As a student of yoga, drawn by my curiosity and inner longing, I learned from my devoted and wise teachers to honour the process, a feminine aspect that identifies time with a spiral instead of the industrial model of linear time. The spiral takes us on a journey inwards and then outwards and that is what learning is! In this spiral one finds relief from the continual barrage of self criticism- not being enough, not being there, and not being perfect. The spiral is a symbol for me for growth mindset as defined by Carol Dweck in her Ted talk (See Resources page). In the spiral, movement takes place, it grows out of a point, the source, moving upward and downwards, constantly evolving. Life is like this, organic not mechanical, moving never static, ever vital and active. When we consider learning, it is this quality that can give education new life. Filled with new life, the learning process is an exciting journey, yes with twists and turns, ups and downs that represent the spiral, but each direction teaches us an important lesson. Nothing is wasted, like manure that gives life to the mushroom!
As you enter into university it is so important to remember that learning is a process and it is important to keep your expectations realistic with a sustainable schedule, that supports you on all levels- physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and social. Also, school is about learning, not perfection, which will block your learning, because it is difficult to take constructive criticism from your professors and are prone to easily give up. More on perfectionism later…
A diverse, multi-dimensional lifestyle is key to keeping you vital and healthy, meeting with friends and family, joining a club or athletics team, regular exercise and taking time to follow your passions. I worked with one student who was experiencing tremendous anxiety about school and she forgot her love for playing the piano in the midst of the demands of school. I reminder her that this love needed to be fulfilled in some way, which she did, carving out precious time to play. She started to come into our sessions with more joy and calmness, along with… confidence!
So as you prepare for school create a routine for yourself that is sustainable, honouring yourself with quiet, reflective time, time to fill up with the joy of creating and being with loved ones. Create some ideals for yourself as you enter into school, thinking of your physical, mental/emotional and spiritual goals, which will help you stay balanced, calm and healthy. And then think about what kind of student you would like to be, and set out some academic goals. All of this is a strong beginning… as beginnings set the stage for the rest of your semester.