Perfection is (Im)Perfection
‘Perfection is, broadly, a state of completeness and flawlessness’
We just returned from the most idyllic retreat ever.
I’ve been lucky enough to have travelled to some pretty gorgeous countries including Costa Rica and India, but a recent break on a near-isolated stretch of perfect golden sand in Fuerteventura proved to be perfection to me.
A lapping ocean, no technology and swaying palm trees lulled my mind into silence and let my soul expand way beyond the lines of my skin. I feel I have harvested enough light to last me a few decades.
Of course, I had the opportunity to read and I’ve got another ‘favourite’ to add to a long, long list! ‘Within’ by Habib Sadeghi is without doubt one of the best books about the most important relationship we will ever encounter in our whole life; the relationship with ourselves.
I learnt so much from this book. It offers simple methods for realising the perfection in this very moment; not in a second or a few minutes or a month or a year. Not when you have achieved ‘this’ or done ‘that’ or been ‘there’. No; simply now is the most perfect moment ever. This very moment is the only moment that matters.
The imperfections you see; your looks, your yoga practice, your diet, your wealth, your health, your relationships; all of it, every single second of elation and pain; all of it is absolutely perfect. The universe has conspired to show you the way to liberation and flawlessness. The trick now is to notice the signs and to act on them; trust that your life is perfect as it is.
Everyone thinks that Yoga is an exercise to achieve a beautiful body or a state of calm. Over the years, as part of my intimate studies of this philosophy, I see more and more that it’s actually about liberation on many levels. Most importantly Yoga is a path to liberation from the Ego; our limited small ‘i’ identity and coming to see that perfection exists now. That we are microcosms of the macrocosm; all a small part of a grand scheme; all an intricate part of the universe. I think of it as a cake recipe; if you leave out just one medjool date, the whole balance of the cake is lost. Without you and your energy patterns, the whole balance of the universe is lost. Every single grain of sand, blade of grass, branch of tree is necessary for the entire Earth to exist. Every planet, star and comet is necessary for the Universe to exist.
Freeing your soul from the ego, letting go of the ‘small’ stuff to embrace the larger opportunities and making space for more light and love. To be still, fall into and dance ceaselessly with the breath is perfection. And that state is available to us all wherever and whenever we are.
As part of ‘Within’ it’s explained that time seems to stand still and last longer when we are rested, at peace and with few thoughts (meditation, sleep, yogasana). It’s not that time actually stops or becomes sower, it’s just our perception of it. When we are not rushing about or filling up time with our thoughts, we are able to recognise the space between each thought. These spaces are how we perceive time so each space between a thought creates a perception in a break of time. Stop or reduce your thoughts and you can recognise more space between them and perceive that you have more time. I don’t think we can actually ever stop thoughts, but from my own experience you can certainly stop getting caught up in them. So you let the mind chatter and continue to ‘speak’ but you just observe rather than converse with that little voice within. And then something glorious happens; time slows down, the body relaxes and suddenly perfection exists. Clarity emerges where there was once only confusion. Peace exists despite a bubbling rabble beneath the calm.
Seconds seem like minutes. Shifting our perception changes everything.
Every fear, pain, happiness, heartache and loss all led you to this place on your path. Perfection.
Being on vacation, time seems to stand still but Habib explains that time doesn’t stand still or speed up (!); it’s what we do with our precious time that determines how fast it seems to go. When we do nothing and let the nonsensical mind go, then we find a space of calm; time is emptier and therefore longer. Seconds seem like minutes. Less thoughts and less actions mean more space and more time. Shifting our perception changes everything.
So this month let us slow down, use less technology and make more time to be grateful for the perfection that exists in our life.
For now, if we don’t see you on the mat, just try to practice gratitude for each and every moment.
You and I are perfectly imperfect just as we are.
I would rather be wild, messy and free than contained, safe and secure.
Life is not meant to be linear; it’s meant to curve.
So appreciate all the dips and dives.
The light in me honours the light in you.