One of the most common traits of people who suffer from pelvic pain syndrome is perfectionism. (I use the phrase pelvic pain syndrome as a blanket description for syndromes such as vulvodynia, interstitial cystitis, irritable bowel syndrome, vulvar vestibulitis, pelvic floor dysfunction, and others.) We are often perfectionists, overachievers, overly responsible, and burn-the-candle-at-both-ends people.
Though I must take a pause here to say that the labels aren’t really that important. They just help us see how we are being in the world right now—not how we are doomed to exist forever.
I’ve certainly written many a blog post about my own inner perfectionist. She can be quite sneaky and often shows up, unbeknownst to me, with her perfection agenda in hand. It’s turned into a game to catch her in the act and refuse to follow her plans.
I have noticed a trend with clients, and even in random emails from blog readers, so I’d like to alert you to your inner perfectionist too. I have a hunch she plays havoc in your lives sometimes, and even more specifically, in your application of the mind-body tools.
Here’s what I keep seeing: people who think they need to do the mind-body tools enough, right, more often, better, with more gusto, every day of the week, for four hours a day, until they drop dead of boredom, etc. In other words, perfectly. In other words, some other way than the way that they are doing them.
This is not true! This is your sneaky perfectionist popping in and playing games with you. The mind-body tools are flexible and capable. You do not have to do them for very long, or very much at all for them to work. They are powerful. If you spent only a few minutes a day on them they’ll work. In fact, you can overdo them, because as soon as you start putting pressure on yourself to do more, better, etc., you create more stress rather than less.
So here’s your homework for the week: just be with yourself, do nothing, rest, and breathe for two minutes each day. That’s it.
Yep. Just doing something that simple is immensely healing.
If you are doing any other mind-body tools, limit yourself to no more than forty-five minutes a day. Spend some time playing. Goof off. Relax. Laugh. Love.
It’s about loving yourself. Smile at that inner perfectionist and tell her thanks, but you’ve got this one on your own.