After completing my first full Embracing Life! Detox Retreat earlier this year I came away motivated and detoxified and brimming with enthusiasm about how to take all I’d learnt and implement it into my daily life.
Upon returning home I was going to do yoga five times a week, eat 100% raw vegan, exercise three times a week, meditate daily, get colonics, facials, massages, counseling, do juicing and dehydrating, sleep more and watch TV less, get saunas, take better care of my hair, and I am sure I thought of at least fifty other things I was going to do when I got home.
Ange, Leisa’s wonderful “right-hand-retreat woman” gave me a valuable piece of advice on the last day of the retreat that I have dwelled on numerous times in the last month.
“Keep it real, man!”
She followed it up with something along the lines of “I mean are you seriously going to eat 100% raw vegan all the time? No, you’re not, so don’t put that pressure on yourself!”
Being a type A perfectionist and a typical stubborn-Taurus, I assured myself I could do everything I intended, and if I didn’t do all these things, it would mean everything I learnt at the retreat was going to waste! This all came crashing down on me the very first day home. There was no food in the fridge and it was 7pm, I was exhausted and just wanted to eat something and crawl into bed. Guilt overwhelmed me as I accepted my roommates suggestion of a $10.00 meal at the local surf club.
That was not the last time that week I felt guilty! I felt guilty not exercising because I was too tired to get up at 5am, guilty about not going to yoga because I was a bit cash poor, guilty about going to dinner at my parents’ house and eating a home cooked meal….. Not only did the guilt kick in, but also business and stress increased due to my attempts to schedule in the million things I said I’d do! I was rushing from work to colonics, to appointments, to home and basically feeling very much like a chicken with its head chopped off. Not the cool calm and blissed out being I had visualized while on the retreat!
It was around then I remembered Ange’s golden words and took a very big sigh of relief! I could take a whole lot of pressure off myself by just keeping it real. I sat down, wrote out everything I wanted to include in my life and then prioritised. Just by allowing myself to make mistakes, knowing I’m not perfect but doing the best I can, has made a huge difference. It’s almost like when I stopped fighting to make all this happen exactly as I wanted it, everything just started to flow.
Every day I see examples of people fighting hard to be perfect. Perfect at work, at school, as a partner, a mother, a person. This quest for perfection often leaves them looking somewhat like that poor chicken, running hither and tither, not having a moment to just be real. We spend so much of our lives trying to be the person we think we ‘should be’ as opposed to the person we are. Now that might mean at some stage in my life I am going to be the person who gets up at 5am to go meditate, exercises daily and eats only raw vegan food, but right now that’s not me and that’s ok.
I read a quote not too long ago that said something along the lines of “I spent all my childhood learning how to be good at things instead of finding out what I was already good at”. This quote reminded me that we are all born as talented and gifted individuals. Who society, family or friends think we ‘should be’ does not necessarily ring true within ourselves.
Right now I am not good at eating 100% raw vegan, but I am good at making green smoothies for breakfast and enjoying every drop! I believe personal growth is good, I believe striving to be the best we can be is a very noble life pursuit, but I also believe we need to remember at the core of it all to just keep it real. Thanks for that one Ange, I owe you a raw vegan pie, or a steak, or whatever….