The Fine Art of Failing

by Caelen S. Cann, LPC, LAC, ADS

PACT Level 3 Candidate


Irish novelist Samuel Beckett once said, “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

When I graduated from Naropa University with my master’s in counseling, I was fortunate enough to have Buddhist teacher, author, and nun Pema Chödrön give the commencement speech. As a longtime fan of Pema, I was thrilled to be able to hear and see her (and bow to her as I received my diploma), but what stuck with me the most was not the star-struck nature of being in her presence, it was the lesson she provided in her speech. When trying to decide what to tell the auditorium full of graduating people, fresh-faced and new into the world of counseling and other fields, she thought about what skill we really needed that was not stressed enough: the fine art of failing. 

“There is a lot of emphasis on succeeding,” Pema said, “and whether we buy the hype or not, we...

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Lost Your Spark? How to Reignite Your Love

caelen cann for couples Nov 18, 2020

By Caelen S. Cann, MA, LPC, LAC, ADS

PACT Level 3 Candidate, PACT Ambassador


A couple new to me, Kristin and Dan, are sitting in my office. This is their first session, and from what they have presented thus far, their relationship isn’t on fire. “Why are you two seeking couple counseling now?” is a typical question I ask. There’s a long pause, and finally Kristin looks over at Dan and with a shrug states, “Well, it’s just boring. We used to be madly in love and now, after 15 years, it just feels like the fire is gone.” Dan nods in agreement.

There are many reasons for this. And while partners may blame each other for their lack of excitement, other forces are at play that are not so personal. For example, part of what couples may not realize is that some of the “boring” feelings come from the automated part of the brain.

As we go through our day, our brains are constantly on the go — taking in information, getting us from...

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