Welcome to Modern Anarchy, the podcast featuring real conversations with conscious objectors to the status quo. I'm your host, Nicole.
Hello, hello. On today's episode, we have somatic coach B join us for a conversation all about politicized healing under racial capitalism. Together, we talk about healing our shame, the construction of the self, and boundaries as an invitation to more rather than less. Thank you, B, for sharing all of your wisdom about connecting to our bodies and the importance of tuning in to our somatic experience that is absolutely crucial to being able to be in good relationship with other people. The reality is our emotions are embodied. They come up through the body and we're able to process, feel them, express them through the body.
And so it is so important to be honoring that practice of tuning in. You know, one of the things that we talked about is just starting with your feet. You know, can I invite you right now to feel your feet in your body and to start there?
It can start with just little things like that. And also, I want to give a huge shout out to one of our new Patreons on the Modern Anarchy Patreon, Wavelin 14. Thank you so much for supporting the long term sustainability of this podcast and keeping it free for all the listeners.
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Let's dive in, yeah. Well, tell me a little bit about yourself, what you do, what you're passionate about, you can answer that really in any way. Yeah, well, and B, I use they, them pronouns and I think like where I really situate myself more than anything right now is really in this realm of being a somatic coach and facilitator and teacher. And I situate that in a broader context of politicized healing, which to me is really healing that is about all of us getting free and really increasing our collective capacity for freedom.
It's like really like what is the healing that serves our movements and is going to allow our movements to really create lasting change. So that's my passion. That's like my 24 seven. That's my life, you know, and many, and many, many ways. And when I'm not doing those things, you know, it's like I really value my relationships, my friends, my family, my animals.
I train a martial art Muay Thai, which is like amazing and so informs the work that I do. Yeah, I'll start there. I think that's me and a nutshell. And that sounds like very meaningful work to be bringing that somatic healing to the collective humanity at a larger scale.
I would love to hear because I'm vibing with you, right? What are we healing from? What is what is the situation?
Yeah, great question. What are we healing from? It's like, what are we healing towards? Like those questions feel really, really tied up with one another. It's like, I don't feel like I can talk about one without talking about the other. And I think, you know, it's like no surprise. I mean, the basic answer is we're healing from racial capitalism and all of its impact and all of the ways that it takes away our choice, our agency collectively, individually, all of it, all of the very real material impacts of this system called racial capitalism on the lives of people and on the planet too.
Right. And so, you know, when I really feel into like, then what are we healing towards? And like, why do I do this work or like what is so compelling? It's like, what freedom means to me as choice and really getting to feel and no choice, not just like as an idea, but really fundamentally as a embodied knowing.
It's like, I get to choose. And to me, that means really that we are we are available for taking action towards what we care about under pressure, under the pressures of our normal lives, under the pressures as things get more pressurized, as they definitely are inside of this world, especially in the last three years. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah, there's a lot of pressure that is trying to take away choice and actively is taking away choice from many people, right?
So to step into imagine a new future, a new direction that we're moving into can be really powerful. That's right. Yeah. Yeah. 100. Yeah. Could you say more than on like, what is that choice?
What does that look like and how that's connected to somatic work? Yeah, yeah. Well, I mean, it's like, I think we're, you know, especially those of us who are really justice living people, we get really good at identifying like, yes, this is like, how racial capitalism, this is how white supremacy like externally is really impacting me, you know? Like, this is how it's impacting, you know, incarceration rates, this is how it's impacting, you know, our ability to take care of ourselves with food, you know, so how it's affecting our capacity to have affordable housing, like all of these things that are like really material. And then, you know, of course, like, there's also stuff that we, and I think is more mainstream and becoming more straight, more mainstream is like the effects and impacts on relationships, right? Yeah, racial capitalism and white supremacy. And I think, you know, really, what somatic test to say too, is that like, yes, all of those things, of course matter.
And then there is this shaping on a very like cellular body level and an impact on a very cellular body level of how these systems impact us. So, you know, for instance, like, I'm mixed race, I'm clear, and I grew up pretty working class, and I grew up around a lot of white folks. And one thing that I really learned very early on was that I had to make myself, one, as small as possible. And that too, I really had to like, hustle to belong. And so, you know, like the shape of my body was one where like my chest was kind of like, pulled back. And I was like a little like this. And my voice was a little was like constricted, you know.
And that was a really, really, really smart shape. But what it didn't let me have is very much safety, didn't let me have very much belonging or dignity, you know, is trying to take care of a lot, right. And so, you know, when I when I started on my healing path, it's like, okay, more and more, once those things got really attended to, it's like, Oh, okay, like the body can actually open up, the body like the chest doesn't hold that same contraction anymore, right?
It's like the voice actually got to lower and fill out a little more. So when I talk about choice, you know, this is like my own personal example here. But it's like, on a very cellular level, we hold these things. And then when we heal, when we transform, either individually or in community, whatever that looks like, it's like, those same shapes, those same embodied, knowing those same smart things that once took care of us, but don't anymore, those just get to be different, you know. And so, you know, from this place in my body, and this will be like a lifelong unlearning, right? But it's like, yeah, I just kind of know that I belong in a very different way than I used to, right?
