Tag Archives: Failure

Awareness of Living: The Fs and the Big P

Wings Black Large by blangtv

Juicy f-words.

As I go through my life, creating, writing and developing ideas willy nilly, I was reminded by today’s Daily OM of a word I have come to accept – failure.

If we accept society’s narrow definition and use of the the words, “success” and “failure” we have one chance in every endeavor we attempt to be happy. If things don’t go the way we planned then it’s a failure. End of story, right?

Consciously I have redefined “success” for myself. Like my Body’s Way of moving, success is specific to what I want out of life. Interestingly, by redefining of “success” I didn’t alter my definition of “failure” at all. My definition of “failure” has evolved on it’s own.

Discomfort and Failure are signs of growth. If I’m not uncomfortable I’m probably not learning anything. If I haven’t failed, I certainly haven’t learned anything. From all the Ds and Fs I got in school until college, I should know everything!

Failure, Fear and Fight-or-Flight – my amygdala (the primal, instinctive part of the brain that kicks in when we’re “threatened”) couldn’t tell the difference for far too long.

During my movement practice out in the sumptuous spring morning, I found myself devoid of inspiration. Spine-pulsing, pleasure-sparking, joy-eliciting music and I found myself wandering aimlessly around my deck. At the time I thought to myself “mmm, ok, I’m not responding to the music the way I think I should, so just listen. Be with the music. Be in the music. Be part of the music.”

In retrospect (gotta love hindsight), I know now that I was running on a low hum of adrenaline. As much as I enjoyed dancing outside, I couldn’t truly be in the experience – I was uncomfortable and not comfortable with being uncomfortable. Snowball building…

Dancing with fear and failure is a release for me. I’ve stopped attempting to chase the fear away. Instead I invite fear to tell me its story. What brought it to me this time? Is its presence a new story or an old one? Is the story true? The most important aspect of this experience is not the process but the understanding that in being with fear I am no longer present. I have allowed myself to leave my body and get distracted by stories of the future created by my mind.

In terms of choreography I got nothin’ so that could be considered a failure. I didn’t get anything I can use for movement patterns by doing. In the being, I received information about myself and what I’m doing to develop choreography. Doing, doing and doing more doesn’t ever guarantee cool, fresh movement patterns. As often as not, it is while I’m just sitting and listening to the music that will bring something new. Being. Not a finished product, but honest inspiration.

Awareness gives me wings.

Fear is only a creation of my mind pulling my presence out from under me. Failure no longer troubles me. With its new definition as ‘an indication that it is time to stop DO-ing and BE’. It’s coming in through the back door. With this fresh awareness, why not begin my personal movement practice – or any movement practice with BE-ing?!

Wings, baby!

Photo from banglatv.ca

The “W” Word

When we last spoke, we were on the precipice of opportunity…

An opportunity to explore the much feared wrong-being; mistake-making; failure-doing. Otherwise known as the opportunity to learn new stuff.

The opportunity might be that as humans, we are wrong possibly more than we’re right – that is simply a state of our existence.

As young children we don’t give a fig about being wrong. We ask tons and tons of questions all the time. I never talked so much as I did when my children were little! When kids get into school other kids don’t tell them they’re wrong, they tell them they’re stupid. That’s a little different, but it’s a start on our way to wrongaphobia or atychiphobia, the fear of failure.

As we grow up the color drains from our lives and experiences and decisions become black and white, right or wrong and the only answers are yes or no. It also becomes less socially acceptable to ask questions. So, we’re kind of screwed: we can’t ask questions when we don’t know something but we also can’t be wrong.

I would wager a very large sum of money I don’t even have that everybody who reads this or anything like it would agree that the idea is ludicrous. So now what?

Now, will you forgive yourself for being wrong? Even if others do not?

Will you ask questions so that you continue to learn and grow?

Will you forgive others for being wrong and give them the room to learn for themselves?

Telling someone something they don’t know doesn’t really help them much, unless they’re about to step on a live mine. Making it “easier” for someone doesn’t make anything easier. They don’t have he information through the experience or the muscle memory.  Unless you’re willing to be with them for every second of every day, this might not be such a great idea.

Are you willing to stand up and be wrong?

I’ve heard it alot, “I’m willing to be wrong” – not so. “I’m willing to be wrong about stuff I know I know” is what has been proven in behavior.  Assumption? Not exactly, but the line is a bit blurry.  “I have no ego.”  My knee jerk response is then how did you get out of bed this morning?!

At first, coming out of the wrong closet smacked the hell out of my ego. And it felt pretty lousy (it still does when it involves someone with whom I am not comfortable and safe). It was tempting to retreat into habitual behavior. Let’s not. After a time or two, it loses it’s sting and I found I could regain “normal” function much more quickly!

So! Ready.