My dad just gave me a book yesterday that appeared to be a guide to doing exactly what I had decided a few days ago that I am doing: taking a break from working, in order to get a “higher education” from the School of Life. And yet, after thumbing through Blake Boles’ book, Better Than College: How to Build a Successful Life Without a Four-Year Degree, I realized that his model for learning is fashioned using a strategy that I am still exploring alternatives to.
I realize that I am not, in fact, attending a zero-tuition-university, as he calls the process of acquiring a higher education for free, and in a self-directed manner. I’m doing something different. I am on a different path, a different journey. I’m questioning even more truths about how things work. When he talks about creating accountability, setting goals and making action plans, my gut says, “no thanks”; I get that feeling that I get when something is not for me.
This feeling is opposite from the one I get when I press play on the Antje Duvkot station on Pandora that plays artists like Patty Griffin, Deb Talan–singer-songwriters who have provided me with unparalleled support and inspiration in my life. It’s different from the feeling I get when I am typing away, inspired, on the notepad of my phone, or waltzing around my kitchen preparing a feast.
This feeling is, YES, this is RIGHT for me! Martha Beck calls it, “shackles off”. I remember when I first read her book, Steering by Starlight, and discovered the term. I had been exploring the world of living a self-directed life–a life that is organized around listening to the quiet whisperings of my heart. Yet I was still having difficulty actually hearing my heart. I could usually tell when things felt wrong, when they felt yucky and restrictive, and like a divergence from my right life, but I was still feeling around for what the magic opposite was. What did it feel like when my little life-ship was pointed towards her north star? And what was I supposed to do if I felt like I had lost my chart, and wasn’t even sure where my next destination was?
Since then, I have begun to expand upon this idea. I have gathered other sensations and indications for making sure I am on, or moving back towards the path of my right life. This exploration has been possibly the most useful course of study I have ever pursued. This isn’t covered in Blake’s book. Maybe it will be covered in mine.