We invest years of our lives figuring out what we actually enjoy doing; dedicating countless hours to hone our skills and learn the ins and outs of our craft from our teachers in an effort to inch closer to mastery. But when we feel that we’ve gotten there… what’s next? Well, why not keep that teaching cycle going!

Whether you’re still mapping out what brings you joy or you’ve been embracing it for a while now, the funny little farm we’re heading to gives us a peek at the impact that introducing others to what we love—and seeking out teachers who have that passion—can have on our journeys!

“Our idea is: let’s give people the opportunity to try something. You learn the most from failing, but if you aren’t encouraged to try, then you won’t.” —Kris Holstrom, owner of Tomten Farm

Most of us aren’t born into the world knowing exactly what we want to do, we need a little help figuring it out.

We spend a large chunk of our lives peering under rocks and exploring new paths to get closer and closer to finding what we really enjoy. Year after year we discover new skills and interests, learning from teacher after teacher until eventually finding a connection between them and (hopefully) settle comfortably in the niche that suits us best.

But what do we do once we’ve found the work that feels like our calling? Well, our mission changes.

Take a look at what Kris Holstrom is doing at Tomten Farm in Telluride, Colorado. For over 20 years, she’s welcomed 100+ interns to her small farm to help them take their dreams for a test drive. The benefits don’t just stop with the interns, though. As you’ll soon see in this beautiful film from The Perennial Plate, Kris’s own love for her work seems to have grown right along with them.

To find more beautiful films from The Perennial Plate, please head over to their Vimeo channel or website!

The Teaching Cycle

Two of the greatest silver linings in life are that we will always keep learning and that we will always have something new to teach one another.

As we keep moving down our individual paths, taking in experiences, we rack up enough information and wisdom to become an unofficial expert.

Now, if you’re lucky enough to no longer be scrambling to put pieces together and find what you love in life, you can return the favor of all of your teachers by sharing your passion with others.

Opening the doors of your studio, workshop, offices, or farm and showing people what you’re doing in there can help clear out a new path in someone else’s story!

Maybe you’ll spark a new interest in somebody else or maybe you’ll provide the experience where they figure out what they definitely don’t want to do. Either way, you’re helping someone else find the clarity they wouldn’t have discovered without you.

Being taught by someone who loves what they’re doing is a powerful experience. And it’s one way each of us can be #HelpfulNow in the midst of whatever we’re facing!

If you’d like to meet some other awesome teachers, check out these stories:

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The Life Changing Work of a Master Craftsman

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Kimberly Bryant: Black Girls Code

Who do you picture when you think of a computer programmer, game designer, IT professional? Not a woman of color? Let Kimberly Bryant inspire you!

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Skate After School: How Skateboarding Can Change a Kid’s Life!

What if you could learn life's most important skills and have fun while doing so? This program is making that possible for hundreds of kids every week. Let's hear from the kids themselves why this program is so important!

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How did you discover the things you enjoy doing?

Seriously, think back on it. Was it a class? A book? More than likely, you were inspired by someone sharing their own love for a subject with you. It could’ve been your grandmother’s love for baking, how your father talked about cars or a very passionate math teacher that has helped you shape your experiences thus far.

“What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to a human soul.” – Joseph Addison

But if you’re still trying to figure it out, here’s what you need to do:

Pick something, anything, and give it a go. Learn from masters or ask your friends to show you what they’re excited about. Get out there and find someone with a passion for something that you could maybe, possibly, be interested in and see where it takes you. In the end, you may discover that baking bread seriously isn’t in your skill set and you find the whole thing tedious, but at least now you know. With that knowledge under your belt, you can move forward to a less doughy task with a bonus new respect and insight into a world you couldn’t have explored without a teacher.

Slowly but surely if you keep this up, you’ll narrow down the activities that feed your soul. The ones that eventually, with enough time, practice, and passion, you’ll be able to introduce to someone else and repeat the whole cycle again.

Every teacher was once a student and every student can become a teacher. So, what can you teach others?

Are you really good at social media? Does coding get you all excited? Is it surfing that beckons you out of bed in the morning? Or can you make a mean batch of blueberry muffins?  Start by bringing your friends into your world. Teach what lights a fire inside of you and share that warmth with them!

Who knows, you may just end up growing your community around the globe like Tomten Farm has!

Stay open to new possibilities!

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” —Albert Einstein

Explore more ways people are helping others! 

One person can make a huge difference in the world. Just take a look at the real-life stories in this circle to see what people are doing! Click the button below to explore.

Discover the power of one! 

Notes:

  1. The Perennial Plate. “At 9,000 Feet.” Vimeo, 16 Mar. 2020, vimeo.com/185297244. Accessed 17 Mar. 2020

Sam Burns

Editor in Chief

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and procurer of cheeses.