We recently attended a holiday performance of a dance group my son was part of.
There were a total of 20 10-year-olds on stage. They were pensive, shy and modest. Having only rehearsed for a few weeks, all was new to them.
The insecurity was palpable as they looked at (looked for?) one another before, during and after they completed their routine.
There were arms and legs everywhere as these children pranced across the stage. They giggled nervously when they dropped their props, but went right back to doing their thing.
At one point, the routine required 2 groups of children, on opposite sides of the stage to skip and glide (bounce?) sideways, arms in the air, crossing one another.
I was just glad no one crashed into each other!
These brave children, bless them, did their best to mimic what their teacher was trying to teach. But, I would not say they were ready to officially audition to be an opening act to any show.
Clearly, this was more of a family style get together “show” for the parents, than an audience-ready polished routine for Broadway.
Despite how it turned out, all the parents (and I mean every single one) were ultra proud of their children.
The performers received standing ovations and even whistles from the crowd.
After leaving the performance, I reflected on my very different dance training experience when I was a child. I was trained rather stringently. Performing, for me, was all about perfection.
Yet, as I am now older, and have had this very loving experience of watching this performance, I come full circle.
I am seeing the perfection in the imperfect.
I have learned so much from watching the courage of these children. This performance experience for my child, and others, was clearly not about getting everything exact.
Among my lessons were: allowing, accepting and being present to what is.
Perfection is not about being perfect.
Sure, they were not at all what I would consider performance ready, but they went on anyway.
They had fun, and enjoyed themselves even despite the imperfection of their routine. They didn’t let insecurity stop them. They embraced their fears and mistakes, nonetheless.
And the crowd absolutely loved it, and loved them, even more.
How supported they must feel to have that kind of backing!
Despite their imperfection, the performance was perfect, just as it was.
The moment was perfect as dotting parents watched their kid do their thing with heart, and joy, and big bright smiles.
Imperfection is perfect because it leads me from where I am now to where I am next. Imperfection is the process of my becoming.
The lesson here, I have come to realize, is that I need to learn from these magnificent kids and embrace my process of being also.
There is perfection in everything we do in life because we are always in process.
And rather than expecting my living to look a certain way, I shall live more presence, and thus, more life, into the experience of being alive.
Releasing my attachments to perfection, and letting go of judgement for how it “should” be or “should” look, I realize how we, human beings as works progress, often mistakenly label moments in our life, rather than being present and awake to the sacred process that is happening through us: life.
Our labels, for example:
- “Good days vs bad days”
- “We had a great time...”
- “It was a terrible experience...”
Each of these proclamations lead us to judge our experiences. From there, we live out what we claim, and our subsequent experiences are clouded by good and bad.
No longer do we stay present to possibility, we’ve doomed ourselves to the decision we have already made about whether we will enjoy the experience, or not.
When we stop to really look at each moment in our lives, we will realize that whatever is at the moment, is perfect.
It is perfect because we are in process, progressing to evolve our beingness in every moment.
When we step back and get over ourselves (release our attachments, expectations and judgements) we can then learn to be with what is, seeing the perfection in every moment of life.
In doing so, we allow ourselves the gift of possibility and become open to the positive unfolding of our sweet, sweet life.