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Learning Through Teaching

learning-teaching-585The joke goes that those who can’t do, teach. And while I’m not going to agree with that entirely for obvious reasons (although I do think that in many ways we’re drawn to things that we love and want to do better), I will say that one thing is definitely true: those who teach, learn. Like big time. Since I’ve started teaching FBG Life, I can’t count the number of times I’ve sat down to “teach” with the intention to educate, motivate and inspire others, only to leave the virtual classroom uplifted and enlightened myself.

It’s amazing and fulfilling to give out what you know can be life-changing information, watch as others digest it and—this is the really fascinating part for me—begin to interpret it and apply it to their own lives. As they do so, they rephrase and expand upon the original idea, giving it their own personal meaning. They ask questions. They challenge things. They share their successes and get support when things don’t go the way they expected or intended. In all, even though I’m sitting in the virtual “teacher’s” chair, they’re all teachers and we’re all students.

I love this site because we do have such a great community, and we do have robust discussions in the comments. But, in many ways, writing posts is a one-way conversation. We say what we want or what we feel, put it out there and then you respond. But in the virtual classroom? It’s all in real conversational time, baby.

Unlike my teaching experiences of the pre-FBG past where I’ve put pressure on myself that I have to “look” or “act” a certain way, I walk into all FBG Life classes with—as cheesy as it sounds—an open heart, a willingness to help and the goal to be my 100 percent imperfect self. Only with honesty and vulnerability can real change occur. And when you show your true self, others are more likely to do the same.

And isn’t that the point of all happiness? To be yourself and love? I think so.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Not only because we’re starting a new FBG Life session in June, but also because next week I will be addressing about 1,000 people before this event. I’ll essentially be the warm-up act for Ali Vincent, whom I adore. It’s a serious honor, and I’d be a liar not to admit that I’m scared shitless. That’s a lot of people, people. But having the experience of teaching under my belt, and knowing that I’m seriously blessed to have 1,000 people’s attention for 15 minutes to say what I think is important? Well, it’s something that I’m scared of—in a good way.

We’re all in this healthy living thing together. Hell, we’re all in life together. We’re all in different stages and going through different things, but we’re really all the same deep down. We want to be healthy and happy. And we can learn so much from each other if we just open up, be it in a formal learning environment or just a simple conversation.

How are you a teacher? How are you the student? How are you both? —Jenn

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