My cousin, his wife, and I are all on similar paths of growth and self-improvement. We periodically have Skype calls to catch up and share spiritual resources (books, videos, etc.). One particular call, I asked how my cousin was doing, and he said he had taken a break from all the self-improvement for a while. My first thought was, “can you do that?” Then I realized I need that!
I Need a Break!
That conversation shone a light on the fact that I had become obsessed with self-improvement. Every weekend instead of just enjoying my time off, I read all I could, scouring the internet for the magical keys to fixing me all at once. It was tiring, and I felt exhausted. It had also started to taint my enjoyment of discovering something new that I could use in my life to be a better person.
Self-Improvement is a Good Practice
Changing things about myself that I don’t like has always been a priority for me. I believe that spiritual growth and enlightenment are the keys to a better life experience, better relationships, and more happiness and contentment. But as I sometimes do, I had taken things too far. You hear the phrase, “everything in moderation,” and it applies here also. Finding the balance between mindfulness and overdoing it is essential, so you don’t get burned out.
Enjoying Life Without Having to Fix Myself Constantly
This past weekend, I spent two hours reading a fictional novel from one of my favorite authors. It had nothing to do with self-improvement, and it felt great! I also love getting caught up in a trashy movie and forgetting all about my stress, my character flaws, and finding new ways to improve my life. It is lovely to back off a little and let the love of spiritual enlightenment find me when I am ready. Every moment of my free time does not have to be about improving myself. I don’t need to add that guilt to the already massive pile.
Life Under a Microscope is Not Good
Way too often I spend a lot of time obsessing about every little aspect of my life and how to change it, fix it and make it better. It feels pretty darned good to stop micro-managing how things are going and just coast for a while. I have my whole life to continue on my spiritual path. However, I do keep up with my daily routine of multiple meditation sessions, but I am not so pinpoint focused on fixing myself that I miss the journey. I am just enjoying my life right now, and it feels really good. I even think my mindfulness has improved since I stopped trying so hard.
If you feel like you have gotten too deep into the “fixing mode” or are obsessing about self-improvement, take a break as I am doing. Just put a little space between you and your goals so you can breathe easier. I sometimes find that I make improvements easier when I am not even trying!