What does failure look like?


Last month I went on several adventures – one was to a family reunion where I was able to do some reading, just hang out with family, and reconnect with several people I have not seen in years. I enjoy my family – I came by my adventuresome spirit honestly and they are a great group of people.Since I was with an adventuresome group, I was not surprised when part of the group decided to set up a rafting trip down the Nantahala river.

We always go tubing when we are in the mountains — tubing is a very mild form of rafting where you sit in a round tube and float – no steering and nothing more than a little splash. Quite often people can arrive at the end of a tubing trip with their sunglasses and hats just as they were when they left several hours ago. My husband and I have gone rafting before, but the kids had never been.Rafting is not tubing. 

We spoke to the guides and they assured us that the rapids were not bad. They showed us a map, pointed out the one don’t-go-there waterfall and approved our crew consisting of children ages 9 and up to head out.

Gorgeous day, warm sun – freezing water. That place that the guide told us not to go? Our boat headed there as if a rope were pulling it – right into the center of the don’t-go-there-rock waterfall. So there we were, a challenge before us. How do we get off of this rock without flipping ourselves, our child, and my sister’s children into the 55 degree water? We moved around in the boat, we bounced up and down, we got soaked and tired in the first 25 minutes. We were ‘stuck’ there that long, with other boats going on past and the rest of our family already down the river. Helpful people shouted pointers at us, others just watched. 

We were all very glad to get off of the rock when it finally happened – we worked together as a team and there was a huge hurrah when we finally slid free. And then we realized there was almost 2 hours of rafting before us until we could be picked up. So, no rescue closeby, it was up to us. And we did it. We felt truly victorious when we pulled up out of that river at the pickup point.

The most fascinating part of the trip for me was hearing everyone tell others about the trip. What did they focus on when telling others about the trip? Did they see it as an adventure, did they see themselves as pioneers, or victims?

How is it possible that people who took the same trip tell such different versions of it?  Why do some people feel they had an adventure, and others see it as a failed trip?


If you are expecting tubing (floaty relaxation), and get rafting (cold wet work), you are possibly not going to be as happy with the trip. If you feel other people’s opinions formed your ideas about the trip, you might now know that your idea of fun and theirs do not match. The interesting thing was that people who felt they made an informed decision were not happy that they ended up where they did, and they were mostly angry at themselves for not insisting they just wanted a leisurely trip. Their expectation had far more to do with their feeling it was a failed trip than the actual experience.

That experience so closely matched the story of one of my clients from the week before, and is the topic of this month’s call. Before our call my client was angry that she had said yes to things that she would not have normally said yes to, knowing what she knows now, and especially since she just felt too tired and afraid to say no at the time. She was expecting the team she hired to protect her from the stuck places, and she felt they played on her fears to get her to agree to things she had not intended to agree to. She thought they were working for her, and she decided that for them it was about checking boxes and filling out forms correctly. She felt betrayed. But she had also silently held onto the frustration for years, feeling it was mostly her fault for not asking more questions, standing up for herself, just being more… everything.

After our session she was able to view these experiences through a new point of view – they still happened and she learned a lot, but she no longer felt victimized by her own decisions. She felt more at peace with the decisions she made and why she made them. It had been decades – she had held onto this frustration silently for that long.

Maybe when preparing for your birth you made decisions that led to consequences you were not happy with, but you felt you had to ‘suck it up’ since you did play a role in deciding? Do you now feel at peace with that decision, or do you still feel frustrated that your:

  • choice of location
  • caregiver you hired
  • level of knowledge about birth and your body
  • fear of hurting your baby

mean you had a less-than-ideal experience?

Do you feel you failed somehow , and do you blame yourself?

Think about your birth – if you have given birth more than once pick one.
Don’t delve into it deeply, just think for a very short moment about whether you would change anything about that birth if you could ‘go back’ and do it again. If you have any anger or frustration surrounding that birth, if you decided on a plan that didn’t go as planned, if you felt betrayed by your experience in any way, remember to speak to, empathise, and support yourself as you would a friend.  Then join me on Tuesday’s call to work through and release that anger or frustration.

The way a woman feels about her birth(s), even many years later, is incredibly powerful and can affect so much of her life on a level she may not even recognize

If you feel like you have some frustration, anger, or sadness surrounding your birth(s), you might find that some simple energy balancing exercises like those in the Tips and Tools for Postpartum Peace (the next day or a half-century later) booklet help. Next time you tell your birth story, tell it from a place of balance and clarity — (click here to get it if you haven’t already done this!) and join me at a workshop or webinar.

If you have a story about how your birth plan, birth, or postpartum changed your life I would love to hear from you — send it to me along with your wish to keep it either private, anonymous, or shared to inspire.


PS:If you weren’t able to attend last month’s QnA call for previous workshop attendees be sure to register ahead of time for the July 8th call. Write to Lori@BirthingPeaceWithin.com to get that taken care of right now!

If you work with others and want to bring clarity and your best self to that relationship check out the schedule below to join me at a workshop or webinar to get clear on your reasons for doing what you do, and healing those parts of you that keep you from really being present with the woman in front of you.

You can work along with my Tips and Tools for Postpartum Peace booklet to approach each support situation from a place of clarity — (click here to subscribe to my newsletter and get the booklet if you haven’t already done this!)

Birthing Peace trivia:
Did you know over 30% of women report their birth is traumatic?

Click here to read the abstract from this study done in Atlanta Georgia.

Upcoming Events

Mothering the Mother calls –  August 12th

Coming To Peace With A Less Than Peaceful Birth 

Do you feel responsible for some aspect of the way your less-than-peaceful birth happened? Did you make a decision that you still regret?Carrying around the pain, anger, and shame from that experience can feel like a heavy weight. People after don’t even realize how heavy it is.

What would life be like if you could let go of that weight?  What if it were possible to release the past without reliving it? 
That is exactly what I am offering in these calls. Join us for a call or register ahead of time and send in your topics to have them addressed on the recording which is for attendees only. Every month we will visit a different aspect of your birth(s) as you come find yourself coming to peace with either different births or different aspects of one less-than-peaceful experience.
You do not have to attend a workshop to participate in this call.
Register here – replay is available to registered participants who cannot attend in person.

Monthly Active Mindset Creator Calls – Tuesday — August 12th

This series of calls are for those who have taken a Mindset Creator Workshop or Birthing Peace WIthin course in the past or are working with me in private sessions.  The calls are an opportunity to ask questions, harness group energy to facilitate shifts, and gain clarity.
Contact Lori@BirthingPeaceWithin.com to get directions on how to connect.  Recordings available for registered participants who cannot attend in person.

Midwife Mindset workshops being planned across the USA and beyond!

This workshop is geared towards individuals working with women who are undergoing one of the most powerful shifts in their lives – birth! Clear your own birth traumas and gain clarity around those situations so you can work with the women you serve as your best self.
This live workshop is required for graduation from the Ancient Art Midwifery Institute

If you are interested in attending or hosting a Mindset Creator workshop in your area contact Lori@BirthingPeaceWithin.com