Failure is an Option

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100xThe video “The Secret,” is one of my most favorite optimistic, feel good messages that paved the way for a “new” direction I was guided to go regarding my belly dance video business. Naively, I thought that once the intention was put forth, great things would come and at a ridiculous speed. It’s still my favorite feel good video but I realized that the people who were asked to be in the documentary had already found the tools themselves years before hand. It was obvious that bringing forth the, “Genie in the Bottle,” for them was a daily occurrence and one seemingly of non existence for the rest of us.     

Some of the best lessons I’ve ever learned have been with me failing or falling off a cliff of expectation. I thought a course of action would allow for success only to find out that in life, we deal with reality and that…reality comes in out of nowhere. Life as the teacher can make failure a necessary lesson so we can find the path to success. Success as I came to find out comes in many disguises, almost unrecognizable at first but if you take a good look, there are hints of the obvious awaiting to be identified. Recognition comes from the intention of the effort that has its own calling card of desire. Intention becomes the mark of this individual recognition.   

My first experience with testing the waters of intention was what I thought was a very clear intention of getting $20.00 dollars somehow, someway with no idea of how, when or where. Just like they said, I intended the simplest thing that I felt was obtainable first, and then I was going for the big desires and wants as I progressed successfully. I waited and waited, excited with anticipation and guess what…no money came my way that day and I actually got an unexpected bill in the mail. I was disappointed to say the least and felt my little sprout of inspiration sink back into the ground within a blink of an eye.

Words have power to such a degree that we fall in or out of love within a few words coming off the lips of our partners, friends or family. Maybe we are so full of talking in non-descript thought patterns that we trip over our own words and that of others. Maybe my clear intention was cluttered with my trivial chatter that crowded out my intention. In other words, my cluttered words fizzled out my intention like a defunct firecracker.

A week went by and I decided to start again and see if I could intend $20.00 dollars for the day and try to stay positive enough so that it didn’t matter if it did or didn’t happen. Maybe, I thought it had to do with keeping a certain state of mind and allowing the flow of positive energy to come in me and hang out for awhile.

Again nothing happened that day and at the end of the day, I had to stop and think what was wrong. Was it me, was it the way I intended the money or was it a simple fact that maybe deep down inside, I thought there’s no way money was going to come to me out of the clear blue sky. The concept wasn’t new to me because I had intended amazing things with my ex-husband years ago in my twenties. He was a medicine man, so my life was full of amazing experiences. I lived in a world of mystery, the unusual and extraordinary. That world didn’t seem to change until I was in my 30’s. I don’t know when believing in the improbable and magical left me, but it did.

The doubting Tomasita in me was in full force and I started to think that maybe something was wrong with me.

I watched “The Secret” again and thought maybe I had missed something or didn’t follow through correctly. At the end of the video, I was pumped and ready to start again. I thought if they could do it, I could do it too.

At this same time I was starting to do the on-line classes and even though they weren’t first on my choice of directions to go, I felt I should give them a shot. It was a rough and rocky road at first because I didn’t have any instructions or schooling in on-line instructional video production. Red flag anyone?

My attitude was a major influence on how well the videotaping of each class went. I knew that I had to make the best video I could possibly make, answering every question under the sun, a student might have. At this moment the light bulb went on and I knew that attitude was a major player in intending success. A half way committed attitude blocks anything that flows in our direction. It’s like playing ping-pong with our emotions because one negative thought can change the outcome of a desired thought.

At the time I was starting the on-line belly dance instructional videos, I really wanted to work with large groups of students and perhaps have a troupe of my own. I wanted to direct and slowly get out of performing. I saw moves and combinations that were specifically for troupes and knew I could bring something new to the table. This was the forefront of my desire and I put it on the backburner to start off the new video business.

This could be said, was my first mistake because you can’t go into something half hearted, it has to be a committed desire, completely with the self so that nothing else seems interesting. With the video business this was the case. I was placed in a direction that wasn’t my vision. Believe me I’m not saying that the video business wasn’t fun and interesting at times, it just wasn’t my idea to begin with. It was the new frontier and that was the appeal in some ways. It really hadn’t been conquered at least not to the degree that I was told was possible. That aspect of doing instructional videos interested me, but sometimes I think the timing was off and it would have been better when I was riper for the picking.

Going into any endeavor with the slightest hesitation should be looked at, pondered on and evaluated with a fine tooth comb…first. There was no way the “Genie in the Bottle,” wasgoing to grant my wish because it wasn’t a solid wish. My creative inspiration paid a price for awhile because I had to really sit back and see how I was going to put together my Hip Phylosophy Curriculum in a way that would work as instructional on-line videos.

This doesn’t include my first video titled “Hip Phylosophy” because I hired two guys who specialized in dance videos to help me. Unfortunately as I look back on the experience, the video seems a bit flat and my face was as deadpan as you could get. My performance at the end of my video didn’t show many of the moves I taught because by the 4th run through I was exhausted. You can see it in my performance which was lackluster. I should have done the performance another day but didn’t. That was my lesson learned but I want to make it clear…it was my inspired idea so its success or failure fell squarely on my shoulders. Intention is definitely the key here…so much so that it’s the blue print of infinite details that make a possibility into a reality.

“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.”

Henry Ford

“The show must go on,” is a figure of speech that really doesn’t apply to my business. I’m not saying I haven’t done this before but I always paid a price when I forced things to happen or in this instance, spoon fed myself encouragement that just wasn’t there at times. What’s interesting is that when I focused on my new endeavor, it didn’t occur to me that my gut was nudging me from a place of envisage…I should have listened.

