Lifelong learner and curious forever student that I am, the journey of reading, hearing new information and perspectives, and honing new skills is endless.
Now that the Autumn Equinox has passed for me in the Northern Hemisphere (happy Spring to the Southern Hemisphere!), I am feeling all the back-to-school and fall feels even though I’m not formally enrolled in any coursework.
Anytime I’m not in school, and even when I am, I tend to design my own learning plans around what I’m curious about. In order to continue to become a better teacher and coach for my students and clients, professional development is critical, and I also wish to further my spiritual, creative, and entrepreneurial journey.
I am studying, reading, and practicing a variety of “subjects” or “courses,” which overlap and could be grouped in a variety of ways, but which I find complimentary, and all of which are related to my goals for the year.
Here I’m sharing the topics of study, specific actions that I take to pursue them, and some of what I’m reading and listening to, as well as what I myself am writing, creating, teaching, coaching, and otherwise sharing.
Current topics encompass dance and movement, spiritual practice, creativity, business and finance, languages, travel and adventure, love, connection, and relationship.
All of these focus areas are likely to continue into the new year, assuming I have the ongoing privilege and pleasure, but exact inputs and outputs, as well as media sources, will certainly change with growth and the seasons.
One of my daily practices is giving thanks in many forms. This is part of my mindfulness and spiritual practice, as well as a way to show up well-resourced for whatever life brings.
How fortunate and lucky am I to have access to all of these learning materials and the time and energy to pursue what ignites my curiosity and spirit? I marvel at the sheer volume and quality of the resources constantly available at my fingertips, much of it also available for free to anyone with internet access.
It’s hard to imagine how I can fit my desire to learn into just one lifetime, but I affirm that I have enough time for everything I need and I create structures to support my ongoing growth.
It helps to have some structure and priorities so as to not become overwhelmed by everything I want to explore, learn, see, experience, know, create, and share! Maybe you’re the same way and have a lot of things your curious about or would like to improve at, and I hope seeing what I’m up to helps inspire your own planning and exploration.
Tips for Your Fall Curriculum
“What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.” -Goethe
Start small with one topic or skill to learn about and improve, then once you’re on a roll, add on.
What is important is not mastery or any deluded pursuit of perfection at the expense of improvement (or never starting in the first place because we think we’re “not good enough”), but instead doing what we can to enjoy the process of learning. Tony Cabasco “Incremental improvement over delayed perfection” and perfectionism.
The message is choose a tiny goal or habit, and just start! Declare what you want to do/learn/make and take a little step. Start by considering what topics you wish to explore, and what activities to engage in to build the skills your wish for.
My action steps this season include:
- Read: Nonfiction books pertinent to each topic of study, fiction, poetry articles, etc., with a goal of number of books to read annually, tracking, key points, and a process to share
- Write: personal processing such as morning pages and journaling, organizational notetaking such as my Bullet Journal, blog articles and podcasts, video planning, challenges, signature program, letters
- Practice: yoga, pranayama, meditation and mindfulness, German, healthy habits, physical therapy, dance techniques, improvisation, composition and criticism
- Create: videos, podcasts, music, dance choreography and learning materials, yoga and coaching content, food, crafts
- Serve: teaching & coaching through a variety of means
- Connect: romance, family, friendships, professional connections, outreach and follow-up, collaboration, email newsletter/list, YouTube community, social media
- Sustain: financial literacy and fitness, tracking income and expenses, budgeting, business & marketing skills, planning to eliminate debt and create ideal lifestyle, travel, & contribute
- Adventure: travel & explore, together & alone, regional & international
- Celebration: bonus! always seek to enjoy life 🙂
Topics at a glance are Language, Living Abroad & Germany, Travel & Adventure, Dance/Yoga/Movement Practices & Philosophies, Cooking, Food, Ayurveda, Spirit, Meditation, Mystery, Reading, Writing, Art, Music, Creating, Business, Marketing, Finance, Connection & Relationship
Languages, German, Life Abroad
German: Duolingo vocabulary, Grammar, Poetry, Songs, Fairy Tales; Work Visa Renewal, Driver’s License
Dance, Yoga, Movement
Ballet: RAD Exam Syllabi, Cecchetti, Partnering, Turning Techniques, “Swan Lake,” “Cinderella” stories, Seasonal Music, Choreography for Classes and Stage
Dance: Nikolais-Louis Modern Dance Technique, Bartenieff Fundamentals, Laban Movement Analysis, Improv Practice, Choreography Practice, Elements of Dance Challenge
Movement: Bartenieff, Laban, Somatics, Physical Therapy practice, improving Handstand and Pull-Up skills
Yoga / Philosophy: Pranayama, Bhagavad Gita, Yoga Sutras, Yoga Meets Movement Science” Podcast and videos by Jenny Rawlins, Magic Within You Yoga Challenge
Spirit, Meditation, Mystery
Meditation: Radical Acceptance, Book of Joy, 30 minute per day Meditation Practice starting in November (29 in October)
Spirit: Altar, Crystals, Yoga, Meditation, Tarot (weekly pulls +), Intuition, Prayer, Bible, Quran, Book of Joy, On Becoming an Alchemist, “Tarot for the Wild Soul” Podcast, Modern Tarot
Cooking, Food, Ayurveda
Food & Ayurveda: Complete Ayurveda; Enjoy cooking and eating: Apple Cinnamon Muffins, Pumpkin Muffins, Fall Tea, Shepherd’s Pie, Goulasch, Soups (African Peanut), Oatmeal…
Nonfiction as listed under other categories, fiction as recommended, poetry such as my German and English collections, Mary Oliver, Keats, and Sonnets.