And, you know, I'm in this perpetual project of trying to unlearn overwork and unlearn that hustle to belong type piece. And so it's just really different. So it's like going from one set of like embodied possibilities to another set of embodied possibilities that is really more in line with what I care about, what we care about. That's choice. That's choice. Yes, absolutely.
Yeah. And I think it makes so much sense that the body would even cave inward to protect when all of these systems of oppression are out impacting you, right? To then naturally in your body, curve in more for protection, like on a biological evolution level. I mean, things like the body keeps the score, all this stuff starts to come up in my head of the ways that our body holds on to trauma and how there's so much healing that can occur through that journey of reconnecting with your body. And like you said, that then affects your relationships.
Because when you're coming in like, you know, hunched over and feeling small, how then can you connect with another person when that's your experience in your body, right? So like, like you said, this affects multiple levels of our whole existence here. That's right. That's right. Yeah.
Or how can you even like, dare to want anything in relationship, from that place, right? Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Is that something that you felt in your own experience? Oh, totally. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, inside of that hiding away from me, there was a lot like inside of my somatic healing around finally owning my queerness. Yeah.
And my non binariness, you know, and really being like, Oh, yeah, actually, like, I don't have to hide this part of myself, I can, I can again, like, dare to really be who I am. Yes. Yes. Because I don't have to, yeah, I'm not having to bend to this narrow vision of who it was that I grew up with and who I had to be to survive in that environment.
Yeah. If you're willing to share, I would love to hear more about your journey in that to embracing your non binariness and your queerness. Yeah, sure. Well, I think where I'll just start is like, you know, from the place of that really, like pulled in self, there's a lot of shame that really rolled that that shape. And, you know, shame is really smart, like shame being that like, kind of that last line of defense for nervous systems under like really, really extreme threat of like, let me put this message of you're wrong into your body. So you don't have to feel like the really intense annihilation or terror or rage or whatever it is. That's like those huge, huge feelings that are just part of like really, really extreme experiences, sometimes known as trauma. So I walked around with a lot of that, you know, I walked around with a lot of shame of really feeling like I was not enough and I was too much at the same time.
And so, you know, I think like so many folks, it's like we grow up without, I grew up without very many models of queerness, I actually grew up very religious, evangelical. And yeah. How was that? How was that? Yeah, actually, I have a really good experience with church because I got out at a moment when I was like, I think I knew I was queer. I was like 16.
And I was like, I don't believe in this anymore. And luckily, no one in my family really rejected me or did anything weird with me. So I actually have a fine experience with that. And I'm not an evangelical Christian, obviously, but you know, like the bond that I had with my grandma and that, and like, I went to an all black church, so being connected to my blackness inside of that, I mean, there's just a lot that was positive. And I thank goodness for this body that was like, you've got to get out of here before it becomes toxic or before it becomes not serving. But yeah, so that was my environment, right?
Like I had no, I, you know, I had no, no, no models of clearness. And I grew up in this like, this like cookie cutter ass place, mostly white too. Yeah, as I said, and, you know, like middle class, and my family was more working class. So this was like a lot of not belonging that that happened, a lot of difference that that was there.
And, you know, I think there was just like a real like, well, people are straight, you know, people are straight. This is what you do. You just like have this boyfriend thing, you know, on this is what you do. So that's what I did, you know, that's what I did until really when I left to go to college.
And I was like, Oh, there's queer people. There we go. There we go.
There we go. And even then, you know, it was like a long journey of really being like, yes, this is like, this is who I am. And I think it just took a lot of that shame healing to finally be like, well, this is who I'm going to be in the world, like in a daily way. I'm going to reclaim my clearness. You know, I identify as clear, but like, you know, I might say like I'm bisexual too, you know, I don't really, and that's not like a label. I prefer, but I think there's just a lot of biphobia in this world too.
Right. And it just so happened that my, you know, first relationships were mostly with cis men and you know, it's really changed now in my life. But yeah, I think for a lot of folks, especially young folks who don't have those models for clearness and they do realize that they're queer and then they're dating cis men and they're like denying who they are because of that.
I'm like, no girl, come on, just like claim your clearness, claim your clearness. Yeah. I think, and then a lot of societal messages will be even pushing that, that like, if you're not, you know, if you're dating a opposite gendered person, like that you're not queer in your identity, if you're not also dating other people of the same gender, right? Like so much of that pushing to the like this performative nature that you have to be enacting it for it to be an actual identity, which is just all part of the system of continued shame, right? Some people feeling like, oh, I'm not queer enough unless I dating someone of the same sex, you know, or gender, like, like the levels of shame and all of these pieces are just so vast. And I think when you think about shame, like one of the scary things is feeling like there's something wrong with you and then the disconnect that that creates with your other relationships of feeling like I'm not worthy of connection because of this thing about me and how that really affects us on a deep psychological level.
