What's something in your life
that turned out better because it failed?
Failure is a loaded word. For so many people, it implies that what failed is the person, not the project or the process of other particulars that were out of your control. Banks fail. Crops fail. Efforts, behaviors and outcomes fail. People do not.
I don't believe in failure. I believe in living life courageously, making mistakes and learning to do things differently. I think shit happens, plans change and new directions are taken.
This is how it played out when I owned a dance studio along the north Oregon coast for a year. For nine months, my friend, Elia and I did everything we could think of for the studio to be a success. And when I say success I mean that enough money was made to keep the doors open so we could continue offering ecstatic dance classes to our community. Our efforts failed and the studio closed after the year's lease ended, but we didn't consider ourselves failures. We were disappointed that the vision we had for this space ended up being different than its reality, but to have made this dream of ours come true in 2008 even if it was for a short time (opening a new business that year might have been one of those particulars), made us happy and gave us many opportunities to learn about ourselves and what we really wanted to be doing.
The truth was...neither of us wanted to own or run a dance studio. We wanted to facilitate classes and we wanted to dance. It was my truth then. It remains true now.
Had the studio not failed, perhaps I'd still be living in Oregon and not Hawaii. Had the studio not failed, perhaps I wouldn't have created Beach Dance. Had the studio not failed, perhaps I wouldn't be leading retreats.
I shudder to think of all these things that are in my life now that perhaps wouldn't be if the studio had been successful. And when I say shudder, it's not just the thought of being in the cold, gray Pacific Northwest weather that makes my body shake - it's this thought: What would my life be like now if I had thought I was the failure?
We are not failures. We are successes who make mistakes and who become better if we want to.
Becoming better is becoming more of who we really are and being who we really are is what living courageously is all about. A bit of courage is needed during Uninhibited...so shit can happen, plans change and new directions are taken.
Calling all scarecrows, tin men and lions for the next courageous adventure that begins exactly eight weeks from today.