Creating a space of inner wholeness will ignite your immune system to work at its best level.  Whether the outcome is getting better or getting well, wholeness allows you to eradicate the negative that often compromises your immune system.

Let’s face it, no life is perfect.  When you feel like you’re a hamster on a hamster wheel stop and ask yourself if you’re expecting perfection.  If you dig deep enough and the answer is yet, you’re sabotaging your own wellness and happiness.  If this is the case, then I urge you to begin looking within and asking yourself what would make you feel more whole in the moment.  How can you create a space that will promote wholeness.

Consider what’s keeping you from feeling whole.  Resentments, tolerations, and unrealistic expectations are often the culprit that tease us to work toward perfection.  You think that if you work hard enough you can reduce the impact the resentment, toleration, or unrealistic expectation has on your daily life.  Stop and think about that for a moment, does that make any sense?  What could you accomplish if you released those negative energies and apply all that focus on your own wholeness.

Be like Jane Fonda and stop striving for perfection and strive for wholeness!

Posted in after the diagnosis

Leading Your Own Master Class

The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) may not be a success, but some shows are obviously taking center-stage on the network.  It shouldn’t be a surprise, but the shows that are doing well are the shows where Oprah’s touch is evident.  In these cases she’s either doing the interview as in, “Oprah’s Next Chapter”, or “Oprah Winfrey’s Master Class”.  It’s the later that caught my attention last night when the guest of the show was the famous actress, activist, and fitness guru, Jane Fonda.

If you haven’t seen the show it allows the guest to speak about their life dividing the segments into “life lesson” segments.  The show is tasteful, insightful, and inspiring.  When I was listening to Jane Fonda speak last night I kept my notepad close by waiting for those bits of wisdom that would get me to think about my own life in a new way.  The lessons that caught my attention were: Allow your vulnerabilities to show; we’re not meant to be perfect, we’re meant to be whole; and Empathy is revolutionary!

This got me thinking about all the client/participant stories I’ve heard over the years and the lessons I’ve learned from all of you.  On the other hand, I started wondering what it would be like if I put you in front of a camera for an hour and you got to distill your life down to four or five pivotal life foundations.  This is very different than conducting a life review because it’s not about summing up your life at the end; it’s about punctuating those things that have made you who you are today!

I believe this can be a great part of your health and healing journey.  After your diagnosis you may have began to reflect on your life, your experiences, relationships, and adventures.  What have you taken from each of those experiences that will support your journey to wellness.  One of the things that Jane Fonda made very clear is “It’s never too late!”  That would mean that even for you, getting a diagnosis of a chronic or life-altering illness doesn’t have to be an end, but a beginning.  It can be a launch pad for your new life.

What would you impart to us if you were filming your own Master Class for the Oprah Winfrey Network?  What do you believe are the most important, helpful, inspiring lessons you’ve learned that will propel your life and ours forward?