The Meatball Story

Recently when I was visiting the UK I had an experience I’d like to share with you. It was one of those moments where I could have felt that I made a mistake and I could have easily been hard on myself about it, but instead I had such awesome support from the people around me that it didn’t feel like a mistake at all but rather a moment to learn and grow from.

The Story…

I was visiting a little town in England called Frome, in the county of Somerset, southwest from London. I was there to attend an Esoteric Yoga Course presented by the awesome complementary medicine wonder of a company called Universal Medicine… and yes, they are that awesome. On the premises where I stayed there are different levels of accommodations on offer, some providing a space to be able to cook for yourself. I chose to stay where I didn’t have that much of a possibility to cook, but where the beds and the sleep provided is pure heaven so my choice fell in favour of that. So when it came to the food bit I had to fulfil that need someplace else. So… I decided to go to another facility which to be honest didn’t feel right from the start as I was accessing services that were otherwise intended for other guests.

Just to say that I’m in the process of really aiming to listen to what I feel about things and situations and not to override them with my head, but at this point I was still pushing through what I actually felt. And hence perhaps the reason for what then occurred…


I had prepared some lamb meatballs to be done later on and when that later came I put them into the oven on a tray, not being too focussed or aware of the program I chose. It turned out that I put it on grill function with a fan on 200°C. Now for those that are not too savvy in the kitchen let me tell you that 200°C with the grill generates a lot of heat. It took only a few minutes for the oven to start puffing out smoke through its openings, and we had to literally evacuate the kitchen because we couldn’t breathe properly. At the same time I had to make sure the door was closed and that the smoke didn’t get out otherwise the fire alarm would have gone off. At this point I could feel the heat in my face starting to present itself: and that was not just because of the heat in the kitchen let me tell you!

The funny and interesting thing was that I didn’t find the situation to be that big a deal, even though I said I’m sorry a few more times than one. The people I had stopped from accessing the kitchen were amazingly supportive and I feel that was a big reason for why I could experience the situation as something to learn from, and I was actually quite surprised by how at ease they were in the midst of it all, or mist to be correct. If they had all started yelling at me or saying not so very pleasant things I might have experienced the situation differently.

It cannot be denied that The Way of The Livingness that these friends and I are now students of, presents a very healthy way of approaching life where you don’t feel that you have to get all sucked into whatever is happening around you. That you can actually look at life and let it be where it is and respond accordingly, and not react. And to be honest, being the one that was having a potential moment to learn from – usually called making a mistake in our everyday language – I’m glad I was where I was. And perhaps no mistake either (!).

The presenter and founder of The Way of The Livingness, Serge Benhayon, has been presenting since 1999 that it’s well worth observing life and not absorbing it. Now that can be just words until you actually get to experience what it actually means. And if I take the example of the meatball story, I see very clearly how that approach looks like in real life. So even though I have no need to glorify anyone, it sure was a glorious moment for me to be given the space to make my little “mistake” and to learn from it, which I did.

By Matts Josefsson, Student of Behavioural Science & Life, Sweden

Further Reading:
No Mistakes: Just a New Learning
No Doubt
It Was Meant to Be and Everything Happens for a Reason


469 thoughts on “The Meatball Story

  1. Matts, this blog is so sweet and innocent – from one big experience to call it you have learned a huge amount.

  2. The Way of The Livingness has benefits beyond measure, with ourselves and other stretching to all of humanity.

  3. Thank you Matts, exactly we are often going into melodramatic approach, the one less the other, but often making our body tense up and even hard.. What to me The Way of The Livingness shows me is that there is always something to learn out of any situation and that the best way to do that is through observation. Something I can pay more attention to, great call!

  4. When you ‘know better’ and ‘proceed anyway’ and then you get the results that you ‘knew where going to happen’, it is then that we are met with another series of choices. Do you give yourself a hard time, go over it 100’s in your head, retreat into a hole somewhere? Or do you stay open to the fact that you did it, and lovingly look at why and/or accept the ‘mistake’ and learn from it? The second part feels like you are taking more responsibility for your part and how it effected the whole, it feels more respectful of yourself and others. The first one (which I have done!) feels more about just you, and giving your self a hard time – which to be honest, never really does any good!

  5. Presence is so important and I think many ‘whoops’ moments could be avoided by being more present with what we are actually doing. I noticed this today too in my day and caused some complications. When it happens though it is a great moment to take as a gentle nudge or correction and not as a judgement.

