It was my Grandmothers that had much influence on my instincts to ground life in learning. Some of that was their particular orientations to how they had persisted in their lives. My Father’s Mother, Lena, encouraged me to learn with my brain. My Mother’s Mother, Fern, encouraged me to learn with my heart. And then there was my Mom, Myrna, who encouraged learning through my “gut” and intuition. And then there was my Dad, Gary, who encouraged learning through playfulness. Hmmm, and a bunch of other people.
In the deepest sense-making that I do, as the human living this life, and as the facilitator that I am guiding groups, so often the purpose, the deep purpose, lands on or near the narrative of learning well together.
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you will recognize that I often nuance the learning to three layers. Learning about self. Learning about each other / the group. Learning about circumstance.
Well, lately, a very basic framing of learning has been calling to me. I keep exploring a few edges and a few simplicities. The short of it is, that it feels true to me that there is a way that we live our lives. This is plans. Exact timings. Details. Many steps along the way. All of that is real. And then another short of it, that also feels true to me is that there is a way that Life is living us. This is the serendipity. This is the self-organized. This is the coherent whole that doesn’t arise from over-efforting.
Both are happening. Both are important. The more emphasized in contemporary society is the planning that is so entrained. The lesser emphasized is the being with life as it unfolds. I find something so deeply compelling in the latter, in lifting up the real-time presence, learning, living, not just as a cute way of being, but rather, as a very deliberate operating system — being fed by Life and contributing energy to the bigger story of Life.
For me, what lives behind learning is connection. Of course. Blatant and nuanced and subtle connection with ourselves, with a group, and with circumstance. So much of the story that I find myself leaning in to is relational, connectional. And, to add to that learning, how it changes when in emotional fields of hope and joy, rather than of fear and scarcity. Fear and scarcity do so much to contract. Hope and joy and love do so much to expand. In life. In communities. In jobs. All of it. And, all of this happens while we are simultaneously in varied phases of learning — some of us working very old fears, some of us freed to new and needed understandings.
This mystery of learning is in fact a relationship with mystery. I’m so glad for the many people compelled to explore in this way. The plans. The participating. The organizing. The mirroring. The surrender. Finding kindness and courage in it all.
Yup, it was my Grandmothers that so encourage me as a boy — “there is always something to learn.” I love them and miss them. And I love how their teachings expanded in me. “There is always something to feel. There is always more to connect. There is always more to surrender too. There is always more to greet with kindness, heart, consciousness, love, clarity, and flow.”