Football fans weren’t disappointed by the XLIX Super Bowl game on Sunday in which the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks. Regardless of what team you rooted for, it was football at its best. With one exception … for the Seahawks, with 20 seconds left in the game, one decision brought glory down. Like a bird shot out of the sky, our team was put to bed with a game-ending interception. As a Seattle fan, I had a hard time with the plug getting so sharply pulled, I actually felt electrocuted. Angry. Numb. Massively disappointed.
What happens within us when this kind of emotional hoodwink happens without warning? As for most, when you become a fan of anything, a team, a company, a community or a concept, there comes a time when your conviction with that devotion comes to the test. There’s a massive imagery element to conviction. You believe something so deeply that you can actually visualize it existing in your life.
Back to our Seahawks. How many of you out there actually could see us winning that game? I bet you could actually taste the imminent triumph. Felt it lead you through the post victory week with such zeal and connection to our celebratory community, right? So now what do we do with this immediate feeling of emptiness?
As I’ve suggested on many occasions, just pull out your yoga mat to find clarity. Mindfulness. Non-attachment. Peace. Being delivered into the moment once again will provide a powerful elixir for what ails your mind and heart. We are so tied up in being the champions! How good does it feel to master something you’ve set your focus on. In our eyes the Hawks were on their way to being masters of the game until error snuck in the back door.
This weekend I had a massive experience with this. I was performing an advanced backbend assist on a friend in a yoga assisting workshop. We performed it perfectly on our first attempt. Then, when prompted to do the assist again, my foot position stepped out of true north alignment – the optimal position to keep me and my partner safe and allow for a successful assist. In a split second, my friend slipped out of my hands and hit the floor. My errant foot position didn’t allow me the right leverage. At first she said it barely hurt and she was ok. But later, it became very clear she wasn’t.
Talking about failure on a massive level. The fear of hurting someone just smacked me right in the heart. It really shook me because she was really hurting and I caused her pain. This upset me on so many levels. You see, I lost something in that moment – the trust and confidence of my friend, as well as within myself.
How do you come to terms with failure? Beyond denial, I believe there is only one way to conquer it. Understand the power of the moment. Being mindful of the moment and sensing failure is the first step, but what really helped me was not to hang onto that moment. This proved to be difficult but once again, I went back to what I’ve learned from being on the mat.
I sat with it. I became very still. I didn’t try to run away from the pain. And then I focused on the one thing that could help my friend as well as diminish the overwhelming feeling of failure within me: Love. I closed my eyes and meditated on sending love to her neck. To her heart. Sending her healing. And then, offering myself forgiveness. Calming forgiveness.
I sat still with this array of peace radiating out from my heart and gave this new calm permission to overtake me, like a wave conquering the beach. This peace that came from such a deep place lightened my heart and took away my headache. I will commit to doing this until I know my friend is well. That is what I can do. And now, so much energy has been released to work on the good things that are going on in my life. This defeat, this failure can no longer take me out energetically, as it was attempting to do before I got back to stillness.
The key here is to acknowledge the ever-fleeting aspect of our emotions. Of course we know we’ll all get on with our lives after such a massive defeat, but how can we apply this lesson too to areas of our life when we feel overwhelmed?
I encourage you to be still with that defeat, acknowledge the lesson it brought you and stay present. You’ll have many more opportunities to triumph, just as the Seahawks will.
[Photo by Jared721 – CC BY]
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