Those who follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram know what the previous weeks have been like. Kind of a “normal” moving time with its ups and downs. It has been exciting, challenging, joyful, stressful, mind-opening, tiring, overwhelming, hair pulling, funny, refreshing… all combined with a body and mental detox.
Yet, even though the emotions were, and at times still are, all over the place, it was a rather smooth transition. I still don’t feel it’s over though. The main aspects are all done but we don’t feeling quite home yet. But I would be fooling myself by thinking we should be, it takes more than 3 months.
But I’m getting a bit off topic here. After all, I sat down with the intention to do a book review for this blog!
But it kind of goes hand in hand with my approach to this move. How come? Because I wanted to do things differently this time around!
You know, I often lose myself during a move, drop the ball on what is important for myself. And THAT was one big thing I wanted to change. I also struggled for various reasons during the previous move to Tokyo and wanted to deal with a few things that still lingered inside of me. And not to forget the critical voices that chatted away in side my mind.
I had this deep feeling that I wanted to see an emotional shift for myself with this move, too. A new start and approach in several ways.
And this is the part where the book comes in. The “The Perfection Detox – tame your inner critic, live bravely, and unleash your joy” by Petra Kolber. I stumbled across this book while we bridged some time for a pick-up. And having this inner desire that I wanted to change a few things for myself the sub-title was what caught my attention and somehow told me “buy me now”.
To be honest I’m not sure if I would have picked it up if I would have read “The perfection detox” only or at first. Because I don’t see myself as a perfectionist. Others do though…and yes grudgingly I do admit that they are right! But either way, it was time. Time to work even more on my inner critic and unleash issues that still dragged me down. And it seems perfectionism played some part in it.
But overall I see this book as a mental detox, not only perfection. And yes, I did love the book. I worked through its 21 chapters one by one over the spam of several weeks (one of the reasons why my blog got quiet, too). And I quickly noticed a shift in myself. As with all books, some things we know, they are nothing new. But it’s good to read and ponder about them. And the book encouraged and dared me to go much deeper into my personal life. The notebook I had next to me quickly filled up. It wasn’t always a comfortable process though. But change barely is, is it?
“Instead of trying desperately to control our world, as a curious explorer we embrace uncertainty!”
So while I took care about myself throughout the move with a body detox, me-time and exercise this book guided me alongside with a kind of mental detox. And I got more than I bargained for. I found it challenging and uncomfortable at times but smiled and felt encouraged during others.
The physical part is easier for me to look after, but the emotional and mental part is a different story. We pretend that we can run away from emotions and feelings, that we can burry them, put them in a drawer…but the truth is – they will eventually all catch up on you. I knew that from previous experiences but knowing and exposing us to them is a different story.
One of the biggest parts to work on was how I react and feel about some family (un)dynamics since many years now. I tried various ways in the past, putting them in a drawer and locking it up was always right up there. But at the end of the day I was kidding myself. After all, it always lingered inside of me. It pulled me down and worst of all it made me question myself and some of my actions. I realise now it was like an anker in some areas of my life. It held me in place – in a place I don’t want to be anymore!
I had worked with this area of my life throughout the year, but this book gave me the last push. I do believe that I finally reached the point that I honestly changed the way I look and feel about the family situation, instead of just pushing it all down.
Tears, selfdoubts, frustrations, resignation were all part of the process. And yes I struggled deeply because, let’s be honest, at the end of the day we all want to get along with our own family. But sometimes we can do our best, with our best intentions but it isn’t be a good fit.
We all know that we can’t change the others but what we can change is our own (re)actions to them. And I think we can all use some more reminders to be less hard on ourselves!
I keep this in mind now “With each negative thought, a blow is levelled at your heart and a piece of your self-esteem is chipped away.” And no, I don’t want others to take away my self-esteem anymore.
As you might notice this was one of the biggest areas that book helped me with, this mental detox. And while it was a long process in itself, it was the book that summed it all up as it challenged me to look into my fears, my triggers, gave guidelines on how to ground myself when I feel overwhelmed by fear, to reflect and forgive (*), to be proud, to allow imperfection.
Embracing imperfection, letting go of perfection, was another part that triggered some action here locally, too! After reading some chapters and listening to some of Petra Kolber’s podcasts I reached out to mothers at school to see if they want to join me for weekly beach-workout sessions.
Normally I would have pondered over it, looked for additional trainings, schedules and plans. Let’s say anything that would stop me from reaching out! And of course my inner critic would be talking before I even started, too.
This time around, I didn’t think about it, but simply reached out first. I took action instead of waiting. The replies we so encouraging and we now meet weekly! It gives me more exposure to teach, to create community and support the physical and as well emotionally well-being of others. Without the book, I don’t think I would have been out there yet!
Sometimes that extra push we need from inside to take action comes from inspiring outside triggers. I was actually a bit sad when I reached the end of the book but as Petra Kolbe writes “I feel less alone in my struggles” and I gained a lot for myself.
This book will stay with me for longer, I have many notes in it. Parts are underlined, and texts are marked with smileys, some happy, some sad, others tearful. Just like life!
Have you read the book? I would love to hear if you did and if it had an impact on you, too!
Find your ease wherever you are,
(*) “Forgiveness is not forgetting, or even letting people of the hook if they hurt you with their words. But it’s unhooking yourself from the negative voices of your past so that they no longer can affect your positive future.”