I have always loved book shops.
It doesn’t matter what kind of mood I’m in. Happy or sad. Angry or indifferent. I always love book shops.
There’s something about the potential of a book shop that just makes me giddy. The idea that there is so much knowledge + learning just waiting for a willing person to wander in + read. The whole process of selecting a book + determining what area of knowledge you want to grow in your mind is wonderful. Deciding that something fits just what you are looking for right then and buying it has always been, to me, like the art of putting together a jigsaw puzzle.
Needless to say, I’ve always been more of a non-fiction than a fiction kind of person. Books have always been a profoundly joyful way for me to feel inspired + deepen my knowledge of the world.
Despite this, I recently went through an extended period of non-learning. I was almost actively avoiding learning. Life was pretty busy, I had a lot going on + I didn’t feel like I had room in my mind for anything other than what I was already doing + experiencing. This perpetuated as the longer I was not learning, the longer I wanted not to learn. In turn, I noticed feelings of disengagement + a lack of inspiration. I was feeling low + I wasn’t picking myself up.
It’s amazing what feeling busy + over-stretched can trick you into thinking if you aren’t careful. I had decided learning wasn’t important. Learning could wait. Growing could wait.
The moment you don’t feel like learning or growing anymore should be a red flag. A short phase is fine, but if it’s prolonged then you need to take action. You should ask yourself what you are spending time on that you don’t need to. You should ask yourself whether you have your priorities quite right.
Learning is important because it gets us out of a rut.
We are beings deeply connected to our routines. We like to do things in a certain way. We can easily miss out on opportunities to grow and learn if we aren’t actively looking for and creating space for them. We can get stuck in a rut. If you ever feel low, why not try learning something new? See what happens to you. Sometimes just immersing yourself in a learning experiencing can make the difference. It can re-light the fire in your heart.
Learning is important because it enables us to change, gently.
If I think about how different I am now to how I was 5 years ago, it surprises me. In that time I have undertaken my kundalini yoga teacher training + without really realising it that learning process completely changed me. I am not the same person I was before I trained. I am calmer. I laugh more. I care less about things that don’t matter. I love more. I am better.
All I can say about that is that somehow I learnt to be better. I changed, so gently, that I barely noticed – but so profoundly that it’s impossible to miss.
Learning is important because it soothes our soul.
Sometimes learning can be about going back to who you are. We spend so much of our lives intentionally or unintentionally conforming to what is expected of us. We can generate feelings of lack of self-worth or lack of confidence. We might feel we have taken the wrong path or that we should do what others expect us to do.
When we open ourselves to learning + expose ourselves to opinions + experiences of others, we have the opportunity to truly accept ourselves as who we are or gently take steps to change ourselves towards who we wish to be. Either way it’s a step closer to our true selves. A step closer to our souls. We connect to our essential self, deep within, rather than the social self who is busy worrying about what everybody thinks.
Learning is important because it’s joyful.
Sometimes when I’m reading something that speaks to me, I get so excited about it that I just start laughing. Or I love what I’m reading so much that I just have to underline + circle it + write ‘YES!’ in the margin. Sometimes a lightbulb switches on or a cold part of the heart warms up. Something happens that creates space + a connection to joy.
Learning is important because it’s living, darlingheart. So live.
How do you seek space to learn in your life? I’m re-engaging with books again. At the moment I’m reading a lot of books about relationships – both with ourselves + with others. I’m watching TEDtalks on the same topic, and downloading free iTunes University audios, too. I’m proactively going to workshops or events in my local area that speak to me so I can have the experience of not being the teacher + giving myself over to learning. I’m so excited by the plethora of ways to learn about any topic that I choose.
I’d love to hear how you make room for learning in your life.
Always loving, always learning,
P.S. If you want to join an online community of beautiful souls committed to lifelong learning then you can sign up to my blissful, bountiful + beautiful community for just $60 per year. So far this year we’ve been learning about making this year the best year we’ve had, kundalini yoga + meditation, how to get a good night’s sleep + how to deal with stress. There’s so much available in the membership package + a gorgeous group of lovely people who support each other. I’d love you to join us in the space.
P.P.S. If you are local to Berkhamsted + want some experiential learning then why not sign up to my Kundalini Yoga for Positive Minds 4 week course starting Mon 20th April at 6.30pm for just £36. Alternatively there are a last few spaces on my Gong Relaxation on 18th April 2.30-3.30pm for just £10.