I think shame is one of the worst things to experience in terms of how it makes you feel so isolated. Yeah. Yeah, that is, I mean, it limits so much how much shit gets perpetuated from a place of shame, you know, it's like people that act out, probably every, I mean, that's like what all right, being fascist ideology is based off of is a profound, a profound level of shame. Right. And then I think for folks who have more marginalized experiences, it's like the things that we don't do, you know, the things that we don't let ourselves have because of shame.
Yeah. And you spoke to another like important piece of this too of having role models in your community that are modeling these different identities, these different facets when we don't. This is another reason why representation of different minorities is so important because there is no example of how to do this.
And so then you're left like grappling, looking for narratives of how to be in the world with quite literally no examples of that. Totally. Yes.
Yes. And I mean, I'll just say representation and visibility is also the double edged sword in many ways, right? It's like it's incredibly important. And it's just like if queerness is a way that people live, then it needs to be like the queerness just needs to be part of the narrative, which queerness is a way that people live. So it needs to be part of the narrative. Just like, you know, if blackness is how people live, which it is, then blackness needs to be part of the cultural narrative, right?
Because it will authentically reflect like who exists. Right. But yeah, I mean, I think in some ways though, too, it's like the more representation that exists, the more that these identity categories also become more fixed and impact belonging and can impact belonging and the negative like too, because there becomes this ideal that ultimately can end up serving racial capital itself too sometimes, right?
Yeah. Homo normativity, gay marriage for instance, right? Or like respectability inside of blackness for instance, right? Yeah, like feeling like there's this box that you have to fit into that's then modeled like that double edgedness of that. I mean, one of the great things about being like a mixed race person and like a queer person and a non-binary person and someone who has like a very mixed class experience too is just like, I grew up never fitting into literally any box. And I think that that has felt really, it felt really torturous for me at times growing up especially, which for all the reasons that I already named. And I think like now I just, I don't really have too many desires to be fit into any of those boxes. I don't really have too many, it's like every identity that I have, it's like, well, how can queerness be more of a verb than a noun inside of my life? Like how can non-binary be more of a verb than a noun too? It's like things we do rather than things we are or I am in a fixed way. Hell yeah, hell yes, absolutely.
Yeah, it's more of like you said, exactly a verb. I would love to hear your experience with your non-binary journey as well and coming into that if you'd be willing to share. Sure. Yeah. You know, I think like, I mean this is the same of queerness with me too. You know, I was never like super tortured about any of these things. It's kind of like that, that thing I said earlier about like just that intuition when I was 16 and I mean I remember what sparked it. There was a girl in one of my classes and I was like, oh my god, anyway. And I was like, I think there's something here and that's what sparked the church thing and you know, it was kind of there inside my consciousness. And I think like once I was around people who were using that sort of language, I was just like, oh this is kind of this river that I'm flowing. And I feel like similarly with non-binaryness, you know, like I never really had much of like a difficult relationship with that. It's just like, you know what, like there is something about my gender that is, um, that is more expansive than what I've been given as a model of what it means to be a woman which I don't identify and I find with the label girl in many ways that I don't identify as a woman. And I think also just to be like a non-binary femme person, gender changes so much which is so cool too. Prior to the pandemic I was like, you know, very like high femme person and I was like, my gender is femme and that is my and it is my non-binary gender is femme and femme is this queer gender for me.
It's this queer experience for me. And now you know like I'm like back into my Muay Thai. I watch sports like I'm wearing flats all the time. I'm sick right now but it's like not to stay on that, you know, bright red kind that I used to always wear. I watched my baseball hat and I'm like, I just like rock the LHB look a lot of the time on hair butch look you know. And I'd say to my partner I'm like, man, I have like three pairs of Birkenstocks now that I never thought I would this stage in the pandemic. So I say to my partner like, do you, did you ever think you'd be in a relationship with LHB when you hooked up with me, you know, five and a half years ago and they're like, no, but it's great.
Gender, gender fucking changes because I never thought, you know, this would be my, my gender and like a femme bride now. And holding the space for all of that, right? And all of that being you and yes. Totally. Yeah. And I guess it doesn't mean that it doesn't come with, you know, there's, there's dysphoria that happens and there's like the realities of, you know, like to top surgery or not top surgery and, you know, to bind and then to nod and things like that.
But mostly it's just like, yeah, gender feels like a, it feels like a place just to express and to move and to just let myself be more than anything. Yeah. Which is so beautiful.
And I'm hearing such this space of expansion to, to be all of yourself and not have to feel like you fit into any sort of mold and to feel like there's space for all of your being in the beautiful way that it is. That's right. That's right.
Yeah. You know, and I just really like, yeah, shout out to the Gen Z folks because, you know, like they're the ones really living up the, the gender expansive most for real and being amazing models for me and everybody else. Cause like, I don't know, you know, I've started, I first started looking at top surgery options like maybe like six years ago and there was no one who looked like me who I could ever see that had, had top surgery. And now there's just like so many different versions of top surgery that meet so many different folks needs for gender affirming surgery. And I'm just like, damn, like this has blown up in the best fucking way. You know?
