For compulsive perfectionistas, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that excellence equates to perfection. It doesn’t. That’s one of the (many) things I love about the work of Don Miguel Ruiz. In his bestselling The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, A Toltec Wisdom Book, the agreement most pertinent to this discussion is “Always do your best.” This agreement plants the whole of his work firmly in the physical world we inhabit.
I love Don Miguel’s gentleness. In his new book, The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery, he recaps the first four agreements. For this one he says, in part, “Your best is, in fact, the only thing you can do.” Maintaining the intention to do your best means that one day when you are battling an allergy, your best will look different than on a day when you are feeling well rested and not suffering from the pollen count or cat hairs in your nose.
Embodying excellence implies it’s in your bones. It means giving yourself fully to what is square in front of you, doing whatever you need to do with a level of mindfulness and care that turns everyday actions into moving meditations. This refers to making the soup or mowing the lawn or walking the dog as well as writing the blog post or being with clients.
Embodying excellence is in fact the daily practice that helps you traverse the Write Synergies Path to Owning Your Greatness. Embodying excellence is also related to Don Miguel’s “Always do your best,” in that both imply the daily, even moment-to-moment practice. Like writing, like doing scales on a musical instrument, the intention to embody excellence is in itself a practice that builds mindfulness. We get better at the important things by choosing what they are and then practicing.
Just about a year ago, I had the great privilege to spend an extended several days in a sacred vessel called Magnify Your Excellence, a weekend workshop convened by Judith Sherven and Jim Sniechowski. My time with these master wisdom teachers changed everything, opened up doors and windows I didn’t even know were there. During that time and after, we occupied a space of truly standing in all the power and immense beauty of our deepest authentic selves, abundant with gifts to offer our communities.
Your excellence? It’s you. It’s your presence in the moment. It’s bringing your shiny highest and best self to the party every moment you can possibly wake up and remember to do it. It is the process and practice of consciousness and mindfulness in all you do. And in doing this, you will be owning your greatness — whether you write a word or not.
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