Somanaut's Blog

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Your Identity is a Fraud

“You don’t owe your identity anything.” Jenn Stauffler

snakemask

 

We all adopt an identity. It exists partly independent of us, as a social construct. Other people help form it. We take it on, and shape it to our desires. Comfort and safety play a big role in how we tailor it.

It is always outdated. It’s a mix of old things, what we call experiences, and old ideas, which we can call hopes and fears.

What we think we want is limited by what we think we can allow into our awareness- without destroying our identity. The identity we shaped to our desires now shapes our desires.

It’s hard to be satified when striving for the wrong things. Compulsion and addiction are based in a simple fact- You can’t get enough of what you don’t really want.

Be gracious. Say thank you. Then leave your identity to fend for itself while you have a life. Don’t worry about being lost with no identitiy. It will catch up with you. It’s a magic snake skin, one you get to wriggle out of over and over. Like a snake you will find that shedding clears your vision and gives you room to move.

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June 28, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Good Enough Posture

The perfect is the enemy of the good. Fussing with our posture can get obsessive. It becomes another excuse for beating up ourselves. There is a time for attention toward detail, and a time to let it go and move on. Too much attention to detail, or too little, is not balanced. And, of course, balance is fundamental to good posture.

Hopelaptop

Hope Serpentine. You can find her at aerialempowerment.com

 

Tight rope artists do not maintain exact posture centered over the rope. They allow some slack, because they know that rigidly trying to be prefect will make them tense and interfere with the ability to make tiny adjustments.

 

“Any posture in itself is acceptable in itself as long as it does not conflict with the law of nature, which is that the skeletal structure should counteract the pull of gravity, leaving the muscles free for movement. The nervous system and the frame develop together under the influence of gravity in such a way that the skeleton will hold up the body without expending energy despite the pull of gravity. If, on the other hand, the muscles have to carry out the job of the skeleton, not only do they use energy needlessly, but they are prevented from carrying out their main function of changing the position of the body, that is, movement.” ~M. Feldenkrais

June 20, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Anxiety and gender?

“Anxiety: Women Nearly Twice as Likely as Men to Have Anxiety, Study Shows”

Researchers from Cambridge University reviewed 48 studies on anxiety disorders and determined that for every 1.9 females, one male is affected by anxiety, the study in Brain and Behavior said.”
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I really don’t think that men are less prone to anxiety. I don’t think that men are less disordered, or more orderly about their anxiety, or any of that.
We make the behavior of men the norm. We pathologize the behavior of women. Everyone suffers for this. Men are dismissed as healthy enough, their fears are of little concern. Women are disempowered, their cultural issues over looked, and their responses belittled.
By carefully considering the implicit bias in our social sciences and caring professions, we can begin to deepen our understanding. Fear and anxiety are human. Gender does play a role in the form of socially driven stresses, but it does not decide the quantity or quality of personal experience.

June 13, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Tyranny of the Weak

I take some of my somatic principles from psychology. The struggles in the bodymind are mirrored by the social challenges we all face.  Body parts and systems interact in ways similar to members of social groups.

Marion Woodman is a Canadian psychotherapist, teacher and Jungian analyst. She spoke about how a person who feels scared will desperately attempt to control the actions of those close to them. Rather than transcend the fear, it is easier to avoid the challenges by placing limits on others. Marion termed this “tyranny of the weak”.

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For example: John is scared of heights. His friends want to go rock climbing. He says that they must not abandon him, and that anyway climbing isn’t all that much fun, and if they were really his friends they would do something that included him, etc. He basically tells them that his weakness must limit their behaviors.

Just as a person can dominate a social group by claiming a need to limit everyone’s action, so can a portion of the bodymind hinder the larger self from coping and enjoying.

The solution is not necessarily to override the resistance. Fear has it’s place. But paying attention to the details can get us inside the fear, to a place where we have a way to take care of the unmet need. Then we can move on. Ignoring fear, or indulging it, are both problematic. No tyranny- not of the strong, or of the weak.

June 6, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Communicating

Why do people read to confirm their existing reality, rather than to get new perspectives? Why do we all hear more of what we agree with, and drop challenging details that might force us to rethink our world view?

 

These are perennial questions. It is frustrating to try to communicate, and find limited success. Some blame gender, some blame privilege, some blame intelligence or lack thereof, but I want to look at our fundamental neurological biases, and the perspectives that we create from them.

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New information is change. We can tolerate a limited amount of change. This is a biological reality. We can not afford to be wrong about in a crucial encounter. A new animal, a new food, a new kind of environments- all these can be fatal in moments. Our whole being is designed to limit change to keep us alive.

How much we can accept varies according to our resources and stress. In a physical sense this might mean we can survive underwater for as long as we have breath. This could be affected by our cognitive function- how far away is air? and our emotional reaction- pleasure at being in the quiet depths, or fear- which alters our metabolism, using our air supply a bit faster.

So we see that our perceived resources and perceived stress matter in a very physical way. Changing our perceptions is powerful. The shift from terror to calm can increase our chances of survival. And vice versa! Fight/flight is useful, and meditating on the approach of death may not always be the best coping strategy.

On the interpersonal level, we can titrate our communication. Offer one drop of new information, then wait to see how the reaction happens. It is understandable that we might add more and more information when we are not getting the intended response. But if we consider how everyone is wired to limit change, we can see the skill in matching our communication to the amount our listener can accept. More information does not add to the conversation, instead it provoke fight/flight/freezing/shut down. Once these survival systems are engaged , it can be a long time before the listener will be open to our input.

Next time you try to alter someone else’s perception, remember that there are sharp limits. People are not being dense, they are surviving! The limits vary, and can be hard to define or predict.

Start small. Steer your listener toward resources (enhance their perception of their own strength). Give them time to integrate. Bigger ideas need more time, but since you can’t know what is big for someone else, go slowly and get feedback.

June 1, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment