Four years ago, a few people sat down together with a shared goal of expanding what they know about somatics, and founded the DC Somatics Practice Group.
Today, they are still going strong with monthly meetings, inviting facilitators who bring a taste of different approaches to somatics.
Last week, I had the privilege of facilitating their November meeting, sharing tools and practices from Stuart Heller’s work, and meeting an extraordinary group of people with the kind of diverse background this group attracts.
Just look at the impressive list of participant background – in a room of just 12 people!
I was met by smiles and stories, curiosity and questions, and a genuine interest in learning something new, from the work of Stuart Heller. Ok, new may not be quite the right word...
The scan of Stuart’s business card from 1974:
We spent an evening opening new doorways for discovery by exploring four basic directions of up, down, front, and back.
Everyone collected data by asking these basic questions...
Then working in small groups, they compared maps...
This experiment with words and balance is one of my favorites to do with a group, because it can quickly open and support so many important conversations.
At a quick glance, you can see similarities and differences in position that are easy openers for important conversations about differences in beliefs and mindsets.
This same map can become a tool for getting people on the same page, or trying on the mindset and perspective of a client.
You can probably see how this could also be a powerful tool for a conversation of values within an organization, by simply changing the set of words.
When you collect data points over time, you can begin to see patterns and habits.
When you work with a group, you gain even more by comparing notes and asking questions together.
Want to try this on your own? There's a free guide to walk you though two mapping experiments.
Prefer learning with others? There's still time to join the conversation to learn even more ways to use this map - it's an interactive, online mini-course called Presence Mapping.
Speaking of learning with others, a big thank you to Dianne Rankin and Jill Kennedy for making the session with the DC Somatics Practice Group possible.
by Courtney Schwarten
I was recently in an interesting conversation about naming one of our programs – should we really call our program "Power Boot Camp"?
Power is a seriously evocative word.
You probably have your own reactions and responses just by reading the word Power.
Do you move towards it, or away from it?
As the discussion of naming continued, we uncovered an interpretation of the word that is very common in the USA - equating Power with dominance, with power over, and a certain quality of strength.
Our program takes a different point of view, drawing on the original meaning of the word Power, as it has been used for centuries in China, Buddhist traditions and … even an example from today in the French word “pouvoir”.
To be able.
To be able to choose how I will respond.
To be able to influence.
To be able to respond spontaneously to what comes my way unexpectedly.
Choice, influence and spontaneity.
Related to an "inner" energy or strength that comes from being connected to Nature and having access to your inherent capacities to be stable, supported and able to move through life and space.
What would be the impact if you could draw out the flavor of power that you need in the moment?
I don't know about you, but I like this idea and all it holds.
And I’ll be adding muscles to this thinking at our Power Boot Camp this fall.
Care to join me?