Unfolding

Picture yourself unfolding some paper.  Perhaps opening a letter you just received from a great friend.  Or maybe it was scribblings from a time past that you crumpled up, cast aside, and you had forgotten what you had written.  Or maybe you’re opening a package.  It is Christmas time after all.

You’re not sure what you’ll find.

Now use that as a metaphor for today.  You are just beginning to discover what’s on the page of what will become another chapter in your memory.  You might think you have a plan for today, or for your life for that matter, but you don’t really know what you’re going to discover or what will really happen.

It’s unfolding.  In its own time and its own way.

That’s the way my day is starting.  Really, that’s the way all days start.  But I am truly amazed at how what appears to be a scattering of random things or events seems to coalesce into something that seems fateful.  Like something that was supposed to happen.  Set in motion by the Universe some time before, it keeps building into something more.  Something of real value.  A chain of events comes to fruition.  Physically or mentally or spiritually.

Insight.  Wisdom.  Compassion.  Forgiveness.  Love.

So, as I was waking up with a cup of coffee this morning, I did my usual perusal of social media and I came across an interesting post about “FUN” events where business people gathered to celebrate their failures.  Yep, their failures.  “FUN” stands for “Fuck Up Nights.”  They do this to erase the stigma associated with business deals or entrepreneurial ventures or administrative practices that have gone bad.

And this concept of failure had just come up for me yesterday at the completion of a seemingly random chain of events.  You see, a few years back, when I was really stressed being in a failing marriage and a failing job, I decided I needed to start setting some time aside to meditate.

I used to meditate a lot and quite easily when I was a teenager.  Bringing my mind to that quiet state of peace.  Stopping that internal dialog that keeps telling us how the world is and keeps fanning the flames of anxiety.

What I discovered right off was I had great difficultly quieting my mind.  It seems the years of information overload and the stresses of life had taken their toll.  I decided a form of moving mediation would work better for me and I began practicing QiGong.  I chose QiGong because it involved mostly upper body movements.  Tai Chi was very appealing, but that required more coordinated arm and leg movements.  A dance.  A lot more gracefulness in movement that I didn’t believe I had.

I didn’t really know much about the basis of the practice and I didn’t much explore it either.  I just started practicing a certain set of forms and learned a few basics about the concept of Chi.  Life force or energy.  I found this to be quite helpful and it fit my busy schedule.

Once I “retired,” and both the career and relationship had evaporated, I had more time, and more peace, to work on meditation and other facets of spiritual pursuits.  I decided to give Tai Chi a try and I picked up a DVD instruction program.  It’s a good program, but I wasn’t progressing very fast because of other various distractions.  So a couple of months ago I started taking classes in both Tai Chi and QiGong.

I had not realized just how many forms and movements there were to these practices and how they were so intricately related to our health.  And I also didn’t realize how the practices were interrelated with Taoism.  I began to study and I joined a Tao discussion group.

And this chain of events led to meeting a person who intuitively singled me out as a person who could use some healing, and she introduced to the practice of Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique.  Yesterday, I participated in a session, or at least my higher self did 🙂

During this session, the concept of “failure” was brought up in relation to certain events that have transpired.  And really that word should be changed to “experience” or even “success.”  All things we perceive as failures are really learning experiences, and I don’t like the word failure anymore.  We don’t need to label our experiences with powerful words carrying negative connotations that add an element of self-blame implying we as individuals are somehow bad or stupid.

That doesn’t mean that our experiences don’t have dramatic impacts on our lives, nor does it minimize any emotional trauma we’ve endured, but I think we can choose to re-frame our experiences with proper words, ideas, and images and grow from them.

You see, this whole “random” chain of events I just described came together to deliver a very powerful message.   Great insight and wisdom that I could not have recognized at any of the beginning stages.  Not as I began to unfold the paper.  And what I just shared is only a small part of what I learned in yesterday’s session.

My daughter and I put something similar in motion earlier this week.  We set out to re-characterize the entire month of December.  We had a number of events over the past few years that have tainted it.  And being the people we are, we start making associations that probably don’t exist, but after things happen we can become a bit gun-shy.  So we’ve spent some time this week creating happy memories.  Recasting the month as a cheery time of year, not one where we lose loved ones and witness homes destroyed.

And I think I’m going to adopt a day or night or many now to sit around the campfire and celebrate all of those events where I had the guts to try something, or was bold enough to enter a relationship, or any other airborne decision of mine that just didn’t end in a smooth landing.

Maybe we all should celebrate on Fuck Up Nights 🙂

***

Photo:  I was trying to capture the image of the flames in the woodstove this morning.  The stove is super-efficient.  It’s designed so that the flammable gases escaping from the wood are recirculated so the logs actually burn from both directions – from the bottom up and from the top down.  At the moment I snapped the pic, you can see the flames are divided.  The top flames are gases burning that had not yet reached down to the top of the logs, while at the bottom are the flames you’d expect to see being emitted from the logs themselves.  But what happened was that I caught the reflection on the glass door, which superimposed me and the room into the fire inside the stove.  It wasn’t a failure because I captured something other than I set out to do.  It’s a magical experience 🙂

23 thoughts on “Unfolding”

      1. Hi Eliza,

        May I join in this thread?
        I really like the FGO! In the office we call it AFI, which means areas for improvement. But FGO makes AFI sound boring, hahaha! I think I’ll start to use the FGO. Can I credit you/your friend for it? What’s his/her name?

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Another beautiful, meaningful piece of writing! Personally, I consider failure the better part of eventual success. Always have. But surprisingly, the areas of the two don’t always wholly coincide but instead, have the power to surprise. Think of perhaps, an only slightly overlapping ven-diagram – and look for the tiny area in the middle. That’s the area I’m grateful for. Eventually. 🙏

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes, that is a deep wisdom to name all our life results “experiences”. I exchanged the word “mistake” for “experiences” some years ago and my life changed a lot. I’ve found for myself as an explanation the metaphor of a menu card: we want to try out a lot of things that are on the menu, but not all of them taste good to us. That’s okay. So we should consider just to order something else…

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes! However, sometimes we have too great expectations, and when the order will delivered we find the taste just horrible. But this can happen to us in any restaurant. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Look how simple concepts like changing how we labe can be so powerful! Thanks for sharing this. I remember reading something similar when I was still in college relating to child development. I already forgot about it (20 years had passed) but this is a great reminder and especially useful now that I have a toddler.

    I’m in HR. I wonder if hosting a FUN night for the employees and the leadership team would be a great idea (without losing my job, hahaha). Cause FUN sounds really fun, too, afterall we all experienced ‘failure’ one point or another.

    PS: It amazes me how you also tell us about the pictures. They can be a post on their own! Each has a story to tell and even learn from. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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