We held a two day retreat this past weekend called Somatics and Social Justice.
Sam, Zea and I have been exploring this connection between what is happening in our bodies and what is happening in social systems. And the idea is that we can help change social systems by shifting our bodies. Sam and Zea have done a lot of social justice work and have become intrigued with how somatics – which is about body awareness and being in your body, is related to social justice work.
I lead an exercise in somatic economics. First we simulated a version of a capitalistic economy that was more greedy. People were invited to go and find some objects and then imagine they really were covetous of them, greedily hanging onto their object and eyeing other objects in the room. People could try and grab other objects or engage in exchange. After the exercise we examined how our bodies felt as we related to objects in this way. Some people said they were scrunched over slightly taking on this miserly posture. Some people felt anxious in their bodies as the wanted things they could not get. Some felt fear that their object would get taken. Some people felt strong and energized as they went about trying to find more stuff.
Then we switched to more of a gift economy. People were encouraged to pass objects around to each other freely. We walked around the room and gave objects without attachment to each other. We then explored how we felt. People felt more open, and their posture relaxed. For me it was quite an astonishing different feel. I could feel my heart opening to the somatic sense of the person I was passing the object to. I could feel this soft energy as we created the collective field. The strong individualized energy of the previous greedy capitalism shifted to this soft collective field energy of the gift economy.
It was almost like a feeling of how a social system can evolve to higher states of collective enlightenment. It lets go of egoic field into a softer collective field. All that energy that goes into protecting and trying to get stuff is transmuted into this love energy.
For me to get this somatic sense of gifting is in some ways so much more powerful than thinking about it, its like a felt sense of what is the actual difference.
I am an energy healer and bodyworker and when I work on people I can feel when they shift, when they heal. Their maybe a part of their body that is holding onto a strong egoic sense of themselves, holding onto some strong emotions. Their bodies maybe tight. And then when they let go, when they transmute, a soft energy flows over them. Beautiful energy can flow through the body.
The same thing can also happen to the social body. It too can undergo a deep energetic shift. As healers we can work with economic and political systems, work with rewriting the rules to them, and in the process deep emotional and energetic healing begins to take place.