Feng Shui For The Recovering Perfectionist!

May 17, 2014 | Creativity



Perfect is obviously a myth.  We all know that.  What we don’t always know is when “excellence” has crossed the line into “obsessive.”  If you have lived in the zone of perfectionism for quite some time- as many of us with this leaning have lived- the distinction between excellent and perfect is a foggy space, until you are knee-deep in the grip of perfection.

Do you live in fantasy more than reality? Do you find yourself always wishing you were someone else who “has it all”? Do you have problem with love, fun, or taking time off because all of these things seem very unstructured and out-of-control?

Perfectionism has a way of making the best things in life very terrifying.

Free of the deep drive for the unattainably perfect, you gain a love for adventure and freedom, uncertainty, rest, experimentation and unlimited possibility.  It is so ironic that I thought for so many years that “being perfect” was what brought all this magic to life, as though the suffering had a massive reward. I’ve not seen it work that way.  I have seen opportunities lost, money lost, days spent squirreled away at home in isolation, relationships strangled and destroyed, people hurt and lives almost lost… but I haven’t seen the alchemically blissful come of “perfect.”

Anaïs Nin said it best: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”

When the awfulness of being stuck in the drive for “perfect” exceeds the fear of the unknown and out-of-control… that is when real magic can happen. 

Today’s feng shui is for the recovering perfectionists… or the ones that are just realizing that they need to recover!  There is only an up-side to this equation. Perfect is so poisonous that you will be amazed at how much easier things can be without it!

What has a “need for perfect” cost you?   Doing a little math, I once added up what it was costing me to remain in perfectionism. I lost one soulmate (an equally obsessive control-freak by nature, and I am pretty sure he’d admit it freely), about 7 years of my life to recovering from the illnesses of perfectionism and its stress, about $350,000 dollars, minimally (yes, it adds up!), and time in relationships that I will never get back with people who are no longer alive.    That’s just the quick tally.

It is expensive on every level to try to be perfect.  The most valuable thing you waste is your life.  That’s a huge thing to waste.


(Picasso’s studio… not perfect!) 

Creative spaces should be imperfect.  Have you ever seen anyone actually working in an intensely organized artist’s studio? NOPE. Art doesn’t work that way.  It is OK to have an imperfect space to create.  In fact, it is OK to have a totally “imperfect” home, as long as you are feeling excellent about it!

Now, I am not saying it’s OK to live within a cyclone, but I am saying it is OK to have a home that doesn’t look like it flew from the pages of Elle Decor.  Overly-designed spaces that are designed primarily to “look good” don’t always feel good.  Keep an eye on how you feel. If you find your space demands that you keep it “perfect” (too much going on, too many things to maintain) you might want to donate some stuff, subtract from your space, and keep it more simple.

You can’t always just flip a mental switch and just “be done” with perfectionism. Even when we have broken free of the obsessive, insidiously deceptive pursuit of the perfect, there are times that the wild control habit clicks in… almost automatically.

Right now, my couches are being cleaned by lovely men who have wires everywhere, cleaning spray misting in the air, perhaps onto my floors, and cushions flying.  I felt my jaw getting tense, my eyes starting to fixate on them… I had to stop myself from standing up to micro-manage their every move.  And:  I am way way more relaxed now than I have ever been.

In highly chaotic situations, this is when the ghost of perfectionism seems to test me!  You may feel the same.

I’m very glad I am sitting here writing rather than watching every move they make as my heartbeat would rise and I woud spot the small areas they could improve upon in detail.   That was the Dana of a decade ago, and she was not fun or healthy!

You may still be haunted by moments of control-freakdome, but you can decide how to react– or not react– in these situations!

And… of course… you may need help to get free of your perfection fantasyland.  Buddhism in abundance, fabulous friends, many homeopathic healers and a giant journal, always with me, has been my formula for personal freedom from the perfection poison.  That… and taking loads of risks.   If you decide that you are spending too much time in suffering for an ideal that isn’t real, I know you will find your way out.

Here’s more… feng shui for control freaks. Big topic.  We are everywhere!

It is in the space where anything can happen- where you aren’t narrowing the field of possibility with a need to manage the moment- that truly immense awesomeness can become your reality!  xoxo Dana


101 feng shuiAnd, if you want to dive in to your own personalized feng shui in a modern, practical way, Say hello to Feng Shui 101. Its the guide I made for you to create your own personalized feng shui at home, in the office, wherever you may be… in 8 weeks. It’s not filled with strict rules or what you “must” do. Its filled with information, questions, exercises and even videos and classes to help you confidently create amazing spaces with killer feng shui and live with more flow. Learn more about the 8-week feng shui adventure & grab your copy to get started right HERE… And, as always, please let me know what happens!

1 Comment

  1. Ken

    Even the best of friends or supporters cannot tell you what to do and what’s right for you because they only experience you at a surface level. YOU on the other hand, have access to a wealth of knowing, intuition, guidance and truth. Always trust yourself first, no matter what anyone else says. Good point Dana. ” Take a step back right now”.
    Thanks for posting Dana!!
    Tons of love! Ken



  1. Embrace Mistakes & Take Risks | Words Of Wisdom | The Tao of Dana - […] I was ready to fail, I could finally get somewhere.  And, if you’ve been a perfectionist in your past…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest Posts



Share via