The idea of a concise, compelling description of ‘Somatics’ that can be communicated in the short span of an elevator ride makes good sense.
It makes good sense because, as a Somatics educator, I am often asked: “What exactly do you do?” or, “What is Somatics?” and “How does it work?”
So often, I am met by that bewildered gaze whenever I dare mention the “word”.
As a longtime yoga instructor, the elevator pitch has been much easier, if even necessary. Most people have at least some general understanding of what’s involved in the practice of yoga. Somatics, however, is different.
Let an image form in your mind’s eye ofa web, the delicate filaments intricately connected, each one vibrating in response to the smallest movement on any part of the net. We know this image from the wisdom traditions, like the Buddhist sutra that describes Indra’s Net as a vast, jeweled web suspended in the heavenly abode, the essential structure that supports all of life. Quantum physics mirrors this ancient teaching in scientific terms, revealing that the universe is interconnected in much more subtle ways than previously realized. And perhaps when we wander deep into nature and see the roots of trees growing into a stream and the leaves tipping upward to be nurtured by the sun, it is easy to recognize the way that life self-organizes into a functional, interdependent whole. When we are quiet and open, some part of us, down in our bones, simply feels the truth of our connection with all of life.
While this web is an inspiring image and philosophically profound, it is essentially practical. Maintaining an awareness of our interdependence can guide our day-to-day choices in being part of something larger than ourselves. As we recognize the living connections between ourselves and all other life forms, we begin to discover our role within the potential of a larger reparative movement, a vitally needed shift toward an eco-harmonious way of living. This is becoming clearer as awareness grows regarding where our food and clothing comes from, and how to maintain, recycle or upcycle items to reduce waste. But our practical interdependence is an even more subtle and pervasive weaving of energetic filaments. It includes not only what we do, but how we express the gifts of who we are in the world. Continue reading Our Place in the Web of Life→
In today’s world we are seeing crumbling values and a loss of our core as human beings. As we look around, many world leaders, but not all, don’t set a good example anymore. They have stopped being role models we care to live up to. The problem is that seeing and feeling this change causes many to lose hope. We need hope to be happy and to feel a certain magic. Life is meant to be lived with a little ‘je ne sais quoi.’
On top of this, we chase careers, fulfillment, owning a house, cars, raising kids and giving them a comfortable future, we want more and more, but with that more comes a sacrifice. We get addicted to the race, to the stress, to doing without knowing anymore how to stop. Does it really make us happy? Are we really satisfied with life? Do we know how to really enjoy the journey and not just the end goal?
I’ve been traveling back and forth for work to Cuba since 2005. Cuba
is a country that did not follow society’s trajectory, model of the Western World and capitalism. As such it became a case study and a human laboratory for alternative living, connecting and enjoying life. When visiting Cuba there is a certain magic you feel that can’t be explained. And it’s not just because you are on a holiday.
So what is this magic? What are its components? And can they be learned and can work anywhere?
Nearly two decades of teaching Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and continuing to deeply explore its tenets has brought me to a place where I find myself living from a definition of love that is at once contemplative practice and beautiful revelation… a generous and unexpected gift springing from the discipline of NVC which, without a doubt, can profoundly impact our personal and collective lives if we apply ourselves to learning it.
Love is something we all want to experience, to enjoy and rest into. Yet it often seems elusive, disappointing and full of hurt and confusion.
We tend to think of love as a noun –something we need, try to get, something we have or don’t have enough of. We search outside ourselves for someone to give us the love we think we’re missing. Most of us have tried to get others to fill the place inside us that feels unloved and un-loveable. This simply doesn’t work.
Here are two ways of contemplating the mystery that we call Love.