Author Topic: Structured Learning & Spontaneous Intuition- How do they compliment each other?  (Read 5137 times)

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jimgilkeson

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For many years, I have been intensely interested in the education of healers. Many people with an intuitive gift of healing find themselves resisting this idea. I have heard healers say, “I’m afraid that if I get too structured, it will clog up my intuition” or “I’m afraid I’ll get too left-brained.”

But healing requires both intuition and rational knowledge. Though flying by the seat of your intuitive pants can sometimes  bring about fascinating results, it often leaves both you and your treatment partner without any insight and without any longterm benefits.  There is something to be said for knowing something. Education allows intuition, understanding and respect for the powers of healing and its deeper dimensions to blend.

Like any good partnership, the marriage of intuition and the capacity for analysis makes both parties stronger and more useful.The supposedly separate functions of analysis and intuition are unified functions of the same mind.

Structured learning and spontaneous intuition are not really at war with one another. Indeed, factual understanding creates a pole toward which intuition can move. The more truly differentiated our knowledge base and the more tools it has at its disposal, the greater the variety of our intuitive repertoire.

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Vajra

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I was definitely one of those people Jim is referring to when I began practicing massage 34 years ago. I put off going to formal massage school as long as possible because I was afraid adding structure to my massage work would dampen the magic that unfolded when I allowed my intuition to guide me exclusively. Not having a plan, nor any idea what I was doing, seemed to be a crucial element in the profound and surprising healing work I found happening under my hands.

However after each session I couldn't explain what I had done, or know if I could do it again. I went into each massage hoping that the magic would show up. Though it usually did, the entire experience had an intensity and unpredictability that wasn't sustainable or trustworthy.

When I finally went to massage school and began to learn specific repeatable strokes and the names and location of the muscles I was working , the magical quality of my work did diminish for a few months while my attention was focused on the process of trying to learn and memorize a variety of techniques that weren't necessarily comfortable for me.

However when class ended and I went back to employing my intuition combined with my new found technical skill, I found that my ability to intuit what was needed for my clients had increased exponentially, buffeted by the knowledge, wisdom and confidence that they bring.

30 years later I have completed over 2000 hours of formal training in dozens of massage modalities. With each technique I study, my intuition becomes freer and more versatile, allowing me to move deeper into the mystery of how to serve whatever is unfolding for my client in the moment with a palpable and skillful sense of mastery, confidence and a extensive repertoire of tools.

In teaching massage, when I encounter an intuitively gifted student who has concern about losing their gift in the course of their training, I ask them to trust me and leave behind their improvisational way of working for 2 months and surrender to the structure of learning specific techniques, even if is feels  as though their work is not as effective and profound as it was when they were working intuitively. They inevitably discover this marriage Jim speaks of; the synergistic blending of technique and intuition, skill and spontaneity, mastery and exploration; each enhancing and enriching the other, providing the multidimensional balance that is the signature of excellence and maturity in a massage therapist.
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David

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It seems to me that every important journey involves leaving what is familiar, safe, known (usually those things that have been given to us by grace) and heading into unknown territory.
It is one reason that many different sorts of classes can be profoundly transformational; if we really leave the safe and are open to a new world magic can happen.
This is especially true when intuitive people open to structured systems or visa versa.
I am naturally a loner and quite structured and enjoy learning how things work but my most powerful experiences have been in company in very unstructured settings.


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