So here I was. Preparing to co-facilitate a full day leadership program on zoom for a client in Vancouver. Except I was in Nairobi, a full 11 hours ahead of BC. It was 6:30 pm Kenya time. I was in Shayne’s office, testing everything, getting ready, making sure that the technology was just right. The first couple of participants showed up and indicated that they could not hear me. So I frantically checked my audio settings, to no avail. Sabrina, with her daughter Amaal on her hip, came to the office to help me out. As she was doing this, Amaal reached out and pulled out my wig. This feisty, determined, quick moving, 7 month old ball of fire, managed to do this with just one hard pull. Just like that, and so quickly. Fortunately, in the nick of time, I was able to hold on to the wig before anyone was the wiser. Catastrophe averted, but just barely.
As I shared this story with friends, they blurted out their own embarrassing moments. Like having their mike on in the washroom in the middle of a presentation. And accidently being on zoom video with the video on and dentures off. When I was on dexamethasone during cancer treatment, I actually bought a complete set of Richard Simmons videos which was being advertised in an infomercial on TV at 3 am; suffice to say I have never watched them. Another time, I MC’d an event, and forgot the name of one of the Guest Speakers that I had to introduce.
A colleague of mine had a quote on her desk that said something like, when something embarrassing happens to you, put your hands up and say, “how fascinating”. I love that quote. It brings humour to a situation without judgement and accepts that we all have lapses because life happens. It also transforms an embarrassing situation into possibility and learning. Another quote that recently showed up on my social media said, “when you stumble, make it part of the dance” That is my philosophy – – to embrace my stumbles because they are a part of who I am. And when I see someone else stumble, to take their hand and help them join the dance.
And today, when I went to play with Amaal, she immediately reached out to grab my hair. Except this time I was prepared with stronger clips and reinforcements. And if she had succeeded, I would have raised my arms and said, “how fascinating”!