Have you ever noticed that whatever you’re going through at any given moment, life speaks to you with the exact message you need to hear? Whether you want the advice or not? I mean, for months now I’ve been hearing a small still voice during mediation saying, “Waking up at 5am would be helpful to your writing career.” To which I keep responding with a resounding, “Nope.” (OK. I managed to wake up at 7:45 this morning. And I only hit snooze once so if that’s not progress I don’t know what is!)
This week, I went to a friend’s house to do a reading of the book “Think and Grow Rich” because hey, it’s 2018 and we’re gonna grow so many money trees we’ll have our own forest. (Or mini bonsai garden. I don’t really care what it is as long as it’s growing me money.) She had a friend over and had just given her a game called “Better Me” that centers around growth and enlightenment. (I know. We really know how to get crazy.) Basically, each player draws a card which gives them a challenge or statement to explore. (I know this because I was tasked with the near impossible act of reading the ridiculously small direction card that made me question my age and possible need for reading glasses.) The first card drawn was a body card which asked for a pledge of no alcohol, sugar, or caffeine for two weeks. This card was drawn by my friend who was holding a giant glass of wine, and who’s favorite Christmas gift was a purse that held wine in a pouch and poured it out of a side nozzle. We all laughed at the poignancy of this card.
The next card that was drawn was a card that challenged us all to make a statement about what we stand for. I began to explain mine as, “using my failures and mistakes on my journey in a comedic way to make spirituality more accessible to everyone.” Which made it all the more eerie when I pulled my next card.
My friend thought this was so interesting because she had just been thinking that there could be a better way for me to re-word my purpose in a positive way. I was actually emphasizing failure in my life!
I already believe I do look at “failure” in a positive way. I know that I learn and grow each time I don’t get a role or get notes on a script. Even when I submit a writing packet and don’t get the job I am always improving my skills. I have no problem accepting that my chosen career is a journey and have made my peace with rejection. The first statement on the card, “With every mistake I learn and improve,” is my current belief system. But let’s take it one step further. Because I actually don’t like the other statements on that card. “You’re only a failure if you quit?” Well that’s still saying there is a circumstance where you ARE a failure. And with all our own negative self talk, coupled with what we hear in school and from family members, do we need any more statements affirming failure? How many more times do I have to say, “No Aunt Gertrude, I’m not married?” Or “Yes, I know my eggs are shriveling up as we speak.”
Coincidently, I started to re-listen to my audiobook of Neale Donald Walsh’s “Conversations with God” in the car. (Because L.A. traffic sucks and it takes me 55 minutes to drive about 3 and a half miles.) The first idea I heard that struck me was that God cannot start telling me his truth until I stop telling him mine. And what have I been doing every day for pretty much that last fifteen years? I’ve been telling myself and everyone else that I haven’t made it yet. That I didn’t get a part. That I’m basically a dried up old has been that hasn’t even had the chance to have been! What am I affirming in my life? What am I making my driving subconscious thought? That I’m a failure. Even though consciously I don’t believe that. I even feel proud of my efforts most of the time. Still, unconsciously I am latched on to the idea that my failure defines me. And while I do believe that trials and tribulations help you grow and expand as a person, THAT’S all they are. Trials, not FAILURES. Stepping stones to greatness. How bout that? Or experiences that constantly grow me as a person. I can change my previous statement about what I stand for to, “being a champion to people by using comedy as I go through trials and growth on my spiritual path.” (Uhh… is champion too presumptuous?) I want to inspire others to face challenges with joy and FAITH that there is a way through if we just LISTEN to God and ourselves. And hey, it’s still pretty funny when I say I’m bettering myself while simultaneously cursing out my upstairs neighbor for interrupting my meditation with his damn loud hip hop music.
Is there something in your own life that you consider a failure? Lack of a relationship? God is just saving you from an unending line of terrible douchebags until your perfect mate arrives. (From someone who has gone through a couple douchebags, uh, your welcome for saving you.) Unhappy with your job or where you’re at in life? You’re already a success! Because being able to do something like pick up a guitar and play (even if you only know one song like I do) makes you awesome and unique! You’re successful because you already have everything you need to create what you want. It just takes constant resetting of your focus from failure to fortune. From lack to luster. Find something juicy that really gets you going and make that your new mantra. I like, “I’m lavishly living a life of fortune.” Which also sounds like a weird tongue twister warm up I did in theater school. What’s yours? Hopefully something fabulous. If not, my friend has a purse full of wine she’s currently not drinking that might cheer you up. 😜
And so it is.