Category Archives for turning points

Your own “Year in Pictures”

Crystal photography ball showing the seascape at St Bees, Whitehaven, Cumbria - British seaside

Many publications are coming out with their “Year in Pictures” for 2020.

As I scrolled through the New York Times’ version, I was overwhelmed by the enormity, the intensity, the global impact that this past year has had on everyone around the globe. 

And no sooner had I gotten done with this heart wrenching visual odyssey than the next headline assaulted me: the earth is about to be impacted by major storms on the Sun, whose effect on our atmosphere and telecommunications may be significant.

Alright, then!

Lighthouse beacon shining over stormy seas

Sometimes, you’re gently sailing your (metaphorical) ship on a calm sea with the wind to your back.

And sometimes, it takes everything you’ve got to keep your ship upright in a life-or-death storm.

2020 has been a nonstop series of life or death storms for our little planet.

It’s forced us to batten down the hatches and tighten up our act.

We’ve had to become more self-reliant, uplevel our technology skills, and develop entirely new social structures and ways of running our work and family systems.


As the year comes to a close, it’s time to turn inward (if it’s possible to turn any MORE inward than many of us already have) and reflect.

  •    What went well for you this past  year, in spite of everything?
  •    What did you have to let go of?
  •    What did you learn? 


As you scroll through the mental images stored in your memory (the memory in your head, not the one on your phone), what pictures stand out for you?


If you were creating a virtual photo album of this mind-boggling year, what would it show?




young woman using laptop PC and various pictures. internet streaming service concept.

Here's mine:

When the pandemic started, I tried to figure out how to stock up on groceries that would be both sustaining,tasty, and workable for the new weight loss program I had just started… Weight Watchers online.

 I wasn’t sure what would work so I tried to guess. It turned out I did pretty well.

After a last trip to Trader Joes, I started relying on Instacart. Turns out I LIKE having expert grocery shoppers comb the aisles for me, and I like not having to carry heavy bags of groceries up multiple flights of stairs.

Instacart’s algorithm has learned my weekly shopping list, and only shows me pictures of the things I need to buy.

So my first set of pictures will be my standard grocery items, lined up every week on the screen.

These are pictures of the life giving foods that keep me alive and healthy, have been an important source of enjoyment during a year filled with restrictions, and have helped me lose almost 30 lbs.

Food backgrounds: table filled with large variety of food

What has worked, or not worked, for you on the level of sheer physical survival, this year?

What pictures stand out in your mind?

Some people have had a lot of chances to be outside in nature this year, and others have had almost none.

I was in the latter category, and one thing I’ve learned this year is how important being outside in nature is to our physical and emotional health.

The feeling of moving our feet on uneven natural surfaces, the sensory crunch of our footsteps falling on leaves, the surprise of discovering different types of animals and plants and weather and clouds… this type of sensorimotor learning is fundamental to how our bodies and brains are wired.

We were meant to learn through and from interactions with the natural world around us, while moving and touching and feeling and seeing and hearing.

The need to sit at a screen for (often) 14 hours a day, has made it harder than usual for many of us to experience this type of natural interaction.

After a while it starts to wear on you.

 Once I realized that, I made a point of getting out to a park and walking around, even if only once a week or so.

The vistas that I saw there and the way their natural beauty fed my soul, is the 2nd set of pictures I would share.

palm trees against a cloudy sky

What has worked for you to stay connected with nature, to feed your senses, and to get out and move? 

How have you experienced the world beyond the edges of the screen?

The social world this year has both shrunken to a single point (with each of us alone in our own spaces for months on end) and expanded to cover the whole world (with new connections forged via not only endless  Zoom meetings, but an increased appreciation for online learning, virtual conferences, and creative forms of physically distanced/socially connected interaction.)

The online learning space has been through a forced evolution that propelled our collective understanding of how to interact online, ahead by quantum leaps from where it would have been.

 We may be sick of Zoom calls but we’ve also gotten good at them.

 From trying to figure out how to unmute ourselves, we’ve graduated to playing online scavenger hunts, inviting goats to attend our meetings, and giving collective virtual hugs.

My third picture would be of the many online conferences I’ve attended this year where I’ve met amazing experts and entrepreneurs from all over the world.

Laptop screen webcam view diverse people engaged in group videocall

Who have you met this year through online conferences and meetings?

How have you expanded your connections while remaining physically apart?

My most important pictures from 2020 are pictures of YOU: the mission-driven, service-oriented, incredibly creative clients, students, community members, colleagues, mentors, coaches and friends who have sat across the screen from me and shared what was on their minds. 

Whether in private coaching calls, the Course Design Formula® Master Course, Course Crafters Camp™, our Saturday morning community meetings, or informal chats with colleagues and friends, it is YOUR faces I see when I think about this year. 

Thank you for being present with me and working so hard, amidst all the chaos and upheaval surrounding us all, to make the world a better place for those you are here to serve.

Hand of touching network connecting the human dots icon in business project management. Teamwork organization and brainstorm concept

You are radiant, you are beautiful, you are remarkable.

 You make the world a better place by being here. Keep being you, keeping doing what you do.


Let’s all picture a better world in 2021… what would YOU like to see, experience, and do?

Dreaming Intellect series. Visually pleasing composition of human face and technological elements to serve as  background in works on mind, reason, intelligence and imagination

Join the January 2021 cohort

of the Course Design Formula® Master Course

Space is limited.

Enrollment is via private interview only.

