Recommended reading: permission to punt perfection
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 at 01:03PM

My neighbor (and friend from the "olden days" -- you know, high school) Shanna Haun has taken all of her amazing mojo, juju & talent and put it all down on paper in her new book Healthy Heart and Mind: It's ALL A Practice. See she's a yoga guru (er, I mean a Registered Yoga Teacher) as well as a generally super healthy kind of a gal, and guess what? Even she isn't perfect!

(And for those "Playing Big" readers of mine: Shanna has completely and totally found her calling -- lucky girl -- AND she's Playing Big, big time!)

Here's my take on her book and exactly why I love it:

It is the hardest thing about being a mom, a wife, and just a woman in general: accepting life is not perfect. I’m not the perfect mom, I don’t have perfect kids, and on top of that I can’t even force myself to eat perfectly, let alone have the perfect body. But our society still promotes this happily-ever-after goal of the family in the Colgate toothpaste commercial: really white teeth, super shiny hair and absolutely no yelling. And that’s what we aspire to. 

But, author Shanna Haun has given women the gift of permission in her book, Healthy Heart and Mind: It’s ALL a Practice. And I say permission because guess what? Shanna isn’t letting you off the hook. It isn’t a throw-caution-to-the-wind carpe diem let’s hold hands and sing Kumbaya tale of women surrendering to their bodies and their lives. Instead, it is permission to dive into the sometimes scary, always challenging pursuit of better health and fitness. And to do it one small change at a time, and to not be perfect, and to fall and to get back up and to have hope that you can feel better and live better, no matter where you are starting from. And permission to start today.

Shanna’s transparent take on the tale of her childhood, family and imperfect road to becoming a personal trainer and registered yoga teacher makes you feel like your own personal story has character. My childhood, my struggles, my story is no longer the reason I can’t do this, but instead the reason I can. And the honest and thoughtful stories of Shanna’s students confirm that – if they can do it then I can do it, too.

In sharing her plan of eating, her go-to snacks and favorite healthy products, Shanna makes this healthy life doable in an every-single-day-kind of way. She tells readers that she doesn’t prescribe her plan of eating to anyone, but shares it simply because people are curious. I like that – because I am one of those nosey people! On the first day I started the book I read about Shanna’s lunch salads and I adopted the same for my own lunches. Now, more than a week later, I am getting loads more veggies than I did two weeks ago and it was just one small change. “No big life overhauls here,” Shanna likes to remind the reader regularly.

Perfect does not exist. Practice is highly achievable!” is Shanna’s mantra. It turns my life into a Colgate toothpaste commercial overnight, simply by changing the goal. Instead of the white teeth, shiny hair, perfect mom goal, now I simply engage in living a healthier life, with self-loving efforts everyday – and that my friend is success!


Article originally appeared on raspberry prairie (
See website for complete article licensing information.