Faceful of Powder

April 7, 2008 | 16 Comments »

powder.jpgOne of my animal rescue friends invited me to lunch last week to catch up about what was transpiring in our lives.  Terri told me she recently committed to learning to ski powder. 

For those of you who don’t ski, skiing powder requires a very different skill set than regular skiing. 

Terri said she even hired a virtual ski coach to help her master powder.

(I never heard of a virtual ski coach before, but I like it!)

Anyway, Terri tells how excited she is because just yesterday she fell flat on her face!

Flat on her face?  She’s obviously pleased with herself and the progress she’s making.  What’d I miss?

I wondered how falling flat on your face is a good thing.  But her big smile was genuine and unswayable as she relayed this news.

But I’m not getting it. 

She patiently explains to me, Miss Avoid Powder at All Costs, that falling flat on her face means she’s skiing aggressively, is in the right stance and doing the right things that she could even END UP flat on her face in powder. 

In fact, afterwards she was so excited she called her coach to share the good news – and he was even more thrilled than she was! 

He told her to go do it again three more times.

Okay, now it’s making sense … 

.. this is what it looks like to master something new.  Sometimes we fall on our faces, which might not feel fab.  But it means we’re moving, we’re giving it a shot, and we’re in the process of mastering!

It reminds me of why I don’t play pool.  (Because I can’t stand to miss a shot.)

If I had Terri’s perspective, I might be having a blast as a Professional Pool Shark today instead of Attraction Coach Extraordinaire. 

(At least, I might if they had pool halls in sunshiney outdoor parks where there was no smoking.  ha!)

But I see how fear of failing and not embracing the inevitable learning curve sometimes stops me – as well as many of my clients.  How different would our vibe be if we were not only EXPECTED to fall on our faces, but congratulated for it? 

Terri admitted that although it wasn’t the most fun sensation – it was a small price to pay for becoming the Master of Powder.

Which is what she’s manifesting: “master powder skier.”  Not “falling on her face” – but she gets that not only will there be some facefulls of powder as she learns this new skill, but that it’s a good sign of progress. 

It tells her she’s headed in the right direction.  She not only doesn’t let a face full of powder stop her, she makes it the proud topic of conversation with friends.

As well she should.

I get it.  Here’s to enjoying a face full of powder, as we all move toward our mastery of whatever has our delicious attention in this moment.

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16 Responses to “ Faceful of Powder ”

  1. Peregrine John says:

    This reminds me of the observation (and forgive me if I’ve mentioned it here before, but it’s one of my favorites) that walking is a series of falls forward.

  2. Peregrine John says:

    Whoops. Hit the button too fast. The rest of it is this: if we’re not willing to risk falling, we’re not going to get anywhere at all.

  3. Kim Falconer says:

    Hi Jeanette, John, Everyone!

    This is just wonderful! Thank you Jeannette!

    I was transported back in time to when my 11 month old son’s father came in and I rushed to him, giggling with excitement! “He fell down 23 times today!!!!” Me and baby were squeaking and bubbling! 23 times! That’s how determined my little boy was to learn to walk before his first birthday. And he did!

    He’s a man now and I get that same thrill when he rings and tells me how he’s fallen rock climbing–so enthused and proud. I know he’s going for it. Not afraid to learn new things and experience ever step of the way.

    I totally get this–it’s a wonderful energy–that feeling of going for a goal.

    I’m so glad you reminded me!

    Warm wishes to everyone,
    x Kim

  4. Indeed, John, willing to take risks is what it’s all about, huh? Risking looking ridiculous to those who think we’re crazy for wanting what we want; risking feeling vulnerable; risking temporary disappointment; risking getting what we actually said we wanted!

    Lots of risks involved with creating lives we love … and falling forward is part of the gig. Nicely put.

    Thanks for pitching in, John!

  5. Now THAT’S admirable persistence and commitment, Kim! 23 times in one day! From your little 11 month old guy!

    My word – if HE can do that, what have WE been holding ourselves back from?

    I have half a mind to pick up pool with this new inspiration, but I think I’ll instead turn the energy to other endeavors.

    Nice to hear from you again, my friend! Thanks for sharing this personal example of how to be excited for “failures.” (As if!!)