  6. What a very loving way to learn a lesson. Admonishing people doesn’t work. I have only learnt fear of not doing something by this means, often not learning the real lesson but just how to be sneaky and avoid getting caught! In the same way I can see admonishing myself doesn’t work either. Reading this is an inspiration for me to be more loving with myself when I do make a mistake. Not falling for self-judgement I can observe all the angles and see in full what I have just created to learn from.

  7. I am so absolutely blessed to live in a community who is truly willing to look at their hurts and deal with what’s not true. People in my life who are always there to support me in my vulnerable states, but also pull me up when it’s time that I get my act together and get over something. People inspired by the incredible man, Serge Benhayon – thank you all.

  8. A beautiful example of how people responded to a situation instead of reacting … and what a difference it makes for all when we respond and don’t react!

  9. I feel this is all part of caring , caring for ourselves and others. Giving each other enough space to make mistakes and lovingly supporting each other, observing and not absorbing as you say, when we do.

    1. True Elaine, it is giving each other space to learn, we all get our learnings, lessons, in our own time so we don’t need to get invested but only observe and understand why what is happening is happening for someone or for ourselves. Space offers grace.

  10. Exactly Michael. This is whole different approach which makes huge amounts of sense rather than the crazy destructive game of heaping abuse when someone isn’t perfect, or mis-gages something. I often find that laughing about a mistake, thus putting it in proportion, and yes also ‘renouncing’ the action as you have said, works very well.

  11. What a wonderful story Matts – and how well you handled it, as it would be no easy thing for you to have gone through all that smoke causing! Yes, just beautiful that those around supported you and looked after the situation rather than shouting abuse at you – a person can feel bad enough from having caused a kerfuffle without further abuse heaped upon them.

    1. Great point with your last sentence Lyndy concerning how people tend to state the obvious and blast someone for making a mis-take when the mere situation alone is enough to deal with, potentially feel bad about, and learn from. But I feel we have to ask why we put so much pressure on ourselves and others to be perfect in the first place, when in truth our greatest lessons and advancements (at least in my life) can come after we make a mis-take, are honest about how we contributed to it, and renounce the action to not make the same choice again if it was not supportive of us or others.

      1. As soon as I read your way or recording the word ‘mis-take’, the TV/film industry popped into my mind. There are more often than not quite a few ‘takes’ and repeated filming of a scene. It’s an expected part of the process. The quality of the scene filmed either ‘hits’ the mark or is a ‘miss’ and needs to be redone.
        We can choose to experience life this way as well and see a ‘mis-take’ as a learning opportunity offering us the chance of a ‘re-take’ and to be way more conscious of what we are actually choosing to do or say in similar circumstances. It also shows, as Matt’s has shared, there’s no need for reaction and absolutely no benefit or learning for anyone concerned if we choose to dump on ourselves or others, if and when a ‘mis-take’ occurs.

      2. True Michael and also to not identify ourselves with the “wrong” since there is no such thing as being wrong or making mistakes, it’s just part of the learning.

  12. It is very supportive to have people around you that are not in judgment of our stuff ups, it makes it a lot easier to own them, deal with what ever needs to be dealt with and let it go. Self judgment and/or judgment of others is often worse then the stuff up itself.

    1. Yes.. it also makes it easier to let go of judging ourselves, when we feel that there’s absolutely no judgment coming from others.

  13. Oh my gosh it is so worth it…..”it’s well worth observing life and not absorbing it.” It has absolutely, categorically, no doubt, changed my life to begin to observe what occurs and not absorb it all and let go of reactions…amazing. Thank you Serge Benhayon.

  14. We have to listen to that voice that knowing, I have a meeting a few hours drive away today and my body has said very clearly I am to take the train, I really want to override it as it is simpler to drive and quicker, but honour is the new black so the train tickets are booked and I will see what develops on this journey of surrender.

      1. Hi Matts, I feel it was much more supportive for my body to be able to rest and read and write whilst I travelled and it didn’t take that much more time. When I drive I have to concentrate a lot more and I felt I was simply being offered an opportunity to listen to what my body needed and to honour this, my auto pilot is to completely override.

  15. I loved your story Matts, thank you for sharing. What a blessing it is to be able to make a mistake and then be lovingly given the space to learn from it, so, so different to the blame, shame and guilt that is felt or imposed upon for getting it wrong.

