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Less proving. More living. An important lesson from my #100DayProject.

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#The100DayProject #100DaysofPaintandStraw Day 030/100

I’m 59 days in to my #100DayProject. So many insights. So many lessons. So many revelations. Here’s my favourite one so far, from Day 30…

See that blob up near the right corner? It wasn’t supposed to be there. Or, more specifically, I didn’t want it there. But I’m finding watercolours are like cats — stubborn and inquisitive and very ready to do the exact opposite of what you ask. It can be infuriating, or it can be an induction into accepting things as they are.

Like so…

I’m a pro at better-fying. Constantly. Incessantly. Self-deprecatingly (as it turns out).

I’m giving a g’bye hug to one of my favourite and most precious people, JB (who I more aptly call Brother of My Soul). We’re standing in the car park having one of those not-so-quick-last-words-before-we-really-say-goodbye conversations. I’m showing him this piece and telling him about the blob and how I didn’t want it to be there and how this process is reeeeeally challenging my controlling nature.

He giggles and says: “You know I love you, Nesh. You know I do. But you can really let go a bit more.”
To which I respond: “Fuck. More self-improvement.”

Context: We’d just had a whole conversation about self-improvement before walking down to the car park. And this whole “letting go” thing? I’ve been working on it. Long. And hard. Like, decades of “not letting go,” and then noticing that I’m “not letting go,” and then reminding myself and being reminded to relax, breathe, drop my shoulders, surrender… let go. For the love of self-help and surrender, I’ve even created a guide for “letting go.” Because, yes, it’s useful and absolutely essential if you want to cultivate peace in your heart. But I’ve spent years being ragged and feeling embarrassed and lambasting myself for being too Type A, too intense, too controlling, too anal, too perfectionistic — as if it’s a shockingly repulsive condition I need to hide under long-sleeved t-shirts and a forced sense of spontaneity that used to feel unnatural to me — and many more years trying to cure myself of it. Y’know… do better, be better, make myself all better.

Which is why, Fuck. More self-improvement.

We burst out laughing. I quiz (read: grill) him on exact, specific scenarios and instances and examples where he’s experienced me “holding on” when I could be “letting go.” You can laugh; the irony was not lost on us either. He very matter-of-factly states: “It doesn’t matter what I think. Just go with your flow.” Go with my flow. Right. Got it.


Who cares what the world thinks you should be? There are few things more important than YOU relaxing into who you are. Twitter Bird Icon: Neshika's Tweetable


I give him another hug — to say g’bye (for real this time) and I’m great.full (for conversations like these, always).

It’s become so blindingly obvious that I’ve been striving to let go of my need for control — which is in itself controlling — from a place of deficiency. As in, I’ve been coming at self-improvement with an obsession with fixing a flaw, rather than a devotion to exploring my potential.

I want to be done with self-improvement and improving on my improvement, and proving that I’ve improved. Have you noticed how much proving there is in self-improvement?

I want to be enough, NOW. Really, I just want to be me, NOW on.

Jiddu Krishnamurti said: “Freedom means no condemnation whatsoever of what you see in yourself.” Isn’t this also the most veracious definition of self-acceptance (which is in itself liberating)?

Despite the fact that I’m in the business of self-help, I will tell you right now, you are not broken or inadequate or in need of betterfication (new word). We should seek to be better — yes, of course, with our whole hearts (and our hearts are already whole; they always have been). But only if it’s to be better at being our most beautifully real selves and, in the betterment, we feel no condemnation whatsoever for who we are.



You can (yes, please do) accept who you are to be more of the best of who you are.

And so… self-acceptance.

There’s an innate gentleness in acceptance that allows room for more of you to show up. If you’re like me, then yes, we can be uptight and controlling. AND, oh look, when we’re not being uptight and controlling about improving on being less uptight and controlling, we can also be… less uptight and controlling. Easy and relaxed about our obsessiveness — which, as it turns out, I actually love about myself.

Almost everything worthwhile that I’ve ever learned or done or made has been through bursts of intense obsession, quiet focus, sheer tenacity and tender devotion.

Which brings me to an inner knowing that I’ve always known, despite years of treating myself otherwise:

There’s nothing wrong with me or lacking in me. I do not need improving. I am whole and wholly luminous. I’m a fucking supernova. While I’m not all light, all the time, my darkness always circles back to the light — and this is progress. I am a beautiful mess of contradiction — night and day, yin and yang, black and white and every hue, tint, tone and shade of colour in between — and this is natural. I am both obsessed with and devoted to being more of myself — and this is my essential inner work. It sometimes makes me intense, inconsiderate, inauthentic, insecure, insular, impatient, selfish, fierce, relentless, doubtful, anxious, agitated, uncompromising, compulsive, controlling, critical and prone to comparison — and regardless, I am worthy of all the love in the world, deserving of everything I have and everything I’m dreaming of. Some may judge or begrudge or misunderstand me, but I’m no longer interested in explaining and justifying myself. Because I know that mostly, I am good and kind and open-hearted and on-my-knees-moved-to-tears great.full — and I don’t need to prove it to anyone. At the heart of it all is this truth: I am human and divine, and the exact amount of enough in my humanity and my divinity right now — and you are too.

Did you hear me? You. Are. Too.

You are who you are. It is what it is. And that is enough.

Exactly like that blob of paint, and all paint, really.

“Paint never apologises for doing what it does or going where it goes. It never shies away from it’s true nature. It really doesn’t care how you feel about it. It won’t bend to your will, unless you are wanting to bend it in the direction it already wants to go. It knows what it is. It is what it is. And that’s what it is. If my paints could speak, I think they’d say: Know who you are. Be who you are. Because really, that is who you are. And that’s the only person you were always ever fully meant to be.”
— This is another lesson from my #100DayProject | Day 39

Less proving. More living. Let’s do that.

xo

xo Neshika

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