Somatic Consensus and Making Life Enriching Choices

Nov 12, 2021

Making life-enriching choices, sensing one’s needs and balancing them with the needs of others, speaking your truth, and being receptive to others within the bonds of relationship are important and learnable skills. Somatic Consensus—the name I’ve given to both my personal practices and the work I love to share is about developing and the refinement of such skills. Somatic Consensus, as one integrated practice, builds an internal consensus between thoughts, feelings, and intuition while cultivating consensus with others.

Somatics is the art and science of sensing the soma, which translates from Greek as “the mind, body, and spirit together in wholeness.” The soma is the whole person, functioning as a potent, embodied presence in the physical world. Somatics sees the self as inseparable from the body and the body as a microcosm of the greater ecosystem.

Consensus comes from the Latin consenstio—to feel together, agree—a fusion of con ‎(“together”) and sentio ‎(“sense, perceive, feel”). Consensus, through practice, builds a capacity to stay open, transparent, responsible, and accountable in the ups and downs of relationship. Consensus decision-making within group settings cultivates the capacity to move rapidly between self and other in order support decisions that consider the individual and are in the best interest of the whole.

Somatic Consensus, in daily practice, centers attention on the signals of our bodies and the present, direct, immediate experience of the life we are living. Our bodies put us in touch with our emotions, and our emotions, when consciously listened to, tell us what matters and what we need. This is where we can access a discriminating wisdom; develop reverence for the sacred, and where we feel the suffering and grief that give birth to compassion. Here is where we can regain our footing again and again as we walk into the mystery of life and love.

What we carry through our lives emotionally and physically is never far from the foreground of all that we do, perceive, and express. The sum total of our histories is in our bodies. And though we can’t lose our histories, by working with the primary needs that our historical habits were initially set in place to serve it becomes possible to transform old habits into resources that will serve us better now. Somatic Consensus practice is an agent of change that can embed consciously chosen habits into our being, replacing habits and patterns we previously developed that may no longer serve us.

Two themes are woven throughout this body of work:

  1. Reclaiming our empathic faculties for listening inwardly and finding common ground with all our relationships, human and nonhuman.
  2. Finding and empowering our voices by aligning what we deeply value with our words and actions.

I believe these are essential for any of us who want to deepen the quality of our relationships, generate community, and effect positive change—personal, social, environmental, or political—at home or out in the world.

But to affect real change, to do more than talk a good game, requires us to come back time and time again to rediscover what we love about the path we are choosing—and through deliberate, committed, intentional practice over time become the person we choose to be. Learning through Somatic Consensus is fun. It goes deep. It’s reconnecting, surprisingly direct, sometimes startling, and always informative. Its practice is a means to transform a lifetime of habits and reactions into resources for connection and healing. My hope is that Somatic Consensus practice helps you come face to face with the history you’ve embodied, your deeper self, your greatest gifts, and the motivation to stay the course of becoming what you need.

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