"You don't have to be perfect to be good, to be loved..." - Night Cycles
“Share your weaknesses. Share your hard moments. Share your real side. It'll either scare away every fake person in your life or it will inspire them to finally let go of that mirage called "perfection," which will open the doors to the most important relationships you'll ever be a part of." - Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
As you may know, I'm a staff contributor to the delicious digital magazine The Phoenix Soul. Usually I submit poetry, but this time around, given that I've been living in the dance zone thanks to my dance fitness certification work, so I thought I'd contribute something along those lines. What resulted is a video about showing up to dance as a daily practice, which is such a delicious concept.
So, this video. There's a bit in there of me explaining my thought process and what I see dance practice as . . . and then there's a good 10+ minutes of me dancing around.
And the dancing looks mostly like flailing.
We're talking serious flail.
Like, awkward flail.
And watching that video? It's not fun for me. Because I how I feel when I'm dancing + how I look when I'm dancing don't seem to equate.
But I watched it. And edited it. And even threw up a little preview on Instagram -- some of the less flail-y dance, but still . . . I felt incredibly vulnerable sharing it.
I have privilege of interacting with some of the best, most beautiful souls as part of my online creativity biz + general wordalicious glitter-flinging efforts. You all are seriously awesome. So even though I felt vulnerable posting that video for all the world to see, I knew you'd back me up.
And you did. Because you are marvelous.
But one of the first comments that showed up, just seconds after hitting that "post" button, was not so marvelous.
"You have no rhythm," was the basic sentiment, left not only on this particular post, but on another dancing video I shared back in December as well.
[And let me just say that this is not going to turn into a pity party. I can take some negativity. And I have good boundaries. And I know that I have rhythm. I just dance kind of awkwardly, too. ;) ]
So this whole uncomfortable adventure has got me thinking -- what is valuable about my dance video? It's valuable to me when I post something and you all say nice things to me. That's really lovely, and my ego soaks that juice right up.
But the value can't end there.
Or really, I don't want it to.
I share because our society is obsessed with and demands perfection -- particularly in women -- and frankly I find it exhausting. Dehumanizing. Degrading.
Because I refuse to believe that I -- nor any other person on this wide world -- is only valuable if they are this perfect, this beautiful, this such-and-such-arbitrary-designation.
I share these random videos of me awkwardly dancing in my saggy spandex because I want the world to know that it's okay to fully inhabit your skin and your life as is.
Not later, when you've landed that job.
Not later, when you're married.
Not later, when you're ten pounds thinner.
Not later, when you've updated your wardrobe/lasered your lady beard into oblivion/graduated with a high powered degree/signed a book deal finally/etc., etc., etc.
You are worthy/beautiful/valuable/powerful now.
And if I show up with my real-life mommy tummy and too-long toe nails and greasy hair that hasn't been washed in more days than I care to calculate . . . maybe you will, too. And then because you showed up real and true, that person over there will . . . and then that person, and that other person, and
all of a sudden we're not talking some silly video on Instagram, we're talking about changing the damn world.
That expected + demanded perfection? It's a mirage, ever-unattainable. Don't be its slave. Strive for authentic growth, not unsustainable, white-knuckled, impossible perfection.
Be your glorious human self.
Our culture feels like a cage to me at times, like I'm a rat fighting back with all the ferocity I can manage against the sometimes-quite-rancid cheese.
And sometimes, that fight looks like posting a [possibly not-having-of-rhythm] dance video on the internet.
And hoping that you'll join me, somehow, in your own way.
I'd like that.
(And! If you do want to join in, tag me! Find me on Facebook, or tag me @sheofthewild on Instagram + Twitter. I'd seriously love to enjoy and partake of your piece of this odd but delicious revolution.)
I'd also really like to know what you see and feel as valuable contributions to the world, both from others and from yourself. What is your mission? How do you choose to accomplish it? What do you believe? What do you believe about yourself? Tell me in the comments.
One of the ways I'm trying to change the world is to make it easier for the many brilliant but unheard writers birth their words in book form.
So I've created this super-easy-to-use downloadable Kindle template to help make your publishing journey a lot less stressful. I know first-hand how frustrating Kindle formatting can be, and this is my part of the answer. And it just became available this week, so yay! If you're interested, find out more HERE.
*This email contains affiliate links. I only recommend products I truly believe in. Thanks for supporting independent authors + artists!