The perfection of nature

Sometimes emails pop into my inbox from someone I haven’t heard from for quite a while, and I’m always happy, happy to know that they are still here, still thinking of me.

It’s been a while since I’ve been in your inbox, so I hope you’re happy too.

I’ve just returned from a stroll on the beach – my happy place. And I’m determined to tap this post out, to sit with discomfort, to sit aware of distraction, aware of my procrastination tendencies when it comes to writing these emails, to sit with it, to see how it feels in my body. Hoping that by getting this awareness I will be able to stay focused. It will be interesting.

You may have guessed from my tone, my language, that this is a mindful practice.

This is Day 5 of Mindful in May, a wonderful program facilitated by Dr Elise Bialylew

I was inspired two weeks ago by the transformation in nature. Where I live, we’ve had a characteristically long dry summer which produces our ‘sunburnt country’. The pasture is dry, the residual grasses a pale gold. The only green the leaves of the native gum trees.

Then it rained. The first rain for four months. Within a week the land transformed to a vibrant fresh green as the seed, dormant in the soil for so long sprang to life.

It gave me hope that my writing was like this pasture – just needing some impetus to bring it to life again.

Along with listening to insightful interviews Elise conducts with some of the world’s leading mindfulness experts I’m reading ‘The Perfectionist’s Guide to Losing Control’ by Katherine Morgan Schafler When I find myself reaching for a pen or highlighter to mark sentences in a book I know it’s resonating. In this book Morgan Schafler identifies five types of perfectionists, encouraging readers to embrace their perfectionism. To become adaptive perfectionists rather than maladaptive perfectionists. It’s sprinkled with real life case studies with clients of hers.

If you are thinking ‘that’s not me’, think again. The fact that you are reading this suggests you are striving for vitality in life. And anyone who strives consistently is likely to have perfectionist tendencies.

Which brings me full circle to mindfulness practice. Traditional meditation practices can conjure up images of monks, sitting in what to many of us as muscle taxing postures for hours and hours in silence. I love that many authors in this space reference the paradox of mindfulness practice. Yes, it is beneficial to sit in silence and stillness, practicing awareness in the present moment. Dozens of health benefits have been documented from this practice including overcoming anxiety, lowering blood pressure, improving immunity, reducing inflammation in the body, improving memory, and protecting the brain from dementia to name just a few.  Nevertheless, we ultimately benefit ourselves and the people we connect with and serve by bringing the clarity and compassion we gain from this practice into our daily activities and work.

It’s good to be back. Thank you for encouraging me to emerge from this drought of writing.

Wishing you vitality in abundance,



  1. Heather on 5 May 2023 at 10:19 pm

    I’m grateful to read your insights Esyltt and very happy to have you back! I will be contemplating this today.

    Thank you

  2. Danielle on 7 May 2023 at 4:25 am

    Another thought-provoking and insightful article, Esyltt. The return of the green is something I always look forward to, as it means spring is here and winter is on its way. It’s the time of the year when everything in our locale comes alive; the universe feels like it comes to life for me when everything is green again . . . which is a nice analogy for writing, and getting through a writer’s or creativity block.
    Perfectionism, as much as it can drive us, can also be the thing that stands in the way of positive productivity and authentic engagement. It’s part of the reason some educators no longer refer to ‘practice makes perfect’, choosing instead to use ‘practice makes progress’ – less pressure to be perfect, and more encouragement to have a go and learn.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • Vitality with Esyltt on 12 May 2023 at 7:07 am

      I love your comments about being mindful that perfectionism doesn’t paralyse us. ‘Practice makes progress’ is a great mantra. Thank you for your generous comments. Esyltt

  3. Sylvie on 7 May 2023 at 10:54 am

    Welcome back! You have been missed Esyltt. Wonderfully insightful, as always.

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