Selling Your Soul – that entrepreneurial shindig in NY this month whose scholarship I was anglin‘ for? I didn’t get it, but I’m not letting it stop me from building on my dream! In fact, the 10 winners (The Hula Hooper is my fav!) were so inspiring that it’s sending me right back to my fire-starting desk to get even clearer on what I want and why I want it. I must give thanks to Danielle Laporte and Marie Forleo for igniting my drive to create when I was merely smoldering – sometimes it’s not the ‘thing’ we’re pursuing that we really want, it’s the lessons we gather along the way. I haven’t failed; I’m refining my focus and discovering my resilience.
Speaking of giving thanks, that oh-so-powerful fireball of gratitude is shooting through my hemisphere and I want to share some of my recent good fortune. The more I dare, the more I am rewarded – it’s as simple as that. Throw in some appreciation, and I’m unstoppable. These past few weeks have seen my cuppeth overflow.
Right before I left for NYC a few weeks ago, I found a gift certificate for La Prairie spa in the Ritz-Carlton given to me by a woman I helped a few years ago when I was working in the restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art. Yay for me! I look at the date: expired. Boo for me. I decide to call anyway, and ask if they’d accept it. (I still have a gift certificate for the Russian & Turkish Baths on 10th Street from ’96. Note to friends – I promise to start using these more timely – hint, hint.) Long story short, after explaining my situation to Linzee at La Prairie, she said they’d be happy to honor it – for ANY spa service I wished! So I scheduled an hour and a half massage for the following week and tried not to feel like I was cheating on my regular massage therapist (who’s on break, pregnant with twins). I walk into the Ritz-Carlton, never touching a door (love those white gloved doormen!), and the next three hours are indulgent bliss: Would you like a glass of Champagne? Here’s your plush robe and slippers. Strong hands, aromatic oils, custom music chosen from a 2-page menu, then a steam with cucumber slices for my eyes and a plethora of pampering to doll me up for the rest of the afternoon. Ahhhhhh. As I head back to reception to settle the gratuity, Linzee informs me that I’m “all taken care of,” that even the tip for my masseuse is included. Nothing is more gratifying than being on the receiving end of such gracious and generous hospitality. After years of working for Danny Meyer, I appreciate anew what he meant when he taught us – If you’re going to give, give graciously. Everyone should have such good fortune to give this way, and to receive so, as well.
Another wonderful day I spent was with a dear friend who lives on the most glorious block in the city, 10th street between 5th & 6th, in a light-drenched apartment that’s beautifully and lovingly appointed. She prepared a delicious vegetarian lunch for us that tasted of Italy and as we feasted, we caught each other up on our futures that are moving ever-so-gratefully towards us. It fills me with happiness to see people I love turn towards their power, their voice, their truth. As we emerge into our own best visions of ourselves, and leave behind the agendas of others, our unique beauty is unleashed. To be witness to another’s hatching is wondrous and humbling. (And I got some good puppy-lovin‘ in there, too.) There’s not much sweeter than a curled up animal on your lap to coax forth our gentleness, nor an environment of friendship and safety to acknowledge those softer, more vulnerable sides we keep hidden. So much gratitude…
It’s where those soft places meet the fiery ones, where success meets failure, when we allow our strengths and weaknesses to inform each other and collaborate, that wholeness begins. Sometimes I need that push to define my desires more clearly, that poke to unearth my shy tenderness…and sometimes I need to be reminded to both give and receive fully. For all the clarity I pray for, I’m thankful each time it materializes. That it appears in the form of failure is a surprise, but I’m embracing it. Besides, some of the greats, like Einstein, Edison, and Churchill were both successes AND failures. Not such bad company…
Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. ~ W. Churchill
Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ~ T.A. Edison