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Practice Day 28: I have Made Mistakes, Let me Learn from them. (Nothing is wasted if it's human).

Theme/Mantra: “I have made mistakes, let me learn from them. (Nothing is wasted if it’s human.)”


The Bladder Song by Nathan Leonard

On a piece of toilet paper

Afloat in the unflushed piss,

The fully printed lips of a woman.

Nathan, cheer up! The sewer

Sends you a big red kiss.

Ah, nothing’s wasted, if it’s human.


Find a comfortable position for meditation.

If you can, allow for 10 min in meditation today.

Take a few cleansing breaths.

Call up 2 mistakes you have made in the past.

Sit with them one at a time.

Consider the damage done.

Forgive yourself.

Consider what you have learned from them.

Breathe into the hope of the new you, vowing to not make those same mistakes again.

Vowing to move forward, in your humanity, allowing nothing human to be wasted.

Physical Movement:


Lie on your back, with your legs together, and your hands under your buttocks (palms down).

Lift your upper body onto your elbows.

Bend your neck backward, resting the crown of your head on the floor.

Arch your back, keeping your legs passive.

Be sure your weight is mainly on your elbows, and not your neck.

Hold for several breaths.

Return by pressing your elbows into the floor.

Gently life your head and tower your upper body.

In your breaths- breathe deeply Life’s positive energy into your body, and allow it to transform any negativity you are holding, exhaling more positive energy into the world.


I discovered Nathan Leonard’s poem 20 years ago in a gifted book of poetry edited by Czeslaw Milosz entitled, “A Book of Luminous Things.” It is one of the best collections I’ve seen. I say that last line to myself and others all the time. “Nothing’s wasted, if it’s human.” I love the humor- the primeval feel of the poem- the scene of a public toilet- of the waste of the human body (the piss) juxtaposed with the red lip-sticked lips imprinted on toilet paper. It almost makes me cry every time. Because it is also hopeful. Even this. Even this in the toilet I will refuse to see as waste- because it is human.

And I think of the mistakes we make- and we all do. The intentional harm- the unintentional harm. How being human brings with it imperfections. But as the Oh Hellos remind us- even when we can’t change what has been done in the past- we can learn. We can grow. We can acquire the attitude that Nothing is wasted- If it’s human- So be it.

(I chose this physical movement today because it puts us in such a vulnerable position. I think when we are looking at our mistakes, and holding the culpability of damage done, and the weight of forgiveness, and the hope of moving on having learned, it helps to recognize our own vulnerability… so when/if you do the physical movement today, remember that vulnerability is very human, and something that should not be wasted- should not be taken advantage of or abused in ourselves or others).

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Song: I have Made Mistakes by The Oh Hellos


I have made mistakes, I continue to make them

The promises I've made, I continue to break them

And all the doubts I've faced, I continue to face them

But nothing is a waste if you learn from it

And the sun, it does not cause us to grow

It is the rain that will strengthen your soul

And it will make you whole

We have lived in fear, and our fear has betrayed us

But we will overcome the apathy that has made us

Because we are not alone in the dark with our demons

And we have made mistakes

But we've learned from them

And the sun, it does not cause us to grow

It is the rain that will strengthen your soul

And it will make you whole

And oh my heart, how can I face you now?

When we both know how badly I have let you down

And I am afraid of all that I've built

Fading away

Until Monday- Peace

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