The New Professionalism: Unapologetically Imperfect

My most ergonomic desk eva. #myofficetoday

Today is my day to breathe. Take space. Drop my shoulders.

The Organic Parenting e-course is complete, sent out, and officially off my To Do list. It was such a huge project, with so many components and dozens of contributors, making it my biggest project to date.

Over a year in the making. The last three months of which were flipping crazy.

I’ll admit. I have a bit of a perfectionist streak. Especially when it comes to the work I love to do, sharing my heart and soul. And the parenting topic is such a big, tender one that I spent a lot of time stressing about how it was coming together, how the audios turned out, the right formatting, the right voice, if it all made sense, and so on and so on.

This project alone was a full time job.

That’s without seeing clients, facilitating the Organic Tribe, holding events, and still exploring the country with my family.

As I inched closer to today’s date, I began to inch closer to my perfectionist saying all sorts of things:

“You must have all the audios completed before you go to Wide Sky Days.”
“You’ve got to send out at least 4 emails next week.”
“You need more blog posts! What happened to the 5 other posts you had planned?!”

According to my project and marketing plan, I was far from perfect.

And this would have really stressed me out in the past. I would’ve been a big old ball of nerves trying to do it all, be it all, have it all together.

But this time I adopted a very fitting motto as I worked…

“Unapologetically imperfect.”

“I’m going to unapologetically create a course I believe in, without fear that it must meet every last person’s needs…”

“I’m going to unapologetically say what’s on my heart without fear that I’ll sound crazy to people who don’t get it…”

“I’m going to unapologetically take breaks, or complete postpone pieces of the project that aren’t inspiring me in order to play with my friends and family or read or work on the part of the project that is calling my name…”

“I’m going to unapologetically get the last audios created and uploaded in their own timing…”

“I’m going to unapologetically screw up my marketing plan this time around…”

“I’m going to unapologetically be happy about it all too…”

No amount of stress can make time slow down so we can get more done and still have time to play. No amount of trying can make every last person happy, can make this everything to everyone, can possibly simplify such a big topic, or can get those last audios uploaded by my chosen deadline. No amount of stress is worth missing out on our family throughout any project either – something I did too much of at the start.

So I let it all go. And embraced something different.

Imperfect entrepreneurship. Without apology.

Of course, there’s a balance there…leaving people hanging isn’t cool. Creating less than your best isn’t cool. Not taking into account the needs of others while you meet your own needs doesn’t actually meet anyone’s needs at all.

But there is a difference between professional and perfectionism.

You can be the first without trying to be the second.

I let go of the idea that I’d have all the audios from all six modules edited and uploaded by the time the first module started. I let go of the idea that the contributors goodies would be organized and formatted before the third module.

I just let go and leaned into joy and trust.

If this “trust” thing is good enough for parenting, you’d better believe it’s damn good enough for our passions as entrepreneurs. 😉

Of course, letting go changes everything.

I did, in fact, have all the modules completed before Module One began today. And I got the Village Wisdom contributors PDF formatted and uploaded this afternoon.

I could’ve stressed over doing these things, and likely not done them.

Instead I just adopted the same philosophy I have toward life itself: Joy and Trust. And it all fell together without the stress, because I just let go and leaned into joy and trust.

What Have I (Re)Learned?

The same lesson life is teaching me again and again…

I don’t care if you’re talking about parenting, or your partners, or your work…you’ll never regret the sense of ease, wonder, and perfection that comes when you stop trying to be perfect, stop forcing it to happen or controlling how it does, and let the current carry you where it will.

Make and follow a plan. Just don’t marry the damn thing.

And stop apologizing – to yourself or anyone else – when you follow where your heart pulls you.

Ask yourself: Where do I need to let go and allow?

 

I’m officially the mom of a teenager (is this what I hoped for?)

He'll be a teenager tomorrow. #zeb #play #lego

I am officially the mother of a teenager. Today is Zeb’s 13 birthday and he’s sleeping in, as is custom for his current body needs of non-stop eating and sleeping. 😉

12 was a tough year. Justin and I found new parenting triggers we got to DIG IN to, and Zeb transitioned through many tough phases. But once we found our emotional footing and our patience and compassion for his experience, we were able to help him over the hump and meet his deeper needs.

And it’s been amazing since then.

He cracks everyone up, makes interesting conversations, has firm opinions, and opens car doors for me. *heartmelt*

He’s kind, considerate and patient in ways you begin to wonder will ever happen when they are 4 or 7 or 11 and you’re dealing with your own fears of raising them “right”.

And that thought got me thinking yesterday.

I got back from a walk in the harbor and had sticky mud up to my ankles (it felt amazing by the way). I couldn’t go inside, so I interrupted Zeb’s project for help.