I engage in a variety of forms of writing on a regular basis: reflective, creative, educational and professional. Morning Pages and BuJo are part of my daily rituals, as well as composing Poetry, Website content, coaching and teaching plans.
Long-term goals include publishing works of nonfiction and fiction, and current and past practices leading in that direction are daily writing practice, participating in NANOWRIMO, a yearlong daily Haiku Challenge, and studying poetic forms.
Additionally, I write to connect and follow up with family, friends, and professional contacts, and aim to send messages of gratitude, appreciation, and love.
Visual Art & Crafts
This year I am participating in the Inktober drawing challenge, seeking to create 31 daily ink drawings in October to get rolling. It is both fun and frustrating so far!
General goal of having a sketching practice, experimenting with different media, including pencil, colored pencil, and more recently watercolor pencils. Include drawing and collage in my BuJo, Christmas Cards, Birthday Cards, Love Notes & Correspondence.
My musical practices include reading Year of Wonder this year and listening to the daily pieces, curating and sharing playlists, listening to music new and old, finding pieces for dance choreography, and this season I hope to pick up practicing the Harmonica again as well.
Business & Financial Fitness
Reading and implementing Profit First, 1-Page Financial Plan, You are a Badass at Making Money, We Should All Be Millionaires, following the Financial Feminist on Instagram, the “Marketing Your Yoga with Confidence” podcast, working to pay off debt, apply for student loan forgiveness, consolidating business finances.
Correspondence & Pen Pals
Weekly “love note” practice, write to friends and family to express love and thanks.
Creating & Sharing
- Blogs & Podcasts – Reach 100 podcasts in total, # of Blogs & Podcasts for quarter
- Emails – Reached 100 emails in total, # for quarter
- Videos – Reach 500 YouTube subscribers, # Videos, Hours Viewing Time
- Coaching, Learning & Change – Coaching Challenge, Signature Program refinement, improve New Client Welcome process
- Program Content & Marketing – Complete Website update, New Client/Student Questionnaires & Services Agreements, Program “modules” videos, PDFs
Looking Back & Ahead
It being “fall semester” and into the winter season, another key activity is to pause and reflect on what I have accomplished this year, what I want to continue or let go of moving into a new year, and what new topics or activities may support me in 2023.
Let me know if you’re interested in reflecting and celebrating together, and I also plan to share some highlights from 2022, including books, movies, shows, music, podcasts and more, to come!
- Reflective Practice & Journaling
- Bullet Journaling for Organization & Creativity
- Yoga for Energy
- Meditation Practice
- Building Healthy Habits
- Creative Morning Ritual
- Simple & Healthy Eating
- Minimalism & simplicity
- How I coach creatives
Questions for Reflection
- What is on your “to be read” list this season?
- Which media sources do you find most enriching?
- If you were to choose your current subjects of study, what would they be?
- What do you want to learn but are afraid to start?
- With what subject are you familiar enough that you could teach beginners?
- What makes you curious?
- What creations will you make and share?
I would love to hear about what you’re currently working on and learning, come share on social media @ablythecoach to connect!
Blythe Stephens, MFA, Bliss Catalyst
they/them or she/her
Creator of A Blythe Coach: dance through your difficulties
and take leaps of faith into a joyful, fulfilling life