There isn’t much to tell. Or actually there is, but I don’t have the language yet to do that. I am in the process of recreating my speech. I am learning to speak a new reality, and I feel like a beginner again. It feels a bit overwhelming, because I don’t know exactly how to go about it.
In the course I am doing, last week Jean Houston discussed the idea of accessing our inner experts. We all have a host of them, cook, mechanic, driver, psychologist, gardener, you name it, and we can access their knowledge and know-how when we are either learning something similar, a new skill or even when we are stuck and need a new perspective. As I was writing the first sentences of this essay, not knowing where it was leading yet, intuitively inserting what I am learning in the course, it hit me that I am actually very good at learning foreign languages. I have a master’s in French linguistics and literature and I have taught myself to speak and write English at the level that I do now. One could say I know a thing or two about learning languages. Not only that, I also am an expert in experiential learning and an expert on personal transformation. Thinking of it, I have done this before, not as radical as this, but I have. In these past years, I have slowly changed my speech patterns to reflect the new reality that was unfolding within me. Seeing ‘my problem’ in this light shifts the task at hand from daunting to fun.
I know far more than I thought I did, and I can use my expertise in the field of language learning, my expertise of the process involved and my understanding of this new reality in transforming my speech. For example, as a language learner I look for opportunities to immerse myself in the new language. I read, watch TV series in the original language, I listen to radio shows in the language I am aiming for and I actively look for and create real life contact moments with native speakers. As an experiential learner, I know that I learn by doing, by making mistakes and then non-judgmentally finding a better suited way, I know how my brain works, how neuronal pathways get strengthened through sustained focus and wither through lack of focus. As an expert on transformation, I know the stages of transformation, I know how to begin with the end in mind, and I have tips and tricks to bypass pitfalls, which make the transformation smoother, easier. By combining the knowledge and strengths of my inner experts, this project doesn’t feel overwhelming anymore. I know what to do, and I feel empowered by that.
Interestingly, I feel like one of my favorite quotes, which comes from the movie Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin. It is the afternoon of an early autumn day, when Christopher Robin tries to tell Pooh that things are about to change as he will start ‘skool’ the next day. When Pooh, being a bear with very little brain, doesn’t understand what his best friend is telling him, Christopher Robin says: “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” When Pooh and his friends can’t find Christopher Robin the next day, they go on a search. Their journey leads them through prickly bushes, a deep fog and even into the terrifying ‘Skull’. When Christopher Robin finds them, as he comes back from ‘skool’, his stuffed friends have all discovered an aspect of themselves that they had been blind to up until then, and it transforms their way of being. Just like Pooh, I discovered that I am smarter than I thought I was. It feels amazing. Thank you, Jean!