How to extract the wisdom, opportunities and benefits from difficult experiences.
We’ve all heard the truism that it’s not how many times we fall down that matters, it’s how many times we get up. (And the other one about getting back on the horse.) Which is all good sense and we know they’re right, but it ain’t easy.
In fact, speaking for myself, I’m thinking of creating a business card that says, ‘Failure Expert’ because I seem to have a knack for screwing things up. I’m not sure that I would attract many willing clients, but perhaps if we all made a study of our ‘failures’, we’d be better able to transform our challenging situations.
If you've been following my writing and journey, you know that I'm pretty interested in the Law of Polarity – the fact that our universe is an expression of complementary opposites. Years ago, in my early 20s, I started to teach Creative Writing workshops, and without having a very deep understanding of polarity at that time, I was teaching it!
In the process, I coined an expression – 'Self-As-Team' – that fits in with everything I'm doing today. Here's a quick overview:
When I returned from Bali with my swollen, churning belly, I didn't have the energy for anything but reading; it so happened that the page I was up to in my Demartini book delivered some profound insights that stopped me in my tracks. (Synchronicity yet again!)
I shared these insights about how I was speaking the language of desperation ('have to', 'need to', 'must') in relation to my business in my previous blog, and that this emotional state of desperation had undermined my immune system. In the weeks since then, as I've continued to butt up against the issue of my apparent 'business failure', I've had more realisations that I hope will serve you as well.
or – 'From Desperation to Inspiration'
Our first week in Bali was divine - sunshine, villa right on the beach, friendly people, fascinating customs, tropical landscape, delicious food… and then the diarrhoea hit. Okay, I won't go into much more detail! Suffice to say I spent the second week feeling increasingly ordinary, lacking in appetite or downright nauseous. By the last few days I was really ready to return home but even that didn't set things right. I was constantly exhausted. By midday I was usually in bed for a two or three hour deep sleep, and I seemed to only manage to achieve one or two simple tasks per day. My legs were leaden and it was an effort to just move around. By the second week I had a little more energy but was constantly bloated. No matter what I ate or didn't, I would blow up like a whale. I was feeling physically revolting, and that was making me feel depressed and negative.
Having so little energy I did the only thing I could do: I read.
Mother's Day last Sunday reminded me of an article I wrote years ago about my children and the antics they were getting up to. As my youngest have just turned 18, I'm entering a whole new era now. I was a very focused mother – we home-educated as well, hence the Nina character, so mothering has always been a huge part of my life. I've also been very entrepreneurial and so never expected any empty nest syndrome at all; I was quite taken aback by a temporary feeling of purposelessness when the girls turned 18. It was almost as if my 'raison d'être' was complete.
My twin daughters turned 18 last week and eagerly headed off for their driver's license test. One passed and one failed.
This is a much more confronting experience than when a single child fails – aside from the obvious comparison issues, there is the difficulty of celebrating for the one who passes (because she doesn't want to make her twin feel bad), and the inner conflict for the one who fails: part of her wants to congratulate her twin and the other part is feeling envy, misery, embarrassment...
It's Anti-Bullying Day and kids are being asked to wear orange as a sign that they won't stand for bullying. I wonder, though, if what's really being promoted is Anti-Bullies Day, since the majority of public opinion seems to be on the side of the 'victims'?
I'm more in favour of Let's Get Conscious Day… Particularly that we get conscious of universal laws and how bullying fits into them. Because upsetting as bullying can be, it's not a sign that things are broken and dysfunctional; there's actually a 'hidden order' at work…
A Creativity course led by an art teacher makes us think about drawing and painting and pottery types of creativity, but in its broadest sense, creativity is about creating anything, including one's life – as my new Mastery Club Trainee Facilitator, Joan Marie, recently reminded me! (Which is kind of funny, since one of The Mastery Club characters is the art teacher, Ms Mackie, who directly draws the link between sculpting and creating one's dream life...)
Joan is an accomplished artist and an art teacher in Missouri, USA. We've been in touch via email over the last few years since our paths crossed due to the Next Top Author competition and Joan wrote to me expressing her delight over The Mastery Club and her desire to teach it. Well, having conceived of her Creativity Course, she figured this was the perfect match – and then brought me up to speed!
This week I'm posting a blog that TMC fan Elaine Stoeckel kindly sent me with the line, 'Wonder when we'll get THIS sort of straight talking in Australian Schools?'
It turns out to be a radio announcer's sample of what he would love to hear a school principal declare at the start of the year. I agree! Dennis Prager rejects political correctness in a powerful statement that is very worth reading – let me know what you think.
I was recently contacted by a new author who has had a rather frustrating experience since publishing her first book, and so thought I'd share some of her story in the spirit of 'Buyer Beware – Publishing Traps for the Unwary'.
This highly qualified writer – she's a PhD and lecturer in literature – was inspired to write a book on self-esteem for youth, and when finding a publisher seemed too difficult, she signed up with what is known in the industry as a 'vanity press'.
My daughter has been recovering from a very unpleasant biking accident that left her with some pretty severe tyre burn. Naturally we both turned our minds to the question, 'Why? Where is the hidden order?'
To help us find a meaningful answer, I read her a segment out of Way of the Wealthy - 7 Financial Laws & Universal Principles That Will Transform Your Life by Tim Marlowe and Jim Hanna.
A businessman is feeling suicidal after his business is hijacked by his manager, leaving him literally locked out of the premises and robbing him of some $250,000.00 of assets, as well as his employees and clients.
If you've seen the movie, The Help, you'll recognise the phrase, "You is kind, you is smart, you is important" as the greeting that black maid Aibileen gives each day to her young white charge.
As a young mother, Aibileen's own son was put in someone else's care while she went out to work, and then, in the prime of his life, he is killed in a workplace accident. But instead of drowning in resentment, she lavishes her love and blessings upon the daughter of her indifferent and sometimes cruel employers.
Those of you who have heard me speak know that the process I’ve been through since writing The Mastery Club has been quite transformational. I went from a place where my family was in breakdown and I had effectively given up on my dreams as a writer to having a renewed and much stronger family and realising some of my dearest dreams.
The journey I have been on since I first began jotting ideas for The Hidden Order has been extraordinary – confronting – intense – unsettling, and it has honestly transformed my life – again! But before I share that, I’d like to go back in time so you can understand why and how I embarked on this journey in the first place.