I remember the first time I flew on an airplane by myself. I was about twelve. One of the stewardesses (no, they weren’t flight attendants yet) gave me a set of captain’s wings. I also remember watching her walk away and thinking, “I’d rather have a pair of those high heels she’s wearing.”
Maybe that’s why Liz Gilbert’s comment to Mario Forleo when she was promoting her new book on creativity, Big Magic, made me laugh out loud.
“Perfectionism is a serial killer. It goes around killing joy, spontaneity, wonder, grace, humility. I call perfectionism fear in high-heeled shoes.”
Fear in high-heeled shoes indeed. It’s true.
I’ve worked with several authors over the years of my practice, and the ones who are stuck, are most often caught in a form of perfectionism. They’ll tell me they have to edit as they go along, or else they’ll miss the perfect word to describe something. Or they’ll say they have to get the intro perfect before they can write the book. Of note, those caught in perfectionism usually give it away by using the word perfect somewhere in their excuses.
There’s no doubt in my mind, Beloved, that high-heeled shoes are fabulous, but the fear they mask is not. Next time you’re feeling the urge to be perfect, put on your high-heeled shoes, crank the music, and dance perfectionism right out of your project and your life.
Life is a practice, not a perfect, Beloved.
Seeds XVIII, 11
We’ve all been there. We don’t like going there but we all do—every once in a while.
But it’s not an objective, opposite-of-heaven sort of place. It’s what Elle Woods, leading lady of Legally Blonde calls her “personal circle of hell.” [italics mine]
Ohhhh, I hear you thinking.
Yep. The ones we create for ourselves.
Statesman Winston Churchill has some stellar advice for those personal circle of hell situations. He said,
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
Recognize it. Doff your hat. Say hello to your regulars, and keep going, Beloved. Don’t buy an apartment. Don’t pull up a chair. Don’t set a spell. Keep going.
Because for sure no one’s hell is limitless. If you keep going, eventually you’ll get out of hell, and most probably, onto some sort of neutral ground that’s a transition to a much better place.
Seeds XVIII, 10
There are 20 letters in this word—it might be the longest Seed word to date! Regardless, I liked it for the promise it offers all of us.
First, this is how you say it: (pol-ee-fi-luh-pro-JEN-uh-tiv)
And this is the adjective’s meaning: Extremely prolific. Other words: fecund, fertile, luxurious, abundant, overflowing, lots and lots and lots.
Etymologically, it comes from Latin:
poly- = many
philo- = loving
progenitive = producing offspring comes from …
pro- = toward
gignere = to beget
The earliest documented use of the word was in 1919, in a poem by T.S. Eliot. I have no idea what poet Eliot was on about, but this word, to me, is about our (humanity’s) creative capacity.
We’re extremely prolific—polyphiloprogenitive—when we let ourselves be. And the word itself tells us how: be loving of many.
Seeds XVIII, 9