  16. Hilarious story Matts! Where would we be without making these ‘mistakes’ and with the support of those around us, learn from them. In reality, there is no such thing as a mistake if we accept the learning it offers.

  17. I love the ‘oops’ moment here – and the learning- not making a big deal of it – and feeling the support from your fellow students…. When we bring understanding rather than judgement to any situation, everyone cam learn.

  18. I can think of a dozen people in my life who would immediately write this story off as something that just happened, and that there was no meaning and no point even sharing this. But that’s just the point, when we don’t make everything part of the bigger picture, then we basically give ourselves permission to override everything we know, which leads to us avoiding truth, and hence absorbing life rather than observing it.

  19. We do seem to make a big deal out of our mistakes and that of others, but when we take away the drama, nothing is really a big deal. This is a great example of making a mistake but not holding yourself in that and continuing to punish yourself, as a lot of us do.

  20. A great example of the fact that there are no mistakes in life simply opportunities to learn. In this case an ‘oops’ moment – although a very smoky one ‘ – and not one where you felt to beat yourself up for what you had done and no criticism from anyone else; The Way of The Livingness being lived in all its practicality.

    1. What I also felt was that wanting to be seen as someone that has it all under control is also a way to keep yourself separated from others. Allowing yourself to been seen as the one being not perfect was and has been and still are to some extent a big thing for me. It is such a relief for the body when we let go of this thing.

  21. It is amazing to clock how much we really know but are denying to ourselves because we have a different agenda. So even though there is learning in uncovering why we choose to not adhere to what we know, it is also very empowering to recognise the fact that we actually do know.

  22. I used to be really hard on myself when I would make a ‘mistake’ but the key is whether I choose to learn from it or not. After all if we did nothing we would not learn anything, a baby does not bash itself when it is learning something new it just gives it another go and gets on with it. Seeing that there is no right or wrong takes the notion away of things looking or being a certain way and allows the magic that is on offer to come out in full. So if what we consider a mistake is showing us the depth of love that we are, as we have to know love to do something opposite to love, then how awesome are mistakes! Because we get an opportunity to learn to make different choices and slowly but surely see all the areas in our lives where we are choosing less than the absoluteness of love we know and come from.

  23. “Mistakes” are a part of life, they are a part of our growth. It is not about us never making any mistakes in life, but rather the importance lies in being able to see all the choices we make and from these choices clock the consequences (‘good’ or so called ‘bad’) and then learn to work things differently. Sometimes it is not so much what we do that matters as much as the how we do it, in terms of the energy in which we are operating in – for the way we do things can be more damaging to self or others than we realise. So much of a learning on all levels, every single day and moment.

  24. The biggest thing about making ‘mistakes’ is to not beat ourselves up about them – but to take the opportunity on offer and accept the learning. And from that we can then make more true and committed changes so that we don’t do that same thing again. What a blessing!

  25. What I am feeling is that our relationship with making mistake goes way back to our choice to step away from God. It feels there’s a bit of stickiness around that – that either we judge and punish ourselves too harshly or we are too arrogant to see it for what it really was therefore to make amends. Something seems to be standing in the way of us simply going ‘Whoops. That was a mistake. Never to repeat.’

  26. We are so trained to think that mistakes are bad and it is wrong to be making mistakes and we often get told off for making one, or we react as though we are being told off when our mistake gets pointed out. What I am learning by The Way of The Livingness is that Love offers space for us to grow through mistakes.

  27. I love that you were surrounded by people who didn’t get angry with you or belittle you for your choices and therefore add to, or in fact distract from, the learning. I can see that we often get distracted and blame others for not supporting us when in fact, some situations present lessons for multiple people, we must work out what’s our part in it, and then adjust our rhythm to ensure we are ready when the opportunity to make meatballs presents itself again. I can see much more lightness and humour in observing not absorbing!

  28. Gorgeous sharing Matts and it is great to be reminded that when we are open to the truth, we are open to learning and embracing our innate wisdom. As such every moment offers us the opportunity to grow, evolve and bring greater awareness to how we are living. And glorious it is to be able to live more of who we really are in truth.

    1. Love what you have shared here Carola – for we do all hold an innate wisdom only we tend to forget this, especially when we have done a so called ‘mistake’ (really should just be called ‘a learning’!)…So the real learning here is to keep remembering that we have this innate wisdom, and that we don’t need to lock it up and hide it, but rather, we can live in and by it each and every day!

