Learning Something New – Ouch!

High cliffs ocean below amalfi coastHooray! We are going to Italy in a couple of weeks’ time. When my husband’s mother, who is 83 years old, said, “I have always wanted to go to the Amalfi Coast in Italy,”  something in me said, “I have always wanted to go there too!”  Bill’s Mom felt it would be her last “Hoorah” as she put it, and it seemed it was time.

For me there is something magical about Amalfi. It’s a beautiful place. I have a framed photo taken by my daughter, hanging in our bathroom over all these years, of the coast of Amalfi. I even gave a bit of a feel of Italy to the paint job in the bathroom.

We decided, “Let’s do it.” Now, a number of us from Bill’s family are going for a dream trip come true.

The Learning Challenge

But, oh dear. Wanting to be good travelers means we need to do our best to at least make an attempt at the language. That is a bit disconcerting for me. French language courses were never the easy ones for me in high school and college and were the source of quasi humiliation. Reading was not too bad, but oh the suffering from having to get up in front of everyone and actually respond to questions in French. My mind just did not seem to work well.

Yet, some of that training must have sunk in a bit. When we traveled to Mexico sometime back I found myself wanting to speak French when someone would ask me something in Spanish. Not quite what was needed. But after all, French is rather close to Spanish, isn’t it?

So now I am realizing that I better make an attempt with the Italian, and it is not REALLY so different from French and Spanish. So we purchased an audio training program which I will be able to use during my 30 minute drive to and from the office each day. Wow! I will be learning Italian in no time, or so goes the promise on the packaging.

Is it the Program or Has My Brain Changed?

There is a possible new challenge though and that is that I am now 62 years old. I am noticing strange things happening with the Italian conversation I am supposed to learn in our training program. Is it my brain or is it the program? I’m confused. In other areas of study, with which I am more familiar, my brain seems to work reasonably well. So what’s the issue?

In the program, I am only allowed to listen to the audio, and repeat after them. There is no visual included. They claim this is best. It is just making me mad. When I am given a phrase including the Italian version of the verb, to understand, my mind insists on doing either something French, or even something with a hint of Spanish, or an interesting combination of the two. The voice on the audio program says authoritatively, “Respond to this question.” Wait, wait, I can’t remember the word. Heavens! I feel lost without the written words.

I somehow feel I would have been better off never having learned the French and the smattering of Spanish from other trips. I think the Italian sounds harsh with the strong emphasis on the consonants and I am not liking it. I am thinking about just studying French instead. Something is wrong with this program. It’s just not right for me.

Mr. Know It All

My husband assures me this is good for my brain, however. Of course I KNOW that, right? And as much as I want to cheat and look at the spelling of the words, which the program warns us against doing, I agree to not do so. The program says it will negatively affect my pronunciation. It is also bothering me that this whole language training seems to be a lot easier for my husband. He just seems to “get it.”

I think I will insist on at least writing the words down in how they sound to me though. I think that is only fair. Do I really care if they KNOW I can’t really speak Italian? I’ve heard Italians are nice about it, and won’t hold it against me as long as I am making an effort.

Forget the Miffed Attitude and Let Go of the Past

Okay. So I am going to do my best to have a better attitude about learning Italian. I think of the beautiful Italian songs I have heard sung. What about all the gorgeous operas? Yes, I guess it is an “okay” language. I just have to learn to get pass the little bit of post traumatic stress I experience as a result of former language learning experiences.

Mind thoughts shutterstock_136710680-2-2

And my husband is right. Learning something new, in a different way, is actually very good for a brain which is ever so slowly aging. The program is challenging my brain to learn in a way it has not learned in a very long time. In other words this could REALLY be helpful.  By taking this language program I could be performing a radical act

for better health. Perhaps I could become brilliant!

The Plan

Here’s the plan. I am going to get out my Young Living essential oil combination, Brain Power, and take a few good sniffs prior to getting into the car in the morning to prepare for my en route (note the French influence) audio training. The same at night when leaving work. I think I am going to clear unconscious fears from the past about learning languages and speaking languages easily with some Alignment to God Series (erroneous beliefs) or NMT (psps) clearings, and use some Release essential oil blend. I am actually now beginning to feel thankful that new synapses in my brain will soon be forming. It’s going to be awesome. I am going to give thanks for the tools of alternative health care before I go to sleep tonight!

How About You?

Opportunities for doing good things for your health can suddenly present themselves. Like me, however, you may not always initially appreciate them. Sometimes it takes a little encouragement from someone else to help you see the possibilities. Even if it is hubby dearest, or your Mom, keep an open mind.


About Dr. Pat

I am a practicing natural health care physician and educator committed to helping others overcome pain and suffering, restore function, and lead healthier, happier, longer, and more spiritually fulfilled lives.

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