Having Fun Making Mistakes

I never in a million years thought I’d write that, much less experience it. See, I’ve spent my life being very careful about what I tried to do, because I always wanted to make sure I would get it right and be good at it.

I didn’t want to try something and be bad at. Sheesh, that would be crazy. Who wants to fail? Who wants to be mediocre? Who wants to be…bad?!

So, as you might have guessed, I didn’t try a lot of things. I passed on opportunities; let little glimmers of interest die a quick and nearly painless death. (To resurrect later as regrets.)

The things I did do, were the things I was naturally good at, or had an early success with. I didn’t experiment. I didn’t get curious. I didn’t practice those things I did do. (I’m sure that’s incorrect grammar or word choice or something, but deal with it. It sounds funny. Read it over again!)

Now I’m trying something new* that is so difficult that only two practitioners have mastered the second to the highest level, and even at the simplest, beginning level, I make so many mistakes in 10 minutes that you can’t even count them. Doing this goes against every way I’ve ever protected myself from the feeling of failure in the past.

The first time I practiced Dance of Shiva I got frustrated, a little angry, annoyed and considered never ever doing it again. (It was brief, but I did consider it.) There was discussion on Twitter about the throwing of shirts at TVs out of frustration. And Sonia Simone coined the phrase “100% possibility of spazzosity.”

The second time I did it, I didn’t even notice the small mistakes and felt surprise when I found myself in so completely the wrong position I can’t imagine how I even got there. Hell, I didn’t even know my arms could move that way.

Today, the third time, I found myself smiling the whole time, and laughing when I got really tangled up. It’s not that I suddenly got the actual physical positions right either. It’s that I just felt so happy to be moving in this way that feels so interesting in my body and my mind. It is actually fun.

As I was writing this, my Former Paranoid Self (FPS), popped in for a chat. Apparently FPS sometimes forgets the definition of Former.

FPS: I don’t think you’re supposed to laugh. You should be taking this more seriously.
Me: But it’s fun. And funny.
FPS: Well, it’s not supposed to be. You’re probably doing it wrong. It’s supposed to be Serious Brain Training. Just look at that guy! (Image of stonefaced Andrey Lappa pops into my head.) That’s how you’re supposed to be.
Me: Yes, he’s very serious-looking, and maybe he’s “laughing here, (pointing to chest) where it counts.”
FPS: I don’t think so. And you know, no one’s going to get that esoteric reference to an old Happy Days episode. They’ll think you’re weird.
Me: So what? I crack myself up, that’s what matters.
(FPS slinks away to dream up future torturous thoughts…)

Then it occurred to me that maybe I was having one of those moments of Bing! Havi talks about. I realized: I. Truly. Don’t. Care. It doesn’t matter to me (at least for this moment and long enough to post this) if someone else thinks I’m getting this right or not. I’m doing it, I’m experiencing these cool insights, and most importantly for me, maybe not for you, but for me, I’m NOT taking it seriously – I’m laughing and having fun.

* The new thing is Shiva Nata or Dance of Shiva. As Havi describes it: “It’s weird yoga brain training that sets you up for crazy life-changingly cool insights. Awesome.” And, I’ll just add this amazingness happens in less than 15 minutes a day. Seriously. Check it out.

8 comments to Having Fun Making Mistakes

  • Yeah! Laughing is excellent.

    I know that if I don’t get so stuck that I laugh out loud then I’m not doing it right.

  • I’m glad you’re laughing and having fun with it, and I’m glad you sent FPS back where she belongs! Sounds like you’re doing something right…. : )

  • Deb Owen

    OMG! Don’t you just LOVE Havi? (I love Havi. Seriously.)

    Honestly? I think one of the great things about Shiva is that I DO laugh at myself. Whatever is going on that I’m all in angst about…..I do that….and suddenly, I’m taking MYSELF less seriously. (Forget taking Shiva seriously — it’s myself I’m giving a break. ;-) )

    The other thing is….I want to do it super-seriously….super-perfectly…..for like an hour! (ha) Havi said just start with five minutes. And that worked.

    I’m new to it too. I have a “Dance of Shiva” DVD and talked with Havi about it but….um….it ain’t nothing like this! ha

    It’s truly amazing.
    Oh. And my favorite thing I think Havi ever wrote was something I read just this weekend. I’m going through a break-up. And there’s a great post at her site about how to take care of yourself (and get through) the pain. In it, rather than go into an in-depth explanation of how it works and why you should try it, she just says (I’m paraphrasing), “What do you care? You’re in pain. Try it.”

    So…YAY for trying something new and for laughing in spite of your FPS.

    All the best!

  • I heart you. You’re a nut. Those two points are possibly connected and definitely not mutually exclusive.

    (gets tangled in her own sentence and falls over)

    And that’s so great that you didn’t punch your FPS in the face but were totally rational and reasonable with her.

    That’s HUGE! As in, I want to cry happiness-tears just thinking about what that means. HUGE.


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