As a new year begins I find myself enrolled as a student in Denver Integrative Massage School. This is an exciting endeavor and a long awaited life transition for me. However, like many people, I am fearful of taking on something new, especially a career. There are so many things to consider: cost, commitment, benefits, success, burn out etc. So of course, leading up to the start of class I have let my mind go down the route of –“Am I making the right decision?” I am fairly certain that I am not the only one in our class that has let this thought creep in, if even just for a minute. So scary are some of those internal objections!! I realize that if I (and fellow students) don’t meet those objections with an open mind and perseverance I may never conquer something new.
In total there are 14 students in our 600 hr CMT course. It’s a beautiful mix of personalities and we all bring a trail of life experience to the table. No pun intended. The first day of class was this past Saturday, January 8th, and you could literally feel the buzz of energy that the entire class seemed to emit. It seems that amidst some obvious feelings of fear and hesitation, we as students (thankfully) became lost in the other side of learning: The Beginner’s Mind, or Shoshin, a Buddhist concept that refers to the eagerness and lack of preconception that can occur when learning.
For many of us the art of Massage and touch is so brand new but our enthusiasm was so great that we were able to release our apprehension and dive in. Like true beginners, we were anxious to learn EVERYTHING right away and of course that is not possible. So we spent the weekend simply soaking in how it feels to give and receive a Swedish massage, hands on. As our instructor Nina stated, “The weekend was bliss!” She was absolutely right.
The other details including a lot of Anatomy and Physiology, Kinesiology and more will come soon enough. For now it feels great to be that beginner, allow myself to learn, make mistakes and practice my way to greatness. I hope that when those objections, fears and feelings of wanting to know everything now sneak in, I along with fellow students will remember: In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few. – Shunryu Suzuki