A series of small failures


Why focus on failures?

I’ve been thinking lately, after moving back home and into the parents’ basement, about my failures. And why I feel like such a freak. Number one failure: never being married. Number two: never having children. (Both of those failures set me apart here in Utah.)  Number three: Hmm. so many possibilities for number three. Not ever attaining the New York Times? Just after leaving Fortune, I interviewed at the Times. They wanted an entry level person. Sometimes it sucks to have so much experience. I also got a call to interview at the Wall Street Journal. I had already decided to take the ill-fated dot-com job. What a fucking failure that was.  Vice president of editorial. Whatever that meant. Oh, I remember.  Three months of a $110,000 salary, and some business cards. And some crazy memories. (Email from the dead–Dr. Benjamin Spock died before his eponymous dot-com was founded, yet somehow he sent us email from the great beyond. “I love you, Ben.”)

The organic vegetarian restaurant I started? Big fucking failure, at least financially.  You might think it still exists. We still have a web site!! http://www.naturalhighcafe.com.  My ex still hasn’t taken it down. After the restaurant officially closed in August, I heard we got a favorable review in Lonely Planet.  It made me cry. 

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/worldguide/puerto-rico/rincon/where-to-eat/1000780146?list=true

“Glowingly healthy and unadulterated enough to suit even the strictest vegans, Natural High is – much to the surprise of visiting carnivores – also rather tasty. Mixing good old-fashioned home cooking with an unusual blend of raw, organic ingredients, the dishes here are as delicious as they are different. Try the crunchy fresh salads or the fruit-infused smoothies and save the muesli-munching for another day.”

I created most of the menu, sourced the ingredients, which meant fostering relationships with the young, idealistic organic farmers in the area so that they would supply us with what we needed. I even became the chef for several months when we couldn’t afford to hire anyone else.  So much fun, and so much hard work. Heavy sigh. 

Yoga in Paradise? the outdoor yoga studio I started in Rincon? I failed it because I devoted all my energy to Natural High. Still, it was a beautiful achievement.

http://www.yogainparadise.net

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Twee Merrigan taught workshops and a teacher training intensive there. Imagine 7 of us, with Twee, on that deck overlooking the Caribbean, learning prana vinyasa flow yoga (in the style of Shiva Rea.)  It was magical. But then I got ousted from that space. (personal drama, involving me not wanting to be the mistress of one of the owners.)

What else can I dredge up?  Hmm. Partnerless, childless, jobless. Broke? The restaurant set me back financially. I kept betting, with my credit card, on its eventual success.  I’ll be paying for that for months, if not years. 

Still, I don’t regret the restaurant experience. I don’t regret the yoga experience. It was amazing.  I’m still looking for a space to teach yoga here in Utah. I’m sure it will come, eventually.

In the meantime, I’m studying with an amazing teacher, and I’ll be participating in an immersion with Dharma Mittra this month, and Shiva Rea next month, at Flow Yoga in Sugar House. I’m psyched for that. Good things are coming. I’ve written a couple of stories for Yoga Journal since I got here:

http://www.yogajournal.com/for_teachers/2651?print=1

http://www.yogajournal.com/for_teachers/2631?page=1

I’ll be writing more for them.

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2 Comments so far
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Wow, i would feel so successful to have even interviewed with the new york times or to have ever had the guts to open my own restaurant much less get an awesome review about it.

Your failures would have been my successes.

My failures? I have children that i love very much, but they have some serious issues, my teenage daughter just got out of jail and i am obviously not the best mom.
I was married, but my ex-husband beat me up, was a drunk, and ended up in jail for statutory rape–even then i didn’t leave him.

I’m sad that you are so sad about your (failures???)

Comment by jjt1

failures… well, many successes start with failures… also, it is interesting that you mention shiva rea (shiva name) and then yoga of course has a lot to do with shiva, and you may well work with shiva. shiva is the destroyer and often people who work with the shiva energy go through a lot to learn and then move on. milarepa the famous buddhist saint built and then destroyed over and over. basement of parents? sounds suspiciously like a modern yogic cave, an interesting place to be led that i have seen multiple people be led for periods. i think it is often the answer of spirit to a call of the soul to an ashram as the ashrams are limited these days. james hillman has a phrase ‘the ways of the soul are labrynthine’. until the usa has more ashrams/monasteries/etc…

personally i think that the spirit beings are having to be guided in ways to pave the way. trailblazers so to speak. i wouldn’t assume you are off track personally. many wonderful books have been written in prison and many rough paths are how the soul is developed, shaped, and smoothed. forty in the parents’ basement is more of an issue in modern america than it would be in other cultures. also of course often to awaken the soul it must be hammered over and over again. it is likely strong ego purification as well, helping you really listen to the deeper things and follow that vs. what you think you are to do to grab control in life. often the innovators have lots of fits and starts. they just assume that they are not supposed to. the ugly duckling only thought he was an ugly duckling because there were not other swans around. our culture shames the shamans and mystics and doesn’t understand them or their value. we don’t have the set up yet for swamis like they do in india nor the role of sadhus, etc…

keep digging within. keep listening. you may need to go down to go up. to let yourself further be burned up like the phoenix to be built up again. if you are not familiar with the book ‘daughter of fire’ that may be worth a read. also jerry wennstrom’s book ‘the inspired heart’ may be a rich read for you and/or you can see his film clips on youtube which may do you some good. gaia.com has a good community to share stories on at times if you are not there. you are far from alone. spirit is weaving things, but it takes time.

a basement in utah? in tibet often temples are in the darkest places. you may be in the basement in utah because you may be needed to feed the soul of utah. there comes a point for shamanic beings where you ‘follow or die’. you may be failing partially because you are trying to work like others rather than working deeper and deeper to let it arise through you. also because you are trying to be a duck when you are in fact a swan.

hopefully that is somehow useful.

om namah shivaya 🙂

Comment by shiva soul...




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