Feelings and Opinions

Feelings and Learning

Let’s admit it, our feelings and opinions run the show. We place them higher on the scale of importance than we often realize. Feelings and opinions can be a very bad gauge of what is going on, because they are fickle, and often misleading. They often have more to do with how we see the world or ourselves, which colors the world around us in a light of our own making.

This is not the same as intuition, which is hidden away, quietly waiting under a pile of feelings. Intuition is essential to learning, and allows us to work in the moment and creatively respond and engage with the world.

When it comes to learning, our feelings are often like a siren, leading us astray to crash on the rocky shore. Feelings can be like volatile weather, easily changed or influenced, and can bring us farther away from the moment if we aren’t careful: Someone corrects us, we feel stupid or angered. Someone praises us, we feel special and smart. We’re hopeful for validation and happy when we get it, and when we don’t, become disappointed, depressed, embarrassed, or angry.

There is the learning, which is the process of taking in information in real time- something happens and you have to hear what the teacher says and process it, run it through your stored information files in your head, and enact it. By the time that’s all done, the moment is likely gone. Now add to that running it through the filter of your emotions: what does this information mean about me as a person?

Learning doesn’t stand a chance against such a great foe as a filter of feelings, which are quite often an inaccurate reading of the situation anyway. The only way to have a chance at learning is to give way to the moment- stay sharp, stay aware, and listen: listen to the teacher, the horse, and the world at large, and take in what they have to say. The moment is the real teacher, and in order to learn, you have to be committed to learning and being better for the horse. You have to be willing to stand up against that tiny voice that wants validation and praise, and is constantly offended or hurt by anything that negates it.

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