Permission to Fail

What if we grew up in a world where we were told it was alright to fail? Oh the possibilities and life lessons that would arise. We would be a society of adventurers and optimists never worrying about what others thought or being embarrassed.

lynnhotyoga

I ventured to Lynn’s Baptiste class at noon today. Sorry I cut off your face, Lynn, but I want to get the message out that this is a class to attend. After working all morning, I wanted movement, and Lynn’s class was just what I needed.

The messages that flow from yoga can be life-changing if we let them in. Today in tree pose, Lynn basically gave us permission to fail. She wanted us to flow, rise, and bend enough in this pose so that we fell over. This threw me off a bit, and at first I had a hard time getting into the pose. But then I reached down to form my foundation and lifted up stretching my tree toward the ceiling. It felt good, so I reached back further and then a little more, surprised by how far back I was able to go. I kept reaching. Then I fell over.

I went back into it, but kept couldn’t get my balance. It didn’t feel like failure, because Lynn was there. She said it was alright to fall over. It happens to everyone, but what happens internally is what gets us. We become self-conscious, angry with ourselves, and often don’t try again. Who wants to embarrass themselves in front of everyone else by falling?

But as Lynn said, what would happen if you laughed and went back into it? What would happen if instead of putting yourself down, you showed compassion for you? If my friend fell over, I wouldn’t call her a yogi fail, I would encourage her to try again. So why is it so hard for us to do that for ourselves?

I’m glad I ‘failed’ today, because I went deeper into the pose than I ever do. That was the purpose. Through that failure, I found success. I found compassion for me.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail?

What would happen if you tried something and did fail? How would you show yourself compassion? Think about a time when someone you loved failed, write down what you did or said to them.

What have you learned from your failures?

I learned today that laughter is the best way to get me back into a pose. Don’t take myself so seriously and go with the flow. After all, we are like the oak tree. We may bend, but we won’t break.

Wake up your Soul

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Even as a baby, Moana knew her path.

Last night I forced my husband to watch the Disney movie, Moana, with me. I watched a professional soccer game with him after, but I think I probably had the better deal as I enjoyed both very much! Moana is about a young woman whose duty is to lead her people on an island that they can never leave. Even as her feet have led her toward the water as a baby, her father has gently steered her back to what he deems the ‘safe’ path. But she is continually drawn the sea, and in truth the sea has chosen her for a different, grander destiny. Even as a toddler, she knows this.

Moana fights the harder path until her grandmother dies and the island is unable to produce food. Sometimes it takes tragedy or extreme circumstances to wake us up to our soul’s purpose. But it’s also Moana’s gut feeling that there is more for her to do. She is confused and pulled in different directions.

moana on island disney

Using our intuition or that gut feeling to help us track the right path is a skill that has been diminished in our modern time. It’s easier to follow the path of least resistance, because it is comfortable. Moana could have accepted her position, but eventually her people would have run out of food and her soul, that calling, would have died. They all would have. So she is forced to fulfill her soul’s true purpose. By doing this she also helps Maui find his and saves her people and her island. Further, she blossoms into who she truly is meant to be.

Other people, our fears, doubts, and our blocks prevent us from fulling connecting to our purpose. If we remove that block and carry it beside us if we aren’t ready to let it go, at least we can see where we are heading. Sometimes identifying those blocks can be the hardest part.

Not everyone is meant to save the world or make colossal change. But when we don’t follow our path, fulfill those dreams that call to us every night, a little less light is shone on the world. We need everyone’s light, whether it’s to hold someone’s hand when they are afraid or someone to do the surgery on that hand.

Through tragedy, I was pushed to form a foundation. I could have let the opportunity go, but when I have seen what has come of it, I know it was the right path. Sometimes I am pulled toward two different paths. Where the foundation that helps children battle cancer is my mission, writing novels for all ages is my passion. It’s like a life pulse that increases as I do it. It’s like getting goose bumps or that bubbly feeling in your stomach that reminds you how alive you can feel.

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Moana basking in her light.

Both my mission and my passion bring hope and compassion to others, empathy and love. Writing and connecting with those in pain is my Moana.

What drives you, makes your pulse quicken, gives you goose bumps, and that feeling of bubbling happiness? What is your purpose, your calling? Where does your light shine? If you don’t know, then how do you want your light to shine? What blocks are stopping you?

Life is too short to stay rooted on your path or venture aimlessly down the one that doesn’t serve you. One step at a time you will find your light.