“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.“
My husband has been sick for a week, so Friday night we decided to stay home and give him time to recover. We spent part of the evening in front of our fireplace enjoying the heat on a cold winter night. He hit the sack early and I decided to stay up a little longer. I had my phone and my Bluetooth speaker out, and started randomly selecting songs to play. I spent about two hours breaking out stuff I hadn’t heard in a while, bands like the Replacements, old Rolling Stones and musicians like Tommy Keene. I was a little sad listening to that music, nostalgic for days gone by. But what were those days?
The next morning and throughout the weekend I asked myself why I picked those songs, those bands. And I realized when most of them were popular — my first year or two of college.
I went to UW-Madison, which was about 90 miles from my folks’ house. It was the only school I wanted to go to, the only one I applied to, and I got in with excellent grades. Like many college students, this was my first time away from home, essentially on my own. I had to keep my own schedule, keep track of finances, be responsible for going to class, and for not doing anything too stupid on the weekends. It was really a time of exploration, self-discovery, and occasional boundary pushing. I had the ultimate freedom to choose the path I wanted. Every day I was learning new things, not just from books but about life. It was truly a magical time.
Where am I today? While it is over 20 years later, I am feeling like a student again. This time on a spiritual journey, not to get a degree. I am finishing a year of Yoga Teacher/Holistic Coach training. A year ago I was surrounded by people I didn’t know, but we shared a passion to learn, heal and grow. I attend yoga classes not to learn about the science of biology or psychology, but how to heal my own body and mind.
As the training above comes to an end, I started “homework” with my life coach that makes me feel like a sophomore. We are delving into all sorts of spiritual topics but also exploring the benefits of drawing, poetry writing, music and emotion. I get to “go to lectures” by watching TED talks and I get assigned books to read. Every couple of weeks we do one on one coaching which is just like going to school–without the freezing cold and wind of Madison, WI!
So while the memories of the artists and songs I chose to listen to are happy ones, I think deep down I chose them because they represent a time of great learning in my life. Now I find myself on a new journey of self-discovery, exploration, and yes, even boundary pushing. I am STILL learning things from books but I am STILL also learning things about life.
But unlike college when I was learning for me (it’s all about the individual when you are 18 or 19, right?), this journey goes beyond that. I am fully intending to use what I learn to transform the lives of others. The gift of my schooling and continued study will not just reside in me, it will be shared with those in need. And I hope that by helping others heal, they can make transformations of their own that ripple out into their families, community, and ultimately the universe. I am still in school, but that doesn’t stop me from making grand plans for when I “graduate” (however, I don’t see my thirst for learning being quenched any time soon).
So if you will excuse me, I need to hit the books and play some tunes. Maybe some Bob Mould or Soul Asylum…