Real talk: How many times have you felt like a failure in the last 24 hours?
Those of you with kids... being (all at once) homeschool teachers, housewives/husbands, business people working from home, pet caretakers, responsible parents, the list goes on. How many times have you smacked your forehead today and thought: Ugh. I'm awful at this.
To my fellow business folk: When you look at your dwindling bank accounts, or hear back from an unrealistic landlord, or cup your forehead with your palm at your makeshift workspace in the kitchen surrounded by dirty dishes when you realize your entire business model isn't working. (This is the part where you drop a handful of choice expletives).
To the front-line healthcare workers out there, learning to fit new gear or retrofit gear when there aren't enough supplies. Having to make decisions about who gets a ventilator and who doesn't. Trying to comfort scared people when you're so stinking scared down to the tips of your toes. Fail. Fail. Fail.
We have got to reframe failure. And fast. Lives depend on it.
When I googled failure, the internet told me: Lack of success.
Lack of. Also known as "not having". Or missing out. Or incomplete. And when we're lacking the one thing our great nation touts as the most important trait we can claim as Americans (ahem: success)... how do we expect ourselves to feel in times like this?
That's the thing: Success is relative. And if failure is entirely dependent on success (or lack thereof), it stands to reason that if we reframe success, we reframe failure along with it.
Let's look to yoga: The entire purpose of life, according to yoga, is to self-realize. That is, experience our world through our lens of collective memories in order to help us learn about who (and what) we truly are. That's it! No fluff. No nonsense.
The purpose is not to "experience only good things that make us lots of money." It's not "experience only things that make us feel comfy cozy." Not even "experience things that bring out the best in us."
Just... experience. Without boundaries or expectations, for the sole purpose of discovering more about ourselves. When we define success as simply learning by doing, then we tint the lens through which we view all the aforementioned experiences. Our life — and the impact of this pandemic on what we thought life was — takes on a different quality.
For example, facing the reality that you won't be able to afford to have all 29 yoga teachers to teach their usual classes each week on Zoom because you weren’t prepared for a world economy shutdown; this is a lesson in compassion — for yourself as the risk taker in charge, and immense gratitude for the incredibly understanding, resilient people you've surrounded yourself with.
Or... teaching your kids algebra. While your reasoning may be wrong because you've forgotten everything you used to know from high school, your kids get to watch you step up to the plate of being something you weren't just 1 month ago... they learn determination. And you learn a little algebra as they start teaching you!
To our healthcare teams on the front lines: I can only imagine where your heads might be at. But with each passing decision you make (however gut-wrenching), you're learning on how to make more efficient decisions moving forward. You get better and better each time you act... even if the outcomes seem more gruesome. This movement toward efficiency is helping our nation learn how to deal with this virus — this is evolution in action.
As long as you're learning — wherever you're spending quarantine, you're on a path of evolution. So today, as you encounter yet another thing you would normally consider a failure, pause. Reframe the moment. See your opportunity to learn.
And if you still find that difficult to do, what about yoga? Why have you not joined us in a LIVE online yoga class yet? Did you know you can try it for free to see if you even like it? It's true: Use the promo code yogahiveonline for a 1-time 100% discount off a Drop-In Pass (with no mat rental!). This code is good through April 14th - 1 per person, please.
And if you really need to pull yourself out of a pit of self-sabatoge/misery/pity/you name it... consider being a part of our 21-day reset with yoga, meditation and inquiry called BeAbundant. Details are all below... and if you're someone who can't attend the meetings, we record everything so you can watch on your own time.
No more excuses. No more failure.
Cheers to learning, Mollie
Originally hailing from Wisconsin, Mollie is a cheesehead transplant to Northwest Montana, with degrees in Retail and Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Today, she lives off the grid, half the year in a Tiny House & half the year in a yurt — both of which she and her husband, Sean, built by hand. Nonprofit Executive Director by day, Mollie also owns and teaches at Yoga Hive — a chain of community yoga studios in the valley.