Thursday, 7 January 2016

You're perfect.

I'm not sure what I’m doing here. I’m not sure who I am, writing this. Am I a writer, weaving words into sentences for the sake of it? Am I a massage therapist sharing my knowledge and experience to help others live better? Am I someone who’s got it all worked out? Am I some sort of expert, here to tell you what you’re doing wrong? And, while we’re on the topic, what are you doing here? What are you looking for? What do you want?

I recently signed up to be a Wellness Advocate for an essential oils company called doTERRA. I am aware this title – Wellness Advocate – makes me sound like a bit of an arsehole. I have a very low threshold for this sort of thing, being, as someone brilliantly put it recently, a cynical optimist. I am open to pretty much anything; I will follow you down paths that I’m really quite dubious about, but I will bring my sarcasm along, and whack you over the head with it if you try to push me over the line. That’s how I stay to true to my own centre of balance.

You won’t catch me floating by on a cloud of essential oils and positive affirmations; I keep a sliver of cynicism, always, in my pocket, as a counterweight. My feet may not always be on the ground, but I always know where the ground is. I am a writer and a yogi and a massage therapist and a nerd. I smoke, drink coffee, eat meat and believe in karma. I believe in coconut oil and aromatherapy and the internet and being kind to people. I can sit in half-lotus and say namaste without giggling; I use the word fuck in most sentences. I keep a gratitude diary and thank the Universe, out loud, every time I find a penny on the street; I can talk, straight faced, about manifestation and vibrational frequencies and living in the moment, and have a panic attack, out of the blue, because I don’t know what the future might bring. I am a good person. I can be an arsehole sometimes. I am deeply flawed. I am perfect.

Notice the absence of buts: there is no contradiction in any of this. We are all of us made up of different bits that somehow fit together to make the shape that we recognise as ourselves, and we weren’t meant to be contained in boxes. You know when sometimes you’re asked to “describe yourself in three words”? That’s crazy. You’d need at least a hundred just to get started, and that would only cover today. We are many things, all at once, and we are constantly in flux.

All the Universe ever strives for is balance, equilibrium, and you don’t find that in extremes and absolutes. There will be none of that here. There will be no middle ground either. I’m not a middle ground sort of girl, and balance isn’t about being average or staying neutral. It’s about finding your own equilibrium, and wherever you settle might look skewed to some, but it will be your place of freedom and ease. Neither restricted by other people’s lines, nor stretched further over your own than feels right. That is the place where I’m writing this from.

I think the best any of us can offer – better than expertise – is an open mind and an open heart. I don’t care how that makes me sound. Any knowledge we might have needs to be delivered with humility and the awareness, always, that for every one thing we know, there are another ten that we don’t. And that passing on knowledge is never a one-way street: we need to stay open to being questioned, and questioning ourselves, listening and learning. That’s how good things happen.

So I guess what I’m doing here is starting a discussion. Putting aside my own struggles with arsehole-sounding titles and advocating for wellness, for the things that have worked for me. I am standing up for a way of life that I believe in, but I am just as willing to stand down and listen to another point of view. And I think that’s the best I can do.

And who am I, writing this? I am one part Wellness Advocate and one part arsehole. One part therapist and one part someone who’s just trying to figure this shit out. And on your part, you can choose to trust all these different parts of me and the shape that they make, silent buts and all. You can follow me down paths that you’re not quite sure about, and see if you might find your own place of freedom somewhere along the way. And if I try to take you over any lines that you don’t want to cross, feel free to whack me over the head with whatever you’ve got handy. And forge your own equilibrium out of the extremes and the absolutes.

But whatever you’re looking for and wherever you arrive, know this: you’re not doing anything wrong. You might be doing it differently and you can choose to change that, if you want to. But you’re perfect.


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