I’m really excited about this topic of a beginner’s mind ~ but the other day I was literally in tears over it.
Back story: I took an amazing leather hand stitching class taught by Karie Reinerston of Shelter Collective. She owns an incredible shop in West Asheville, the Shelter Collective Shop, which houses her and her partner Rob’s one of a kind leather craft goods amongst many other local Artist’s work. I seriously admire their work, talent, and their sweet spirits. I learned a new skill from Karie that I know I will carry for the rest of my life. If you can’t tell, I’m humbled and grateful for all I’ve learned.
A Beginner’s Mind
As a child, we are often pushed and encouraged to do something new. To brave a bit, take on a new topic or learn a skill, to grow and become more of ourselves, is seen as essential to childhood development.
If we go to college as young adults, this type of learning is also the case.
Then, boom. We enter the workforce and create our routine over what we know and are best at doing (or at least I pray that is the case for us all).
We become experts and we excel there, in our expert realm. And for the most part, to stay on our expert path is incredible and rewarding.
Why be a student?
To keep expanding our mind is essential to keep ourselves grounded in the moment.
I first heard this term, the beginner’s mindset, when I was going through my yoga intensive training time.
Beginner’s mindset means to really be in a place of wonder and willingness to learn what you are learning. Even if you think you are a “pro” at what you are doing, a beginner’s mindset will keep your intentions pure and you will be able to absorb information more fully.
In yoga terms, a beginner’s mindset helps you stay rooted in your foundation during the asana. I think for me, as an Artist and yogini, a beginner’s mindset is essential for me to keep remembering my sense of self.
Personal growth and a beginner’s mindset
To reposition ourselves from teacher to student is necessary for personal growth.
As a student, you can be wide open to admitting that you want to learn from masters. You can be wide open with wonder at the possibilities.
As a student, you can remember that everyone starts somewhere. And most of us start way at the basic side of things when learning new material.
Also, learning something new makes us better creators.
I loved my experience with Karie of Shelter Collective because it was totally new for me. I got frustrated with myself and my work.
I left and came home and cried because I had major difficulty with one part of my learning process. This had nothing to do with the actual learning process, but instead it had to do with how hard on myself I can be about things.
Action step: learn to love myself even more in those moments of self doubt.
I know the skills I learned during that class, both with my hands and in my beginner’s mind, will be my teacher for a really long time.
I realized that to be the best teacher I can be, I have to accept all and not assume that I know anyone’s story.
I am powerful creator of my every day life ( I teach this to my coaching clients, so it is really important for me to remember this now). This belief is most necessary in the moments where I feel frustrated and confused, like when I am not picking up what someone is putting down.
Also, go ahead and do something that you have never done before. Be surprised and satisfied with yourself for getting there.
Tell me, dear reader, how and when have you experienced yourself as a beginner? Has that beginner’s mindset made you a better teacher or learner?
To your beginnings,