Tag Archives: perfection

Making Peace on Mother’s Day

Who among us has never wished for longer legs, a smaller waist, or a better-proportioned body? It never takes long, when in a group of mothers, before the discussion turns to our mama bodies. And never is this conversation positive: saggy boobs…elephant skin at the navel…those last five pounds of milk fat stores on the thighs that have yet to believe that you are done sustaining another life. “When will I get my body back?,” is the common refrain I hear regularly from my friends, my clients, and my inner critic.

We are quick to judge, criticize, and self-flagellate, yet these same bodies are the physical link between us and our children. Gestating and breastfeeding are obvious positive body images, but even if you did not birth your child, your body has a central role in your mothering—hugging, holding, carrying, cuddling, chasing, tousling…the list is infinite. These bodies of ours? They deserve to be honored and respected.

Blogs like the shape of a mother do an outstanding job of providing a forum for women to discuss body image issues in a non-judgmental environment. I challenge you to read a few of the entries and feel anything other than wonder, amazement, and gratitude that the female body can do what it does to nourish new life.

This Mother’s Day, think about your body. What has it done to support the little one(s) you mother? In what ways large and small can you celebrate your body and its integrated role with daily mothering?

Next time you’re struggling to find motivation for a workout or a healthy meal, remember how amazing your body is and how much goodness it has brought into your life. Give yourself permission to let go of an ideal of perfection and make peace with yourself. Working towards a fitness goal that will make you the healthiest mother possible is far more important than any media-driven or self-preconceived ideal of physical beauty.

Good health, great happiness, and HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to you!


End of Season Review

Trapeze season has come to a close for me.  Although the awesome Trapeze Experience guys will be down at the rig through Saturday, due to work and family schedules I’ve taken my last flight of the 2009 Spring Season.

Let me begin by saying that I am only baby steps closer to polishing my trapeze skills than I was six lessons ago, but in a sport that can never really be mastered, baby steps are exciting.  Also, I believe trapeze is a positive experience, so rather than dwell on the many, many places I can improve, I want to review what I’ve done well this season.

  • My Swing.  Wow.  So! Much! Better!  I am better able to maintain my height for longer, and I don’t get nearly as tired each flight.  Becoming more efficient makes swinging way easier.
  • Back End Tricks.  They’re improving.  I still can’t confidently do the back-end splits to a catch, but my straddle whip is feeling really good.
  • Layout.  Possibly the most fun trick I’ve tried.  It’s all in the timing, and I can finally feel the ‘stall’ that is critical to catching the layout reliably. 
  • Recovery Time.  I stretched better before each class, and I implemented my own post-class stretching routine.  By doing so, my recovery time has shortened to almost nothing.  I’m now beginning to understand how a 5-day intensive workshop could be really, really fun.

Between now and September, I have two trapeze-related goals to achieve: 1) I’m going to continue the strength training routine I’ve developed to keep my shoulders and lats strong.  2) I’m also going to do the monkey bars at the playground with The Bear to keep my hands in shape.  I have some lovely callouses worked up, and it would be a shame to have to break in my hands again in the fall.

My thanks to Russell, Spencer, and Charlie for their patience with me this season.  I appreciate your constructive criticism and friendliness.  If everyone had as much passion about their work as you guys, the world would be a better place.

And although this isn’t the world’s most beautiful layout, it sure was fun. 


Banishing Negative Self-Talk

We all do it.  Even those of us who try to live conscious, positive lives.  It is such a part of our society that we often don’t even realize we’re doing it until someone calls us on it.

Last week I was at my trapeze lesson, and after climbing the ladder I was atop the platform awaiting help to attach the harness cables.  I was chatting with one of my instructors, telling her about how my recent lessons had been exercises in frustration.  After making initial progress learning the trapeze quite quickly, I’d seemed to have hit a wall.  She encouraged me to think positively, focus on what I was doing correctly, and realize that trapeze is a subtle yet complicated art and sport to master.

