Did you know your greatest superpower is your ability to tune into the innate wisdom available to you in your body? We are taught to believe sensitivity is weakness, and that our rational capacities are more valuable and legitimate than our somatic experience. Today I invite you to see your body differently. Your somatic sensitivity is far from being a weakness. In fact, it's one of your greatest sources of resilience and connection. Here’s why.
We live in a world plagued with systemic and interpersonal violence. We are all affected by this reality, whether we consciously acknowledge it or not. Let’s look through the lens of somatics and race, the topic of Resmaa Menakem's book, My Grandmother's Hands, which I highly recommend. Folks in the racial justice movement, perhaps especially those who also study the somatic and energetic functioning of the human body, agree that the ideology of the supremacy of whiteness requires disembodiment and dissociation of everyone involved. White folks cannot be present in their body, fully feeling all of the body's feelings and sensations, and also actively or even passively participate in the dehumanization of another human being. It goes without saying that for those surviving violence and oppression, in this case People of Color, the ability to dis-embody (think fight, flight, freeze, appease, dissociate) is a brilliant built-in survival strategy.
Radical embodiment is resistance to this cycle of violence because it counters the "mind's tyranny over the body," as body-based therapist, Tada Hozumi, puts it, which is arguably the root of all forms of dominance and violence. You can't oppress another person if you are wholeheartedly in touch with your own body and the humanity and wisdom it contains. When we take time to heal the cycle of oppression and trauma in our bodies, we can heal the cycle of oppression and trauma in our relationships, institutions, communities, and society.
When we don’t have the tools, time, or confidence to intentionally heal from the trauma and/or moral injury of systemic oppression and violence, we unconsciously embody and act out of this pain, which impacts the ways we show up in the world. The movement for social change is not immune to this. I invite you to join me in resisting the belief that we don’t have time or don't deserve to be embodied because of all the urgent work there is to do. The urgency and desperation is real, so real, and, so is our humanity, tenderness, and vulnerability. As Director of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Dove Kent, is known to say, “There is so much work to do, so we must go slow.” When we slow down to notice our breath, commune with the elements, presence the sensation and emotional we feel under all our armor, we remember we are more than our wounds.
When we practice radical embodiment - acknowledging the validity and wisdom of our bodies - we not only cultivate our own resiliency, but we tend the resiliency and transformation of our entire human race. When we reclaim our bodies and our inborn right to heal, we heal past, present, and future generations. In Chani Nicholas’s Full Moon Horoscopes, she writes, “The healing that happens here doesn’t just stop with you. Know that what you have been working through personally works through you generationally. What you heal in yourself you heal for your entire family line. No matter your relationship with relatives, what you do to heal the hurt passed down, for whatever reason, is the starting point to alleviate the pain held in your bones, blood, and being.” It is in this spirit that I share with you these upcoming opportunities to practice radical embodiment with my support.
- Embodied Leadership Coaching Program - This is an exciting new three-month body-based leadership coaching program I am offering that includes four monthly 60-minute in-person, phone, or Skype sessions with additional text and phone support between.
- Organizational Group Embodiment Sessions - I'm offering group sessions for 5-15 people, either on-site or in a yoga studio setting, aimed at countering burn-out, stress, and tension, and cultivating resilient and transformative collaboration.
- Individualized Healing and Wellness Sessions - These private 60-minute sessions focus on embodiment tools for greater wellness, healing, empowerment, and liberation in all areas of your life.
- Joyful Movement for the Movement- This integrative movement mini-workshop (aka “dance church”) offers an accessible space to experience African dance led by Kama and joyful creative movement led by Lillie. We will gather together around music and movement to counter fatigue, somatic/energetic stagnation, and build our collective creativity and resilience! Offered weekly in June and July on Sundays 2-3:30pm at Rootead. Sliding scale: $5-20/session.
- Queer Yoga at Sanctuary Yoga - This class will be offered to people who identify as LGBTQIA+ in partnership with OutFront Kalamazoo. The class will center the experiences of queer folks to create a safe space for practice and exploration without encountering heterosexism, misgendering, and transphobia. We will move, meditate, reflect, and build community through practice. All people, bodies, genders, races, sizes, abilities, ages, and levels of experience with yoga are welcome. Thursdays 5:15-6:30pm starting June 14th. Sliding scale: $8-$22/class + one FREE class each month sponsored by Out Front! <3
- Hatha Yoga at Down Dog Yoga Center - I’m honored to be teaching this Monday morning practice while Kara Aubin assists Dr. Vasant Lad at his Ayurvedic Clinic in Pune, India. Start your week with this dynamic and deep class to explore the physical and energetic body, release tension and stress, and enhance your overall well-being.
I hope to see you soon! Wishing you abundant embodiment under this luminous Blossom Full Moon.