The gift in each day is that we always have opportunity to learn something new, because each day presents itself independently and uniquely from any other. Our minds are constantly processing information through our sensory receptors, translating these into thoughts, ideas, and ultimately into nervous system responses. With each breath, the body learns how to adapt differently to the newness of the present moment. This is unconscious learning. Yet we also have the choice to consciously engage with learning, encouraging our minds, bodies and souls to adapt, change and expand with life as it happens in and around us.
Learning occurs in many different shapes and avenues. There’s the conventional sense of learning related to course study or the pursuit of education. We also learn through association and community, exploring perspectives with others. There are those ‘aha’ moments of learning when we discern something through experimentation or trial and error. In more tactile learning, it is through repetition and practice that we master a skill, trade, craft, sport. We also have indirect learning which occurs through having an experience with curiosity. And through self-discovery, perhaps the most intimate form of learning, when we can more clearly see ourselves and acknowledge something we hadn’t previously known about our inner strength or emotions, shadows or capabilities. Wherever we are, life presents opportunities for learning – everyday.
When we endeavor to learn something new, it’s incredibly brave to acknowledge there's something we don't know, and we can also lean into our adventurous spirit of discovery. Learning may be sparked by new interests, by a desire to fill gaps in knowledge, or perhaps comes through overcoming challenge. Regardless of what inspires learning, there is beauty in saying ‘I don’t know,’ and then taking action to find answers. It is important to recognize where we are currently and what information we need to move forward. We will need to draw on courage through learning, as there can be fear associated with trying new things. We can feel challenged to dance in a space of the unknown, testing our abilities, making us question what we have previously known, or question our resilience to see it through. Getting caught in the fear state can be crippling and cause us to abandon course, yet it is precisely in this moment that we stand to gain the most, by continuing into the unknown, holding faith that what we need to learn will be revealed.
And then magically, once learned, the thing which seemed most daunting becomes a new level of comfort, a new place of NOW knowing. We tend to be creatures of comfort and in those moments of discomfort is where we may learn to trust ourselves and expand – we may gain knowledge, new talents, important life skills, epiphanies to change how we see the world, and we may also experience things we wish to never repeat. All learning is valuable information for how we proceed in our lives, and how we choose to process what we're learning is up to us – we may resist learning, which fosters stuck patterns and fear, or we may embrace learning, honoring that we will forever be slightly different today than yesterday, which opens our potential.
Because of this, learning frequently leads us to take new action. From learning, we experience growth, which then offers us ways to live differently. We may decide to start new programs and diets, forge new friendships, change the way we relate with others, and we may also elect to stop acting in certain ways, abandon known harmful habits, release biased beliefs. All growth is positive, regardless of the outcome, because we have fundamentally expanded our mind and/or heart space and we've gained more self-awareness to promote greater self-advocacy. As humans, we have a great capacity to choose how we are and what we do in each moment, the gift of free-will.
Learning is a life-long process which supports our daily existence and offers the opportunity for a rich and fulfilling life. It requires that we gracefully accept the limitations of what we already know, with a willingness to live in a place of temporary discomfort and unknown so that we may expand and grow on mental and emotional levels. When regarded as opportunity for expansion, learning becomes a necessary nutrient in our lives. The more we learn, the more we desire to learn, and our appetite continually increases. Much like trees, which continue to grow stronger and taller over time, so may we seek growth from below, through our roots, and above, into our dreams, nourishing ourselves as ever-changing and dynamic beings.
“From the sadness, learn something; from the happiness, learn something. From the setback, learn something and even from the success learn something. Never stop learning from any situation in life, for that is where the wisdom lies.” ~Gift Gugu Mona
By Jennifer Rizza, Founder Newtown Wellness Collective, Reiki Master, Yoga Teacher, Wellness & Healthy Living Coach
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