Students are understandably nerved up, frequently run over time, and often don’t do very well. Everyone, of course, wants to be good from the get go, if not perfect. So my message for them is simple: dare to be bad. Two aphorisms apply here: “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly at first” is one of them. This is an art, an art whose depths I am still plumbing after nearly 40 years. It is definitely a worthwhile art, an art too rare on this planet, certainly in this culture. So just as you cannot do a fabulous sculpture or canvas right out of the starting blocks, you cannot expect to do bodywork – sculpture in a medium that gets up and walks away – brilliantly in your first term.
The second aphorism is: “Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment.” As much as one learns in class, and learns from example, the most anchored learning comes from mistakes recognized. So, make some. By being bold, and seeing where the boldness works and doesn’t work, learning proceeds rapidly – maybe a bit at the expense of your classmates and early clients, but, hey, that’s why they call it a ‘practice’.