Do you ever wonder if you could have done better?
Maybe you said an unkind word to your mother. Ignored a colleague who was grieving. Or dropped out of learning a musical instrument.
There are many ways to fail. Probably as many as the number of grains of sand on a beach.
But what if the events you regard as failures are not evidence that you fell short.
What if you are always. Without exception. Even when you’re flailing around like a kite in a whirlwind. Doing the best you can?
You are always doing your best.
Now you might think; “Blah, blah…I’ve heard that sentiment before and it doesn’t make sense. Human being do some really crappy things.”
I get it. Human beings can and do mess things up big time. I’ve reflected on my own behavior many times and came to the conclusion that I should have behaved with more kindness or common sense.
But here’s where it gets interesting.
What constitutes a failure for one person is considered a success for another. So what this points to is that failure is a matter of perception.
But changing the way you view your actions is not about manipulating the way you see things to let yourself off the hook.
Transforming what you perceive as a failure is much more liberating than that.
To illustrate, I’m going to turn to the nautilus. A soft bodied shell fish.
When you cut a nautilus shell cut in half you’ll see that its spiral shell is composed of a series small enclosed chambers.
The nautilus doesn’t begin life with a full set of chambers and fully formed shell. It begins with just one. One small space that it lives in.
Then it goes about making a life. It noses around on the bottom of the ocean. Finds food and generally makes the most of its lot, given the space it inhabits.
And periodically it seals off the space it’s been living in so that it can move into bigger shinier space. One that is more open to the ocean that flows food, oxygen and light. All the good stuff.
As I marveled at the architecture of the nautilus shell. It dawned on me that the way a nautilus moves; from a smaller chamber to the next larger one, mirrors how human beings move through life always doing their best. No matter if it looks like they are screwing things up or making huge a success.
This is how my thinking went…Moment to moment human beings only ever act according to the level of consciousness they inhabit at that time. If they are at the beginning the learning curve of living consciously, their behavior reflects a beginners mind set.
They believe that their happiness comes from the circumstances they live in. And tend to defend or justify their behavior in the belief that their world view is real and right, and other peoples views are wrong.
On the other hand. When human beings occupy higher levels of consciousness they understand that their peace and wellbeing live inside them. They are generally comfortable in their own skin and take things less personally. And as a result act with greater wisdom and clarity, and end up enjoying life.
So the question is; how do you move from one level of consciousness to a higher one?
The humble nautilus gives us a clue.
Each time the nautilus seals off a chamber it encloses a pocket of gas. More chambers = more enclosed pockets of gas = a greater capacity to float.
The greater the number of sealed chambers the nautilus has, the easier it is to get around and manoever where it wants to go.
What this points to is – the more you reslove events from the past – the more you’ll move into your next higher level of consciousness. Making you more buoyant. Happier, wiser and more peaceful.
Here are a couple of ways to seal your past in ways that elevate and enlighten you:
- Gently drop judging your yourself, others and the world. Consider instead that failures are no different from successes. They are both a reflection of the level of understanding you have, at the time, about who you really are and how life works.
- Stop trying to become a better you, or create a better life, by digging into your past to heal it. Healing is a natural consequence of increasing your level of consciousnes. At higher levels you access the energy of unconditional love – the ultimate healing agent – and see things from a fresh perspective that makes difficult experiences and prompts compassion and forgiveness.
- Let go trying to fix yourself. Keep looking in the direction of the Truth: that at your core you are whole and complete. This inward contemplation begins to nourish your body and life with fresh possibilities.
- Keep moving in the direction of what calls to you. Even if this movement generates feelings of vulnerability and confusion. The evolution of you and your life is always in the direction of the unknown.
A moment of failure is a hidden nugget in disguise. An opportunity to move beyond a mis-step and float to your next level of consciousness. To enjoy the flow of iridescent light and wisdom in learning as you go, and deepen your appreciation of life.
On Saturday November, 12th I’m leading a half day retreat in Corvallis, OR. It’s an opportunity to fall into the flow of Grace available in every moment. For details and to register click here.
Are you approaching the end of 2016 with a feeling of dissatisfaction or dis-ease?
There’s a difference between living your life repeating the past and living from the inspiration of your highest potential.
When you live out of your past you encounter the same obstacles and frustrations over and over.
If you want to discover the difference of living in the freedom of your full potential. Connected to your innate health, well being and creativity. I’d love to hear from you. Click here and we’ll find a time for a chat.
We’ll explore what’s holding you back and how to move forward anchored in authenticity and inspiration. I’ll offer suggestions for change and if working together makes sense, we can talk about that too.
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Love this!! It takes a lot of pressure off knowing we’re just doing the best we can. Of course we are!
I love what you’re pointing to, Denise. Exactly! The pressure releases and we shift into a higher level of understanding and humanity.
Thanks Fiona! I love this. It’s so easy to beat on myself when I perceive that I’ve done something “wrong.” But that is the way we learn. Get the lesson and do it differently next time!
Hi Lori, Thank you. And the beautiful thing is that when we drop judging – we discover that we are innate learners. The so called lesson is not something we need to stress and work at. Our understanding is a consequence of dropping the judgment.