“… my mother used to always say: ‘Done is better than good.” This quote is from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic – a how-to guide to building a life of creativity. In 2015, I was reading this book just as Homegrown Yoga was opening and Freida was two years old – I was running myself into the ground with one yoga studio in Macon, a new one opening in Warner Robins and still trying to figure out this whole mom thing. And you know what I had written to myself in the margin of the book? “Even better is – done and perfect.” I look at that note now and understand why I felt as though I was constantly gasping for air.
Fast forward 4 years, and I think I now understand that Elizabeth Gilbert’s mom had it figured out. The desire to have things perfect is still in me – point out a typo in one of our social media posts and I cringe. Watch my reaction when Mindbody is slow and a line of people are waiting to sign in for class. And yet I’m making choices every day (as uncomfortable as they may be at first) to put things out there even when I feel as though they could be better. I could edit and re-edit these letters 100 times, but I write them and send them out at the beginning of each month. Take a peek in the “Employee Room” at the studio and see what it looks like. Or even better, come to my house and see the craziness of Legos, yoga mats, Barbies, dog toys and business receipts stacked up and scattered around. And yet, we have created in these imperfect spaces an amazing community and an extremely happy life. Why? Because done is better than good.
As we get ready to open our second studio in Perry this month, I feel my “done and perfect” ego rearing its ugly head again. And yet I know in my heart and my gut that the mistakes and imperfections that will surely be a part of this process are far outweighed by the power of opening our doors and putting ourselves out there. As Elizabeth Gilbert so beautifully explains:
I think my mother understood this radical notion — that mere completion is a rather honorable achievement in its own right. What’s more, it’s a rare one. Because the truth of the matter is, most people don’t finish things! Look around you, the evidence is everywhere. People don’t finish. They begin ambitious projects with the best of intentions, but then they get stuck in a mire of insecurity and doubt and hairsplitting… and they stop.
So if you can just complete something — merely complete it! — you’re already miles ahead of the pack, right there.
You may want your work to be perfect, in other words; I just want mine to be finished.
Please keep your eyes open for all the information on our new location opening in the Perry’s Art Center on October 21st! And I urge you too to take Elizabeth Gilbert’s advice to heart: you don’t have to be perfect to take a class at the studio. Show up, get on your mat and stay through a practice – because done is always better than good.