It’s Not Just for Beginners
No one would ever expect a world-class athlete to take his mark on the track every competition without having put in hour after hour, day after day, week after week, and year after year of intense… practice. There is something about being an adult though, that makes us all feel that we have to have already “gotten it.” We feel this unseen pressure coming from both outside and inside of us, to perform like that world-class athlete in his pinnacle, his perfect push where he taps into all the practice that he has put in, and gets to that finish line first. We feel we need to perform at that pinnacle, all day, every day.
I would pose another option. The option to live our day to day lives, not in performance mode, but in practice. We just completed the third week of our Free to Learn Community program. We have been brainstorming and researching and practicing for months now, and we were excited to get to the starting line and hear the crack of the starting pistol. All of our new practices were put down on paper, hung up on walls, and we were off! Lickity-split, like a rubber band released from its launch on a child’s rubber band gun, BOIIIIIIIINNNGGG! From 9 to 21 members. The race was on!
Practice to Fail
It’s a great way to get feedback!
We run the Free to Learn business in the same way that we guide our learning members to manage their own lives, we become aware of something we want, we come up with ideas that we might practice to see if it gets us there, we practice one of those ideas to see how it works, we check our progress and either do that practice more, or throw it out and pick a new one to practice. Practice, practice, practice. Review. Change. Practice, practice, practice. Review. Change. Practice, practice, practice. Review. Success!
Our first week of practicing was hectic. A flurry of new & fun relationships beginning. Getting to know our space, getting to know new friends, getting to know new agreements.
Our second week of practicing was more sure. Yup. This isn’t hitting the mark. So, this week began with a meeting where we reviewed and came up with some different things to practice. Out went our first practices and in came our new. We’ve had just one small week to try them. Mostly focusing more on getting to know our precious kiddos hearts, building relationships and really getting everyone familiar with the concept of a culture run completely on their own free will, their free will to participate with the agreements they make together in order to fully enjoy the benefits of our community.
Practice to Succeed
It has been delicious. (And that’s not just referring to the incredible homemade ice-cream experiment everyone decided would be a great introduction for the Science Club.) Nope. The whole week was delicious. We loved tossing out some of our more “scheduled” activities and letting the kids interact with each other more. We love seeing what they chose to do when they had all the time to flow in their own direction. We loved getting to peek into the treasures that lie tucked away in each of their “chests”.
I haven’t been one apt to change easily in my life, not when the first idea was mine, and the change is suggested by someone else. But, with our new way of doing things, the practicing way, where we are in the “practicing” mindset, where it doesn’t have to be perfect, but just tried. In this way, it seemed an easy thing to do, for me to take an awareness someone else had, and try a new practice. It was fun. It was simple. It was easy, and it payed big dividends this week.
I got to spend more time with the hearts I have dreamed of empowering since I was one of them. I got to feel my own heart swell with pride, as I watched 19 new members freely interacting, learning to the max, building their social skills, building friendships, building practices that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. I got to watch them breathe the fresh air and run in the damp grass. I got to watch them furrow their brows as they deeply focused on projects they had set out for themselves. I got to see them value themselves, and in turn value each other. I got to see them BE Free to Learn.
In practicing myself, I learned again, the value of practicing. Practicing, rather than expecting things to be perfect. Practicing, rather than running the final race. Practicing, knowing that it is not the end all, it is just the beginning. Then we made changes. Then we practiced those. The results aren’t perfect, but they are better. They are one step closer to the goal we are all after. And, they are DOING what we want the kids to do. We are modeling it. And we are loving it as we model it.
It is an amazing journey to practice. I am loving it. Our facilitators are loving it. The kids are loving it. Loving practicing. Loving being successful in the practicing. Loving being free to fail in that practice. Loving be free to succeed. Loving being Free to Learn.