September 25th, 2017


You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.

Richard Branson

Welcome to the Health School Blog. I love this quote as it so clearly shows that “falling over” is crucial to learning. So what does “falling over” represent to you?

To me, it represents “making a mistake” Oh no! there’s that awful word MISTAKE!!!! To so many people it’ the word that can cause the inner critic to leap into action:

Why did you do it that way?

What were you thinking of?

Were you not listening to what I said?

How could you think that was what you did?

Where did you get that information from?

Blah, Blah, Blah.

Could this possibly be how you would react if you make a mistake especially when you are in the learning process?

It can be so common for us to react like that. I certainly used to and used to get myself all tied up in knots inside even before I had made a mistake. In fact I was probably worse with the fear of making a mistake then if I actually made a mistake. I wasted so much energy in that mind-set and yet, part of me knew that mistakes are crucial to learning. No one in the world is going to learn everything first time round.

What is the Learning Process?

The Oxford Dictionary gives us this meaning of the word “Learn”: Gain or acquire knowledge of or skill in (something) by study, experience, or being taught.”

whereas the Cambridge has this as one of it’s explanations: to start to understand that your must change the way you behave.” Now I don’t know about you but I find these two explanations very different.

If I were to think about learning a new skill and I said to myself I have to gain or acquire this knowledge then I would feel a certain pressure because it doesn’t sound like a gradual process.

The Cambridge explanation for me is far more achievable and less stressful – it tells me it is at least a 2-step experience as a “start” is the first of however many steps it will take. Realising and understanding this creates space and time to experience in all ways what it is you are learning.

Within Health School, I am delighted to say that learning via the Cambridge method and happens in bite-sized pieces. There is no point in shoving a whole apple pie into your mouth to eat it as you would risk choking yourself and it would be very stressful. It would be much better to cut a slice and eat the slice piece by piece, bit by bit. Once you finished the slice, having some time to see if you have had enough for that meal would be advisable so you don’t end up feeling overfull and uncomfortable.

In the same way with our courses, we go through some theory and you can then watch a demonstration, maybe ask some questions and get some more information. Then very often there will be some paired or group workshopping so you can put your learning so far into practice and experience the doing of it and having it done to you. There is a huge amount of learning in this practical work and for a lot of people it will be how they learn best.

But this is not where I expect learning to be completed. When you go home, I encourage you to read the supplementary notes that you receive, I also encourage you to take notes during class and re-read them between the modules. Make note of what questions you have and bring them with you to class or you can introduce them to the Facebook Group. You also have case studies to do, these are where you do physical practice of the tests and techniques that you learned from each module. The short assessments are also a great form of learning, you do them yourself, so you can see which areas are sinking into your body and mind and which areas are needing review. It’s all Do-able and you will have your steps that are really speedy for you and then you will have your steps that are slower and that is good, right and proper.

We are unique in our fingerprints, we are unique in our energy, we are unique in our talents and gifts that we bring to the world and we are unique in our learning ability. There has never been and there never will be in the whole of time another “you” so there is no point in comparing yourself to anyone else and how they do it. You are only you, can do it your way. So we can learn together but we will learn in our unique fashion, so let’s celebrate it not criticise it.

Richard Branson has had a lot of learning over the years not just the success that a lot of people may associate with him and his various Virgin companies. During one interview that I heard with him, he was asked what would he do if he lost everything again? His answer has stayed with me for years, he said he would borrow money, get flights to Bali for himself and his family, sell fruit on the beach, until he could think up another idea and then get on with creating and working at that idea until it worked.



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