A third of the way through my six-month learning marathon

Yesterday I hung out with ten incredible people who I’m on a six-month learning journey with (there's actually twelve, but two were on holiday).

We’re a third of the way through our journey and we were sharing our progress, by each presenting our evidence tables, talking about what we’ve done and what we’ve learned. Five minutes of the learner sharing, ten minutes of questions from a whip-smart group of supporters, couple of minutes of writing feedback, questions, thoughts, encouragement.

Each participant at some point in the twenty-six weeks runs a session based on their expertise (we dot-voted on which topic we wanted each person to teach). Afterwards, they get the group's attention on their learning question for a good 90 minutes, helping contribute to the research or giving feedback or whatever the person wants.

Yesterday Rachel did a session on embodied learning - working off a hunch that our bodies know stuff that our minds do not, and that doing embodied work goes faster and deeper than just talking.

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One of the things she guided us through was an inter-psychic exploration of parts of ourselves. 

In pairs, we picked an object to represent our learning question, then wrote on pieces of paper selves - mine included my activist self, business self, academic self…

Then we intuitively placed them where they were in relation to the question.

Funny thing was, they were all quite far away from my question!

Uncovered some worry and stuckness.

I think this comes down to two areas:

1. When we lived in Singapore, I threw myself into some side projects which I thought would give me more business, but it didn’t end well. When I was doing Open University study (and writing the book) it took over my life.

2. I’d decided that I needed to get to a certain place by the end of the marathon and that would entail massive amounts of work.

I really need to be focusing on my business right now, being more visible, finding clients who really resonate with my new phase of work, and new phase of identity.

So if I were to really throw myself into my question in a huge way, a part of me was understandably worried that I’d take the eye off the ball, business-wise.

As soon as I realised all the above, I felt a release in my body.

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I’m going to narrow my question.

At the mo it’s basically: what’s all the scholarship on the transition between independent and interdependent logics, how does it compare, and how do I interview a load of people from both marginalised and non-marginalised identities to have data to analyse to see if there’s a difference in the way they/we transition.

I definitely want to do all of that. A million per cent.

And it’s unrealistic in the next four months.

So I’m changing my question to something like:

How do I develop a more instinctual understanding of the transition between independent and interdependent logics?

This way I can focus on the scholarship, plus the interviewing, but it does become about my understanding - not necessarily a comprehensive piece of scholarship… YET.

Then/at the same time, I can move on to see if there are differences in the people I’m interviewing.

What this feels like is giving myself permission to do all three of the things I presented on the evidence table - going through the scholarship, learning about Subject/Object interviewing, interviewing interdependent leaders - a BIT, rather than complete all three in four months.

When I was doing the embodied exploration, I kept coming back to

‘How do I hold this question as I move through the world, rather than it be a separate thing?’

This, I think, might be how.