I WOKE UP LIKE THIS.
I’m not sure if THIS is what Beyonce meant when she said “I Woke Up Like This”. Because I woke up really messy. The kind where your first thought is “where am I” and the second is “what just happened” and the third is “I'm late”.
Not exactly the Monday morning I had envisioned for myself. But I am learning, lately, to expect nothing and be prepared for everything.
Messy is not knowing what you are doing (check).
Messy is not careful. It is being who you are before you have a chance to consider the consequences (check).
Messy is always being late (double check).
Messy is real time and sometimes dangerous (check and yikes).
And if I am being honest. It’s not just this moment that is messy for me. It is my whole situation. THIS is not the curated and tidy life I had envisioned for myself. Not by a long shot. Divorced. No kids. Overcommitted. Out of balance. On paper, this is messy.
And when I find myself in one of these moments, I start to take inventory of everything that is messy. I go back and do a thorough messy audit just to bolster my story or not good enough.
But I don’t think it is the mess itself that causes the suffering. It is HOW we feel about the mess that breaks us down. I don’t like how messy makes me feel like I don’t have it all together. Or how messy might imply to others that I am not smart enough, prepared enough, resilient enough (etc) to “handle” my circumstances. Or how messy might mean that I’m failing at life (boom). It is the shame of being messy and imperfect that is killing us.
But what if messy were a state of mind? What if being FLAWLESS was owning your mess and standing in it with perfect contentment. Take Pigpen, for example, from the Peanuts gang. Despite the mess that is constantly swirling around him, he never walks with shame. In fact, he might be the character that is most consistently happy…mess and all.
So our practice today (on AND off the mat) is this - To stand proud in the knowing that THIS is real and honest. To wake up amidst the unexpected and imperfect and be grateful for all that it is teaching you. To LOVE the mess. And to “not go back and try to make some of the details pretty” but “to move forward to make the whole more beautiful” (Thank you, Terri St. Cloud). I'm pretty sure THIS is what they call "self-love".
And to quote Schulz (great cartoonist and philosopher) “The world needs messy people. Otherwise, neat people would take over”.
Well, alright then.
A recent study at University of Minnesota found that messiness fosters creativity and innovation. That’s right. Learning how to operate in the mess actually increases your capacity to think out of the box and problem solve. In this same study, they found that tidiness has a purpose too and lends towards tradition and conventionality.
Case in point: Albert Einstien was notorious for being messy.