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Somatic bodywork uses conversation, touch, breath, gesture, and practice to move the mind/body from a historically conditioned shape to one that is aligned with the person’s visions and goals. Shape in this context is the sum of each person’s life experiences, wounds, memories, hopes, dreams, and conditioned responses to stressful situations, and the impact on the mind, body, and spirit. People are then impacted and “shaped” by the body they were born into, the family of origin, community, society, systems, institutions, landscape, history, and ancestors.
Generally people know what is working and not working about their current shape, and it’s the ways in which it is not working in their relationship to self, others, and the world that they want to see change and shift. The current shape is the one they know has gotten them through life this far, but is limited in choices, actions and skills they would like to have in order to be in congruence with what they care about, their goals, and vision for living in a way that is filled with aliveness, presence, more skills, trust, depth, more choices, and wholeness.
I began my journey of studying Somatics in 2006, a year away from completing my graduate program of Drama Therapy at California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, CA. I practiced Drama Therapy at a community non-profit health center for 10 years. Meanwhile, I was studying and practicing Somatics as well in year long or weekend intensives in their Somatics and Trauma, Somatic Bodywork, and Teacher Training courses until 2014. As my professional work at the non-profit became less and less about practicing Somatics, I realized I needed to make a shift out of non-profit work and take on Somatics full time as a community practice. I specifically use community practice rather than private practice to ensure my work is accessible to as many folks as possible.
My history of work using both Drama Therapy and Somatics includes Native Americans, First Nations, early recovery, women, men, Two-Spirit, children, teens, elders, couples, and groups. I have worked with individuals in areas of grief and loss, trauma, gender/identity, addiction/substance using, relationships, parenting, domestic violence, and older adult/elder transitions. I have presented a lot of workshops related to the impact of colonization on Native American communities, and specific groups inside of that–women, Two-Spirit, and substance using.
I identify as a Dineh (Navajo) and queer person. I was born and raised on my ancestral lands in what is now known as Arizona/New Mexico in U.S.A. I humbly acknowledge that I am a guest on this land of my relatives, the original custodians of this land, the Huron-Wendat and Anishinaabe First Nations.