The cultural somatic paradox: why we struggle to understand each other

The last few years of my private practice has heavily focused on helping people better understand their relationships across different identity lines such as gender, race, class, and so on, in an epochal time, where there has been so much mass proliferation of vocabularies such as privilege, intersectionality, and identity politics. Using a foundationally neurobiological…

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The secret life of memes and the death of intersectional activism

I realize this title is likely to cause some charge. For some, claiming the death of intersectional activism might feel like the freedom to breathe. For others, it might hyper-charge their alert systems. Before we get into any argument about whether it is OK to claim the end of relevance of such an iconic concept…

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Imagining ancestral justice

What happens to a people when they lose their ways? Well, one thing we do know is that they lose their medicines. They forget the names of plants and other beings in their world that can help them restore their balance. They forget the rituals that are able to activate the natural healing mechanisms of…

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Why justice needs ritual: on the sacred origins of harm

NOTE: This article contains graphic depictions of childhood sexual abuse as well as other possibly triggering material. Please read with care. Everything we do is sacred I would like to start off this post by sharing an experience I had on Lekwungen territory in the November of 2017, that taught me about the inherent sacredness…

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The Revolution Will be Titrated

In my emerging practice of cultural somatics, I hold that the key to facilitating restorative/transformative justice processes is not so much about having the right ideology and systemic analysis, but what we somatic practitioners refer to as ‘titration’. Titration is a word from chemistry that means to facilitate chemical reactions by only adding small amounts…

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Is the Trump-era a morbid illness or healing crisis? I think it can be both.

In this piece, I would like to speak to a question that many of us in social justice community have asked since the beginning of Trump’s presidency: is this the foreboding of a terrible sickness overtaking our culture or the beginning of a deep healing process? My understanding is that the above two possibilities are…

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What it means to heal white supremacy: restoring the cultural nervous system, cultivating Hara

For a long time I have asked myself: what does it mean to decolonize activism itself? The answer I have come to is: it means building my understanding of ‘social justice’ on top of practices that are ancestral to me, rather than constantly refer to dominant activist discourse, which is inevitably informed by patriarchy, capitalism…

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Whiteness as cultural complex trauma

Cultural complex trauma Resourcing the immense amount of emergent learning from members of the Authentic Allyship Coaching Group and the work of my many colleagues*, I want to conceptualize Whiteness, a set of internalized unconscious behavioral patterns that violently upholds White supremacy, as something born from what we might call cultural complex trauma, a product of painful…

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