Mellow Mummy: Perfectshun – Permission To Be Human by Teejay Dowe : Taking life as it comes...

Sunday 21 August 2011

Perfectshun – Permission To Be Human by Teejay Dowe

Perfectsun Permission to Be Human is a book by Teejay Dowe, a life coach and motivational speaker. I'm not normally one for self-help books but the marketing material for the book seemed to say a lot of sensible things which rang very true for me and the drivers behind my 'Mellow Mummy' approach to life. Take for instance this quote from Teejay about the pressures on modern mums to be perfect;

"It’s so easy for any of us to get caught up in the trap of trying to be all things to all people, especially if you are a modern mum attempting to have it all, do it all and be it all!  Ladies is this you?
  • Got to look my best at all time

  • Have the perfect house even if that means getting up super early to get the house work done

  • Have the perfect kids, must make sure they have it all

  • Must stay in shape

  • Be the perfect wife – efficient, organised, taking care of everyone’s needs

  • Must be sexy

  • Must have the best job

  • Be the best at my job

  • Must be liked by the people I work with

  • Must be in control

  • Must be sociable and have lots of friends

I’m exhausted just writing it let alone doing it all! Stop! Take a step back and realise how crazy it is to put that kind of pressure on yourself. Instead be kind to yourself by not expecting the impossible of yourself."

I can't deny that almost every single one of those applies to me BUT that I'm surprised at how many mums around me really do try and achieve all of those things.

Teejay's book, Permission to Be Human is a series of observations about the pressures we put ourselves under and patterns of human behaviour that put us in the place we are – striving for a perfection we can't humanly meet.

"It’s time, now, to stop beating yourself up for something that is not even possible to achieve and instead celebrate being human and embrace all that that means. Set your own standards, discover or re-discover your emotions and be the most Amazing person you can be.”
says TeeJay.

I found the book to have some pretty useful exercises that did make me evaluate my role as a working mum. I think that the chapter “So what Do You Really Want” was perhaps the most useful as it helped me to focus on my own goals, not on the imposed goals that life seems to set us.

In general, I found the book itself lacked focus though. There were some really interesting anecdotes from Teejay's own fascinating life and from some of her life-coaching clients but I felt these could have been more effectively turned into concise and powerful case studies. The book contains loads of different ways in which Teejay tries to highlight what is wrong with society and with the way we regard ourselves but even though I know there were several examples of how to avoid life's pressures, I didn't feel like it came to any strong conclusions on how to combat the causes of the problems. I finished the book wanting more direction on where to go next.

Despite this, I'm grateful to Teejay for putting into words many of the things I think and feel every day. People, especially busy mums, expect too much of themselves (and too much of others). Life doesn't NEED to be stressful, we make it so. Perfectshun Permission to be Human documents some effective techniques for finding the right life balance, a sense of purpose and fulfilment.

Perfectshun Permission to be human is available from ecademy press for £14.99

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