I came back to some great feedback from you on your #1 single biggest challenge, problem, or frustration reforming perfectionism while navigating the pandemic recovery. Some highlights include:

  • “Feeling that others have it under control and I am falling behind in every aspect of my life.”
  • “I can’t possibly do the “right” thing to make everyone happy. I’m exhausted. And angry. And then I feel guilty about being angry. It’s awesome.”
  • “The culture at work is still breakneck speed while many of us have realized we need to breathe and breakneck isn’t necessary.”

*Insert the sound of me pumping my fist in the air because YES this is the truth that’s being spoken to me on the regular in private conversations but I’m not seeing in public conversations nearly as much as is needed.*

The theme of navigating our feelings/needs/wants while trying to navigate other people’s feelings/needs/wants and expectations of us is strong. In fact, in this Sunday’s Renew session I’m leading a practice in how to navigate this kind of tension. Because the tension you’re feeling is real. It’s in your body. And you’re not the only one feeling it.

It seems like we should be used to wearing masks and physically distancing and using zoom instead of gathering together and being patient by now. But we’re not. It still feels like something we’re subjected to. Something we want to be free of. And that’s a good thing.

Our nervous systems keep trying to bring us back to equilibrium, back to the group. Our perfectionism is trying to re-align us with Systems of Oppression and our brains, that know better, are trying to keep us acting in a way that honors our integrity. We’re still trying to get this pandemic “right.” We’re still trying to keep ourselves and others safe using different rules. We’re still feeling like the collective is not on the same page.

There’s a lot of tension on many levels. And there will be for some time.

So how do you navigate it all without losing your mind or using perfectionism as your North Star?

The first thing to do is to notice the tension. To name it. To admit to it. To allow yourself the feelings that come with it. Discern what you actually can do in a moment. Discern what you feel, need, and want. Take small action. You may want to take action against another person out of exasperation but turn the inquiry back to yourself. What do you want that person to do? What do you wish they would do? How is it to want these things from another person knowing the only responsibility you can take in the moment is for yourself? How can you connect with your environment, body, and interoception (those wise internal nerves chatting to you) in the moment? How can you be with what is without endorsing or even liking it?

Take a pause and take a breath. Do something caring and connective for yourself or for someone else. I’ve got some ideas on how we can navigate this moment more gracefully together so stay tuned.

In the meantime, take care in all ways. This community you have here gets it.