When I got down to the ground after fairly successfully completing my trick, I heard two of my classmates talking.  They, too, were discussing the learning curve of trapeze– which is surprisingly shallow at first–and how it’s only after your confidence is built up that you start to learn the swing and other ‘back end’ tricks that bring your progress to a screetching halt.  We were sharing stories of frustration, reveling in our common misery.  As we talked, we became more and more critical ourselves and the skills we were practicing.

Another instructor heard our whining and asked why we were being so self-critical.  After all, hadn’t we all just begun learning trapeze a few months ago?  Couldn’t we see how much we had learned?  Why weren’t we embracing the power and creativity and freedom and just plain fun that trapeze is?  Certainly we should strive to improve our skills, but how was the negative self-talk helping anything?

It wasn’t.  And I’m now working hard to banish it.  Fun is far more important than perfection.

Need an awesome Mother’s Day gift?

Internationally-known career strategist and life-balance coach Renee Trudeau is giving away FREE downloads of her outstanding book The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal.  The offer is good only May 8-10, so don’t miss this opportunity to treat your mother– or yourself– to some words of wellness wisdom.

To take advantage of this offer, just sign up here, and the link to download the book will be emailed to you.  Then give yourself the gift of time to read and digest the ideas in the book.  I’m sure you’ll find them resonant; for me, Renee’s chapter about “good enough is good enough” has changed the way I think about many aspects of parenting (and being a wife, sister, daughter, etc).

If you find the book compelling and want more strategies for living a life of intention, guided by your core values, take a look at ways you can Live Inside Out for an even greater sense of wellness.

Good health and great happiness to you.

Elusive Perfection

Most of us who consciously seek balance in our lives do so because we’re perfectionists.  What others consider as ‘good enough’, we see as ‘lots of room for improvement.’  For many of us, life and its challenges come easy.  So when things don’t go our way, we take it especially hard.

Two months ago, I took my first lesson on the flying trapeze.  I’d wanted to try the trapeze, oh, forever, and my fantastic husband knew this (quite possibly thanks to my incessant talking about it), and noticed that there were lessons being held at The Crossings here in Austin.  My husband gave me a lesson as my birthday gift, thinking that I could get this silliness out of my system.


I got hooked.  I’ve spent this autumn exploring the technical and psychological aspects of trapeze.  I’ve read books on the history of trapeze.  But, mostly, I’ve had fun.  I’ve found something I’m good at and feel like it’s been wanting to be a part of my life forever.

The thing about trapeze is that it’s both powerfully internal while requiring a great deal of trust in the other people involved.  The person helping you off the board, the guys pulling your safety lines, and– ultimately– the catcher.  Striking the balance between an internal focus to pull off the trick and an outer awareness of how others are working with you is the challenge.  And, when it all works beautifully, the joy.

I’ve been experiencing this joy for several weeks, as each new trick I learned went smoothly.  Feeling the rush as the catcher shouts “gotcha” and you swing together is inexplicable.  I’ve known nothing but success and the satisfying feeling of accomplishment.

Until last night.  I first worked on my swing– the basic component of trapeze, as it allows you to generate momentum necessary for big tricks– and achieved some marked improvement.  I then tried my first ‘back end’ trick, which uses the swing to set up the fluid movement of getting into the correct form.  My first straddle whip was gorgeous.  Felt great, looked great– good for me!  My second one was a disaster.  I was confident I could do even better than the first, but that translated into overthinking and working too hard–which in the world of trapeze means working against gravity.  Not a great idea when you’re trying to turn your body upside down.  I tried the straddle a third time, and it was good.  Not solid, but passable.

And then, for the first time in my short trapeze career, I missed the catch.  I was too wobbly and my timing was off, and the catcher and I just didn’t connect.   And I knew it was my fault, because if the world-famous Peter Gold couldn’t catch me, no one could.

So, in my attempt to achieve that elusive perfection, I’ve watched the video over and over and over and over.  And you know what was off?  My balance.

Oh, ironic life.  You are rich.

 Want to see for yourself?