Yeah. I have a lot of hope for humanity because of the expansiveness and all the questioning and the space that the younger generations are creating for themselves and all of that as like a collective movement. There seems, I mean, I didn't even know these potentials for my own experience when I was their age, right? Like I have a lot of hope that we're going in a positive direction when we're creating this level of space for the diversity of the human experience.
If we can tune it into some material changes, that will be, that will really be the, the kicker though, you know? Right. Right. Right. And how do we do that?
Do you have any ideas? Oh, yeah. And that was a big question.
I know. I love big questions. Yeah.
No, that's great. Me too. Me too. I'm, I'm all about them.
Somatic loves, loves those big, big questions too. Yeah. You know, I mean, I think that's kind of like, what is the thing? But like why is it ability or why representation is also a trap? Because sometimes it's like more and more of us can be brought into the fold of capitalism.
Right. And our identities can begin to become commodified and things like that. But then it's like still, you know, people are paid. Like people can't afford the rent. People can't afford food.
We have horrible healthcare. All of these things that really are making material impacts in people's lives, they don't change. And, you know, like arguably, I don't want to dismiss like there's also huge mental health impacts of not being accepted for who one is or, you know, having a literal ban on your body causes, you know, more and more common across this whole country now, you know. So I just want to say that. And then, you know, I think like I only have one path and I think anyone who says they have one path, we need to really be looking at that.
You know, I'm like, huh, what's that about? I do think there are like core competencies. I'm going to call them almost like our most very much somatic words that are largely missing from people that I think really prevent us from getting to where we're going. You know, and so like the old, I grew up as an organizer. That's like really hard to put aside. So I was put aside in the like the Iraq war and, you know, did a lot of organizing and do a lot of organizing and really was politicized in that anti-war movement. And there was like a very, like in the process of being politicized, there's a very like clear path based off of an orientation, a political orientation that I have.
And I think like now more than ever, the thing that is so clear is that there actually isn't a clear path forward. So, you know, it's like, and I think we saw that after 2020, you know, and it's like, that was such a beautiful uprising. It was amazing.
It was, you know, I felt like I had trained for the last 10 years to be to be a part of it. And it's like the same old stuff happens inside these uprisings. It's like things get co-opted. There's infighting that happens, right?
It's like state violence and repression just like go up, up, up and escalate. And so when I say there's like these core competencies that are kind of missing, it's like, what are the things that I don't that get in the way of our movements, my name, right? And you know what I'd say, if line is shame, and like really again, what do people do and not do in the name of shame? Like how does shame limit possibility? How does shame impact violence?
Gender-based violence, sexual violence, all kinds of violence? And how does shame really impact supremacy of all kinds too, right? So you know, really being able to deal with that on an individual and collective level. And I'd say in the capacity to really hold contradiction, which is something that you have to have a lot of like internal sense of yourself or sense of being part of a collective in order to really be able to hold complexity and contradiction. Like our world often asks us to like collapse things into one layer and the other, right? But it's like if we can line them out into being able to hold more and more. And that doesn't mean we don't have standards or values or things that are non-negotiables or like lines that do not get crossed.
This is my line, you know? But it means that we can hold the complexity of like what it might actually take in order to get us to where we're going, you know? And then I would also just also say that I think that that has a lot to do with really our capacity to hold boundaries and not in this like base way or superficial way, but in a really profound way of like everything that is is deeply interconnected and there is a me, there is a you, there is a us. And like where is the line at any given time? And then how do I really use a no or a decline or a yes as a starting point, right? As a starting point for connection, as a starting point for action to be taken, right?
So it's like if I say a no, it's an inevitably saying yes to something else and really feeling for that. So boundaries is an invitation into more rather than rather than less. I'm sure there's more, more I could say about that, but I would say like these competencies and that's why I do semantics.
It's like semantics really gives us an actual path to be able to grow the capacity, grow these capacities and these competencies. And so if we don't know how revolution is going to look, which I don't think we do anymore, you know, there's no little red book that's guiding most of us anymore. And unfortunately, those who are guided by those things are living in, you know, other centuries, unfortunately, right now, I'm not saying that they are useful tools. We need to look to revolutions of the past, but they're also revolutions of the past.
Yeah. So if we don't have those like this like political program of how to move forward, then it probably just means we need to learn how to be together more, right? And so it's like we need to be open to possibility.
We need to be open to relationship and open to figuring it out as these like ruptures like 2020 happen so that we can keep figuring out how to hold open the space that these ruptures create rather than collapsing back into what racial capital wants us to do, fight, repress all of these things. Right. Right. Right. Absolutely.
Yeah. And I'm thinking about how much of this is all collective, right, a community based thing. I think I study relational cultural theory and psychology, which talks a lot about how like our concept of self is shaped by all the relationships that you have. And so, yeah, when you think about that, and if we expand that out, like knowing that like all of us are really being affected by all the other relationships that we all have collectively, which just kind of makes sense on some level, right? Like I am a product of my family dynamics and the school dynamics and whatever else out in the world. And like in that level, sometimes I hear some of the Buddhist teachings of like we are all one in that way of thinking of like, oh yeah, so far psychology is based on all of these relationships. We are somehow all kind of one in that way that like collectively we all influence each other really in like really big ways. And I think a lot of what you're saying is so key to relationships too, right, of holding complexity. Every single dynamic, even this dynamic that we're having right here, like you're having an experience of me and I'm having an experience of you.
