- Kerri Cummings
A Perfectionist's (Mindful) Exposure Therapy
Hi there. Oh, I'm sorry! You don't remember me?
You know, that blogger? The one about Mindfulness in today's world.
Still nothing? The one who stopped writing a year ago and left you hanging? Yes? Remember now? So, anyway, Hi there.. and, I'm so sorry. Seriously. I'm sorry for being such a slacker. And as it is, I will proceed to give you my excuses, uh, reasons, for not writing a single word to you for so long. First of all, I am working like a ... hm... I wanted to say like a banshee because that's what one says, but do banshees work hard? And what is a banshee anyway? I digress (but this is part of my new thing, so, read on...). I have been doing my masters in psychology and with the whole three-kids thing and a clinical study for my thesis, I just didn't have time to write the blog. Also, I'm writing a novel and that was and is still challenging to find the time. Ok, the other reason is that I kind of felt like no one cared anyway about my blog. So I got kind of indignant on you. I was like, hell, if i don't have a million subscribers then screw it. Woah.
That felt weird to write. It felt like I just took my pants off in front of a crowded lecture hall while singing the Barney song. Yes, that weird. Anyway, I need to tell you guys all this, because I realized something today. The real reason I haven't written a blog post for so long is actually because I'm a... perrrr... perrfff... perfectionist. There. Whew! I said it.
I. am. a. perfectionist. Hi, I'm kerri, and I'm a perfectionist. There you go. (And don't think I didn't notice that I spelled my name with a small "k". I did. But I'm NOT going to change that. Part of my exposure therapy, you see? And yes, I feel kind of nauseous, but whatever.)
I stopped writing blog posts at all because I felt like I didn't have the time to write a perfect blog post. Or a good one at least..
But let me tell you something. I just read an article on Huff Post and it was HORRIBLE. I cannot fathom how #Ariannehuffington would let this one in. Seriously, folks. I could do a way better job. Shame on you Huffpost! Don't you have any copy editors? But whatever. That's not the point. I realized something during this nasty Huff Post experience, which I think will be a game changer for me: I can just write a post and it doesn't have to be perfect!
It doesn't have to be PERFECT.
I am in training to become a certified MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) teacher. I am also writing my thesis on Mindfulness.. and one of the things I've implemented into my life when trying to do the daily homework, which includes long mindfulness exercises, is that I cannot expect or insist on the perfect circumstances when doing the body scan or meditation. In fact, one of my own quirky practices is to do the body scan right in the middle of the living room floor where the kids are running around.
Right in ya face!
Run your little sweet butts around me. I don't care! 'Cause I'm doing the body scan, kids.
And guess what?
It is fine. Of course a monastery is nicer, less distracting. But it's ok to do it while accepting the noise and chaos around you. That IS Mindfulness. Today, I thought, similarly to my mindfulness practice, why do I have to have everything perfect to write my blog? So I decided, dear mindfuls, that I'm just going to write and not worry about it being perfect, or whether it wins a Nobel Prize for Literature, or whether it even gets a little comment (which I would be thrilled about, by the way!). So I apologize now for spelling errors and thinking errors in my pieces. I'm just going to WRITE! Just like my new practice of acceptance in other areas. I'm going to go about life this way. And my blog! I hope you will read my posts again, and enjoy the raw honesty seeping from them. Be mindful, be flawed, be human, be alive!