The shackles of perfectionism

Oh my goodness - There is so much stuff out there in the interweb that seems to sell perfectionism, isn’t there? I was sitting down over the weekend with a bunch of ladies that came to a meditation and mindfulness workshop I was doing and was reminded of that.

One of the conversations was about instagram and facebook and how there are sooooo many seemingly perfect people on there, selling perfect bodies, perfect families, perfect jobs, perfect food, perfect everything.

Seeing that, even as a casual observer, it can be so easy to feel “less than” - that you’re somehow failing because your life isn’t like those you see around you.

But the fact is it's mostly a front, a great illusion presented for likes and popularity and business.

It can also be so easy to be really hard on yourself when you focus on all those things you think you did wrong - and your mind is excellent at that, by the way. It will focus on the 30 minutes of your day that was a nightmare and completely forget how great you were and how straightforward the day was for the other 23 hours and 30 minutes.

Our minds focus on what is wrong with us so easily, and it causes regret and guilt and a whole world of blah and self-violence.

So I say give up perfectionism, and comparison too. Throw it away. Give it a big kick.

That you’re still reading this means you want to be better —and that is all that counts.

You want to learn skills to be more calm and less reactive. To get that half-step back from what you’ve done, from what you’ve think you’ve done.

You want to be reminded that you are MORE than enough. You are down-right amazing, actually - it’s just you are always the last to see it.

So give yourself a break. Give yourself a pat on that back.

You are already better just wanting to be better.

You are already better just knowing that you are a little harsh, that you react sometimes.

True. Without seeing that habit, you have no choice, you can't do anything about it. So do give yourself that pat on the back, you're already well on the way to beating that voice.

So, when you notice that critical voice coming up, know that you’re leaving it behind. No matter how many times it comes, bring your attention to something else. The breath, deep into your belly, slowly exhaling out. The Ascension Attitudes are genius too at breaking that habit of perfectionism and self-violence.

Don’t let that voice win, with consistency you will be better.

You ARE more than enough, and there’s even more to come.

How wonderful!

If I can help? Please just ask.

Go well today, have a great day! Arjuna

PS. Giving up my own voice of perfectionism and over the top criticism has been quite a journey, it really has.

“I will get better” was/is an amazing attitude to take about all of life. Then you never give up.

Here’s some free tools that I put together for you:


Surviving your own family

So how was your Easter? Thought I’d say hi — I don’t have any message for you, nothing about rebirth, new starts, choosing to hit the reset button and begin again any time you like. Nothing like that. You can take something from that list if you like though, for sure!

I had a couple of days with extended family, just enjoying life. Nice to switch off and do nothing but read a book and chat and go for a walk (and a kayak - although cold, that’s always a joy!) and cook and hang out.

You know, I believe the ability to tune into this precise moment in time and to make the very most of what is in front of you — no matter what that may be — could be one of the most important skills you can ever develop.

To stop dwelling on a past that is gone and a future that is beyond your control, and to thrive now, independent of the circumstances you find yourself in — rather than surviving until your life looks the way you want it to is rare, very rare.

Where this becomes relevant to Easter, is family time. For some, family time together just means you get a bit edgy, tempers start to fray, arguments start or resurface - at the very least.

Amazing how family, like no one else, can poke and prod you and create such a reaction and emotion, isn’t it? So many people ask me about this.

You can’t choose your family, for sure, and so if you need to take time out from them for your own sanity, well I for one think that is a great idea.

What you CAN do, however, is simply love them exactly as they are. A lot of us try and change our partners and our family to a huge degree, and that is always a recipe for disaster — in my opinion.

Accepting and allowing goes a long way with family (with anyone actually) — and means YOU have a peaceful life. Instead of fighting and insisting they are a particular way, you stop struggling and can make the most of who they are.

Perhaps that means you don’t spend a lot of time with them. But for sure, loving them exactly as they are means you spend a ton less energy and time getting upset with them - and that is always the bottom line: you’re setting up your life so that you always enjoy this moment, and the people in it, to the maximum.

How can I enjoy this moment more?

If you find yourself a bit miserable, then so often the answer is to get out of the past and the future and make the most of what you do have, instead of insisting of what you should have.

It's a practice - you have to practice this. You can't just turn it on any more than I can just balance on my nose without practicing. OK?

And there is more to it than that, but for a cheeky blog that will suffice.