  29. Our total awareness when cooking and actually being aware and present with the multitude of different connections we have every day is having a profound effects on those who choice to live in this most divine way.

  30. When a mistake happens, there is always a lesson to be learnt, not only for the person who is ‘doing’ the mistake itself, but for those around them. With this point of view, your experience with the meatball was an opportunity for all those involved to go deeper in something about themselves too… so mistakes and service goes hand to hand. Non judgement, acceptance and surrender makes easier it to learn the lesson at hand.

  31. So much pressure we place on ourselves and another to be ‘perfect’…an ideal that none of us will ever come close to living up to. What a set up this is to make us feel inadequate, less and failing.

  32. The best advice i got was that its good to make mistakes- i would rather may mistakes and learn from them and grow rather than not act and remain stagnant.

  33. Observe but not absorb should be written on my mirror, it is a 101 lesson that I am still learning all these years later. It is something that although I am great at in some areas of life, other areas just suck me and under. Keeping a lightness under pressure is one of the easier tasks for me but family dynamics or taking comments that my husband might say personally is an area I can still work on! What I love about the esoteric community, is that everyone may not be perfect but generally they are all attempting to sit back and make life joyful and not stressed.

    1. Yes I agree Sarah, ‘observe and not absorb’ is one of the many great teachings Serge Benhayon has presented to us, to know it and live this is life changing in many ways.

  34. Thank you for sharing your experience Matts, I have found that there are many opportunities that we learn from, and not to be judged by our mishaps by others makes the learning far deeper.

    1. So true, having that space to grow from is a blessing for sure. I have to say that I am inspired by my friends being so cool about it and not judging me. To be honest I still judge but I know that is from me still judging myself.

  35. I very much enjoy your way of writing Matts, very vivid and relatable and above all lighthearted and fun.

  36. Accepting where we are at and accepting the situation as it is – not blaming others or the moment in anyway (the weather takes a lot of flak for example), we allow ourselves to be aware of the support and love and a deeper awareness of life that’s on offer.

  37. This reminds me of how we treat our children. Do we shout at them and berate them when they “mess up” or do we accept the situation for what it is and allow for a greater learning.

  38. ‘Observing life and not absorbing it’ has been one of the most valuable principles taught by Serge Benhayon over the years, something that I am conscious of every single day in my relationships and interactions with the world.

  39. There is so much to learn in life in this blog. For me where I am today it would be to accept where I am at even though I keep repeating a simple behaviour which is not loving with myself and others, a cycle I have been in since I was a child going to school and a cycle that if I chose to align to love would make such a difference to my wellbeing and that of others.

  40. Living with people is beautiful in how it reminds us constantly how everything we do impacts those around us either in a beneficial way or not.

    1. I am just about to move in with a 3 others and am looking forward to seeing how it unfolds. I have found it can be very easy living on my own to go into old patterns of doing things whereas when you live with others you see, as you say, how everything we do directly impacts them. I used to think I could do things and they would not affect my partner but now see then when you are living with someone in a relationship that irrespective of whether they are with you or not what you do directly has an impact on them – which to be honest most of us do not want to admit let alone feel!

  41. Who would have thought that you would learn so much and not just you but all those involved with making some meatballs! This shows that if we are prepared to be open and willing to see what is there being presented to us that it is a graceful learning for all.

  42. The presentation of Serge Benhayon’s ‘To observe and not absorb’, is a particular favourite of mine and has bought me a lot of understanding around life, relationships and any situation.

  43. Absolutely no point in beating ourselves up for a potential learning in the making. Every opportunity to grow is placed before us. It is up to us as to which way we look at it. . . . to learn and grow or to berate ourselves and stay in the same delay.

  44. What a beautiful learning shared from you experiences of stopping and taking a moment to feel and not go straight into reaction and blame . A beautiful example of taking responsibility and not going into emotions and all this offers us as a way of living in harmony and love from within.

  45. The mind justify, rationalise and sympathise till the cows come home..! But the body is constantly expressing a truth that the mind cannot. Learning to listen to this is an art in itself and one that makes life much more joyful and purposeful as we start to stay connected to the body and bring its quality to all that we do. This, the mind is under qualified for.

    1. Yes Rachael, there is an ease in the body that can guide and advise in a non-dramatic way. There is more flow with the decisions it makes. Bringing attention to this quality and letting it impulse our movements is a way of living that has the potential to address some of the more common mental health issues in our community.

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