Cultural SMA

Catherine Day-Palmer, Feb 2020

Sometimes, in order to make sense of things, I use analogies and replace the thing I cannot understand with something I can. The civil unrest that’s going on in many cities (and in many hearts) is hard to unravel. Our country has been going through this for centuries, and we are piling up more social dissonance in this very moment in time. It’s hard for many of us to see others’ perspectives – it’s a kind of “blind spot” in our consciousness, a cultural “sensory/motor amnesia”.

Here’s the connection: Often when we experience muscle pain, it’s because our brains have put us on a cruise control, and we are no longer voluntarily in charge of those muscles. We can try to force ourselves to relax, to stretch, to push out of the pain, but what really works is becoming aware of that “amnesia”, and then trying something different; becoming conscious of other possibilities for ourselves so that we have the power to change. I believe that’s what happening to us as a culture. We are collectively becoming aware of some places in ourselves that we previously couldn’t see, didn’t deal with, and now we are collectively experiencing pain. Some of us resist, some try to be compassionate, some of us put our heads in the sand. Probably most of us do a little of everything, and then some. Because much of society is shut down due to COVID-19, we have an opportunity to slow down our own thinking, examine our own patterns, and choose something different – changing our narratives. I’m in this with you – unraveling bias, programming, and all of my own sensory/motor amnesia.

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