Just Keep Learning

 In Circle the Child, Weekly Forum Discussion

Written by: Melanie Groves; Circle the Child

Once you stop learning, you start dying.”  This Albert Einstein quote resonates to the core of me. I have always loved learning new things. That for me was a big part of the anticipation of going to school each year. I’d fall asleep and happily ponder “What new things will I learn?”. Even early in career, starting a new role or with a new company, I was energized hoping to learn new things. To grow.

I am a lifelong learner. It’s as though I get a high from that “Wow, I had no idea, that’s so cool” moment. And good for me too because I am not ready to start dying just yet. I feel like I’ve barely begun to scratch the surface of learning about the world, about myself.

Learning for me is everywhere. I don’t necessarily seek it out and yet when it comes I soak it in like a sponge. For example, I am not much for tv watching, but turn to a nature documentary and I am riveted. Just last week when I had every intention of going to bed, I was glued to a documentary that showcased the Peregrine falcon, a native raptor of my area, who had started making nests in high rise apartments of a fairly metropolitan Ontario city. Little did I appreciate that they had evolved and come back from the brink of extinction only a few decades back that had been caused by the high use of DDT. No way! Also Eeek! 30 more minutes had gone by in the blink of an eye as I soaked in this new information.

The blog challenge this week, in honour of the back to school season, is to list 1-3 things I want to learn this year so after some thoughtful introspection, I have this list:

1) NLP- Neurolinguistic Programming. This technique intrigues me and already as I am halfway through earning my certification, I can see so many practical applications that will not only support and allow me to expand my healing practise, it also helps and supports me. So it’s a 2 for 1 really. I learn the technique and then I learn to apply in my own life, and in that application oh boy do I really LEARN. It’s one thing to read about it and do some practice exercises but for me, the real learning comes from the doing, and usually, those first attempts at applying the knowledge are messy and not at all like the practice scenarios. When I am humble and not stuck in my ego, I recognize that these moments provide the richest application and deep learning of the material.

2) New recipes: Back to school and routine and hubby starting a new job means back to meal planning and with really picky eaters. I feel bored with the 5 things that are quasi-healthy that show up every week because everyone will eat them. It’s as though they are on a rotation. So I plan to seek out new tools and techniques to involve the kids in the process and end up with a few more family favourites to add to the menu rotation. If you have any healthy, fast, family favourite recipes I am happy to receive them and share out the ones that work for us. Ooh, I feel a recipe share coming on! Giddy with excitement. Ooh, look. New learnings!

3) Deeper self-awareness: So this one is an ongoing one. It’s one that at the end of the year I would say yes I have made progress. Unlike the other 2, I still can’t put a bow on it and say yes I’ve achieved it. In particular, I’d like to focus on my self-care. In times of stress and strain, it seems to be the thing to go. So looking to learn and develop sustainable habits. Meditation, yoga, journaling, exercising, nutrition, hydration. All things that I know support me in staying balanced and inevitably as “life” creeps in, one by one they are cast aside. And then I am reminded of its importance and go back to them all at once. The cycle of it is creating fatigue for me. The all-or-nothing of it also creating stress. Back to the drawing board. Starting with small steps, and feeling energized at the compassion in the approach.

Full disclosure, if this bullet list of 3 items is all I learn this year I’ll be disappointed. I hope to continue to soak in those learning moments, regardless of the form the learning takes. It can come in the form of an interesting article, an interesting conversation that triggers a “hmm” moment, a work experience, healing experience or even a formal course or certification. I hope 1 year from now to be a new person, with expanded knowledge and gifts to share out.

So, as I think of my motto for myself,  spoken with the voice of Dorie from the Disney movie Finding Nemo, I will continue to “Just keep learning”, “Just keep learning”.

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