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  • Writer's pictureJosie Coco

Let failure be your guide

Day 261/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.

"There's no such thing as can't, it's an abbreviation for can try." That is one axiom that I have to thank my mother for. There was no talk of failure. It was a simple truism that I took to heart and that held me in good stead for the following decades.

What my mother was saying is, don't give up before you even start. It's fair to say that she drove us pretty darn hard and then expected perfection. So the idea of not even starting was never considered.

That aside I leaned into this wisdom often as I took on projects, started new businesses, applied for jobs beyond my capacity, and so much more.

Failure has never featured as a word in my lexicon.

Sarah speaks to those who followed a path that was not their authentic calling as happens, or used to happen often with women not that long ago as they joined their husbands in marriage. Not so very long ago women weren't even able to continue working after marriage. It was as recent as the 1960's here in Australia that women were permitted to continue to work in the public service once married. Today's women would find that abhorrent.

So what do you make of failure? A google search brings lots of wisdom around this topic.

For myself, failure, or more rightly, hurdles along the way, brought curiosity, learning, wisdom, new choices and decisions, revision of goals and aspirations, systems and functions, and determination.

When things weren't working out as planned, there was an opportunity for revision. Looking closely into all aspects of that thing that wasn't working might take time, and energy, and commitment and new learning, but it never deflated me. In fact it challenged me.

Our psyche is driven by all sorts of apparently conflicting notions. I'm guessing my determination not to fail was driven by the idea of proving that I WAS good enough, in spite of never feeling good enough. These sorts of conflicting inner stories can play havoc with progress, that's for certain.

Here's what I have also discovered. As I follow my authentic calling, there is no way I can fail. It is so inherently me, who I am at the very core, that everything I do is fully in alignment. Now I'm guessing that I will learn along the way, modifying and fine tuning. Yet with being so authentically driven, it seems impossible for any great catastrophe to occur that would feel like I've failed.

Remember that Edison is said to have made 10,000 experiments before he perfected the electric light bulb.

Let failure be a guide showing you where you need to pay more attention.


Simple Abundance

366 days Towards Self-Mastery

When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)

I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.

As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.

My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?

I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.

Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.

This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.


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