I Am Still Learning.

February 18, 2022

I Am Still Learning.

May 29, 2023

As I look at my tattered, 1969 copy of “Man’s Search for Meaning,” I am reminded of Dr. Viktor Frankl’s influence on my life these past fifty plus years.

One of Dr. Frankl’s most famous quotes, “Between stimulus and response is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. And, in our response lies our growth and our freedom."

Learning is a life-long endeavor and one that never stops. For me, one of the most meaningful parts of the journey is becoming more self-aware. How can I become my own witness? How often do I engage as an observer? What is it like to be with my own thoughts? How can I sit in an emotional state, especially an unpleasant one…be it anger, jealousy, regret, grief, shame, or sadness?

The answer to these questions starts with stillness, sitting or standing in one place long enough to let my body, my emotions and my thoughts settle, unplugged from all devices and digital distractions. In this stillness, I am with my own thoughts and feelings.

Am I present in my own body? What am I feeling? What is the nature of my thoughts? What thoughts might I associate with my ego-mind, and what thoughts may be coming from my higher self, what I call my best self?

I am still learning to respond rather than react. This is accomplished through self-awareness, the ability to step outside of myself and be conscious of an internal reaction. I may feel my heart rate increase. I may feel thirsty with a dry mouth, or a feeling in my gut leading to an overall lack of well-being. These bodily receptors lead to a perception of sensations from inside the body called interoception.

I think of interoception as an aspect of my emotional intelligence. We develop this skill through practice. If you avoid finding yourself alone with your thoughts and or feelings, this may be a signal to look deeper within.

How can I choose to be an observational learner? How am I the witness of my own consciousness? For me, this is the most important aspect of being mindful. During a conversation, can I be fully present? Listening with one hundred percent focus. Do I have anything meaningful to add to the conversation? And if not, stay silent. Witness. Observe. Learn.

When do I experience these precious moments of greater consciousness? When does my own consciousness meld with the mind of another person? What does it feel like? Is it quantifiable?

As a yoga teacher, I call this experience integration. The ability to be aware of my thoughts, my emotions, my physical body, and the sense of a greater consciousness. My truth is my intention: to integrate all these aspects of my conscious experience so I am a fully functioning human.

No one can do this work for us. This is an individual effort. One that requires a daily intention to practice and observe.

Yes, I am still learning, conscious of the pause, the magical space between the inhale and exhale…the moment that can dramatically change an outcome. May we never stop learning, being curious about ourselves and this ever changing school of life.

Rocky is a Stanford DCI Fellow/Partner, class of 2019. Yoga teacher, student of life with a focus on the integration of body, mind and spirit. Rocky's expanded thoughts on learning.

Go deeper with a workshop, in person or online.

No items found.

Owning Wisdom with Chip Conley

Apr 22, 2024
 to 
Apr 27, 2024
Baja, Mexico
Apr 22, 2024
 to 
Apr 27, 2024
Baja, Mexico

Owning Wisdom with Chip Conley

April 22, 2024
 to 
April 27, 2024
Baja, Mexico
Apr 22, 2024
 to 
Apr 27, 2024
Baja, Mexico

Life Begins at 50: Embracing Your Second Adulthood with Jeff Hamaoui

April 29, 2024
 to 
May 4, 2024
Baja, Mexico

Radical Transitions: The Courage to Reinvent Yourself with Stacy Peralta, Christine Sperber & Teddi Dean

May 6, 2024
 to 
May 11, 2024
Baja, Mexico