Explorations and Reflections

on awakening the true self  in education

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  • Mick Scott

What if Icarus Could Swim?

Most of the adults in my personal life are engaged in some type of self-development: reading books, meeting in support groups or masterminds, participating in religious or spiritual rituals and practices, taking weekly or weekend workshops, seminars, or training programs. And there are certain books and workshops that justifiably make the rounds: Atomic Habits, The Inside-Out Revolution, The Landmark Forum, The Miracle Morning, The One Thing.

We are attracted to our favorite teachers for one of the same reasons that we are attracted to good books, good friends, insightful workshops, and significant ceremony: their ability to awaken us or remind us of some part of who we are. Through the engagement with others in these ways, we connect to the true self in others and to the true self within us.

In my last two posts, Encouraging Conditions and Icarus and Jesus, I aimed to point out that growing up includes preparation to succeed and preparation for when we fail. We want our students learning to fly, and this includes identifying and possibly breaking through the limiting mindsets and perceptions that they have of themselves, others, and the world around them.


And, we want our students aware of the important guideposts along the way, the signs pointing out where the fall from flying too high, too fast, or too alone can lead to devastating consequences.

Some boundaries and limits, however, we don’t notice until we’ve already crossed them. This is why we also need to learn to swim: when the wax wings melt and we fall from the sky, we don’t want ourselves or our students to drown. And if we land on solid ground, as mostly we do when we fail, we want to be able to get back up and responsibly move forward again.

Awakening the true self in education includes lessons in flying, falling, landing, swimming, healing, and getting going again. They’re all a part of this life, in small ways or large, and I think we should be actively preparing our students for them.

That’s what we as adults want for ourselves too: opportunities to connect with others and ourselves, grounded in an understanding of when and how we should accelerate and soar higher, when and how we should dial it back a little, and when and how to dust ourselves off and get moving again.


Thanks to my friend, Heat, for pointing out that Icarus could've been taught to swim. :)

Thanks so much for engaging with me ❤️.

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Photo credit to the photographers at www.unsplash.com and Wix.

Music credit to the musicians at freemusicarchive.org.

©2021 by Mick Scott