He said “sure!” and jumped up to get a bowl of water, asked me how my coaching call had gone and made friendly conversation as I washed my feet and legs. We talked about lunch and when I offered to make sandwiches he sweetly replied with a “yes, please” and then “thank you mom”.

He was friendly, and helpful.
He used his manners.
He was mature.

All the things we hope to see in our kids.

But a curious thought crossed my mind…(I like curious thoughts. I like to challenge myself and ask hard questions and look at things objectively.)

“This is what I’ve been hoping for. But have I parented for what I really want?”

Friendly, helpful, kind and mature are wonderful things, don’t get me wrong.

But my thought was on the deeper aspects.

Have I at all parented in a way that has taught him to please me? Or have I parented in a way that has allowed him to make genuine choices based on something more than what others think of him or how they’ll respond to him?

I do think I’ve worked hard at parenting in a way that does not make it his responsibility to meet my needs or please me or others.

But I haven’t been perfect by any means.

And that was the curious thought.

We all hope our children will behavebut do we really want children who do what they’re told without questioning and examining for themselves if it feels right to them?

We all hope our children will be kind….but do we want to raise people-pleaser who are fake in order to be accepted or generous in order to manipulate?

We all hope our children will make good choicesbut do we want them being told what those choices are when that is the exact opposite of making a good choice for oneself?

Is what I’m creating what I REALLY hope to see?

(I remember having a conversation with a dad once when he told his 12 year old daughter to not resist his wishes. It brought up some discomfort within me and I asked if he really wanted her to learn never to resist what a man tells her to do, and how she can learn to set those boundaries without being allowed to resist the most trustworthy man of her life. It was an interesting convo that left us all thinking. The best kind.)

I’ll admit, as much as I’ve tried to quell my own parenting expectations and base my relationship with my child on honor and respect for his innate spirit and autonomy, I still get trapped in the ideas of “molding” a child.

Heck, even “modeling” for a child could be seen as manipulative if we’re doing something not because it is based on our values and who WE want to be, but based on who we want our children to become.

That’s not how I want to parent.

I choose to consciously parent based on relationship.

In a relationship, I don’t act phony to get the other person to do something. In a relationship, I don’t correct their behaviors. In a healthy relationship, I don’t make it someone else’s job to meet my needs.

In a relationship, I connect with the person, strive to understand their needs, share my own needs and come together to make us both happy and safe.

I have at times been a terrible partner in this relationship.

I have made it his responsibility to make me happy.

Or his responsibility to worry what others might think (of me!).

Thankfully I’ve also taken steps back to look at hard questions like these, to correct my own behavior – not based on what I want him to do or become, but based on who *I* want to be and how I want to love others. And all of this has made me an expert at apologizing. 😉

After I was examining all these thoughts yesterday, I was editing Naomi Aldort’s interview for the Organic Parenting e-course (coming next month!) and loved how serendipitously she talks about the guilt we can experience as parents.

It was a sweet little reminder to myself that it’s okay to not be a perfect human being, but to just continue doing my work as a person right along side this incredible person I have had the honor of sharing the last 13 years with.

Yes, I’m the mom of a teenager.

And it’s bittersweet, challenging, FUN (oh my goodness, he’s so much fun!), and curious all at once.

He shows me what I get to examine and I show him how to be a full human being and love and forgive yourself anyway.

My child IS amazing. He’s kind and considerate and helpful. And thankfully, I don’t think I had much to do with that. 😉

Psst! This is just a friendly reminder….

The registration for the Organic Parenting e-course will open on September 3.

But Organic Tribe members get it free.

Along with over $1,000 worth of other goodies.

The price for the Organic Tribe rises on Sept 1, so join today!

Scenes from the Organic Parenting e-course with Sara Janssen

August is already a busy month in our world. First Justin’s birthday, then Zeb’s, then our anniversary. And then our normal life of a busy coaching practice, traveling the country, exploring, and managing several other websites.

And then I decided to launch my Organic Parenting e-course in September.

Which pretty much assured I’d be slammed and knee-deep with a jam-packed schedule of tweaks, edits, interviews, emails, images, website changes, contributors lists, creativity…you get the idea. Projects are big, yo.

But I’m very pleased to say I’m rockin’ it. 😉

And making space to take entire days off. And eat. And sleep.

I’m the queen of crazy, massive productivity.

Part of my work this week has been to make the final edits to some of interviews from the contributors. One of those being the always lovely Sara Janssen.

We recorded this a few months ago when her newest bebe, Emma, was only three weeks old, and I absolutely LOVED watching it all over again.

So I made a little teaser to show you some fun points and Aha-moment-makers:

More To Come!

I have contributions in or coming in from SO MANY incredible people: Naomi Aldort, Peter Gray Phd, Brad Yates, Tiffani Bearup, Pixie Campbell, Denise Andrade and on and on.

Wanna know more?

Stay in the loop here and you also get some free goodies from me.

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