Inside: Episode four of The ALIP Podcast: Rebranding Middle Age. Make peace with messiness to make space for joy.
Life ‘shouldn’t’ be neat and tidy. If your life feels challenging, you’re not doing it wrong. It’s the belief that you ‘should’ always know what you’re doing, and that your life ‘should’ always feel easy and smooth sailing, that keeps you in suffering.
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I’m a recovering perfectionist – an Enneagram One (hopeful reformer) for those of you familiar with The Enneagram. I had to learn to make peace with the messiness of life – the imperfection of myself, messiness at home (ex. creative art projects as I raised creative humans, leaving laundry in a basket so I could write), and messiness in relationships, in order to find joy.
No matter how hard I worked, appliances broke, people I loved died, marriage and raising kids was hard work, and money was often tight. None of this was wrong or bad (hard isn’t the same as ‘wrong’) – it was simply part of a full, meaningful, beautiful life. I couldn’t control it.
I made a decision at one point to stop reading magazines and books, or watching shows/movies that pulled me into comparison or feeling less than. I needed to intentionally quiet the noise and fairy-tale versions of life so that I could love the life in front of me.
Quote I mentioned in this episode: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” -Viktor Frankl
SOME KEY IDEAS
- Learning to practice paradox – or both/and – will change your experience of life, quality of relationships, and mind-body health.
- We all have coping mechanisms or ways of numbing, running, avoiding, bypassing.
- You ‘shouldn’t’ be perfect. We find our way in action, not before. As long as you’re awake, saying yes to life, you’ll meet new challenges and learning opportunities.
- Railing against reality keeps us stuck in suffering. When we make peace with messiness we make space for joy.
- We can’t control a lot of life but we can always choose our response. “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” -Viktor Frankl
- Befriend Your Inner Critic Workshop, Sep 6: https://www.alifeinprogress.ca/befriend-your-inner-critic-workshop/ (Early-bird pricing is over but you can still join us! Registration ends Sep 3.)
- The Brave + Beautiful Membership Community – join the waitlist for our Autumn Session: https://www.alifeinprogress.ca/membership/
- Make Peace With Paradox and Practice Imperfect Action: https://www.alifeinprogress.ca/make-peace-with-paradox/
- The Midlife Crossroad PDF (free / follows season 1 of this podcast): https://www.alifeinprogress.ca/the-midlife-crossroad/
The Midlife Crossroad
Midlife can be messy! It’s a time of truth-telling, important transitions, and invitations to growth. Here are 7 powerful truths to help midlife women (re)claim freedom, health and joy amid the messiness.
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