New Paths of Learning.. This time of the start of new paths of learning as students either prepare to return to school or complete their studies. How do you determine what new paths of learning should be added to your foundations? Where do you seek further training? How do you balance the old and the new?
I am actually working on several strands right now.
I am continuing my training to work as a Soul Midwife. I started this distance course a year ago, and have now completed 6 of the 9 modules for the Level 1 training.
My goal here is to one day work with those who are dying, providing spiritual support and helping people to find their own good death.
In February this year I started taking a tai chi/qi gong class to help me learn how to be more fully present in my own body. That’s the physical part.
I am doing the exercises in Warrior Goddess Training, a book and series of workshops on personal growth and empowerment and have signed up for an 11 day “boot camp” online after pre-ordering the accompanying workbook that is being released in September. This is the emotional/mental part.
This work is helping me to be more fully present inside my own skin and also helping me to recognise and release old messages about what holding power means and claim new messages of personal power and worth.
I’ve just started this in the past couple days.
The Gentle Jaguar e-course which is a 10 day series of meditations and focused questions geared to helping me boost my confidence and clarify what I need to do in order to establish a healing practice.
This course is helping to to identify what it is that I need to do, and what it is really that I want to do in my work as a healer both now, and in a few years time when I complete the Soul Midwifery training.
So how did I decide to do these things?
I decided to do these through a series of serendipitous messages and suggestions. A chance comment from a friend, a chance find on a website. Finding a thread and following it to see where it led.
I love learning, and know that there will never come a time when I know everything. But that’s the joy in life! Even when I am teaching others, I am learning as well. Learning new ways of thinking, new ways of doing, new ways of expressing. Now, I may decide this new way doesn’t work for me, that doesn’t negate that I now can say to someone else – way A works for me, but some people find that way B works better for them.
Sometimes, I like learning new things that will have absolutely no obvious value to me in my life. That’s okay too.
But these 3 strands in particular, how did that come about?
Strand 1 – A few years ago I came across mention of Soul Midwives online. In following up on that I came across the School of Soul Midwives run by Felicity Warner here in the UK. Upon reflection, I realised that when I worked as a nurse I found the most meaning and worth in what I did when I was providing nursing care for those who were dying. It was also at times so of my most heart wrenching.
After more consideration, I contacted Felicity and opted to do the Introductory course. From that I became even more determined that this is what I am supposed to be doing in my work as a healer.
Strand 2 – Some time last Autumn I began getting messages from my Spirit Helpers, telling me that I need to undergo a warrior’s healing. Not knowing what this actually meant, I began exploring.
I realised slowly that I needed to find healing both mentally and emotionally, and physically. My own Spirit Helpers had told me that I needed to practice being inside my own body and recommended that I not do shamanic journeywork for a while, because I already spent too much time outside my body.
I came to realise that many traditional practices which serve to help someone become more grounded actually caused me to leave my body. Things like sitting in water, eating, physical exercise.
Spirit’s recommendation was that I find and do some sort of bodywork to help me practice. So I looked at things like yoga and tai chi or go gong. There weren’t any yoga classes in my area at a time when I could attend, but there was a very reasonably priced tai chi class for beginners. I signed up and have been going ever since.
From two sources several months apart, I was given information on the Warrior Goddess Training website and book. Ahhh, I thought. And I went to take a look further. I bought the book, and read it.
And am now doing the exercises. I am tracking my progress here in my healing blog an it is linked to above.
Strand 3 – This was recommended to me by a friend who is also doing this ecourse. She and I are both at a stage where we want to develop our work as healing practitioners in the community, and we are both plagued a lack of confidence. I have been doing some healing work with this friend, being one of her case study subjects in a Reiki Drum course she was taking.
Through her, I was able to identify where some of my blocks on claiming personal power arise from, and I can now work on releasing those old messages and old beliefs that no longer serve me.
How do I balance the old and new?
There’s the big questions. I know this is a concern for me. I can find myself distracted by the next shiny, abandoning one course of learning I am actually doing for the next exciting thing that comes along. I have learned to be a lot more discerning about what new projects and learning experienced I take on. Is this something I want to do? Does it serve me and my purposes right now? Will I have time to do this plus continue the work and learning I am already doing?
These 3 strands of learning I am working on right now are all inter-related. I need to do the Soul Midwife training so that I can do that work. I need the warrior goddess training and the body work so that I can stand in my own power and speak my truth. I need the gentle jaguar ecourse to help bring focus to my goals and improve my confidence which will only serve to make me a better Soul Midwife and help me to stand more firmly in my own power and truth.
Where do I find these learning opportunities?
All around me! A chance conversation with a friend, following an interesting link online, reading the back of a public bus, casual perusing of a client’s bookshelf while waiting for her to come out of her bathroom. Opportunities for learning are all around us, we just have to keep our eyes open and follow the strands to where they lead.
This article was written for The Pagan Experience.