The illustrious Tallulah Bankhead needs no introduction, and I loved what she had to say about mistakes. Presumably she said this toward the end of her life.
If I had to live my life again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.
It’s become a commonplace to hear, “No mistakes,” as a reassurance when things look like they’re not going our way, or the way we think we want them to go. Except, think on this for a minute. Aren’t the “mistakes” you’ve made in your life the places where you’ve made vital changes? Aren’t mistakes a form of mid-course correction? Sure, some are costlier than others, but so?
When I mis-take something, I tend to think of it as taking something that doesn’t, for whatever reason, belong to me. I wouldn’t mind having made some of my mis-takes earlier, would you?
Seeds XVIII, 26
Creativity guru and consultant Mark Nepo makes a good recommendation in these words. Consider this:
You must meet the outer world with your inner world or existence will crush you.
This idea explains the phenomenon of burn-out which afflicts so many activists. Myrtle Fillmore (co-founder of Unity) used to say that for every hour you spent interacting with people, you should spend two in prayer.
Nurturing your inner world is key to interacting with the outer world. Key, critical, vital, requisite, necessary. But our world is set up to keep us interacting with its outer aspects despite the fact that they deplete our stores of energy and inner resources.
The next time you feel out of sorts, cranky, crabby or like your skin doesn’t fit, stop. Consider your life. Have you spent enough time caring for your inner world? If not, schedule a quiet, me day, and give yourself back the gift of your Self.
Seeds XVIII, 25
British novelist Fay Weldon characterizes the process of creation so beautifully with these words. Consider this:
Nothing happens and nothing happens and then … everything happens!
Oh, wow. Doesn’t that just about say it all? You’re creating something new, and it feels like nothingnothingnothingnothing! is happening, until that magical tipping point when it all tumbles into place.
As I write this, I’m in a HUGE transition having just moved across the country—again, and probably for the final time. (At least, I hope I’ve learned my lesson—if I need to get away from my life, take a suitcase, not everything!) Anyway, I’m putting down roots in a new way, opening my practice in a new way, looking to create all sorts of new community and relationships. And it feels like nothing is happening, and I want to run away.
But remember this, Beloved (as I did this morning). Everything important in our world is created in the dark when it looks like nothing’s happening. A baby, a carrot, a panther. When it looks like nothing’s happening, remember that it’s a stop along the way to everything happening! And go spend some quality time in the dark.
Seeds XVIII, 24