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The Art of Discovery

"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery." ~Mark Van Doren

I feel quite blessed in the life that has unfolded over my many decades on this planet. I found the profession of massage therapy and bodywork at the age of 19. Or maybe it is more like it found me.

Not long into my career as bodyworker I began teaching. I think I have always been a teacher.

I have taught swimming, river guiding, sea kayaking, cross country skiing and lots of snippets of other life skills.

This past season has been quite a dynamic and satisfying time causing me to reflect on what I love about teaching.

The above quote by Mark Van Doren, "The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery." really resonates for me.

A synonym for discovery is unearthing. I like that. I like to guide students to unearth a part of themselves that has been buried or hidden or dormant. The encouragement to illuminate this part of themselves. To bring it forth. To integrate it into wholeness.

I want to share with you a quote. When I was 18 years old, I read a book called ‘Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah’ by Richard Bach. This quote has had a lasting and guiding effect on me:

“If you bring forth what is within you, what is within you will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what is within you will destroy you.”

I encourage students to discover and bring forth what is within - their wise woman or their soft heart or their grounded strength or their voice or their inner quiet. I want them to open to something new - whether it is a new level of subtlety of touch or a more comfortable way of sitting while they are working, maybe a new way of asking questions or communicating or what the embodiment of grounding feels like.

I love to invite students to a new level of introspection and self-discovery.

In our culture, where we aren’t encouraged to dive beneath the superficial and turbulent waters, I like to invite students to the calm, grounded, inner stillness, their inner wisdom that is eager to be tapped into, their depth of Being.

These are edge states. When prompted, we can choose the status quo, the familiar, comfortable or we can choose to step (or leap) into a new way – the unknown. 

This takes courage and vulnerability. And… these prompts often get a student in touch with deep longings and parts of themselves long forgotten. There is a reunion.

This touches students. Time might be needed for deeper cultivation, but the seeds are planted and begin to take root.

And I am blessed to be a witness to this transformation.

This winter and spring felt especially rich. I taught a Level 1 and a Level 4 and the CS Mentoring Program.

The Level 4 and mentoring students have been part of the Still Mountain Healer School for several years. I have been a witness to their growth and evolution. I feel like a proud parent at graduation time.  I feel honored and so so grateful for this experience.

Thank you to all students for your courage and openness and vulnerability! 🙏

I am humbled by these words are from a student"

"Regina's commitment to teaching is exceptional. Her depth of knowledge is awe-inspiring and her wise and gracious presence is deeply reassuring and uplifting! The classes are well-structured and the class size is perfect for focused and connected learning. And the classes are fun! I am so grateful to the SMH School."

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