Throughout the past 9 years that I have been on this journey of self-discovery and improvement. I have learned a great deal about myself, others and life. I have had many deep and philosophical conversations, heard some very profound presentations, and read some incredibly insightful books but it wasn’t until I started taking action on everything I was learning that I actually started to see growth in my life.
I believe that there is a very distinct difference between learning and growing but often times they are mistakenly used synonymously. To me learning is more of an intellectual process that is often triggered from something we saw, heard, said or experienced. It is when our minds open and we absorb new knowledge. However, growing is when we take what we have learned and put it into action in our everyday lives. I believe, true evolution comes from the growing. It just so happens, that it is the most challenging step we can take.
It is a lot easier to read the books, attend the lectures, listen to the online programs, have the conversations and even teach and speak about all that you have absorbed to others – but the biggest challenge in life is doing the work on yourself and actually putting what you have learned into action in every way possible. I don’t believe we will actually see true sustainable change in ourselves and this world unless we do.
Now I will admit there are definitely times that I tend to focus more on learning rather than growing myself. Throughout the past couple of years I have been teaching and speaking so much that I at times I felt like that was enough and didn’t put as much effort into doing the work on myself.
I’m not saying I stopped learning – I honestly feel like I learn so much every day and am more committed to it than many I know – and I also feel one of the greatest containers for learning is teaching. But I have at times been lacking on the application and growth part. As a result I have started to see the same challenges recycle themselves in my relationships, experiences and circumstances. It took a new relationship to show me the areas in which I have been slacking.
As I wrote in one of my previous blogs I have recently been blessed with experiencing the most loving, supporting and fulfilling relationship I have ever had. It feels like a true life partnership and in many ways all my dreams and desires of love and partnership are being fulfilled.
However, it has not been all roses, rainbows and unicorns; we have had our fair share of challenges. Since we had both been through a lot of learning and growing separately in our own lives before we came together, we have been able to form a strong foundation and a commitment to growing not just on our own but together as well.
I really believe that our greatest opportunity for growth in this lifetime often surfaces from our greatest challenges. And I couldn’t be more grateful for this amazing relationship that has provided me with the biggest container for growth in my life thus far.
Just as teaching is one of the biggest containers for learning, a relationship is the biggest container for growth in our lives. I feel there is only so much growth that we can have on our own. There comes a point where we need that constant mirror in our lives to show us what parts of ourselves we aren’t loving enough, what areas of our lives we have been neglecting, or where we have been making excuses instead of taking responsibility and ownership. This doesn’t just refer to intimate relationships; I believe all relationships of all kinds serve this role in our lives.
However, I would not be able to truly embrace all the wonderful growth opportunities that are coming from this relationship if I had not already taken the leap from learning to growing earlier in my life, on my own.
I do believe that learning is a very important first step in our journeys of self-discovery, and without it we would not be able to identify where we truly need to grow. But in order to kick it up a notch and actually create sustainable change in our own lives and on this planet – we need to take action! It is the actions we take, not the lessons we think that will lead us towards creating new experiences in our lives.
For me, my most recent reminder to put my learning into action came in the form of this amazing partnership. But there are many ways this can and will show up in our lives. We need to be aware enough so we can be ready and recognize when the uni-verse is nudging us in a direction towards more growth.
Are you ready to put your learning into action? Are you ready to take the next step in your spiritual, mental and emotional growth? Are you ready to respond to the uni-verse’s nudge and move from learning to growing?
Making that choice to move from learning to growing has not only revitalized my life and all of my relationships but has also allowed me to look under the hood and transform parts of myself that I didn’t even realize were in need of an upgrade.
What choice will you make?