I met a couple who were visiting from out of town, John and Diane. I ran into them at a pop-up event I was doing, and they decided to come check out the store. Diane was on a mission. John was providing encouragement and support.

The conversations were lively and covered a wide range of topics. However it was a quick exchange that happened near the end of our visit that really stuck with me.

We were talking about the kind of experiences, where once you have them, it takes awhile to process and integrate them. It can be such a slow process that it might take days or weeks. Often we forget we are still in the absorption of the content or experience.

Then John said something about “when we stop learning.., we are done”. Meaning – that is when we die. On one level I get this. It makes sense to me. But then it made me think about the difference between learning and personal expansion.

I have spent a lot of time learning things where I felt like there was very little growth or personal expansion. Or is that true? Is it even possible to learn something new and NOT be changed by it.

This is where I realize I have a limiting belief around what is “valuable” for me to spend time learning or studying! I am still operating from an old paradigm. It is as if I think that anything I spend my time on has to contribute to some goal or end-result. Or, I get no payoff for the time invested.

The truth is that many of the most profound, expansive experiences I have had, seem to have occurred by accident! Certainly not by my design or attempt to control or drive to a particular goal. Those may have lead to learning too…, but I don’t associate them with the leaps in personal expansion or growth that have shaped my life. Those happen automagically!

In this moment there appear to be a couple of ways that I learn. One is using my logical mind to pursue the topic, information or experience which will lead to some pre-defined end result. Usually I think it is going to help me achieve some goal.

The other are Ah-ha moments that I could have never predicted. Perhaps following a series of bread-crumbs that opens up a whole new perspective, personal insight or direction in my life.

One of these ways of learning is determined, focused and driven. The other is subtle, sensory and intriguing. One comes with built-in expectations. The other with surprise and wonder.

Even as I write this, I realize it isn’t always an either/or. Sometimes this unfolds as a combo of the two. Such as when I think I am doing something for one reason, only to have something else materialize as the real payoff, impact or result.

All of this contemplation is really about how much time or effort do we need to put into predefining what we want to “learn”? Maybe following breadcrumbs is enough!

With Light, Love, and Laughter


  1. Charles, you are a seeker, thus all possibilities to learn attract you. There is no reason to qualify anything. Nothing happens that your soul does not approve of or allow. In the Oneness there is nothing to learn for everything is a part of you and just needs to be called forth from within – where All comes from. To be enlightened all we only have to do is lovingly allow for our imperfections – we don’t have to be perfect for imperfection is part of the human experience. Stop thinking that grand gestures or thinking are what are called for to bring you to a more enlightened state. Just going to a store and giving a clerk a complement can be what they need, for just prior to your interaction they were having thoughts of killing their self. Just be your loving, authentic self and watch where it takes you on your perceived journey to enlightenment.

    • Thanks Joseph.

  2. Charles, thank you for another wonderful post. I can relate to always thinking my pursuits should yield results, and my limited perception of what those results are/should be. It is always both comforting and expansive to read your newsletter, and enlightening to interact with you. You are a wonderful gift in my life…

    • And you in mine Vikki!

  3. This is definitely something to ponder. I no longer seek ‘information’ necessarily in books, classes, etc, although at times I do find them beneficial, I begin asking for guidance from source with gratitude, and then get out of my own way. Serendipity perhaps, but I believe that we receive what we need at different times in our life. These nuggets or breadcrumbs are perfect examples of that. Thank you for sharing Charles.

    • ‘Getting out of our own way!’ This sums it up pretty well for me Linda! Thanks for the support.

  4. I often linger on the breadcrumbs from a muffin or good sour dough slice…. Never really thought about it until I read your insightful probing pondering thoughts. For me the breadcrumbs, symbolically are savoring…. I guess the final lingering bits, perhaps a sweetness not previously captured by the many other bites. I believe any pursuit, or that which appears, in essence pursuing us, or revealing something to us at a particular time is a gift a blessing a message from the creator… look at this, SEE this in a new light,perhaps…. my quote of choice is always RUMI… what I seek is seeking me… so then your thoughts about learning for a goal or following a particular path…. make sense in a roundabout way for when u embark on a journey of any sort … what comes back to you is what was needed and desired for you to know at that given moment.
    BLessings and thank you greatly for allowing me to share this infinite space of learning and growing on an otherwise ordinary Monday afternoon…. we’ll sort of ordinary.. reality is nothing is ordinary…. much love blessings … namaste~ and so it is

    • Insightful thoughts Claudia… both yours and Rumi! Thanks for sharing!


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