by dr. susan nettleton


As spring unfolds into summer, we see the fullness of nature’s resurgence. Life in the desert blooms and branches in this great season of change, expansion and growth.   This magnificent transformation invokes a sense of awe and wonder when we really stop to survey what is happening to life around us.  And that sense of wonder reminds us that there is mystery and magic in life. We don’t understand it all. And that “not knowing” and “not understanding” is tied to the wonder and magic we feel.

We too have our seasons of change.  Our times of expansion and growth bring new experiences; new experiences demand new skills, and new routines.  These are times of learning as we acquire new knowledge.   But growth and expansion also bring the necessity of “unlearning.”  For our new life to thrive, we must unlearn old patterns and old ideas.   We are pushed to give up familiar answers, conclusions, and perceptions that simply aren’t true for the new.  Sometimes, “unlearning” can be more difficult than the process of learning.  Often, our struggles to come into the new involves a gap between the “unlearning” and a comfortable understanding of the new.  That gap is a state of “not knowing” and “not understanding” which we may emotionally experience as confusion or fear.  But, if we are calm, that is the very space where we find the living quality of things, in a sense of amazement and wonder.  We too are alive and growing, changing, becoming.