Falling UP: How Mistakes are the Portal to Discovery


How many of you have tripped up the proverbial staircase in life? I’m not talking about falling literally UP steps (though I do that quite often); but rather I am speaking to making mistakes.


Think of your life, the path that you are on, as a spiraling staircase. The minute you “wake up” and decide you want your life to change, that’s the minute your life changes course-it’s the minute you get to walk UP and to a higher purpose. But, as is true with any journey or path, we will encounter challenges or struggles. We find ourselves tripping up the stairs. Maybe we made a mistake at work or we’ve said something we didn’t mean to someone we love, or perhaps didn’t do what we say we would. In that moment, we find ourselves saying, “How did I let that happen? What a (fill in the blank) I am. I can’t believe I did that…” Making a mistake isn’t the greatest feeling, I know. But the irony is that though we dislike “tripping up” and making a mistake, we continue to beat ourselves up for having made that mistake way after the fact. And in doing that, we continue to trip up the stairs. Bottom line: We ALL make mistakes.


This past Sunday I teamed up with Yogini, Nicole G for a yoga meets intenSati Manifesting Intentions Workshop. Doing a joint workshop and teaching together has been a vision for Nicole and I for quite some time. I was excited and inspired and pumped….and nervous. Yes, I was nervous. And to be honest, I haven’t had the whole butterflies-before-teaching-thing-in-my-stomach for quite some time now. Even more, I realized I was nervous because this was new. It was something I haven’t-we haven’t-done before. New is different. New is scary. New takes us out of our safe and comfortable. New pushes us to grow. New invites mistakes.


I found myself on Sunday running through the entire series with group. It was one of the last run-throughs before we’d move back into yoga. We were shouting, moving, sweating…and all of a sudden I was lost in where we were going. We start over. From the top. Finish the series. Move onto yoga. All the while, my little voice was saying, “How did I let that happen? What a (fill in the blank) I am. I can’t believe I did that…” Even worse, for the rest of Sunday, I continued to trip up my staircase because I could not let go of making that mistake. But here’s the deep, universally humorous irony in all this: The Manifesting Intentions workshop was centered around “letting go” and releasing our blocks. Even more profound, the “breakthrough” bracelets I gave out for class, that I wore during class, flew off my wrist and broke during the move Release. And, the move I forgot? Yeah, it was also “Release.” Talk about serendipity. Not only did I fall up the stairs for crying out loud, I was literally being beat over the head with signs that were saying Let. It. Go.


There’s a quote by James Joyce that goes, “A man’s mistakes are his portals of discovery,” and there is profound wisdom to this. Part of being human is making mistakes. But part of growing for our highest good-part of living a life we love in a body we love-is accepting that trip up the stairs, realizing we are still on our way UP. Part of growing for our highest good is looking down at our feet, realizing that even though we’ve tripped up the stairs before, though it may seem similar, it’s not the same. We are wiser today than we were yesterday. We might feel bad that we’ve made the same mistake or are encountering a similar problem, but this time it’s different; we are equipped with a different perspective and view on that staircase.


I invite you to find strength in your staircase. Even if you find yourself encountering a similar problem or making the same mistake, to realize at this moment you are higher UP on that staircase. Trust and respond from this place:

  • Ask yourself, “How can I react differently this time than the last?” You are wiser today than yesterday. Respond from THAT place.
  • Say to yourself, “I’m sorry.” Forgiveness goes a long way to healing.
  • Feel yourself letting go. Let. It. Go.


And know that we are ALL there too. Walking UP. Sometimes tripping. But marching on with a higher purpose.