Learning to Unlearn

I was having a conversation with a colleague the other day while picnicking under a large White Pine tree and she asked me “Do you feel like you are learning about yourself every day?”

I paused for a moment to reflect. Because the exact idea of learning something about myself every did did not resonate with me. In fact it made me wrinkle up my nose a bit in disdain.

“I don’t feel like I am learning about myself everyday. In fact it feels like the exact opposite. It is like everyday I am unlearning something about myself. Like each day I am shedding a layer of who I am, and that as each layer is shed I get closer to my authentic self. Like for years I have carried around all this stuff that is not actually mine, things I have wrongly learned to believe about myself and the world, and now I am unlearning all that junk. Does that make sense?”

I added that last sentence because I was worried I may sound like a bit of a nut. My companion gently nodded her head up and down in a thoughtful way and we continued to eat our lunch.

While this was just a passing conversation while living our best lives under an epic pine tree it got my wheels turning. I spent days turning the conversation over and over in my head. And then it hit me, hard.

I had been unconsciously unlearning for a long time. In questioning the patriarchy, fighting for equality for everyone, working with the flows and rhythms of my own body, cultivating a connection to the land, by fighting the ideas of consumerism, healing the sister wound, peeling away my own layers of judgement, and commiting to a yogic path I had been doing this work for years.

The thing about epiphanies is once you have them you can no longer feign ignorance. Now that it was clear what I was doing it suddenly lit a fire under my ass.

I know there are lots of pop phrases right now around this idea of unbecoming, flipping the narrative of “finding yourself” to one of re-connecting to self. So I in no way want to ascertain here that I have stumbled upon a revolutionary idea. But here is the thing about ideas. There are no new ones. We are all just recycling the awesome ideas of old. And that is OK because each time we reinterpret and old idea we give it our own unique magic and perspective. And I have my own special lens through which to do this work of unlearning.

Rewilding of the Divine Feminine. Just writing it out gives me butterflies in my tummy. It feels so empowering to take an idea and make it yours, specific to you and your skills.

Rewilding is defined as “Rewilding, or re-wilding, activities are conservation efforts aimed at restoring and protecting natural processes and wilderness areas. This may include providing connectivity between such areas, and protecting or reintroducing apex predators and keystone species.” (thanks google search for the defination)

But what about the rewilding of ourselves? If we can acknowledge that we have taken to much, or imposed to much on that land, can we not hold that same empathetic lens for ourselves? And what are the parts of us that need to be rewilded? What is it that needs to be brought back into harmony and alignment through releasing that which in not natural and reintroducing what is? For me it is the divine feminine. How do I get back to reconnect with this natural part of my existence by removing the societal obstacles that are in the way?

I am taking this idea and running with it. You can find it in my blog posts at http://www.mindfultradition.com or on my IG page @mindfultradition where I do live weekly video and will be covering this topic for the next month. Basically what I am saying is this, we all need to unlearn and that is really what I do in my working life, is help people connect to that authentic core. As I continue to curate this work I will even be offering a 6 month program on it in 2022 so stay tuned for more info….

I hope this begin a conversation with you and yourself about what in your life can be shed and is no longer serving you. What are the ideas and beliefs about yourself and the world, that you are holding onto that are not even yours? Feel free to reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns, as you begin your own process of unlearning.

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