When exploring new ways of seeing the world allow yourself time, press pause, rewind, write it down, try it out, and play with it to see if it fits.
It struck me when I was revisiting Carolyn Spring’s webinar for the second time this morning that I am so lucky to be able to access this material repeatedly. During recent months many organisations have started offering lifetime access to their online training modules and I actually welcome this. As much as I love to see presenters live, especially when so inspiring, the information can be too much and too overwhelming to fully digest in one sitting. This is not because I’m flawed (C Spring, 2020) but because like most people I ‘can’t’ always grasp everything first time round and sometimes it doesn’t fit in my experience of understanding and I need time to allow it to sink in.
Access for life to presentations means I can take things in bite-size chunks. Listen, then go away with that in mind and explore. I notice how many times I press pause, rewind and note down what I have just heard. Even step away to think about, maybe play with it, see if it fits. Digesting it, to allow it to become part of me and my understanding. If it does…great….if it doesn’t spit it out and start again.
When attending live presentations previously I hadn’t taken into account how full my mind becomes, the struggle to hold each concept in order to process before they move onto the next one. And then, those ‘ah ha’ moments. You know those moments when the penny drops and you see, feel and understand something for the first time and want to sit with it, but are unable because the speaker has moved on.
It’s important to fully experience that understanding on an experiential level, to really sit with the feeling and digest it in order to fully process. This is no different in the therapy room.
Yes, I agree there are many other facets to the learning process but for now I want to focus on this and not get distracted by other aspects that can impact on the learning process. That can be another blog…..
So, for a moment, just pause, think about how we learn and consider the processes. Remember as children how slowly we might do things, how repetitive we are, how exploratory and how many different ways we find to do things. Walking as an example, we don’t wake up one day and walk. We go through a process of learning what our arms and legs do, we kick, we notice them and hold them, often chew them. And when the strength and muscle memory develops and we begin to connect with our surroundings we push off from them, begin to roll, change our position, and hold onto things….practicing. Is this not the same as pressing pause, rewind, writing it down, trying it out, and playing with it to see if it fits?
I often find myself referring to the Autobiography in Five Short Chapters by Portia Nelson with clients. A short poem, which helps demonstrate the process of learning, repeating while often falling down before we are able to begin to absorb and begin to work with change. Challenging that muscle memory to do something different.
Often we don’t provide ourselves with the space to take in new information, take it slowly, practice and digest it. We often want the quick fix and for some areas in our lives that might be okay and perfectly acceptable, but in other areas of our lives we need to take it slow and repeat until that penny drops. Yes, it is sometimes about courage but taking it back to the basics means that we take it slow, play with it, try it out, and repeat, before digesting.
Learning is an experience that often has to be repeated in order to make sense of. We don’t always see what is in front of us because we are digesting other aspects that are relevant to our learning and when we join the dots we get to see the bigger picture and get those ‘ah ha’ moments. So, allow yourself the time, press pause, rewind, write it down, try it out, and play with it to see if it fits when exploring new ways of seeing the world.
Previous blogs related to Learning
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters, by Portia Nelson. Published: February 27th, 2018
Autobiography in Five Short Chapters, by Portia Nelson. Published: April 9th, 2014
Picture: Skeeze. (2020) ‘Boxes.’ [Online] Available at: https://pixabay.com/photos/boxes-cardboard-carrying-overload-2624231/ (Accessed: 22 September 2020)
Spring, C (2020) ‘Working with Trauma’ webinar [Online] Available at: https://www.carolynspring.com/trauma-webinar/ (Accessed:18 September 2020)
Nelson, P. (2018) Autobiography In Five Short Chapters. [Online] Available at: http://www.dwlz.com/Motivation/tips26.html (Accessed: 27th February, 2018)