Words of a Sage: Sir Ken Robinson

Confession: I love Sir Ken Robinson. When I’m feeling down, defeated, and lost for direction, I turn to Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talk, Do schools kill creativity?, for inspiration. Each of his talks bring inspiration for me; however, this talk always speaks directly to me and my constant struggle with belonging, failure, and authenticity. The link above is to his second TED Talk. You can view his second talk, Bring on the learning revolution!, his third talk, How to escape education’s death valley, and a particularly enlightening presentation by RSA Animates, Changing education paradigms, as they are just as impactful.

If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original. Sir Ken Robinson, The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

I have always, and still do, struggle with being wrong and failing. This has always been in direct conflict with my internal creative desire. At times, this rumble with being wrong and failing has killed my creativity, perhaps because I was not aware there was a rumble at all. Setting mindful intention has helped me to emerge from this rumble with a renewed desire to support my creativity and I’m excited for what I’m intending for this new year.

While it seems intuitive for me to apply these concepts to any number of avenues of my life, I never thought about applying it to my yoga practice or teaching. That changed today.

Today was one of the coldest days so far this season. I feel lucky to live in a place that experiences all four season beautifully. This morning was a brisk and sunny 17 degrees… Fahrenheit. Brrr! I thought back to my month in Hawaii over the summer for my most recent yoga teacher training. It was hot and humid from dawn to dusk and back again. Today’s high temp in Hilo, HI was about 80 and today’s high temp in Annapolis was about 20. Had I still been in a place where summer exists all year, I do not know that I would have had the chain reaction of thought that lead to the application of these revelatory thoughts to this facet of my life. In the winter, I like to bundle up, snuggle in, and bring thoughts inward.

Where’s the beauty in being wrong or failing?
If you listen to Sir Ken, it’s everywhere.
It’s all about perspective.
It’s about making room for the failure.
It’s about taking the chance…
And seeing what happens.
Set aside the fear.
The fear of looking bad.
The fear of not belonging.
The fear of rejection.
The fear of judgement.
What all have I missed (and you missed) by hiding behind the fear?

The photo for this post was taken in Hawaii this past summer. In this photo, I’m  falling right out of a Ahdo Mukha Vrksasana to Chaturanga Dandasana. I’m falling. I’m not pressing out of the pose to the next pose with poise and grace and ease. I’m falling and focused and…


And it’s all ok. No harm. No foul. Simply learning. Purely experience. Truly connection. In each yoga class I take, that’s all the teacher are offering. In each class I teach, that’s all I’m offering and that’s all the students are seeking. Inspiration is everywhere. At the bottom of all the fails and falls, there’s a learning which would have escaped us otherwise.

Different things work for different people. I’ll take my chances with failure, I’ll keep my four seasons by the water, I’ll celebrate and support when others find what works for them, and I’ll share what I find on my journey.

What works for you?


Think. Connect. Elevate.

Sir Ken Robinson’s books:
Paperback: The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
Audiobook (my fave because he narrates): The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
Paperback: Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life
Audiobook: Finding Your Element: How to Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life 

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