The ABC’s & 8 Principles of Somatics
Somatic psychology is an interdisciplinary field involving the study of the body, somatic experience, and the embodied self, including therapeutic and holistic approaches to body.
Somatic study is an inquiry into our “lived body” by observing and exploring ourselves through sensing and moving. It is simply and most profoundly, the study of how human embodied experience unfolds.
8 Principles of Somatic Education at 8EW
The Development of a Life Span
1) Development: Pulsatory Potential
Your body and mind are naturally healthy and free of blockages. Blockages are created when our natural development is disrupted.
2) Structure and Function: Discovery
Your body interacts with the world through movement. The structure of the body tells you how it was meant to move. In its natural state, function is expressed as the Body’s Intelligence. In its unnatural state, function expresses imposed conditioning in the form of blockages.
3) Aging: Choice
When the body and mind are free of conditioning and blockages, aging becomes a process of self-empowered growth, expansion and refinement. This organized growth leads to a deepening of relationship. It is part of the Body’s Intelligence. Aging as deterioration is caused by resistance and blockages.
4) Self-Awareness, Knowledge, Engagement: Feedback
Reaction, a learning of cause and effect.
Self-empowerment begins with learning to listen to, understand and act upon the Body’s Intelligence. This is being responsible to self. It is the beginning of maturity in the world.
5) Embodied Sensory Awareness: Ebb & Flow
From Me to You, differentiation. “I am a wave.”
Your Body’s Intelligence talks to you through the fluid exchange of movement, sensation and breath. The heightening of your listening begins self-fulfillment, the process of maturing into differentiation.
6) Integration: Unity
Fully conscious interactivity. “I move from wave to ocean.”
Fulfillment and differentiation come from developing fluid conscious relationships and cooperation between Soma parts and the environment. This is your Somatic Intelligence.
7) Fluidity: Flow
Acceptance of what is, no longer resisting what comes. “I move with the ocean.”
Fully developed Somatic Intelligence creates fluidity in your total experience of life.
8) Organic Self-Organized Intelligence: Expressed Potential
“I am the ocean, and the ocean is me.”
With Somatic Intelligence, there is no longer a duality between the being and the doing; no conflict between the organism and the I. The completion of this most basic life conflict/struggle brings about organic expression and interaction.
Attention: a birthing.
Attention births your intention.
a. Notice your breath as it is now, without attempting to change it.
b. Now notice whether your awareness is either penetrating or broad.
c. Sustain your attention to changes, feelings, emotions, sensations.
This creates pulsation.
Breath: a bridge.
Breath reflects your nervous system (NS) state which reflects a connection to yourself at all levels. Support the development of a shift in conscious relationship between the body, the heart and Self with the breath.
a. Give broad attention to the breath. Let the breath inform and be the teacher. Just notice.
b. Now FEEL into the act of breathing by bringing it to a particular body part, setting the pace/ground for change/growth.
This creates fluid rhythm as structure.
c. Notice any shifts. Sustain your attention here, and allow shifts to imprint new inherent possibilities in the NS.
Contact: a state of being.
Inherent, organic change molds, solidifies and brings a sense of fullness.
a. Breath plus Attention leads to a deep essential contact known as Presence.
b. Presence is the true state in which all integration and healing occurs.
c. If ‘Life’ is understood as pulsation and ‘Health’ is understood as an organized, vibrant and resilient rhythmic pulsation, sustained contact can restore Health by re-enlivening muted pulsation.