Thursday, November 14, 2013

Openness to Learning

I've been teaching about the Hendricks' Openness to Discovery scale this week in classes.  The scale shows us how open to learning we are.  The idea behind it is that we can choose for every interaction and circumstance to be something that we learn and grow from, if we're open to it.  And by consciously choosing, we get to grow and be in charge of how we do that.  Or, we can choose to fight with or close down to the learning potential in each moment.  The scale shows 10 examples of how we might be open to learning, from lowest amount of openness to highest, and it also show the 10 ways we may be closed, again least to most. 

For example, the slightly open to learning examples are:  open posture, expressing genuine curiosity and appreciation for the messenger to the highest levels of feeling enthusiasm about new possibilities and implementing them.  The lower levels of being closed to learning examples are:  showing polite interest while inwardly clinging to your perspective our planning a rebuttal, explaining yourself and getting defensive, to the highest level of attacking the messenger or storming out of the situation.  So, for example, if I'm given feedback about something I said or did that surprised me and that didn't feel good to me, if I start getting defensive or placing blame elsewhere, making excuses for what happened or complaining about how the feedback was delivered, then I am not open to learning. 

So the other night, I was using this as my theme, encouraging people to be open to learning from their breath, their postures, the messages of their bodies, my instructions, and everything that was occurring in their minds.  Many people expressed some insights and discoveries would had been there earlier in the week exploring this theme over the last couple of days.   The super ironic part was that I had one new student who did not want to receive any feedback from me about  his alignment.   I found it super challenging to let him do his thing, be misaligned in my class when I'm quite vigilant about my students being safe in their practice.  It was a great exercise for me in letting go!   And perhaps that was the perfect feedback for both of us. 

Here's the main things that I learned from that:  I want to magnetize people to my classes who value what I have to offer, appreciate my expertise, and enjoy participating in the group experience. 

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