What’s the Big Deal about Transformative Learning?
Can you recall a time when you felt transformed? How about a time when you realized you had just learned something? I mean, really having an awareness of suddenly grasping something or noticing a gentle emergence of new information into your consciousness.
Miracle or Mundane?
Sometimes, the word transformational can give the impression that there is a sudden miraculous awakening and a complete shift in perspective. This can be very true, but it is also true that transformative learning can occur in much more subtle ways often in the very mundane activities of daily life. Of course, if we aren’t paying attention, it is not likely that we will notice these shifts.
It can be more comfortable to continue viewing the world and ourselves, for that matter, from the tidy and familiar compartments that we have created in order to make sense of life. It is true that this can give the impression of manageability – there is no need to stretch or go outside of the comfort zone; however, this approach to living can become very uncomfortable in itself…eventually.
Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable
I believe that when this discomfort begins to occur, there is an amazing opportunity for growth and learning. Discomfort tells you that it is time for a shift and on some level, you are both desirous and ready for the change process even if you’re not aware of it yet…and even if you don’t really know what that means.
Everything is a Learning Opportunity
What do you think about when I say learning? Does it conjure up images of the more structured and formal learning situations that most of us have experienced – academic settings, workplace environments?
Learning can occur in every single moment of every single day – no matter where you are and whom you are with – as long as you are open to it.
Every interaction we have offers the opportunity to learn – to learn about another individual – to gain insights about ourselves – to consider alternative perspectives and approaches. The question is how do we remain open to these opportunities in ALL situations?
What happens to your capacity to learn for example, when you disagree with what someone else is saying? How is your ability to remain open affected when you are not feeling well? What opportunities are missed when you don’t like the other person involved in the communication? I know there have certainly been times in my life where I have shut down to a learning opportunity because I didn’t think the other person had anything to offer – a little bit arrogant, right? But, I think we all do it from time to time – operating from the ego and coming from a place of judgement. But, what if we considered how much we might learn about ourselves in these situations if we harnessed our power to be present.
Learning is living
Can you imagine how exciting life would be to experience various levels of transformation on a regular basis? Gaining awareness, learning and expanding our perspectives is fun! Sure, it might be a bit scary, but it can also be very exhilarating.
We don’t have to leave home – travel the world – jump out of a plane – turn our entire lives upside down – although, at times, that may be exactly what we need. Rather, this type of exhilarating transformation can be as close as the very next moment – the very next breath.
When it comes to enhancing your ability for conscious service, foster your capacity to seek transformative learning opportunities in all situations – not only to facilitate potential learning for others, but also to embrace the opportunities that are yours for the taking!
Let’s get started!
I would love to hear about your transformative learning experiences!
What happened? How did it feel? How did you know you had been transformed?
How can this be of benefit in your role as a helping professional?
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