Our kinesthetic sense is the sense that tells you all you need to know about space: the space inside your body, the space around you and spatial relationships. It’s key to a body-oriented intelligence and, aptly, considered by many synonymous with extra sensory perception and intuition. Introducing a pregnant woman to feeling space, body breathing, and positive messaging is an effective way to wake up and empower her kinesthetic sense. And, trusting this inner-outer sense of space is essential for the pre and perinatal journey.
Why, I wonder, is it so important for all of us to immerse ourselves in imagination? To understand our dreams and to see what is reflected back to us for application in the here and now? Whatever the reasons, I do know this: As insights elicited within the unconscious mind are utilized by the conscious mind, and absorbed into the body, a powerful collaboration takes place. When we immerse ourselves in the wise, creative artistry of soma and soul, we can find meaning.
Can you remember a time when someone said, “Can I tell you a secret?”
Were you intrigued? Did you feel a slight stirring inside? What sort of revelation did you prepare yourself to receive?
Isn’t it funny how images and connotations, interpretations and expectations can make the body respond in certain ways?
What do you experience in your own nervous system when you expect a client is about to reveal some secret traumatic event? How does your body physically react? With impulses, shivers, goose bumps? Perhaps a sense of dread and queasiness in the belly, a catch of your breath . . .? While such disclosures are often necessary and vital to treatment, there are also other secrets that can bring healing to soma and soul.
Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, simply and profoundly captures the point when he writes, “The greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.” This wise truth was delightfully demonstrated recently in a session with Neko, a twenty-two-year-old client with mild developmental delays, whose strength and soul wisdom had been hidden in the unlikely location of a traumatic past.
Have you experienced the pleasure of getting so close to your goal that you can almost taste success? Have you tasted the coppery flavor of fear or characterized an unpleasant experience as distasteful?
Disappointment can be bitter; revenge can be sweet and babies’ feet are delicious. Getting something you want at the expense of something else can be bittersweet, and romance can add spice to your life.
If capturing events and emotions in olfactory and gustatory terms heightens the felt sense of the feelings, why not make the yummiest emotions burst with metaphoric flavor?
Take happiness for example.
You most likely don’t need a formal definition of happiness since it can be argued that you know it when you feel it. But because happiness can occasionally slip by unrecognized, it’s worth knowing what the Dalai Llama says about this state of pleasure.
“I believe that the very purpose of our life is to seek happiness.” His Holiness explains.
Imagine a somatic solution to the hazards of stress. Whether it’s a slow car in the fast lane, a fast truck in the slow lane, the sudden realization that your phone is missing, or worrying about next year’s storm, how quickly and vividly will your mind and body deliver a high velocity jolt of stress?
While cognitive, behavioral, and parts-work modalities have validity, reliability and effectiveness, somatic and soul-centered approaches may contain a different type of potency when you clients’ complain of feeling stuck.
One of the most important and influential figures in somatic psychology is… a philosopher. Odd? Actually not. Because the more we learn about Eugene Gendlin’s revolutionary philosophy of the body, the more it makes sense that he is known as one of the originators of modern body-oriented psychotherapy.
The United States Association for Body Psychotherapy announced their Fall Somatic Psychology Conference at Kripalu Institute. Open to mental-health professionals, yoga teachers, bodyworkers, and everyone who wants to experience the psychology of their bodies. Participants will learn about Hakomi, Embodied Couples Therapy, Rubenfeld Synergy and Focusing in this week long symposium.