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Glorious Flailing

On a podcast I listened to the other day someone suggested “failing gloriously.” This advice has been attributed to a few notable artists but I hadn’t heard it before and mistakenly thought I heard flailing gloriously. I just can’t get behind the idea of setting out to fail, but I boy howdy can I set out to flail! In fact it’s now my personal goal at certain points of the creative process. Not always of course. There’s a time for meticulous, even painstaking effort. There’s a time for polishing the stone. There’s a time for thought and reflection and a time for education and research. But there is definitely a time to turn the music up, grab a big brush, and a bigger attitude with which to begin flailing gloriously!

Seriously, what’s the worst that can happen? A glorious failure of course. And then it’s important to laugh (somewhat maniacally for sure), to shake your head with a loving smile at what your muse has wrought, and then before you can get all analytical and critical, put the brush down, back away slowly, grab the cannoli and go for a walk. Only later should you reflect on the results. If you love it - hurrah! If not then think about what you’ve learned. This of course is assuming you can teach your mind what your heart hath wrought! But regardless of the end result, the flailing is delicious. For most of us by the time we reach adulthood we are very good at self-restraint and second guessing. Flailing is for little kids throwing tantrums or jumping into the pool on a hot summer’s day. We grownups act much more carefully so even if the flailing doesn’t lead to anything else it creates space for our hearts to lead.

I hope to share the results soon of some recent flailings but suffice it to say that I’m having a glorious time, walking lots, and enjoying the cannoli (metaphorically speaking of course)!

May you give yourself permission and space to flail gloriously!

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