It all starts with a Dream…

This Sandburg quote reminds me of a tool we use in Somatics called motor planning. A dream is a plan that we imagine to be true, before it’s actually here. When any movement is too difficult, painful, or feels blocked, just thinking about how you would move in that way activates those neurons in your brain, and starts the movement even before anything happens in the muscles. I think that is SO COOL!!! If you feel like your shoulder is stuck, and you’re unable to raise your arm above your head, just focusing on the movement – planning it out, starts to allow those connections to be made so that you can accomplish it down the road. Overcoming discomfort, pain, and tightness in the body can be very frustrating, and can hold us back from making the improvements we know are possible. It’s easy to think we need to push through pain or force a body part to be more flexible, when the most effective and direct way to get what we want is the most gentle one. Taking that pause to make a plan brings so much more awareness and opens us up to the beautiful possibility of change.
 
What other things can we dream up in our lives? How can we dream of a better world for not only our muscles & body parts, but for every aspect of life? Of our own lives, and the entire world?

Audio Downloads!! (Yay! :-D)
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Take a Somatics class anytime. I am working to add and grow this library of classes and series and make them accessible to everyone. Try out a free Soma Scan download for a nice little break. Check out these class series: Unraveling Neck & Shoulder Tension and Walking with Ease. There’s also a relaxing Seated Somatic Exploration class for a very discounted price!

Thursday’s Class this week:

We are continuing to focus on the Lower Back and Breath in our Thursday class. The muscles of the lower back hold us upright in gravity and helps to hold all our important organs of the belly. Tomorrow, we will explore some really subtle and tiny movements of the arch in the lower back.

Here is the link for this week’s class: tomorrow, Thursday at 12pm noon eastern time. Register here for class.
 
Classes run 35-45 minutes. Make sure you have a yoga mat sized space for the practice. Your video and audio will be off when you first get in the “room”, you have the option to turn both on. I’d love to *see* you, but feel free to remain off if you’re more comfortable that way 🙂

How Do You Know to Let Go?

TransiTION! (to the tune sung by Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof) There’s a lot going on now, right?! The transition to a new season, upcoming holidays, transition to a new president in the US – many of us have strong feelings about all of these things that can cause conflict with others, conflict in ourselves, resistance, and tension in the body. Life is all about transitions and adaptations – if we aren’t open to adapting, we find ourselves held back. And that causes more tension and potential pain & inflexibility in the body (and heart). Sometimes we don’t even know that we’re holding onto something and not adapting. That’s what sensory/motor amnesia is – a kind of void in awareness of where you’re held back. So how do you “see” better in order to gain awareness, and then use that awareness to make a choice of how to move forward? Well, discomfort can be a good sign that something needs to change. Whether that’s muscular or emotional discomfort, it’s your own body’s alarm system to alert you that something needs to change. Can you look at your own discomforts with curiosity, just like leaves falling off the trees ? Think of them as just passing by, something you don’t need, just falling away? It’s so hard to let go of our discomforts sometimes – we can get pretty attached to them! Discomforts can be a comfort, especially when we don’t know what could be on the other side of letting them go. Can you find some curiosity in imagining what would happen if you could let them go?

For the rest of November and December, classes will focus on the lower back and how to release more of the center. Because I want to bring more focus to the nervous system and how a Somatics practice can help to bring more balance and calm to the nervous system (for greater world change!), classes will include extended scans with the breath and finding safety in the edges of the body. This safe space you find within your own boundaries goes with you everywhere, you can access it anytime you feel pushed out of those boundaries. Register here for this week’s class.

ALSO! I have audio recordings available for sale! HOORAY! I’m still working on formatting and cleaning things up, but they are up & running and ready for downloads! I have one class that is available for just $3 – it is a great seated exploration of the center, finding the most efficient place for YOU in the moment to be upright.

Here’s the link for more information on class downloads.  

Taking Back Control of Your Nervous System

“Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom.” – Alexis de Tocqueville

My Election Day emotional management strategy.

The day after Election Day in the US, and I want to be positive. But sometimes my own nervous system highjacks me and I start to feel hopeless and scared. I am so ready for this election to be over. It seems to me that every one of us in the entire United States has had their nervous systems highjacked. It’s hard to act out of love and empathy when you feel like your life is being threatened. As a result of this fear, we make collectively bad decisions. It’s exhausting to have your nervous system on high alert – we’re always anticipating that metaphorical tiger to jump out at us. That exhaustion leads to even more stress, pain, and more highjacking. WE have the power to take back our nervous systems and act out of love, empathy, and INCLUSION. A highjacked nervous system DIVIDES and separates us from connection with each other. Can we please please please rise above, take a pause, and respond to each other with calm? We have a lot of healing to do, y’all. Let’s buckle up, and help others buckle up too. We can do this together – and only together.

I know I said we were going to do a Lower Back series starting in November, but I’m shifting that to even pre-basic Somatic movement. It will still help with lower back issues, however for November we’re going to be focusing on the nervous system, and how to reach a safe space that we can always return to when we feel like we’re tipping over into highjacked/exhausted/overwhelm brain.