A business no matter what it is, is only going to do as well as the intention or inspired ideals allow it to. It’s interesting to see that the vision of success for me was way different then the outcome. You can’t focus on an end result if you are always whining and complaining about the effort it takes to get there. My path was laid out for me without a question or thought for my needs as an entertainer and I found the all encompassing views, foreign and uncomfortable.

In a way maybe I sabotaged the ideals of someone else…and at the same time in a calculated and twisted resolution, walked away from it all, angry that I was no longer in control. Behind closed doors there is another story, one that makes for a better novel with heated arguments, the battle of wills comparative to medieval sparring and unexpected endings you never saw coming.

I lay down on my bed and decided that, “The Secret,” was a hoax, an unrealistic expectation of a reality that just didn’t exist. As you can see, I wallowed in my failure and didn’t take into consideration that insecurity was egging me on. There was nothing said about believing in oneself but maybe the people in the documentary just assumed that most people watching would have some sort of belief or sense of themselves. I don’t know why I didn’t pick up on this one element since being an entertainer; we have to believe in our ability to dance on stage without a blink of an eye. Dancing in front of people was a no brainer for me, but intending $20.00 dollars was like climbing Mount Everest in a bikini.

At what point do we see our creative desires and passions as a business? I think this is the hard part about dance for so many women…can we or should we make a living with our dance. I’m not talking about making enough money to pay for costumes; I’m talking about bringing home the bacon and frying it in the pan!

Intending $20.00 dollars on a continual basis is a mind set that isn’t any different then wanting to be a well known entertainer. It’s the desire of the intention that makes it happen. Belief sends desire directly to the “Genie in the Bottle,” and this is the difference in outcome, I call it tunnel vision.

So with this being said, what’s the deal with the video,” The Secret” is it a reality that is within arms length?

Believe it or not success wasn’t necessarily a consideration for me, making a living was. I loved writing my books more then making instructional videos but as I look back and see what I accomplished, I am in awe of the fact that I did so many videos. In the end, the efforts of my convictions will be here long after I have passed on. Perhaps that is success, packaged with a different wrapping and reason.

So what was it I was really intending?  Maybe, I didn’t want to fade to black becoming just another name in this business. I have been fighting the desire to be famous and the passionate need to be a loner in this business.  The two go together like oil and water.

Success is a matter of outlook and intention is a matter of believing in the outcome of being successful. Effort is a form of success; a finished product is another form of success so that throughout a week of applying a good day’s work into an idea it naturally turns into intention.

I got up from my bed and decided to drag myself out of the house and go visit my parents. I thought getting away from my mind funk would be good for me. I drove from the west side of town to the east side and something interesting happened…the sky was bluer, the radio was playing one good song after another and I found that the wind hitting my face seemed to wake me up and make me feel more alive. I felt much better when I arrived at my parent’s house, pretty much forgetting my failed intention.

After a couple of hours of reminiscing and catching up, I decided it was time to head back home and start working on a new video. As I turned to give my Mom and Dad a hug, my Mom put a $20.00 dollar bill in my hand and said to go enjoy myself and have some fun. I thanked my Mom and headed towards my car smiling from ear to ear. Was it my intention or was it coincidence that I left my parents house $20.00 dollars richer?

I only know one thing, as I drove to my parents house, I appreciated everything around me and I was relaxed and in an open state of mind. My senses seemed to be more acute and I enjoyed everything about the drive. So appreciation seems to play a part in intention. If I’m not in a place of gratitude then how can I possibly be in a place to receive anything?

You know something…after receiving the $20.00 dollars I no longer felt I needed to intend something monetary. It just felt good to feel good. As for wondering how well my videos would do, I never worried again. Once I made them, I let them go and let them be what students needed them to be.

“Happy feelings will attract more happy circumstances” The Secret

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About Leyla Najma
Lifelong professional Belly Dancer dedicated to providing "Belly Dance Instruction That Is Easy To Understand And Learn That Connects The Dots"


4 Responses to “Failure is an Option”
  1. Tania says:

    Another brilliant and timely article Leyla! I am also a great fan of the book ‘The Secret’ and similar teachings. I believe the mind is very powerful and can create negative or positive in one’s life. I’ve had similar questions about this and fought with the same feelings of insecurity and struggles to believe in myself and the endeavours I was trying to take on. Sometimes I just want to throw in the towel and other days I just pick myself up, dust myself off and carry on. I do believe that feeling happy and having an attitude of gratitude is key in all of this, so I have to check my feelings, thoughts and emotions constantly.

    I hope that you had a fabulous Birthday!

    Love & hugs,
    Tania xxx

    • Leyla Najma says:

      Hello Tania,

      It’s so good to hear from you!!

      Thank you for commenting in, I knew most of us have seen the video “The Secret” and I thought it would be interesting to put in my two cents on the topic. It was fun to try and work in the ideology but in the end I realized that most of us in various ways actually work in The Secret into everything we do.

      My B-day was a good one…and it’s not over because I have always believed the WHOLE month is the b-day month! That way special stuff can happen all month long!

      Big Hugs to YOU Always,


  2. Melissa says:

    My dearest Leyla ,
    I absolutely love each and ever article you write. You have such a way with words . Savannah defiantly gets her writing skills from you . I remember when you introduced me to the ” Secret”. I truly believe what you intent, believe and have gratitude with positive thoughts and a lot of passion you will achieve anything.

    The movie changed my whole way of thinking.

    I hope you had an awesome , and amazing and very special day .

    You are truly a remarkable woman who have been though so many unique experiences . You are well cultured , intelligent, beautiful and inspiring .
    Mucho Hugs
    Miss Ya
    Missy 🙂 .

    • Leyla Najma says:

      How’s my Missy!!!!

      Savanah and I miss you sooooo much!!!

      Let’s get together either there or here. Email me and let’s figure out a time we can see each other. Maybe you can stay over and we can all catch up!

      Love and Hugs,