Experiential learning

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the way we learn and grow – in particular, about the power of story to transform in a way that learning a step by step process doesn’t.

Why is this?

The answer I’ve come up with – whether it’s true or not – is that experience, actual experience or through reading or watching the experience of others, happens in the whole body, whereas learning a process happens in the mind, and only slowly translates into new action, if it does at all.

I’ve learned lots from books over the years, and gradually I’ve been able to translate new ideas and new processes into the way I live my life.

It’s the stories I’ve read or heard, however – the anecdotes in the self-help books, the real life stories told from the stage, the mystical metaphors of Harry Potter and other vibrantly alive fiction – that have made the biggest, fastest change.

When we want to take a message, the possibility of a new way of being, to our audience, the power of story is a huge thing. Story creates the space for the new experience within our real or imagined lives.

It’s one thing to talk about something; it’s another to live it ourselves, and then describe that experience to others, so that they can experience it, too.

We can create the space of a new universe, and allow those who want to, to join us in it.

Leave a Reply