Register here for Thursday’s class.

Seeking Knowledge from the Ministry of Silly Walks

Credit: Jazeen Hollings (User talk:JazHol) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=71148240

Breaking down old habits that we sometimes don’t even know we have can be awkward at best, and downright uncomfortable too. We keep adapting and changing throughout life, sometimes to find ourselves walking funny (or sitting funny, or standing funny). Adaptation is GREAT – it keeps us growing and it’s what can make life exciting. It also brings challenges, especially when those adaptations don’t serve us in the healthiest of ways. It can be very uncomfortable to 1) discover that you have a habit that doesn’t serve you, and 2) start to really shift that habit into something else. That is the point when a lot of people throw their hands up, shake a fist at the sky, and decide it’s better to stay in the more familiar place rather than face any uncomfortable growing pains (oh man do I know this feeling!).

I have a colleague who has had a long road trying to figure out this tweak about her walking. She’s tried to unravel it – is it in the right hip? Oh – it may be the left hip. Is it how my shoulders are swinging? My head isn’t screwed on right! She has explored with a lot of stuff – which is what having a Somatics practice is all about: Using your life as a laboratory or sand box to experiment and play. She walked in different ways, different directions, tested the weight on her feet, felt how different muscles tighten on each side of her hips. It’s a process that sometimes takes a long time, or not much time at all. But it is all about exploring in a curious, non-judgmental way in order to open the opportunity to change.

This has been the challenge for me in the past week – not specifically with walking, but with other habits, both muscularly and emotionally. Staying curious, experimenting, playing. Accessing and learning from Silly Walks. What if we could all think of life this way? What’s in your lab or sand box?

For this week’s class, the 3rd in the Walking with Ease series, we’ll see how the length in the waist helps to free the hips & legs for more easeful walking. We’ll bring in the shoulders to “help” the hips move more freely. We’re going to contemplate “silly walks” by applying what you do on the floor to your upright walk too.

Here is the link for this week’s class: Walking with Ease, Lesson 3 – Thursday at 12pm noon eastern time. Register here for class.

Classes run 35-45 minutes. Make sure you have a yoga mat sized space for the practice. Your video and audio will be off when you first get in the “room”, you have the option to turn both on. I’d love to *see* you, but feel free to remain off if you’re more comfortable that way 🙂

Tat Tvam Asi – You Are That

One of my favorite bumper stickers

One of my favorite phrases is “Tat Tvam Asi”, or Thus thou art. A more common English way of saying this is “There but by the grace of god, go I”. I love this phrase so much, because it reminds me that I could be anyone. I could have been born into any circumstance, with different parents, in a different part of the world, with a different skin color, or a different economic place. This phrase has helped me to be less judgmental, and aided me when I completely and utterly cannot for the life of me figure out a viewpoint that I don’t agree with. “That could be me”, I say to myself. And at the very least, it helps me not be so shut off from hearing another point of view.

As a Somatics practitioner, I was trained to try to see things from the perspective of my students, not just from the outside. It helps to be able work with someone as a whole soma (body/mind/beyond) and consider what it’s like to walk in their shoes, rather than see them in one dimension. It’s a helpful practice, not just in my work, but in my daily life. These days, there are plenty of people to disagree with and polarize. Repeating “Tat Tvam Asi” could help bring more compassion and understanding to this current divisiveness we are experiencing right now.

Somatics & Doors in Uncertain Times

Hello Dear Somas,

In these days of uncertainty – news updates change rapidly. We get a little bit of good news that gives us a sigh of relief, then a bunch of bad news that puts our bodies into stress and contraction. We are all flying blindly here – this is unprecedented in our collective history.

I’ve been dark for a while. I’ve been working quietly – redesigning, processing, finding my own way in this business of a Somatics practice. I never left, but I know I’ve been absent from actively putting my face out there. I feel the need to come out of my shell now, for my own sake and as a responsibility to offer care & compassion during this strange time. I am acutely aware of how important it is to have a self-care practice, and those of us who are trained to offer guidance for others are stepping up to support the increase in anxiety and fear.

There are many doors available to all of us to soothe our systems, boost us up, bring peace, and help us find ground even while the world around us is crazy. The more of us that can find even a little balance in our inner lives, the more the entire world can find clarity in our next steps.

I encourage you to find your own door to ground yourself – with a practitioner or on your own. For my part, I am offering half-hour somatics sessions online, at a sliding scale rate. We all are feeling uncertain about not only our health-futures, but our economic one as well. I do not want anyone to be without this door, and am available for private sessions and classes online. I am, in turn, seeking my own doors by reaching out to other practitioners online for my own self-care grounding. I sure do need it too in all of this!

I am also calling on other Somatics practitioners to join me online to offer live and recorded classes. There will be something available to everyone!

Reach out, email me at daysomatics@gmail.com or call/text at (828) 280-4252.

In love, good health and well-being,
Carrie