And neither one of those is the capital T truth of what this experience is. We're each going to have our own experience and like taking that into our relationships and being able to hold space when someone has an experience of you that is different than yours. And instead of getting defensive and all of that to like hold space for that complexity in that and also kind of like you said, I loved what you said about boundaries being an invitation for more rather than less right by stepping into your own values and knowing where your line is. And that is your inviting people for deeper connection because you know your line rather than it being blurry and feeling frustrated or resentful about people stepping over in that communication. We're actually bringing people so much closer.
Yeah, yeah, not that quote from Prentice and Phil, right, which is boundaries are the distance out which I can love you and me both at the same time. Mmm. Yeah. Yes. Exactly. And then to know that that's how we can connect more rather than like stepping on each other's toes in that I think there's a lot of difficulty in that though at the same time of being selfish or too self centered right there's a lot of messages at least from my own experience of, you know, people pleasing where you're just like, yeah let me just like completely like melt into everything that you need because I'm not important right and like that whole system of I always relate it to the putting your mask on yourself first on the plane right the planes going down you got to put your oxygen mask on first before you help someone else right like if you're that you know completely people pleasing and bending to everything like who are you and when does your cup get filled up right. Sure.
Yeah. Also just really being with it the reality of what people pleasing or pleasing takes care of for folks to like it does take care of so much. And I think there's this tendency when we're learning about boundaries and we're healing from anything that we go to the extreme, we go to the other side. And so that's really why I name, and neither side is like the center, neither side is actually the thing, neither extreme. And so when I was talking about like kind of this like gross form of boundaries, right? It's like the extreme like individuals of nothing, you know, just take care of yourself, right?
Just say no, you know, like self care, all of that. I thought it's not the type of boundaries we want either. Not actually what we mean. We mean something very different. We mean like again that profound respect of the relationship between you, me, us. Right, right, right. And even like challenging that idea of like the concept of self, right? To some degree, that's a really big Western colonial idea that came into psychology that other cultures don't have.
And I personally challenge, right? Like, what is the self? Who is really an island by themselves? You know, I think of Wilson, the movie, you know, what happens when you're really on an island by yourself?
You, we go mad. Like we are social creatures. Like that is just not part of our nature. So yeah, but so much of our society really teaches that, that you need to figure out who you are. You need to be alone to figure out who you are. And like some of that, I understand like spending time with yourself to feel your own rhythms, but truly like we are a collective species.
Like and you are who you are through all these relationships that you have that shape you. Totally. Yep.
I feel you on that. And you know, it's like the construction of the self, right? I'm like, I divide between subject and object. All of that, you know? That is such a product of capitalism itself, right? And so, you know, one version of the world that I want to live in, one definition that I use is like, we will really have liberation when there is like not that need for the divide between subject and object, when there is no longer this compulsory or enforced divide between public, private, when our capacity to reproduce ourselves and take care of ourselves and each other is in tied to doing or performing our labor and expect that which is external. So yeah, I'm right there with you on that one. I'm glad to hear it. Yeah, absolutely. So much, yeah.
So much harm done in the name of the self. And that doesn't mean we don't have this body, right? Right. That is our body, but it's just like all of the discourse around that, right? All of the weaponizing of this individual self, right? Which is like, like you said, great for capitalism because I'm going to sell you what you need to figure out your identity.
This is what you need this. Let me sell you this because this is who you are. Like, it's a great tool for capitalism. I love it. Yeah, totally, right? Yeah. Like, look at TikTok. I mean, talk about manufactured wants. You know, I mean, I don't know what your feed is like, but you know, it's like when I go on TikTok and it just feeds me like aesthetic thing after aesthetic thing. It's like, wow, this is really creating a whole psyche. It's like creating a whole want that was never there before.
What I have not gone on to TikTok, right? And so just think about that happening on a mass scale. Yeah. Yeah. It's interesting to think how that's like a relationship in and of itself, right?
Like your relationship to TikTok and then how that shapes your psyche in through that by giving you and interacting with you in unique ways. Yeah. Scary, that power at times. Totally. Yeah.
It's like the reality that people make their whole livelihoods, which is good for them for like being in the hustle, but like, you know, making TikToks and about Amazon purchases and then, you know, linking them and then people buy their stuff and they get the affiliate track or whatever. Yeah. Yeah.
Mild. For my own mental health, I have not gone on TikTok yet. So I keep, it feels like a drug from when I hear it with everyone. So I'm like, I don't know if I want to open that container. Don't open it. Don't open it.
Don't open it. I mean, I think I'm going to think about, yeah, and how that's influencing other people. It's, I mean, we need people in that space that are saying the right things that are moving in the right direction too, because that's also such a powerful way to get to like a larger audience.
So like hopefully we have, you know, powerful people in there that are using that power for good. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Yeah.
