Friday 11 September 2009

Learning from mistakes

We all make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them, rather than let them hold us back.

No one criticises a child for drawing pictures that aren't anatomically accurate and we recognise that practice makes perfect. But sometimes, when we ourselves make a mistake, we aren't so forgiving and we let feelings of embarrassment and self-criticism get us down.

I must admit, I tend to do that myself.

When I wrote about the full moon last Friday I made a mistake. I said that September's full moon is the Harvest Moon. Then a few readers of my blog pointed out to me that the dictionary definition of the Harvest Moon is "the full moon nearest the Autumn Equinox" - and this year, that is October's full moon.

I still hold that I wasn't entirely wrong - different cultures at different times have called various month's full moons the Harvest Moon - but when I was researching my blog entry, I should have looked in the dictionary and found out the common modern meaning for Harvest Moon. Thanks to my readers, at least I know it now.

Obviously, we would all prefer not to make mistakes, and we do our best not to make them, but any venture involves an element of risk. Trying to avoid all risk also means avoiding learning, growing and feeling that sense of achievement that comes from overcoming obstacles.

Here is a short meditation about learning from mistakes:

Learning from mistakes

Sit somewhere comfortable, close your eyes and take a few deep breaths until you feel calm and relaxed. Then, imagine that in one hand you are holding a magic wand and in the other you are holding a crystal ball. These are the tools that will protect you from coming to harm from your mistake, and help you learn to learn from it.

Once you have visualised the wand and crystal ball clearly, look into the ball and ask it to show you the events surrounding your mistake. If at any time feelings of guilt, anger, embarrassment or other unwanted emotions get in the way of seeing it clearly, imagine each feeling as a little goblin or imp that is trying to distract you from learning - then wave the magic wand over it and watch it vanish in a puff of smoke.

Ask the crystal ball to show you how you can avoid doing the same thing next time and also the actions you should take to put your mistake right. If you have any questions about this, ask the crystal ball to show you the answer - waving the wand over it if things at first seem a little unclear.

Sometimes, all that is necessary is to take on board the lessons of the experience, then move on; sometimes you might need to do something or talk to someone to make sure your mistake is corrected; sometimes you might think it is necessary to apologise. You might even realise that what you originally thought was a mistake, wasn't one after all or even led the way to a better outcome than you originally expected.

Thanks again to those readers who pointed out my blunder - I will write about October's Harvest Moon, the one closest to the equinox, next month

The Scrying Crystal Ball and Stand in the picture is available through Amazon

CBA09 Scrying Crystal Ball and Stand: 150mm Circumference

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