Learning to Learn

When I think back on my learning experiences, I wonder how I ever got to where I am. I grew up in a county that was known for its school district. “One of the best,“ they said. I did well enough in school (especially considering that I never really tried), mostly because I learned how to take a test at a very early age.

Now, I don’t want it to sound like I didn’t have any great learning experiences. My 5th grade teacher, Mr. Wise (for real, that was his name!) told me that those who don’t know all the answers but ask a lot of questions were really the smartest kids in the class. As a self-proclaimed smarty pants, that was a huge pill to swallow, but it never left me. History got a white-washing in 11th grade when I was taught that the Civil War was about state’s rights, not slavery. But I just loved my teacher, who was from Oklahoma and had quite the southern drawl. My world history teacher in 12th grade foretold that there would be a World War III and that it would start in the Middle East, not Viet Nam. And that was 1969! What a genius Mr. Bridges was…

I finished up my my BS in Physical Therapy in 1975 and figured I’d seen the last of the inside of a classroom. Well, never say never, I did go back to school and finished my Master’s at USC in 1980. This time it was really enough.

But in 1988, I signed up for my first 5 week segment of my 4 year Feldenkrais training. I thought it was just part of ongoing education; another tool for my toolbox.

HA!

My life changed. My work changed. I stopped trying to fix people and set out to help them “learn to learn.” I set out to help people identify how their habits can help them or hurt them. I set out to create a place where people could move and question and take charge of their own body. I set out to create a place where my becoming obsolete would mean my success, a place where people could learn to make choices. A place where, as long as they were willing, they could always come back to learn more.

I learned that true learning happens on the inside and that it has to relate to our world in order to be relevant. I learned that listening, listening to yourself is how we find our own uniqueness and that that is way more important that a home exercise program or memorization. I learned that passing a test has absolutely nothing to do with true learning. I learned that learning does not happen in one day. I learned that even after you have learned something, there is more to learn.

And best of all: I found out that I love learning. I have a feeling that you will, too. Let’s stay in touch.

To see what I will be doing for the rest of the year, go to my website

In Gratitude,
Beth

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