Being Your Own Student

Just do it!Of course everyone has heard that you have to be come your own teacher. That you not only have to internalize the lessons of your teacher, but you have to teach yourself. You must take what the teacher does, expand it, apply it, and then refine it.  You must make your teacher's voice your own.
I had a dream in the middle of the day yesterday. I dreamed I was in High School studying history. I was plagued by guilt at having failed to do an assignment.  I went up to the teacher, who was a woman, I got on my knees, bent back the brim of my baseball cap, and tried to explain why I was such a talented, and enthusiastic, and yet pathetically under performing student.  On my knees I made the excuse that I had been working on other projects which were also historical; projects which were important and fit better with my style of learning.

When I woke up my partner Sarah said I had been talking during my nap.  The words she repeated back to me were the words of the teacher in the dream, "You can still accomplish your goals, you can still follow through on your commitments."

As people who take on life-long learning projects like Chinese Martial Arts, we often know what we have to do.  Even worse, we often know what we should have been doing.  We know the path, we just haven't taken it.

So I would like to add to the old adage you have to become your own teacher, that you also have to become your own student.