Have you ever been asked a question about a topic you know a lot about but you didn't know the answer? How does that make you feel?
Often, when a student/client asks me a question and I'm unsure what the answer is, I get this feeling that perhaps I should know the answer.
Almost as if not knowing the answer makes me less smart than I am. Like when I was in elementary school and the teacher called out on me and asked me a question about the study material and I would make something up and she would angrily yell: "Incorrect!"
I'll never forget that one day when I was in an Ortho-Bionomy seminar and one of my teachers was asked a question and he responded with the words: "I don't know."
It surprised me that his facial expression was left unchanged while he said this. I think this is because he was just fine not knowing the answer. Also, keep in mind that the question was not one that he needed to know in order for us to get what he was teaching at that moment.
I then realized that there's something so liberating about no knowing everything.
I mean really, how could we know it all?
This reminds me of the Zen Buddhism concept of "Shoshin" or "beginners mind."
According to Wikipedia, Shoshin "refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would."
Isn't this such a supreme way of being? Doesn't this just further open us up to the limitlessness of our education?
Also, it can get annoying to be around someone who is a "know-it-all."
When it comes to anatomy, healing, and the health of the bodymind, there's just so much to learn and so much we still don't know.
It's not possible for me or anyone else to know it all, and I have to admit that I used to forget that.
No matter how many books, articles, and journals I read. No matter how many audios, videos and podcasts I listen to or how many seminars, workshops and classes I attend, I'll never everything there is to know about the topics I study. While I do consider myself an expert when it comes to soft tissue health in comparison to the everyday person, when I compare myself to some of my peers and mentors, I consider myself just average. I simply still have so much more to learn. I love it when I spend time with other expert practitioners and I'm humbled by their intelligence, knowledge and experience. It's such a good reminder that I should spend even more time learning and that I still don't know sh*t!
And that's just okay. In fact, it's not entirely accurate. I do know a lot, but it's not even close to what I'd like to know and I'm never going to stop learning.
Heck, in my opinion, the day you stop learning should be the day you die.
Unfortunately, the problem with most healthcare practitioners is that they finish school and they cease learning. They complete their education and then they lose themselves in their work, making money and paying the bills. They get into the habit of what they do and don't make the time to continue their studies.
I get it, and I don't judge them. But it's not the way I choose to practice my skill and live my life.
I think it has a lot to do with the fact that when you're passionate about something, spending time learning it is not a task but instead it's fun and extremely rewarding.
What's possible if we would all embrace this concept of the the beginners mind and be okay with not knowing everything?