The movement from beginner to expert is when the knowledge of our subject matter becomes embodied. By this, I mean that you no longer look to a reference in order to perform your skill. The reference could be a book, a diagram or sentence you have memorized, or the image of your teacher.
When you find yourself coming up with new interpretations and innovative spontaneous techniques, you are embodying knowledge. In my practice of massage, I relied on images of my teachers for continued guidance in my practice for many years. I was hesitant to let go of those images, of their way of doing things, and allow myself to follow my own unique flow.
Then I met a teacher who insisted that embodied knowledge is the truly useful, meaningful knowledge. “After all,” she proposed, “if you don’t own what you know, then what do you know?”
From that point on, I dropped my memorized images and I stopped looking for answers in the academic records of my mind. I challenged myself to answer my own questions, to find my own expression. I let my inner wisdom guide my hands-on work.
I am inspired with every session. I keep learning from every person I work with, and clients are remarking on how much more beneficial my work has become.
Thanks to Khadro for opening the door.