(Originally posted May 12, 2019)
I have taken many courses, attended conferences and workshops, read (and also started-yet-not-quite-finished) lots of books, and had numerous conversations and sessions with others. Most are related to energy work, healing, spirituality – my passion, topics I love to learn and practice within.
During all of these experiences, I usually take copious amounts of notes. I often notice that others around me aren’t taking notes, or take far fewer notes than me. They must simply absorb more from listening than I do, perhaps they’re auditory learners. But I need to write to help me remember – at least I think that’s the case. Maybe writing just keeps my mind from wandering. But regardless of reason, I have a lot of notes – scribbled, in my own unique shorthand, with many arrows, drawings, and writing at all angles around the page and in the margins – a veritable dog’s breakfast of ink all over the page. Any fellow participant (in the course or workshop) who wants to peek at my notes for anything they missed, requires me as a translator.
I have been yearning to make time to go through all my journals, copy out my notes from these experiences, and get them all nicely organized. Seems reasonable, right? Might be helpful to review these things. But I know that beneath it is not only a desire for better organization, but to be sure I know “enough” – wanting to eliminate that niggling fear: Was there an important piece I was meant to remember (from that course, workshop, etc.) and I can’t recall it? Something I haven’t retained, that i missed? Is there something more I could get by looking over it all again? I even tried a couple of times: rewrote key pieces into another journal. It was helpful in some ways to do that, to reread things – but MAN did it ever take a long time! And this new journal, itself, I have not even opened again since (…if I could even remember where I put it).
As time goes by I just haven’t carved out more time to continue this project. But it’s still in the back of my mind – a holdover from school and university days: the importance of poring over notes, and making notes from notes to study for an exam, to get that ever-valuable high grade.
The other day I opened book to a random page (as I love to do). This time it was one I read last year: Indie Spiritualist by Chris Grosso, Ch. 30 Intellectualize This, which turned out to be a perfect gem to help me feel more settled around this issue. If a friend had been sharing this with me in conversation, I would have been vigorously nodding, interjecting acknowledgements like: Wow, you’re so right!, Same here!, I am totally with you on this! So here’s what he said:
“You see, I’m not the best at retaining specific information. I mean, I read like it’s going out of style – usually juggling anywhere from two to four books at a time – but I suck at memorizing and reciting the intricacies: specific sutras, aphorisms, verses, quotes, and so forth. It’s been my experience, however, that the cores of these intricacies reside in our hearts, not our minds, so to understand these teachings experientially, instead of just intellectually, opens us up for deep transformations. … Learning from those who came before us is an integral part of the process, but what good does said knowledge do if we only use it to boost our own ego, rather than to cultivate the experience(s) which the words themselves are pointing to? … So while I keep reading my books with highlighters in hand, usually forgetting most of the amazing intricacies I adorn in neon yellows, pinks, and blues, I have found that these forgotten gems have culminated into one great experiential teaching of the heart, from which I usually live, and I’ll gladly recite that sermon all day long.” ~Chris Grosso, Indie Spiritualist
This serves as a timely reminder that it’s more about integrating the information that is important to us, and using it where possible in a meaningful way, and perhaps in service to others, rather than desperately trying to remember every detail. We retain the informational “nutrients” that serve us in that moment, then we add more droplets of information, bit by bit over time – to increase our reservoir of knowledge. Remember that what we absorb from any experience may differ from another person: what they may take away may be something else entirely from what we found valuable. And that’s OK.
So for anyone out there who feels you don’t know enough or haven’t retained enough knowledge about your passion; or feel that you, too, need to recopy your notes – take a moment and take stock of where you’re at. Look at where you started. Look at where you were at last month or last year or 5 years ago on your project, personal development, or study in a certain field. You are really much further ahead than you realize. Maybe you will go forth and reread your notes, highlighting them or recopying them to your heart’s content – or maybe you won’t.
Either way, it’s important to know that you have integrated the knowledge that is perfect for where you are at in this moment in time, in your life.
As I was beginning to write this post yesterday, a message from my guide popped into my awareness, as well, which sums things up nicely for any of us feeling that we don’t know “enough”:
You have exactly what you need within you for where you’re at, at this moment. There is no need for feelings of inadequacy.