We all have our perfectionistic tendencies, especially when it comes to our spiritual practice. How many of us at one time or another has sat down to meditate, for example, and have given it up because we couldn’t do it perfectly? How many times have we guilt tripped ourselves because we didn’t or couldn’t do the right thing at the right time, or gave up on a creative project such as painting because it didn’t come out like a da Vinci?
We aren’t born perfectionists. As toddlers, we didn’t concern ourselves if we walked properly or spoke fluently the first time. In fact, it’s expected of us, at first to fail spectacularly, because that’s how we learn. Perfectionism is thrust upon us, usually by the time we get into public school. We live in a culture that demands perfection. We must have the perfect job, the perfect clothes, drive the perfect car, or have the perfect body. If we don’t have these things we are considered failures, in our minds if nowhere else.
Polly Campbell graciously and humorously shows us how to rid ourselves of our perfectionistic tendencies in her adorable little book, Imperfect Spirituality. Here, Ms. Campbell teaches us how to work through our perfectionism by providing us with uplifting instructions on topics such as how to cut through negative thinking, being creative even though we are feeling uncertainty, and my personal favorite, learning how to be compassionate towards yourself.
The book is filled with anecdotes, powering up statements, as well as exercises you can do to help free yourself from the bonds of perfectionist thinking. This is a great little book, one that I highly recommend and will end up being one of the books I read over and over again.
Author: Polly Campbell
Viva Editions a division of Cleis Press, Inc., 2012
pp. 279, $15.95