I screwed up! I made some mistakes while facilitating a group and caused harm.
As I told my son, it was a crash and burn moment.
I've had three such moments in my professional life, and they HURT!
In the past those experiences have caused me to put up my defenses externally and to engage in endless self-harm internally.
Twenty years ago I felt so embarrassed at the holes found out in my knowledge that I literally cut off contact with an elder professor who wanted to mentor me.
This time, thanks be to God-Is, I was able to recover and learn--to fail forward. (Thanks to Marissa Colston for this term.)
I love that it implies movement.
Failing forward isn't just mentally reviewing what you did or did not do.
Failing forward isn't just dissecting what happened with a trusted mentor/coach or loved ones.
Failing forward also requires you to FEEL all the feelings that your failure bring up in you.
When I failed a couple of weeks ago I stewed in a bunch of thoughts, but I RESISTED feeling.
I rehearsed my defense. I made the other parties wrong. I made me wrong. I defended myself. I criticized them. I attacked myself, etc.
After a couple of days, I started to notice the chemicals flooding my body when I had these thoughts.
I noticed that I couldn't hold tree pose in yoga when I kept replaying the situation.
My balance was off when my mind went there.
I resolved to only talk about it with my coach--to stop THINKING.
My coach helped to shift me to learning rather than defending.
That helped shift me to what I could do differently next time.
But during my next yoga class, while lying on the ground in wind removing pose, another insight came.
A critical error that exacerbated everything else.
Good to know.
But not enough.
When I got home, I finally let myself FEEL my feelings.
For 90 seconds. A few times.
Then I practiced my Black Girl Style Ho'oponopono.
I caressed my hands and arms while saying the phrases to myself and to the group.
"I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you."
I finally "got" the learning. I failed forward.
Here's what I know and must confront every time: I am a FEELING being. Mental processes can help, but real integrated learning and peace come when we FEEL and forgive ourselves and others.
Do you want to hear more or try it out?
Go here to this interview with Lisa Graustein where I walk her through what I call Feel Flow.
Peace and love,
P.S.--If you know that feelings are a key piece of the puzzle and want to go further, join us for My Grandmother's Hands discussion group on Oct. 10. We will focus on Chapter 2. Get more info here.