For a short “hello”, turns out I had something to say after all. How about that? Wonders never cease, do they?

You’re awesome, thank you for reading, and if there’s anything I can do for you, let me know. Go well! Arjuna

PS. Of course, having the tools to be present, the tools that bring you to a state of enjoyment is super, super useful. Here's my free guide to how to be more present, less stressed and to freely choose to enjoy this moment, no matter what:


Get rid of that harsh inner voice

OK - negativity sucks, and especially when it comes from within your own head.

I know this for sure, because I’ve suffered from it, and I’ve talked to a lot of people about it - it doesn’t matter who you are and what you’ve achieved in the past, your own head is your worst, nastiest critic. Nothing is good enough.

There is nothing more demoralising, nothing more hard work than living with a mind that is telling you what a loser you are.

Sometimes you would not talk to a dog the way you talk to yourself. If you could hear your internal dialogue coming out of someone else’s mouth? You’d be shocked. And all for what?

Because you made a mistake? Because you slipped up? Because you want to do something better?

What to do about it?

Alrighty - I have a little challenge for you. Something I’ve been getting the guys in the mindfulness Facebook group to play with (click here to join), and I thought I’d tell you too.

24 hours long is the challenge. For these 24 hours you will:

Assume there is no wrong.

It'll require that you actively watch your mind for what it tells you. Simply reframe - there is no wrong, there is simply something you needed to learn. If so, what did you learn?

Great - draw a line under it, begin again. Hit the reset button.

Got it? Get going there, let me know if you have any questions.

Go well!



The answer is always at the bottom isn’t it?

Give the above a shot first, I want you to see something. Then come back to this …

You’re going to see that you can reframe anything. You can choose your attitude on everything that you do or that happens to you.

You don’t like it? OK - is this proof that you’ve got it wrong, AGAIN? Or can you focus on what you have learnt? What you will do differently?

Completely different approach, completely different inner “sense” isn’t it? One is harming and draining, the other supporting and encouraging - and all through your choice.

Good work - keep choosing!


Want the low down on the mindfulness awareness challenge, complete with Facebook page where I set homework like this?


A tip to help you stop struggling

I’ve recently been asking what people struggle with -

Specifically about meditation and ending stress and just being happy,

But what I found out applies to any struggle in any part of your life.

I have a fair idea about the meditation struggles, but helping people get EXACTLY what they need is something crucial, no?

The clearer I can be about what you need, the more useful my whole mission becomes.

In the asking, it’s obvious -

And its only obvious because I used to do this myself, a lot -

One of the biggest problems you have is your own judgements about yourself -

What you’re doing wrong, how you messed up again, let someone down, let yourself down.

You know?

Everyone wants to do good and not do bad.

Yet that distinction is not that helpful.

You do "bad" and then feel bad.

It’s not motivating, it’s easier to say “I’m useless” and give up trying.

You get into that cycle of stop / start / stop - “what’s the point?”

Everyone does stuff bad - everyone makes mistakes - sometimes constantly.

Given what you say you want -

WHATEVER that maybe -

Close your eyes more, eat better, move more, be more appreciative and considerate to your partner …

It helps to consider that some choices you make are simply “unskilled”

These choices aren’t giving you what you say you want -


If you are “unskilled” then you can definitely get more skilled, right?

It becomes a straight forward matter of practicing the right things.

Sometimes you have to ask an expert what these right things are.

(Expert: an intimidating word that simply means someone who has made all the mistakes - and learned from them - so you don’t have to)

But once you set in place a small plan to do things just a little bit better than yesterday …

A little bit better, and a little bit better -

(who cares if progress is “only” a tiny amount? Do it regularly and it adds up to something sweet!)

The result is you start to feel pretty darn good about yourself.

Because everyone feels best when they feel like they’re improving.

And so much better than good/bad, right/wrong, great/useless …

Removing right and wrong from the equation takes the pressure off, cuts the self-judgement and all that stuff.


So have a little think about reframing good/bad to skilled/unskilled -

“How can I do this better?”

Be careful how you define yourself -

And THAT will require being aware of how you think about yourself -

Which meditation is (partially) all about

So - if you have any questions about this, just ask -

I’d love to help.

Otherwise, go well!



If you’d like to get started on learning the best meditation techniques on the planet for becoming more aware?

Here’s a free guide that will get you up and running, super quick: