Oh hi, Holistic perfectionist.

Oh hi.

You're a holistic perfectionist? Or you think you might be?

I see you.

Me too. I am a recovering holistic perfectionist.


Let's all get on the same page here. Many of us have sought out holistic practices as a means to mitigate our old habits of perfectionism.

We have taken to yoga, acupuncture, healthy cooking, eating, meditation. These habits are incredible. As practices they can be literally life changing or life affirming. Annnddddd just as easily we can become attached, dependent, high stakes on doing things a certain way. So just like that we are back at the beginning, stuck in a rut, using our holistic tools to try to dig ourselves out. 

ho·lis·tic definition - characterized by the treatment of the whole person, taking into account mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of a disease.

Let's talk holistic. This word is lovely. As a concept and an outlook this word characterizes the wellness goals that many of us have. We are human, we are complex, we are whole people. There are so many of us who are drawn to holistic practices as a method of trying to let go of our innate perfectionism. 

per·fec·tion·ist definition - a person who refuses to accept any standard short of perfection.

Raise your hand if you're a perfectionist. Hi. Yeah, me too. I'd say that I am in recovery, but I definitely notice that I am prone to the mode of perfectionist thinking. It's a familiar road in my mind. 

Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best. Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgement, and shame. It’s a shield. It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.
— Brene Brown

At my best I am holistic. I have a wide eyed view. I can zoom out. I can use the mental, emotional, physical tools to actually be in wellness. It feels good, in flow. I feel strong, powerful, balanced, grounded. And still, when I want something... I waaant it. And I want to use the tools I have to acheive it. It is so hard to not get what I want when I am trying so damn hard. 

This is a place for me. It is the island of wanting, expecting, desiring. In a holistic mindset I am able to backfloat easily to the island. Letting the current guide me along with some simple practices. In a perfectionist mindset, I use all my holistic tools to fight the current. When I am trying so damn hard it's like I am in a swim race, pushing to get to the island with all my might. 

There is nothing wrong with the naturally high standards of perfectionists. It's mostly that we get in our own ways, all the damn time. We think that we have control when we don't. And those of us with holistic tools, we think that we can use all the holistic tricks in the book to get the perfect outcome we have been desiring.


It's pretty to easy to see how these things so easily clash but can also go together. 

Taking notice, this is the first step. Paying attention to how we use our holistic knowledge, tools, and practices. We have to pay attention to when they are there for self-care or to be in an experience and when they are there to control or accomplish. 

Second step. Take a deep breath. Slow down. Let's talk more about how to ride the ride and go back to holistic and away from perfectionist in Part II. (Next week!)