Anyway, just pointing out like, yes, like the billions of dollars that are extracted from us out of our sense of lack that capital is creating itself. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Because you are the object you buy that is like such a really big like piece of this. But yeah, I was thinking too about, we talk at least in psychology a lot about generational trauma, right? About how things can be passed down, maybe through epigenetics, other sort of stuff, and also just this reality that like the conditioning of, you know, even family larger systems, but family as an example, right? When there's a lot of abuse and trauma that passes to the next generation, because that's kind of what's normalized in that same way. And that affects them, you know, the child of that dynamic in their future romantic relationships, friendships, how that really affects all of it. And I think in the same way that we understand generational trauma, it's also is going to sound hippy woo-woo and I'm here for it. But like love will also ripple through society in the same way in this kind of like infinite ripple in the same way that generational trauma destroys and hurts and can create so much pain. Love can have the same effect, right?
Like both are true. And so like I like to come into that space of thinking about love of how when you change on a smaller scale, one relationship, and then they go out and change all their other relationships at that expansion of love and it keeps rippling out. I mean, that gives me a lot of hope for how we can maybe get to a better space in that that rippling out. Yeah, our nervous systems. Yes, like there are things called mirror neurons, like we really feed off of each other. We learn from each other, right? And so, you know, there's like in the semantics that I teach in practice, you know, a lot of times we'll use this example when we're feeling into like what we care about. We'll use this example of Malcolm X and we'll look at the movie with Denzel Washington and there's this scene in this movie.
But we could see this anytime. There's so many places in our lives where there's just been a riot and the police have come and beaten lots of folks. And one of the brothers is he's jailed and he's beaten really badly without medical attention. And Denzel Washington goes for Malcolm X, he's named the actor. Denzel Washington goes to the precinct and demands that he be released.
It's a really even final clip on YouTube, you know, it's there for folks. And you can just see in his face, you can see his whole body. It's like, this is what I care about. This is what I stand for.
This is what I will not allow to happen anymore. And so, yes, like I would call that love too. You know, it's like love that is like deeply fierce for his people, for our people. And yeah, like one person's body. And then you can see all of the folks around him who are so deeply impacted by that.
And, you know, ultimately they they get him released, right? And so a lot of times it just really takes one person or a couple of people, like really standing up or moving forward, moving up, entering in order to really shift conditions. And we need more and more of us to do that.
But like the actions of a couple of folks, they do have ripple effects and they make more and more possible for more and more of us. And so, you know, that's just what we need. And that's what we truly, truly need.
And I agree with you 100 times. It's like, yes, trauma, trauma is transmittable, but also healing is transmittable. Love is transmittable. Liberation is transmittable.
All of these, like missing competencies that I name, those are transmittable through body. Yeah. And I think it's hard, depending on what frame and perspective we have, when we see all of the pain and all of the difficulties in our society to not feel completely overwhelmed by that and to feel completely powerless, right? When these systems are so large, it's like, fuck, like, do I just give up?
Because I can't change that. And like remembering that, yes, even on this small scale, that is huge to be working even just on a one in one dynamic in the ways like we're saying that that ripples out. And so in that having hope for the potential to change and all of this and not getting so overwhelmed by truly the atrocities that still go on every day.
Yeah. I mean, I also will say, like, I don't feel particularly hopeful and I don't mean that in a negative way either. I just, you know, I feel realistic. I also don't feel hopeless. But what I do feel like is very sure of pieces that are probably necessary.
The ones I already spoke for us to really shift things and turn them around. And because I've like practiced all those things in my body and practiced them with groups of people and know that it's possible, that means I know that it's possible for a lot of us to have them. I know it's possible. I never doubt that it's possible. It's just like, is it likely, you know, in this lifetime right now? We are not in a good position, so I don't want to be Pollyanna. Yeah.
You know, in this moment, you know, I have serious doubts about, I mean, I folks already are still impacted by climate change. Right. Exactly. And we will be more and more impacted. And yeah, what I do think though, and what I do know is that it is our relationships that will a hundred percent be what makes it possible for us to continue to survive on this earth, this year, and to survive on this earth.
Yes. I appreciate you saying that too, not to be too Pollyanna about it, because you're very right. Having like a realistic approach to both the potential and the realities, especially like you said in our lifetime, I don't know if we're going to see that. And then thinking about the. future generations that are going to survive the or try to survive right?
The effects of all of our mistakes that we've made living on this planet, it's very scary and sad to think about. And like you said, that first step of connecting with your own body is so important to then be able to connect with other people. For the listener who's connecting with you and thinking about their relationship to their body, is there anything that you would invite them to try to begin practicing to maybe begin that practice of connecting to their body? Yeah, I think like a couple things.
You know one it's like what is important to you about connecting to your body? Like what is your why and side of that? Because as we know the world is really oftentimes made us very separate from our bodies or has really taught us that our bodies are unsafe places to be. And so we really want to have a reason of like this is what it's important.
This is what matters to me about this. Sometimes we can also be with like what has been the cost of me being disconnected from my body actually. And oftentimes you know like take your time to name that for yourself and really be with that question. But oftentimes it's like the cost is that we haven't got to really move towards what we care about.
