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On Purpose: Releasing Success & Failure Equally

There are days when HerAfter’s message – that the divine bliss and beauty of simply existing is everywhere in everything, and especially clear through all the topics that women love most – reaches many, many readers. There are days that letters come from across the country to say thank you or to resonate through a shared experience of survival and compassion.

And then there are days when only a dozen people read it. When a small group of people that could fit in my modest New York kitchen have seen all the work, the blood and sweat and tears, I’ve put into sharing my truth and attempting to help other women feel beautiful and at peace.

There are good days and bad days. Big days and little days. And it’s not always easy to ‘stay the course’ as my father always said and taught me well. ‘Stay the course,’ he’d always tell me, ‘I can’t wait to see what you’ll do in your life.’

Whenever we are praised for our accomplishments, the fulfilling satisfaction of feeling that others approve of you can become poisonous without our even knowing it. As a yoga student training to become a teacher, one of my teachers gave me the best life advice in this topic:

When you have a great class and your students complement you on a job well done, take that great feeling and hold it in just for a few seconds, then release it. Do the same with a bad class. When you have a terrible class and it went horribly and you feel disappointed, hold that feeling in, and then release it.”

We cannot count on our efforts always paying off in accolades. We cannot rely on our work always being well received or appreciated or even accepted. Just as well, we cannot always view our work as failure, we cannot always deem it not worthy of love and appreciation, though I think many more fall into this habit than it’s reverse.

flower petals blow in the windWhat we can do it continue to work. What we can do is remain humble. We can accept the time as fleeting and passing. We can take in the good and the bad, hold it only momentarily, and let it pass with the moment as it should. If we don’t, we risk holding onto the lie of time, grasping on a moment that has passed and is now a memory, is no longer occuring, and forcing it to fit the mold of our current moment. Forcing the past moment to be our reality. Telling ourselves repeatedly that because once, in a time now over, we failed, and so we will always fail.


You will fail, you will succeed. You will stand tall and you will crumble downward. You will do a variation of these acts in random order over your entire life. The point is not that you found a pedestal and managed to balance your entire life. The point is that whether you failed or succeeded, you continued to do your work. To make your difference regardless of how big or little an impact it makes at every turn.




photo: Egyedül / Alone by Thomas Misnyovszki (source) (license)

cover photo by Erin Stoodley – modified (source) (license)


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