Mindfulness Blog #4
Welcome to week three! So this week’s topic may seem like a downer - FAILURE but it is so not. Somehow failure has become something I now value immensely - it’s what helps me grow and become better in all areas of my life. If you listen to the podcast you know I ask the question: “How do you get through failure?” to all of my guests. I ask this because I feel so strongly that it is such an important component of living and putting yourself out there in the world. How do you get back up from disappointment and keep going? I think about my own mistakes a ton. Do you? I've made them and continue to make them continually and used to have such a hard time getting over whatever thing it was I massively messed up. Many times I've thought, I'll just quit my business, give up when things get overwhelming. Sometimes it truly feels like I'm messing up more than I am figuring anything out, especially right now as we juggle this unprecedented Covid situation.
One reason I love knitting is that it allows me to practice failure. Yes, PRACTICE failing! When I accept my knitting failures, fix them and move on, working through obstacles with mindfulness and grace -- it gives me a kind of practice at failing and moving through those small bumps. It also gives me confidence that I can hit turbulence in other areas of my life and still be okay. It emboldens me to step into challenges from parenting to Quickbooks with confidence - knowing that if I fail, I will overcome and be okay. Failure is part of my journey, but all of ours, I think and certainly all of our knitting journeys - ha!
This week, next time you come upon a challenge, knitting or otherwise, I encourage you to stop and look it dead in the eye, acknowledge it as part of your personal growing journey. Sometimes this will mean checking in with your body (check out RAIN—Tara Brach’s practice for this). Sometimes this will mean allowing yourself to feel your frustration. It’s hard, this is hard, but you can do hard things! Or as as a coaster on my desk says, "Let that sh*t go".
I want to share this one quote from Glennon Doyle I saw over on her instagram a while back that really got me thinking about this.
"My secret is that I forgive myself relentlessly. Just relentlessly. It annoys people how freely and relentlessly I forgive myself. The truth is that I just don't understand living any other way. Shame is so self indulgent and power zapping. It leaves us useless. To ourselves, to our people, to the world. Self flagellation is not a badge of honor. It doesn't make us worthy. It just makes us - kind of a drag. And it takes us out of the game. Who has time? What are we doing here, if not learning and growing and trying again? Why can't we do that with some lightness and tenderness and humor? Who we were last year last hour last minute- it's gone. We are new! Let us begin again."
WHEW that is gold right?! I just love that she's putting the focus on getting back up, growing, learning, evolving in a better version of yourself. It’s not easy to self-forgive but I encourage you to try releasing some self-criticism and shame if you tend to hold onto things. I also want to leave you with another quote from Elizabeth Gilbert from her book Big Magic. She says, "Failure has a function. It asks you if you want to go on making things." It's so good! If you're anything like me, making things is just part of who I am. I would still do it if I failed forever at it because I can't not do it. I love creating kooky yarns, knitting, and running a small business. Most of all I love feeling like I am creating the life I want, exactly as I want it to be. Sure, I have a seriously long way to go but I love feeling that I'm on the right path. Does that idea resonate with you? Does this post help you cope at all? How do you normally think about and cope with failure? Would love to hear your thoughts.