Social Somatics

Social Somatics operates on the understanding that the individual “soma” is not separate from its experience in the social context that shapes it.  The exploration of Social Somatics is the relationship between our inner embodied experiences and the social systems that shape our lives.

Unlike conventional Somatics, it consciously activates awareness of our social bodies to transform internalized, relational, structural and cultural conditions that impede wellness (for deeper understanding of Social Somatics and it’s role please see Key Principles of Social Somatics). 

We suggest “Deep Democracy” (see Process Work/Arnold Mindell) as one guiding principle to support networks of co-evolutionary conditions for world healing. Deep Democracy invites and engages all perspectives without privileging any particular narrative/s. 

Participants learn to see all parts in the whole system and develop skills to address these multidimensional parts together, rather than just their part (or former perception of their part in it). Socially somatic living ascribes to a primary principle of living in cooperation and sharing resources equally. This includes making somatic education accessible to all. 

Key Principles

Social Somatics uses awareness of cultural complexity and contexts of privilege and oppression to engage in creative and embodied action. These practices aim to bridge disconnections and transform cycles of injustice into new paradigms of mutual respect for all.

Social Somatics is committed to transforming relational, structural and cultural dynamics according to the highest integral wisdom of our social bodies.

In Social Somatics we collectively examine the social body formations, functions and movement patterns in human behavior, with an emphasis on transforming, rather than treating degenerative conditions. In this way, we work to foster conditions for healthy sustainable social structures and relationships.

Key principles that emerge from our early investigation and praxis in Social Somatics as are follows:

By attending to our social body, we are each able to re-organize the way we see ourselves in the world and work for health worldwide.
We can accelerate shifts of consciousness into entrenched systemic networks through the application of social somatics.

By applying the value of deep democracy, we come to recognize that “everything in them is in me” deconstructing dualities even as we acknowledge differences, supporting both realities. This awareness increases overall wisdom and sustainability.

Constant work on rank and power is necessary. Our embodied understanding of how we are wired to particular ways of being across rank and privilege evolve. Rank and power shifts don’t happen at a system’s level without first shifting at a relationship level.

This “relational turn” in self-identification is not new, but very old. It is based on on ecological and indigenous awareness of inter-connectedness. We return to this sensibility and engage it as a transformative power source, to shifts awareness at the paradigmatic level.

(written by: Zea Leguizaman and Sam Grant with additions from Carol Swann and Martha Eddy)