This post was inspired by a refreshing article by Lauren Fleshman.
Her story talks about how she posted a picture looking her best after months of training, specifically to do a modeling photo shoot. She looked great, but then she realized that was perpetuating the myth of perfection that our culture and media constantly portray as the way for us all to be.
After much deliberation, she decided to post a picture that was much less flattering, but more of the truth of how her body really looks. Lauren touched a chord with many people, opening the space for people to be honest, and find more compassion and acceptance for our shared human imperfections. When we look deeper, our imperfections can even become our points of interest and beauty. But sadly, they are typically what we judge, hide and often hold negative feelings about.
Lauren has issued the following challenge to us all. Will we use social media to redefine beauty, specifically by posting an unflattering picture of ourselves, along with the hashtag #keepingitreal.
She makes a powerful case for keeping it real with social media and our lives.
I share similar concerns with the personal development community. Do you notice how everyone from gurus to teachers and regular bloggers like me portray the idealism of what we aspire to be and do in our lives. I aspire to happiness, joy and living my best self. I do not live in those ideal states all that often, not even the majority of the time. The bigger picture is that I often struggle with depression, inertia and overwhelm.
This is part of the reason that I don’t write as much about personal growth anymore. It’s also because it hasn’t really worked for me. I’m much more self aware, but not much different in how I live and act. Self improvement and perfectionism are a dangerous combo for me. And yes, I understand and have loosened my need to be perfect. But somehow, working on myself has become an endless, tedious way to spend my time. A diversion from actually taking action and living my life. I’m ready to simply live the best I can, day to day, moment to moment.
Maybe one day, I’ll become enlightened. Meanwhile, back to the dishes and garden!