The most valuable lesson I have learned is that the most meaningful journey is the inner journey.

Listening to Our Inner Explorer

How nourishing our mind and spirit leads to a fulfilling life

Jean Edelman: Great to be with you this week. This week I want to talk about lifelong learning. I feel like we are the generation in our 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s that are redefining our lives. And what was traditional learning is shifting more to lifelong learning, because life is really about moving forward. And that means that we must continue to stimulate our curiosity. Having a beginner’s mind where everything and every day is new and full of possibilities. This mindset of curiosity, this mindset of lifelong learning will improve our health and happiness.

And here’s just a few ideas to investigate as we are redefining what it is to be in our 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s and beyond. The first thing that has really shifted is online learning. There’s so much available. Just go search for a topic that you find something interesting. Find a great teacher. Maybe you’ve heard of someone that’s teaching a topic of interest to you. Go explore. Don’t be afraid. Read a book.

Research is fun and you don’t necessarily have to read a book these days. You can just go online and start Googling. And it’s wonderful. But digging through and finding something that just interests you, you can go down a rabbit hole and be stuck in books forever. Take a class. There are so many community colleges. Even sitting in on a college class at a local university is very widely accepted, and that could be a ton of fun being around the younger folk.

Go on a learning vacation. National Geographic is always offering these wonderful travel and learning opportunities. Videos, YouTube, always possibilities to learn something. Find a friend that has similar interests and go do something together. Join a group. Explore what our community is offering. The goal is to try something new and find like-minded people so we can keep each other motivated. Personally, I have found watercolors with an amazing teacher and friend and then I got a buddy to join me. And so we have so much fun once a week just playing with watercolors.

I also started taking riding lessons. We’d been to Iceland this year and I found a wonderful farm close by that breeds and gives lessons on Icelandic horses. Totally fun. Totally new. Totally different. And I have a friend that introduced me to felting. Never heard of it before. Don’t know much about it, but I’m curious and I’m going to go check it out. Lifelong learning can be a ton of fun just because we change or shift our jobs, or change what we’re doing every day, doesn’t mean that we can’t go back to school and can’t continue to learn. We just need to take the leap to explore as we did when we were young. Try it if we don’t like it, not a problem. Go find something else.

So my action item this week is sit down and make a list. What sounds interesting to us? What would we like to try? Sky’s the limit.

And so my word of the week is Learn.

The L is to Listen. Listen to ourselves. Embrace our natural curiosity. Listen to our intuition. When something comes up and we would like to learn more, go experience it. Go explore it. Just go for it.

The E is Embrace change. We cannot be stagnant. Life is not meant to be stagnant. We need to move forward. And we do this with an open mind and open heart to accept ourselves and others. We don’t always have to be the expert. It’s fun to sit back and be the student.

The A is for Adept, able and proficient. I don’t think we have to be perfectly perfect all the time. Remember wabi sabi? Nothing’s perfect. Nothing’s complete or permanent, so being in the ballpark is good enough. We want the experience. We don’t need to be the experts.

The R is for Real, true and authentic. That’s our best life, living in our truth and being authentic. And we do this by exploring and recreating ourselves over and over.

And the N is for Normal. You know what? There is no normal. Forget it. TV commercials, we’ve been sold a bill of goods. We are normal in what we are. Normal for me is not normal for you. And we should just never expect it to be so.

Go out there and explore and redefine. Find ourselves each week, each year, each decade. Have a wonderful week, everyone.

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