Mindfulness Matters

Mindfulness Matters

Contemplating How Regret and Perfectionism Keep Us Stuck

834F8DF60A7A4128A473642C13A7AC05.ashxI’ve been thinking a lot about regret, stuckness, and perfectionism leading up to my Kripalu workshop that starts on Sunday. Regret is a variant of stuckness. We are locked into the past, replaying a loop of a past event, usually where we have done something we perceive as wrong, shameful, or, well, regrettable. Perfectionism is another variation of being stuck. Here, we are trying to control  the future by making it just so. The pressure to be perfect can actually lead to procrastination, a particularly vexing form of stuckness.


I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The bad news first. We are bound by rules, stories, and agendas that we are unaware of. These have been conditioned over a lifetime and do not always correspond to reality. As Jonathan Gottschall says in his book, The Storytelling Animal, these stories are more “truthy” than true. The good news is that we can revised these stories. We can detect their presence through mindfulness and meditation and liberate ourselves from them through methods such as Story Art. It takes a lot of practice, though, to disabuse ourselves of this very old and very entrenched habit of believing our stories.


If we could somehow drop all the storytelling activity and just dwell in the moment we would know what the Buddha called Nirvana. Of course, we can’t drop it for more than a moment, perhaps, but the more we practice the more of these moments will occur.

If you missed it, I wrote a piece of perfectionism called “Perfectly Imperfect” for Beliefnet and this is currently featured on the Beliefnet homepage. I was also featured in an article on Getting Unstuck for the Thrive Kripalu blog site.


Not sure if I will be posting when I am at Kripalu, so I’ll look forward to seeing you there or when I return.



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–Beliefnet piece on perfectionism:
–Article I was quoted on getting unstuck:
–Arnie on Mindfulness videos:

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