Perfectionistas & Other Nightmares

Red Devil's PitchforkYears ago I read that the Dali Lama told Oprah there is no such thing as “perfect” when she asked him what his perfect day looked like.  She and her audience gasped then laughed at themselves.

I’m trying to remember to laugh at myself often these days as I implement some new healthy habits.  I want to do it “right” and be “perfect” in my new habits.  Can you relate?  If so, keep reading.  If you are the Dali Lama, well, I hope you look good in maroon and orange robes cinched at the waist.

It All Began At Christmas

A dear friend of mine inspired me to jump on the bandwagon of juicing, and eating as many raw foods as possible.  She even gave me a juicer for Christmas to kick me onto the path!

I love the tingly sensation that occurs about twenty minutes after I sip my spinach and kale.  After two weeks of juicing I noticed my nails were no longer splitting or peeling; more than that they were growing long … without chemical coaxing! 

Hooked on Juicing!

I was juicing about four times a week in the beginning.  I decided to up the ante and made a commitment to juice for 28 days straight, following the old saw that a habit forms in 28 days.

I was rocking it!  I loved putting a check-mark in the box for each day’s commitment to juicing.  I began to feel so good, I found myself feeling smug.  Smell the foul odor of a set-up here?

And Then The Fall

After 13 days in a row, I lapsed into a heap of chocolate birthday cake.  Yep, mine last month.  (I make really good gluten-free chocolate cake!)  “One piece, no juice – no big deal,” I said to dust my butt and begin again.  A weekend in Laguna Beach at the Goddess Festival a few weeks later saw another missed day.

My juicing friend and I were chatting about it all.  She was telling me what an inspiration I was to her since I have been channeling Dionne Warwick’s  “Walk on by” chorus to sugary treats.  I couldn’t hear it.  All I could hear was my inner “Perfectionista” telling me how lousy I’d been doing since I’d not juiced everyday and still loved to crunch on salty nuts and chips.

In a conversation a few days later, I heard her inner “Perfectionista” lamenting how lax she’d been with it all.  This is a woman who is known to sweat it out in two cardio classes some days … can we just say she rocks?

Dali Who?

I’d like to say the Dali Lama appeared to me in a meditation.  He didn’t.   But his words to Oprah came to me and I took a big deep breath.  The next time my friend was deriding herself I asked her to stop and shared with her what I’d realized. 

It isn’t about being perfect with this new routine of juicing or moving my body every day.  It is about balance. It is about living the best I can in each moment.  Sometimes, like yesterday, it can be about honoring the new habits I choose, like juicing in the morning before going to a birthday celebration, AND eating my chocolate (albeit gluten free) cake, too!

Balance vs. Perfection

After resigning from my role as Chief Operating Officer of Control, my inner Perfectionista rears up now and then.  Unlike my COOC wanting to control circumstances and other people, the Perfectionista wants to control ME and how much joy I experience!  Some days, I let her do a good job of it.  She wants me to be really embarrassed for admitting her existence. 

My definition of Balance isn’t dictionary-bound.  I think of balance as living my life to experience love and joy in the moment.  My inner Perfectionista just hates that.

Top Three Tips To Taming Your Perfectionista

  1. Recognize her!  What does she sound like?  What are her favorite catch phrases to make you feel bad about yourself?  What situations bring her out?
  2. Show Compassion to yourself.  Don’t make yourself wrong for getting caught up in listening to her.  She’s like the crap-news-networks.  Their message of “doom” is hard not to pay attention to when blaring from every station.
  3. Recommit to whatever your version of Balance is.  I really hope loving yourself and your life is somewhere inside your definition.  That love thing goes a long way in taming your Perfectionista! 

So, what is your definition of Balance?  What does life feel like when you are in Balance?  What are the signs you are no longer in Balance? 

Please share below your grapples with your Perfectionista.  Let’s out them and reveal them to be the joy and buzz killers they are!  

Here’s to living for love and joy! 



  1. Dale Evans :) says:

    Thank you for reminding me that trying to be perfect can sabotage my progress faster than almost anything. It’s all about the ride, and more importantly, getting back in the saddle as soon as possible after I take a
    ‘tumble’. xoxoxo

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