You know we haven't got to really speak up for ourselves or other people. You know to go back to my own example with that like pulled back chest really tight shape inside my own self which was so disconnected from body. I didn't really know about how I was moving around the world. I called very deep inside myself. I was like I didn't get to be very known in the world. I kept who I really was and what my real opinions were.
I just kept them all very very tightly shut inside myself. And so that was the cost for me. It's an example.
So that's step one. It's like what is the reason? And then I'll just say this to everyone and this really is like instructed from my experience in Muay Thai and my martial art. It's like the body is actually the safest place to be even when it feels unsafe. Because the body is the place where we can take action from. And you know inside of our experiences of trauma and oppression that's actually what gets violated with our capacity to take action.
Right? And so you know it's like the Muay Thai thing is like we always want to move forward. We're always moving forward. We're always moving towards the pressure, not away. And if we develop those skills to move towards the pressure into our body, it's like if we're away from our body, it just means like we can have all kinds of stuff done to us. You know the translation in Muay Thai is like if we're further away from our opponent, they have a lot of more room to get momentum to punch or kick us. You know? And so it's like we're outside of our body or not. We're not really moving from the place of our bodies.
Same thing. We just have a lot of there's just a lot more that will be done to us. You know, to help keep our objectified self in many ways. So and it might feel very uncomfortable. And the goal of being of embodiment is not to feel comfortable. It's to feel alive.
And I always repeat that again. The goal of embodiment is not to feel comfortable. It's to feel alive.
And you know it's just like I want to be alive and I want all of us to be alive at all costs actually, because that's what that's what Rachel Capital is trying to take away as our aliveness. So it's like knowing yes, this will be uncomfortable to live inside of here at times. The other thing I'll say is that there's no 100 % being embodied. There's no perfection inside of embodiment. It's just like how do we come back over and over and over again to the life of our body?
Like knowing that the body is a home that we get to live in. There will always be available. We'll always be available.
And we make it more available the more time we spend inside. And then very practically I'll say just feel your feet. Start with feeling your feet if you have them on the ground. Feel your butt in the chair, you know, around the ground or whatever. Just feel whatever what is underneath you.
And that is really what I recommend. You know, it's like, can you feel like letting yourself notice that there is actually something that you are making contact with and then you can start to feel for your own edges of your body. That is oftentimes like the simplest path in. It's the simplest path into the body is like, what is holding me and where am I making contact with something else? One of the edges of me doing and then we develop capacity to stay with ourselves and say like, okay, can I tolerate this sensation?
Can I tolerate this sensation? Right, right. Absolutely. Yeah.
Yeah. And thinking about the points of contact as a great place to like start with that. I appreciated you saying too that it might be uncomfortable, right? When I'm grieving and going through pain and feeling that deep loss in my body and crying, like, I wouldn't say that feels super comfortable. But damn, am I alive, right? Like, damn, am I alive in those emotions? And like, that's part of the human experience, right?
Not speaking to the, the polyanicide that like, in our lifetime, we're going to grieve and law have lost. And that's part of the experience too is sitting with that pain in an embodied context, right? And I also appreciated what you said about it being a practice, at least is what I'm hearing, right?
Of kind of like, with meditation, I teach yoga, right? Like, that takes time to develop that skill to be in that relationship with yourself. And the second that you come out of that, and then start to say, oh, I messed up, and I'm not there.
And I'm like, bye. You know, then you start this whole spiral of self negative talk, you're just going further when we can take a moment to realize this is a practice. And maybe we start connected for 30 seconds. And then, you know, in certain days, maybe then it's a couple of hours, and maybe you go back to 30 seconds, and then go back to this, you know, like, that is going to be our life's work of being in relationship with ourselves and that lifelong practice of staying connected. That's right.
That's right. Yeah, I think our very survival really depends on that, you know, it's like our capacity to grieve collectively, individually, because it's like really a profound acknowledgement of like, this is what life presents us with. Yeah, we got to be in reality.
We got to face reality in order to actually move towards more of us being free. Yeah, yeah. And I'm always studying pleasure. So I'm like, yeah, like, how do we get to pleasure? And it's like, you can't be fully embodied with pleasure if you're not fully able to go to the same level with the pain, like that is a both sides of the coin sort of thing.
We don't get to choose the feltness, you know, it's you open up to both. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, it's like one of the best times of my life actually. It was like this time where I was I had I had grieved so much. I had grieved so much and you know, I just felt like it was a moment of huge heartbreak. And then on the other side of it, I just like had the most joyous experience and the most pleasurable experiences probably of like my entire life so far. You know, I just like really got to live inside of so much fun ease, you know, after that.
And it was just like, but I had to be broken open by the by the grief before I thought joy could really emerge. Right. Yeah, yeah, tying back to what you said earlier too about holding space for for both sides, right? Yeah, both sides of this coin here of felt embodiedness. I think it's important to talk about because kind of like you said, a lot of people who can just go with the the pleasure, pleasure, pleasure. And it's like we need to be talking about both sides of the coin here. Right.