I’d love to see some “pictures” from your virtual photo album. If you’ve taken my digital flip book course and would like to create a flipbook of your own, come share a link to in the Facebook group

Or just describe your “pictures” verbally… on Facebook or via email privately to me (Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com), or in a blog post of your own to your own community, if you prefer.

We won’t be meeting on Saturdays for the next two weeks… there will be no community meeting on Saturday, December 19th or Saturday, December 26th.

Let’s all take this time to rest, reflect, and prepare for the new  year.

I’ll keep writing this blog and I’ll look forward to hearing from you anytime via Facebook or email.

The community meeting will return on Saturday, January 2nd 2021 (you can register for it here, and put it on your calendar).

Meanwhile, if you’d like to make creating an online course that really teaches at a deep level, a priority in the new year, schedule a time NOW to talk with me about whether the Course Design Formula® master course (starting January 12th, 2021) is right for you.

 I’d love to talk with you about it! Spaces are limited so book your call now.

Course Design Formula Master CourseJanuary 2021 screenshot


May the days ahead be filled with blessings, insight and inspiration for you and yours.

 I look forward to seeing you next year on Saturdays for the community meeting, and hopefully in class.

Stay fabulous, and thank you for being such an important part of the picture.

You made this past year very special, despite the challenges we all faced.


 Save your spot 

in the January cohort of the Course Design Formula® Master Course

Take the stress and overwhelm out of setting up YOUR online course

Come to the community meeting

Saturday, January 2nd, 2021

9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern

many people online in a conference call

Turning Points

Footpath winding through colorful forest

For the past six months, almost since the pandemic began, a dedicated group of Learn and Get Smarter community members have met every Saturday for two hours or more, to discuss how to survive and thrive during these unprecedented times.

We shared our personal reflections and professional expertise to gain deeper insight into what works when dealing with high levels of uncertainty and risk.

This past Saturday for the first time in six months, only two people in addition to myself attended the meeting. I had received thoughtful emails in advance from several community members, explaining that they wanted to come but needed to be at a conference, a study session, or an event of some kind.

The thought that occurs to me is that as a group, we may have reached a turning point. Maybe people weren't coming to talk about how to survive and thrive during these times, because they were just too busy out there actually thriving.

It's fall and a turning point feels underway. People are settling in to this new reality, whatever form it takes for them, and thinking about how they want to learn and grow in the weeks and months ahead.

Falling Autumn leaves before sunset

This feels like a time of transition.

🍂Some processes that have been in the works for a long time, are coming to completion and winding down.🍂

🌱And at the same time, the seeds of new growth are quietly germinating, as yet unseen, underground. 🌱

mug with autumn squashes

The most recent cohort of the Course Design Formula® Master Course has completed learning the steps of how to design a highly effective and engaging online course.

Now  that group has moved on to Course Crafters Camp™, our hands-on workshop-oriented community for Course Design Formula® Master Course graduates..

 This past week at Camp (it's a virtual learning space, not an actual physical place), Rhonda Anderson Lauritzen of Evalogue.life workshopped a presentation on storyboarding.

It was so meaningful to experience Rhonda's  masterful teaching informed by instructional design best practices.

Rhonda had us all in the palm of her hand with her mesmerizing presentation. Tapping into the power of story was a profound experience.

Rhonda offers a variety of courses including memoir writing and writing about sensitive subjects. If you have been thinking of writing your life story, I recommend her courses very very highly.

Seeing students successfully put into action the skills and abilities they've learned in  your course,

 is a powerful moment for any teacher.

Productivity expert Chris Bailey points out that  it's important to take time to both rest and celebrate after completing a big project.  Teaching your online course, publishing a book, or any large creative project would fit into this category of life events.

Woman relaxes on mountain lakeshore at sunrise


For me, there is so much joy in the journey, 

that I feel a bit of sadness upon actually reaching the destination.

 I don't want the journey to be over!

And of course, it's not over...it's just turned a corner and entered a new phase.  

Internet communities can have shifting identities, like tide pools... springing up suddenly as the need arises, and then changing again when conditions change. 

It's possible that the sparse attendance at last week's community meeting was just a fluke... and we'll pick up again next week.

 It's also possible that the need for the community has changed, in which case, time will tell.

If that's the case, I'm thinking of making the Saturday  morning time slot into my weekly "office hours" ... when anyone in the community can stop by to ask questions about instructional design or course creation.

Colorful Starfish in Tide Pool

So here are my turning points:

  •  I'm getting ready for the January, 2021 cohort of the Course Design Formula® Master Course. 
  • I'm working on various aspects of my business: from honing my products and services to delivering private coaching to amazing clients.
  • I'm quietly taking the pulse of the times to get a sense of where people need help creating powerfully transformative courses that really teach, at a deep level.
  • I'm watching with gratitude and awe as colleagues, students, and friends take off on their own journeys, and achieve success after working so hard for so long.

I'm thankful to be part of this moment in history, together with all of you.

 I really can't think of a more exciting time for us all to be working together to shape the online learning space.

What turning points are you experiencing in your business and teaching practice? 

What's new and coming up for you?

 I'd love to hear about it ...in the Facebook group or via email at Rebecca@learnandgetsmarter.com. 

And of course, I hope you will join me next Saturday at the Learn and Get Smarter community meeting, so we can continue the conversation as a group, if that's what the group wants to do.

Come to the community meeting

Saturday, October 3rd,  2020

9 AM Pacific/ 12 Noon Eastern

many people online in a conference call