The bottom line:
The interplay of learning and discovery and what sets them apart from one another.
The Story Skills Workshop is informing me.
In many ways. But one, in particular.
How the word story is, in reality, much more defined than what I, personally, have known it to be.
I just wrote a reflective piece within the confines of my Deep Dive into Shame, and it was not a story.
However, this is one of the things being in such a massive discovery-phase leads to. For, even though I am learning, how to tell a story, what is a story, what parts constitute a story, and how I can become better at telling stories, I am also discovering. And as my wise friend Inma has made me realize, there’s a huge difference between the two. Learning and discovering are not the same. There can be a lot of learning within the discovering, and there can be moments of discovery within the learning, but in general, what Inma pointed to makes sense, for me.
Paraphrasing, what I heard her say was this:
Learning is being open to what is known to exist, however not yet mastered by me.
Learning has me knowing the end destination from the moment I set out.
Discovery has me stepping into the unknown, taking the risk of setting foot in unknown land.
Discovery is me not having a clue what might be, what might become, whether it be up/down, in/out, high/low, light/dark…
When I set out to learn how to play the guitar, I had the image of me sitting around a campfire on the beach on a warm summer evening, with a handful of friends, playing and singing. Together.
Given this image, I signed up for a semester of lessons with a local guitar teacher, and chord by chord, I learned. There was discovery thrown into the mix, like the discovery that I didn’t have the ability to make one or two of my fingers press down on a string where I wanted and needed them to. I had no idea of that particular aspect of learning how to play the guitar, so it was a discovery. But the endeavor itself was not. It was a learning endeavor.
When I set out to deep dive into shame, I had no idea what I was getting into. No idea what it might lead to. No clear plan or path ahead. What I did have was willingness. Curiosity. A clear intention of not holding back. But the end destination was not clear, not well-defined, simply a felt sense of something other. And willing to risk whatever it took to expand into this otherness. The endeavor itself is a discovery, and cannot be anything but a discovery.