Yeah, yeah. And I haven't said this, but I'm technically trained as a mental health counselor. And I don't really I've moved away from that world mostly and in my in my work. But you know, I come with those that history and those liabilities, I'll say too. And one thing, you know, from the psychology world, that's the truth is this, like the insistence on the regulation and the good and the normative versions of ourselves, right, that are really good for who good for capital, right? So, right, we're regulated for who capital, right? And so it's like really being inside of this, like, I don't know what valuable about regulation, you know, what I do think is valuable choice and and the capacity to because we need, like in this world, let's be really real, like we need our fight response to be able to be on choicefully. We need our free response, you know, our like avoidance and go away response. We need those things to be on to survive. We seem to develop more choice in them so that we can also come back to our capacity to take action. Yes, yes, yes, absolutely.
We need all those capacities, especially in our current world. That's very spot on. Yes. I want to hold a little bit of space as we come towards the end of our time. If there's anything lingering for you that maybe we didn't touch today, that's still on your heart that you wanted to say.
Otherwise, I have a closing question I can kind of guide us towards. I think it's important also to not let the body or embodiment become another checklist. And also, when I talk about these like, competencies, it's like, those aren't things that are wrong with us.
Those are pieces that actually like it just feels much better inside of my body to not be moving with shame, but to be moving with dignity, you know, it just gives me a lot of capacity. It's not something to do. It's not another thing to do.
It's like, this is the life that I am living and this is what's possible when we get to live the life, get live life from the place of our more integrated selves, right? And so, you know, I just don't ever want folks to think like there is one way into the body. And this is another another thing on a checklist that I have to achieve. And it's like, no, no, that's actually not messaging that shaming around how you aren't embodied. That's kind of those are just messages of systems and the messages of the world, right? Yeah, absolutely.
I'm like hearing capitalistic thinking, right? Like that's it's just so we fall into that like, I must check this box. And if I don't check this, check this box, then I'm not being productive, which means I'm a failure, which means I'm not worthy, which means you know, it's like, whoa. And it's just so automatic. That's right.
Yeah. And there's no right way to be inside of a body too. So, you know, even like folks who are like, well, I'm just really dissociated or I've been a chronic pain, you know, things like that. It's like, well, you know, what really like dissociation, that is a bodily phenomenon, right?
So you are in a feeling your body, if you are feeling disconnected from your body, you are arguably feeling your body. Great. Cool. My next question would be, how is it then to feel yourself being disconnected? How is it? Like, how is how are you doing the disconnection? Yeah.
So we just keep, we just keep moving towards the past year, right? And there's no, there's no right way. I love that because I can see how a lot of people would be like, you're disconnected, you're failing versus like, yes, you're connected in that experience of that.
And then deepening your connection by exploring that with more curiosity rather than shame and how curiosity is actually going to bring us into more connection rather than shutting down. Yeah. That's right. Well, yeah, if you're feeling good, I have that closing question for us. Yeah. So the question I ask everyone on the podcast is what is one thing that you wish other people knew was more normal?
I'll go with my first answer, best answer. Everybody is a weird, magical little freak. And everybody is a weird, magical little freak in their own way.
Unfortunately, or fortunately in our world, usually only like, you know, depends on, you know, compulsory, nagging and things like this. But maybe like one to three to four other people know about what a weird, magical little freak you are. But like, I really what I mean by that is like, you know, everybody has the same ways that are very uniquely expressed about just how weird you are.
And they all get expressed in the private of our own homes and with our close people, or maybe just by ourselves or maybe on the internet or wherever it is. But we all just have our like, absolute vainness, you know, and like imagine a world where all of that just actually got to be what was out there in the world. So if you think you're really weird, you are and literally so is everybody else. And like, even people who you might feel really like, distant from who you don't have anything in common with, I imagine that they are actually very weird too. You know, it's like when I think about some like, 70 year old Republican, I trust that he is actually a magical weird circus freak too, you know, so that's how it is. So think you're weird and feel shameful about it. We're all weird. Yeah, let that freak flag fly, maybe right. Absolutely.
And out in the wind. Yes. It was such a pleasure to create this conversation with you and to learn from your wisdom and hear from your experience working with the body. I really appreciate you coming on to the podcast. Yeah, thanks for having me. It was really fun to talk. I always love a question where I'm surprised at my answer. And I'm so surprised at my lost answer. So I'll go with it. Love that opportunity. I love that. You're surprised too. Exactly.
Yes. Is there anywhere you'd want to plug for listeners that are resonating with you and want to learn more about your work and connect with you? Yeah, you can follow me on Instagram at Hey, have heart and my practice and my work is under have heart somatic.
I'm around in those places. Great, great. I'll have this all hyperlink below so people can just click right into it. So yeah, thank you again for coming on to the podcast. I really appreciate your time and energy. If you enjoyed today's episode, then leave us a five star review wherever you listen to your podcast. And if you're a part of the anarchist community, then follow us on Instagram or nominate a guest for the show by sending in a letter to modern anarchy podcast at gmail.com. Otherwise, I'll see you next week.