The learning curve

Good morning Travellers,

I awoke this morning to THIS outside:

I’m not sure how the rest of the world is going, but here in Kansas, we no longer have seasons apparently. We just have the day we are going to have, without rhyme or reason. Snow in April. You’re welcome.

This little glitch however goes very nicely with something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, learning.

When we are young, our lives are charted by learning milestones. First it’s about our movement. You learn to roll over on your belly, you learn to pull your knees under you to crawl, you learn to sit upright, you learn to reach out to something higher than you to leverage yourself into standing, you learn to fall down and get up. Fall down and get up. Over and over again. After you walk and fall down enough, you will learn to run. Ride a bike maybe. Swimming. Climbing on things. Hopscotch. Jump rope. Throwing a ball. Catching that ball. Running faster and jumping. Dancing. Chasing other kids.

Scholastically we learn about going to school, time, what day it is, words, how to spell, how to do math, how to read, meeting other kids and the realm of socialization opens to us. We learn what we like and what we don’t. What we are good at and what is difficult for us. We learn to keep going or quit.

We learn to brush our teeth, then we lose them and grow new ones. Most of us sort of enjoy that part.

We learn about naps, snacks, bedtime stories. And as we grow up we have birthdays that we excitedly celebrate with fun parties.

We are learning. And that continues with some expectation until college. Then in early adulthood we learn to be on our own, get a job, find a mate, have some kids, buy a house and then well, then what happens?

THEN WHAT HAPPENS.

I’ve felt very strongly for the last five years or so that the fulfillment you are seeking in adulthood has everything to do with mirroring your childhood. Hear me out…

Everyday you are learning, if you so choose. That snow in that photo is teaching one of the oldest lessons in the book: Adversity breeds survival. While I have moved my little garden containers into the garage to protect them and tarped the remaining larger containers, the rest of nature has to fend for itself. And it will. You can complain about the snow or revel in the fact that the natural world will carry on. Adaptation is learning. And it is a marvel to watch and learn.

I’ve spent the last 6 months revisiting my training methodology and what service I really want to offer clients. And learning is the center piece. Not how you look or will look. I’ll talk more about that more in depth another time, but what I want to say is this…

At the heart of our beings is our nervous system and this life is about learning to master it. Your nervous system is your hard wiring AND IT CAN BE CHANGED. It can be expanded and strengthened. Learning a new behavior creates a new neural pathway. Learning new movement creates new neural muscular pathways. It’s a challenge because our repetitive behaviors are like muddy ruts that we have traveled so much that we are stuck in them. Doing something new is like paving a road that has never existed.

You can learn. And learning tastes like a kind of satisfaction that I think most of us have forgotten in our youth.

Remember what it felt like to ride that bike for the first time? And then what it felt like to ride when the training wheels came off? Or what it felt like to read as a child? Maybe like me, you learned to play an instrument. I played piano and at 5, I thought those pedals on the floor were going to make something serious happen when I could finally reach them. That was exciting to learn.

And I remember learning the hard things too. Injuries from sports, broken hearts from boys, friends who weren’t your friends after all, and all the times I did things that I wasn’t proud of either.

We were learning, good and bad. And we expected it then, so why don’t we expect it now?

What would happen if you created benchmarks in your own life for learning?

What if everyday you look for learning especially in the craptastic stuff?

What if you used therapy as a way to learn to create a better life?

What if you learn to be more of something like compassionate or a better cook or a new hobby or working out or eating well or read a new book?

Just think about all the things you could learn today.

New skills, or just everyday lessons. Like with the snow outside my door. If you are dating, try hard to figure out what are you learning. If you are married, learn something new about your spouse. If you have kids, good grief, there’s a fountain of learning. Same with pets. Dog and cats are far more complex than they are given credit. And old dogs CAN learn new tricks. They are wired just like us.

But mostly learn about you. YOU. Do you know you? Do you know how wonderous your body is and this life?

Who are you?

I recently learned that not only is a tonsillectomy as an adult a horrifying surgery, because one of my closest friends had it done. FYI they BURN your tonsils out. But I learned that I actually am a person who gladly takes care of her friends even when it’s inconvenient. And I’m grateful for it. For her. And for learning this is a part of myself that I think I forgot or maybe I’m a better person than I’ve led myself to believe.

Necessity is the mother of all invention. And we invent through learning and learning creates invention.

Learning is what I feel life is about. If you can learn to take any situation that meets you and examine it for the lesson you’d be surprised how it changes. Learn to embrace hardship. That’s a big one. THAT IS A BIG ONE. Hardships have ALOT of lessons you may or may not like, but it’s still learning.

Learning will change your life. And it will change who you are with the people around you.

Consider my words. Look for learning today. Everyday.

All learning is important.

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