The power is in the approach
Why somatic work?
By working somatically - getting curious about sensations in and our subjective experience of the body, and associated mental images and thoughts - we can observe how our trauma and conditioning play out in our bodies. Our capacity to observe without judgment allows us to access intelligence that lies outside our culturally conditioned minds as simple awareness and, when paired with the natural wisdom of our bodies, grants us profound insight and deep reconnection. We are able to resolve the trauma and conditioning that created and maintains our disconnected experience, reflecting a disconnected society, and this reconnects us to our authentic selves and the web of life from which we have dissociated.
I find "somatic inquiry", or asking the body questions, especially profound. A key element with somatic inquiry is curiosity. I ask questions, but I also maintain a stance of curious presence rather than control or fixing throughout the session, allowing deeper layers of emotion and belief to rise to the surface to be explored. What's really cool about it? Even without an agenda on my part, the truth reliably shines through, and what is untrue falls away.
Healing is a vehicle for evolution
When we heal, we never return to the person we were before we were harmed or traumatized. And with our understanding of intergenerational trauma and epigenetics, we know that deep healing changes the expression of our DNA.
We're in a position where evolution is our collective calling. We live in times of radical upheaval and uncertainty, facing threats of climate catastrophe and subsequent societal collapse, nuclear war between global superpowers, ethically dubious and existentially threatening technological development. Never in history has the insanity of our culture become so obvious. We stand out on the edge of the abyss, between the truth of our interdependence and the death cult that is white western society and culture.
It makes sense, then, that the antidote to our culture would be defined by a way of being that is uncommon in our culture. This way of being embodies unfaltering presence, curiosity, inclusivity, the willingness to allow ourselves to be exactly as we are, and a profound listening to the intelligence expressed through our bodies.
This is the beautiful paradox of this approach: despite our urgency and screaming that we must change, the most efficient vehicle for reconnection, healing, and evolution is moving into this moment with the willingness to be with ourselves exactly as we are, and being curious about what shows up.
Filling in the gaps
I'm a licensed therapist, but the reality is that many of our attempts at achieving mental health are attempts to sooth the natural pain we feel living in a society that is deeply disconnected. Krishnamurti was right when he said, "It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted in a profoundly sick society." With the issues we're facing now, we're starting to realize that aiming to adjust to this society is not a wise goal. Attempting to feel at ease in this disconnected society, or "enough" according to a culture that fosters disconnection, cannot deliver us the mental health we need to navigate a crisis of these proportions or the capacity to envision and manifest a healthy society.
Here are some reasons why I think a somatic/somatic inquiry approach is necessary to address our emotions around these topics:
This approach is profoundly countercultural, and if we want real healing, real shifts, we need to try something different than what we've been doing. Climate change is more than a greenhouse gas problem, it's a cultural problem. Somatic inquiry is based on the facilitator's curiosity and presence rather than attempts at "fixing" emotions, and consistently supports non-judgment and inclusivity of sensations and thoughts.
Reconnecting with our bodies is revolutionary. If we accept that the problems we're facing are the result of culture, and one tenet of our current patriarchal, white supremacist, cis-heteronormative culture is disconnection from the body, then reconnecting with the body and listening to it rather than dominating it is a revolutionary foundation upon which to build a new culture.
It facilitates more than good feelings, but the process itself gives us insight into our inner workings, facilitating a whole new way of relating to ourselves. And it allows us to not just theorize a new way of being in the world, but provides an experience of a new way of being. And I've seen time and again how powerful it is for us to get out of our heads and into the present moment in an embodied, grounded way.
I'll just be honest: I'm biased. My personal experience with this approach led me to incredible shifts in my direct perception and experience of my own body, as well as my perception of dynamics on bigger scales. It revolutionized my relationship to myself, others, and the natural world, and continues to do so.
I never know what emotions and personal associations a given topic may bring up for you, but whatever they may be, I commit to a nonjudgmental, compassionate approach when working together. I have found mindful somatic approaches to mirror Martin Luther King's theory of non-violence: by refusing to blindly react but together maintaining a steadfast presence, patterns within us that may be violent towards ourselves or others are brought into our conscious awareness where they can be seen and held with compassion and honesty.
I deeply trust the natural wisdom housed in our bodies, and our consciousness' capacity to be with truth. In that way, embodiment becomes more than just a way to personally feel better, but an approach that takes us beyond our social conditioning to a more peaceful but engaged coexistence. Rather than trying to get our wild selves to fit into society's box, we let that wildness lead the way.
If you have more questions, please don't hesitate to reach out for a free 20 minute consultation.