Earning a Ph.D In Living

I was fortunate enough to be able to return to school in my 30’s and receive my BA in Comparative Religion. I had plans to go on for my Masters and even, by some miracle, my Ph.D. Alas, that was not in the cards for me at the time, but I have since come to believe that I have more than earned those degrees in a different kind of school: The School of Life.

Classes and books are wonderful ways to learn, and I would be the last one to discount their value. Heck, the minute I become curious about anything, my first impulse is to ask: “Is there a book about that?” Old habits are hard to break and now with the miracle of the internet, I can find out anything about anything, order books, attend online classes, and even go back to graduate school. There is only one subject that they can’t teach me, though. You won’t find it in any book or in any blog. They can’t give me actual experiences. They can’t live my life for me.

My Dad used to refer to it as the School of Hard Knocks. One of my Mom’s favorite sayings was: “Live and Learn.” Both of them were correct. Life can be a series of hard knocks, but once you’ve lived through it, you’ve learned something, and if you’re lucky, you’ve learned how not to get knocked down again. If you’re really lucky, you’ve learned how to grow from it.

We could all probably fill a notebook with all of the mistakes and knock downs we’ve experienced in life. The real test is whether we can also fill one with what we learned from it all and how we’ve grown as a result … or haven’t grown. If we can pass the Growth Test, and learn to live a happy, authentic life, then we should be awarded our Ph.D in Living! It’s the least we deserve and it doesn’t require a cap and gown or a big ceremony (although for some of us just having survived this long deserves a party).

There is no secret here as to what this week’s assignment over on the home page is going to be about. I won’t ask you to fill a notebook, but I will ask you to pat yourself on the back and reward yourself for having come through with flying colors! It’s the least we can do for ourselves!

Peace and blessings.


12 thoughts on “Earning a Ph.D In Living

  1. The School of Hard Knocks. My dad used to say that about life. We have all been to this school and it’s lessons are invaluable. Thank you Barb for your dedication to learning and teaching! xox


  2. There is no doubt that all the challenges in my life have taught me so much about myself and fueled my growth. I am deeply grateful for all I have learned and continue to learn in the University of Life and thank you so much for your insightful blog!


  3. What a powerful writing invitation, Barb. In the School of Life, I have earned my Ph.D. in embodying the gifts of the Willow tree – being flexible to others’ reactions yet staying firmly rooted in my own being and truth.


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