  6. Peregrine John says:

    A few more things came to mind (odd how many thoughts I get on a skiing topic when I’m no skier!), 2 relevant, the other silly:

    Taking it as it really is underneath it all, I’m reminded of the now-popular question, “What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?”

    This also reminds me very strongly of Neil Gaiman’s graphical short story, “Fear of Falling” in his Preludes and Nocturnes Sandman collection. I won’t remotely spoil it for you, but if you find it and read it… well, its point, and last line, is a mantra for me now.

    Lastly, an image you had on a recent post combined in my head with something else I’d seen, and I ended up with this obscure little joke:

    (That would be the pointlessly silly bit.)

  7. John, it makes me wonder, how much would the fun factor be affected if we truly knew in advance failure was impossible. ?

    I suspect that’s a big key to part of the enjoyment.

    Would you agree?

    (Also wondering if you’ll share your mantra with me. You’ve got me more than a little curious.)

    Thanks for the thought-provoking posts, John. It’s always a pleasure to think about what you’re thinking. 🙂

  8. Peregrine John says:

    Whoops. The image is actually viewable here.

  9. Peregrine John says:

    Heh. Thanks… though what I was thinking with the image was nothing more than “Rama llama Ding-dong.” :^D

    I can’t really tell you the line here, as it would both spoil the story (a mere few pages though it be) and not really explain it, as those pages do. I can definitely recommend visiting your local bookstore and taking a couple minutes to read it. In short, a student director, terrified of the project he’s undertaken, is having nightmares of falling. His choices seem to be to wake himself (which solves nothing) or hit the bottom (which be believes will actually kill him).

    But there’s a third way, which is much better.

  10. I knew it would come to me, John, but it hadn’t yet – so thanks for that! (rama lama ding dong – too funny!)

    All right – looking forward to my next visit to the bookstore. 🙂

  11. Olga says:

    I just realized what was missing! More things which would allow me the thrill of the possibility to fall flat on my face!!!
    Thank you for this post, so much. I am writing a list right now.
    That is why all the fairytales have monsters guarding the treasure.

  12. You’re right, Olga – life would get pretty boring if we didn’t have those possibilities, huh?! Seeing it through your eyes it makes total sense.

    I can’t WAIT to hear your list!! (Email it, PLEASE!)

  13. Marquina says:

    “Monsters guarding the treasure”! What a fabulous analogy, Olga! I LOVE fairytales, but I forgot about that one common thread…Guess I need to take that trip to the children’s section of the library that I’ve been putting off…

    The last “powder” event I had was back-down in the snow, and I wasn’t skiing! The fall knocked my spine straighter (seriously!) I was on my way to yet another job interview, but in perilous weather (I live in Michigan). The interview room was up a steep flight of stairs, the interviewer pretended to be sympathetic, and I learned, once again, that it is better to pay attention to my instincts, which told me that this was going to be an unworthy trip. (Did I mention that I fell on my car key and bent it? Fortunately I had carried a spare…along with the spare resume I had with me – the first one smeared in the snow!)

    All things considered, it was an amazing day since stuff like this just about never happens to me! And, yes, it was also fun milking the sympathy card! I wasn’t out to master falling down, but it did take my confidence level up just a bit because although I fell down badly, I’m still standing!

    Hey Olga? May I please see your list, too?

    Fantastic article, Jeannette!

    Marquina

  14. Marquina, I like how you can take a falling down in the snow experience to bolster your confidence. Way to go!

    And thanks for the kind words, my friend. 🙂

  15. Rozanne says:

    Jeannette, thanks for this encouragement. Life seems to constantly lead me to the places I need to be when I need to be there. Just as I was about to have a pity party for myself, I read this blog and the comments, and I am motivated, inspired to put my dreams in front of my eyes again and go for them. A friend of mine once said “Is having what you want more important than having the obstacles you choose to place in your way? If so, then what are you doing about it, change your attitude and make it happen.”

    I have never skied before, but it sounds like fun, maybe I’ll learn to do it next winter. So here’s to falling over a lot more times, till we get it right. 🙂

  16. Sounds like an empowering “kick in the pants” type friend, Rozanne! Probably not a coincidence that person was/is your life, either. 😉

    Glad you found encouragement here … even when we give up on our dreams, I’m a firm believer that they don’t give up on us.

    Thanks for reading, and for posting, my friend!

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