Seasons of a Self-directed Learning Journey

Ukulele and music for Turn turn turn.


To everything (turn, turn, turn)

There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

And a time to every purpose, under heaven….


This photo from 4 years ago turned up in my Facebook timeline this morning.


Learning to play ukulele, playing and singing with other people, has been a challenging and rewarding self-directed learning project for me. And there have been seasons – when I first started I was excitedly practicing every day and meeting with my mostly homeschool mom friends weekly with our matching blue dolphin ukes. We went to Uke Festivals and workshops. I was so excited I wrote a song and created a photo series I call Dr. Uke says…to show what songs I was working on and how I was feeling. The group was evolving, I started working on the books, and mom’s illness progressed. The season and my learning journey shifted.   

Read moreSeasons of a Self-directed Learning Journey

How do you create a life YOU love?

Choose to Create a Life YOU Love. A colorful selection of batik fabrics.

Here is a very simple framework I use to help me live according to my values and goals. It helps me to make choices that ensure I am living MY definition of a fulfilling and successful life and learning in ways that are best for me.  I think it can do the same for you.

It helps me to make choices that ensure I am living MY definition of a fulfilling and successful life and learning in ways that are best for me.  I think it can do the same for you.

I think it can do the same for you.

Choose to create a life you love: a 3-step framework.

Choose to Create a Life YOU Love – Created with Haiku Deck, presentation software that inspires

Empowering our children to take responsibility for their learning and life choices will help them  become capable, confident, and creative adults.

We have to empower ourselves in the same way so we can model what we want to teach.

Although I first created this talk for a group of young women, it was equally well received at a meeting of women in the empty nest and retirement phase.


Learning is all life long. It goes beyond the school day and school years.


What changes do you want to make in your life or learning path?

How can you apply the three steps to make the changes you want to see in your learning and life?

Get the free excerpt from LifeSPARKS: Ask hard questions, try new things, do what matters to kickstart your adventures in self-directed lifelong learning.

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Learning and Laughing at GirlEmpireCon

speakers at Girl empire con artivle at

GirlEmpireCon promised a jam-packed day of learning, inspiration, and fun.

And they delivered.

I learned so much from the girls, the other speakers, and the great organizers.

I was honored to talk to the girls in the morning about  UnCollege Gap Year, Hacking Your Education and the power of choice and options.

In the afternoon I shared my perspective on how to choose to create a life you love.

GirlEmpireCon founders, Alex Ellison and Ashley Jennings, care about empowering young women and building community in their hometown of Reno. What were they hoping to accomplish with their one day conference?

From their website:

“It’s time young people take ownership of their education, formal and informal. We want every girl to leave Girl Empire with the tools, confidence and connections to take charge and make her own rules,” Ellison said.

“The job market is changing all the time. It’s time that we prepare our girls to succeed in any field, instead of setting them up to fail in a field that might not exist in five years,” Jennings said.  

Jennings and Ellison found sponsors, collaborators, and speakers to put together an exciting day of learning.

There were so many nuggets and lessons to take to heart. Here are a few captured on twitter:

“Just because you try something doesn’t mean you have to do it for the rest of your life.” –

Next up: Alex Ellison with on finding the hidden gems in higher education.

“What do I want to do, and how can I make it happen?” –  @uncollege

“How many of you are on Instagram? You’ve already started telling your story.” –

. with speaking about Reno’s startup scene. “Some days I work 14-16 hours, some days I work two. I can choose.” 

w/Mrs. Nevada & showing young girls how-to play big today

Kelsey Blotter, Gold Award, talking about her experience with .

“The only way to learn that job is to do it.” – on doing apprenticeships, whether you’re at trade school or college

  embracing one’s weirdness to stand out in the right ways

 . art is an element of everything we do.

“You can choose to create a life you love.” – gives the closing keynote at

I also learned lots about what I shouldn’t do while holding a microphone, balancing notecards and trying to signal the person taking care of the slides, thank you Laurel. This wasn’t the first in my life that my Italian heritage and tendency to talk with my hands has gotten me in trouble.

I learned what a profound gift it is when people give you their attention, engage, and show you that they are listening to and taking your heartfelt message to heart.

Thank you GirlEmpireCon for allowing me to share my heart and framework for choosing to create a life you love.

I’d love to know, what learning would you like to share?  What choices are you making to create the life you want?

Tell me on twitter @lisanalbone or email me  at