It’s Friday morning as I write this and I should be in preparation mode, getting ready for a workshop I was supposed to facilitate that would have started at 2 PM this afternoon and run through Sunday.
My financial plan, when I left Corporate to run my own business was based primarily on these workshops.
I over-estimated a few things and under-estimated some others and the combination has left me with zero participants. This workshop was rescheduled from June, which was rescheduled from May because I was in the same situation.
If I separate the various voices in my head and start to analyze what’s happening, I could come to multiple conclusions:
My Business Executive says I didn’t plan well enough in advance, my pipeline wasn’t full, I hadn’t talked to enough people. In short, I hadn’t worked at it hard enough.
My Spiritual Adviser simply says it wasn’t meant to be.
My Self-critic is screaming that I’ll never be successful - three workshops scheduled with no participation - I should give up.
My internal Life Coach is asking what I’m learning from this so I can change my approach next time.
Failure can be challenging: it can be a lesson, data and information or a chance to do things differently. It can also be demoralizing, dis-heartening and depressing.
The truth is I don’t feel any of the above.
I feel content and strong, empowered, thankful and blessed.
I feel this way because I’m actively choosing to feel this way. I’ve been reading Deepak Chopra’s 7 Laws of Spiritual Success and in Law 3, The Law of Karma, Deepak emphasizes being “aware of the choices we make in every moment.” (pg. 39)
Here is what my present moment looks like:
I’m sitting at my kitchen table. My beautiful dog is curled in a ball on the couch sleeping after our 1-hour walk. I’m typing this message to an audience I wholeheartedly love and believe in. I’m doing what I want to do, which is to teach people to live confidently; in this instance, it’s in blog form.
Here’s what I’m not doing, at 10:52 AM on Friday morning:
I’m not praying for the weekend to come or psyching myself up to make it through the last few hours of my work week. I’m not worried about what other people think of what I wore to work. I’m not re-living the hellish meeting I had on Tuesday, or dreading my inbox of emails. I’m not worried about when I’ll squeeze in all of the “life” stuff in the middle of all of my “work” stuff. I know all of these things very well, it was my life just 3 short months ago.
As I type this, I have no money coming in from my business, the thing I planned, hoped, prayed and worked for isn’t happening the way I imagined.
Yet, at this moment, I’m smiling as I type because I’m not flustered about it one bit.
I will have other moments where another voice will pop up and be very loud and I’ll give her 90 seconds to say her piece because it's good to get it out of my head and heart. Then I’ll go back to appreciation for my current moment and the bliss of the custom-fit life that I am building.
In this moment, let me tell you where you are:
You are alive
You are breathing
You have the gift of eyesight
You have the skills to read
You have the means to buy whatever electronic equipment you are using to read this
You are beautiful, just as you are
You have made choices that brought you to what you are doing in this moment.
Deepak reminds us that “Fish don’t try to swim, they just swim. Flowers don’t try to bloom, they bloom.” (pg. 53) We are all a part of that same nature. We can chose to fight our place in life or just accept that today, in this moment, this is what it looks like and be assured, that above all creatures, we were given the capacity to make the next moment different.
Take Action: When things get complicated and overwhelming it’s very simple to spout all of the “bad” stuff in your life. Make sure you also take a moment to recognize the other half of that bad; the choices you’ve made and the ability to respond to those decisions by making another choice. My Mom always used to say, “Lani Catherine, count your blessings”. It took me a very long time to realize this is great advice.
The benefit? When you take a moment to balance your life equation - you’ll realize the goodness that exists right alongside of the icky. One of the timeless truths you’ll hear from many teachers is that what you focus on expands. Focus on the goodness and guess what you get? More goodness.