Your Body of Knowledge

                                           See below for links to articles on Dr. Peet's research

The only source of knowledge is experience. - Albert Einstein

Both deep learning and regeneration are very subtle mental, physical and emotional processes that take place unconsciously, well outside of our awareness. These processes happen in the form of faint insights, nuanced “a-ha” moments and physical sensations that come and go in an instant, long before we can notice them. Over time, these unconscious moments build on one another, creating a vast reservoir of what’s called “embodied knowledge” - a compendium of personal knowledge that is accumulated through our life experiences. Our embodied knowledge contains a plethora of unconscious habits, assumptions, beliefs and worldviews, some of which are helpful to us, but many that are not. Our embodied knowledge also contains another form of innate “knowing” called Generative Knowledge which is also hidden from our conscious awareness. This knowledge facilitates the development of our “best self” and helps us find our way in the world.  The term “generative” comes from the fact that this knowledge provides a vast hidden reservoir of strength, resilience and intelligence that is inherently resource-generating. The more we connect with his knowledge, the more resourceful we become.


Under the right conditions, our Generative Knowledge functions as a powerful internal force. Like a compass with a strong magnetic center, it draws us to ideas, insights, people, situations and experiences that awaken our innate sense of purpose, passion and curiosity.  The more directly we engage with our Generative Knowledge, the more grounded, centered, and strong we become. When we express this knowledge, we gain a sense that we are on the right path, that we know how to find our way in the world. Even if we are not sure of where we are going or what we want to do, we feel like we can trust ourselves.

Unfortunately, most people have never learned how to recognize their own or others’ Generative Knowledge and experience deep confusion, fragmentation and anxiety as a result.

Dr. Peet's Generative Knowledge trainings and workshops were developed through 10 years of research at the University of Michigan. Through this work, people gain:

  • A generative mindset - the capacity to recognize their own and others’ inherent strengths, wholeness and sources of intelligence;

  • Generative skills - behaviors they can use to surface, identify and build upon their own and others hidden sources of passion, purpose and motivation; and,

  • Daily Generative Practices - a series of small, daily habits people can use in order to connect with their own and others’ generative knowledge.

The Principles of a Generative Mindset include:

Understanding Different Ways of Knowing: Although our education system focuses on formal, academic  knowledge, there are other ways of knowing that are absolutely critical to success. Embodied and Generative Knowledge are two forms of knowing that are essential for people to have a sense of purpose and well-being.


Learning is a Natural and Lifelong Process:  As we move through life, adapting to new ideas, jobs, technologies, relationships, etc., learning is one of the most natural things we do, even though much of it happens unconsciously. It is often seen as difficult because our formal education systems ignore the knowledge people already possess and the ways in which we naturally learn.

Each Learning Experience Reflects our Inherent Wholeness and Generativity: Our Generative Knowledge functions as an inner coherence that unconsciously shapes our learning experiences; it does not require our conscious awareness in order to exist. By learning how to recognize and “unpack” hidden moments of learning, we can retrieve the generative know-how embedded within those moments. This process of “unpacking” specific experiences reveals patterns of purposefulness, strength, and intelligence - the hidden sources of coherence. 

We Need Others to Help us Uncover our Hidden Resources: Since Generative Knowledge is embodied, and embodied knowledge exists well outside of our conscious awareness (it literally exists in the body), self-reflection alone cannot reveal this essential knowledge to us (we can only reflect on something if we are aware of it). Thus, in order to discover this hidden knowledge, and all the resources that go along with it, we need to engage in a process of generative inquiry and dialogue with others.

Recent Research Articles

Peet, M. R. (2015). Transformative students’ beliefs: Developing employability skills and generative identities through the Integrative Knowledge Portfolio Process. Journal of Transformative Learning, 3(2), 15-36.

Peet, M. (2012). Moving from crisis to opportunity: Leadership transitions, tacit knowledge, sharing and organizational generativity. Journal of Knowledge Management, 16(1), 45-60.

Peet, M., et.a. (2011). Fostering Integrative Knowledge Through ePortfolios. International Journal of ePortfolio, 1(1), 11-31.

Peet, M., Walsh, K., Sober, S. & Rawak, C. (2010). Generative knowledge interviewing: A method for tacit knowledge transfer and talent management at the University of Michigan. The International Journal of  Educational Advancement, 10, 71-75.

Peet, M. (2009). The integrative knowledge portfolio process: A program guide for educating reflective practitioners and lifelong learners. MedEdPORTAL, Retrieved from: /publication/7892