Stages Of Learning

Bellydance students go through certain learning stages. And they go something like this:

Beginner Stage
Students know that they know nothing, and accept that they need to learn. This attitude helps them absorb a great deal at this stage.

Beyond Beginner Stage
At the Beyond Beginner Stage, students will have a basic level of knowledge from their time in the Beginner Stage. During this stage students will think in one of two ways: they either understand that they still have much more to learn, or they delude themselves into thinking that they already know everything. The students who realise they have more to learn will gain a moderate amount of knowledge in this stage, while the students who think they already know it all will be resistant (whether they’re aware of it or not) to more information and therefore struggle to make headway.

Intermediate Stage
Which way a student goes in the Intermediate Stage depends on their attitude during the Beyond Beginner Stage. If they were aware and accepting of the fact that they have much more to learn, they will learn exponentially in this stage. If gaining a little knowledge made them feel that they now know everything, they may still learn during this stage but it will be stagnant learning - after all, you can’t truly learn if you think you already know all you need to know. Or, with any luck, they might wake up to the fact that not only has their learning just begun but that their learning will never end, in which case they too will learn a great deal during this stage.

Advanced Stage
Whether a student even gets to the Advanced Stage depends on their attitude in the previous stages. If in the Beyond Beginner Stage they believed themselves to know everything and they never snapped out of that false belief during the Intermediate Stage, they’ll never become advanced students. However, the student who realises that Bellydancing is a journey of constant learning will, with hard work, get to the Advanced Stage and gain a wealth of knowledge at this level.

The Curse Of Thinking You Know It All
A student with an “I know everything” attitude is difficult to deal with for both the teacher and the rest of the students in the class. Sometimes it’s because they sigh with boredom when the teacher explains something they have already covered, and sometimes it’s because they give attitude by folding their arms or sporting a sullen facial expression. And other times it’s all of the above.

My Suggestion
What I suggest to all Bellydance students, no matter what stage they are, is to cultivate what’s known as a Beginner’s Mind. That means that, no matter how knowledgeable you become, you always see yourself as an empty vessel waiting to be filled. Do that, and you will always learn well.

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Quick Mediations For Workaholics
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Adopt a homeless animal instead - they all deserve a second chance

It's estimated that 130,000 dogs and 60,000 cats are killed every year in Australia because there are not enough homes for them all. And the global numbers amount to millions upon millions every single year.

Puppy mills are a major contributor to the terrible problem of overpopulation. Puppy mills are essentially 'dog factories' where dogs are forced to churn out litter after litter, with no thought for the welfare of the dogs and all thought for profit. The dogs live in appallingly dirty, cramped conditions all their lives, and when they no longer serve their purpose they're killed, dumped or sold to vivisection laboratories.

Petshops fit into the picture because puppy mills are generally where petshops get their animals from. Furthermore, having animals in shop windows encourages impulse purchases, and adding an animal to your family should be a conscious, careful decision - NOT one to be made while shoe shopping.

Breeders contribute enormously to the tragic statistics above too. And it doesn't matter whether they're professional breeders or backyard breeders, and whether they breed for profit or not, because while there are homeless animals sitting on death row in shelters, any and all animal breeding is utterly irresponsible.

Now, here's where you come in. You can either be part of the problem or part of the solution. You can either buy animals from puppy mills, petshops or breeders and be part of the problem. Or you can adopt from a shelter or rescue organisation and be part of the solution.

If I haven't convinced you, visit your local shelter to see the homeless animals. Let their innocent faces convince you that adopting is the only responsible choice to make.

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