On activist trauma-bonding and cultural codependency

This article assumes you have some basic working knowledge of attachment theory. If the term is new to you, you can go here to read more. One of the key aspects of the cultural somatic approach I employ is to understand oppressions, not necessarily just as socially programmed thoughts and actions, but as cultural attachment…

Read more

A cultural somatic reader on whiteness, trauma, and allyship (includes free webinar)

This is a compilation of selected articles that I’ve written over the last four years, plus a free webinar, on the subjects of whiteness, trauma, and allyship. Particularly, within these works, you will be introduced to what we call a ‘cultural somatic’ framework, a constellation of ideas pivoted around the fundamental principle that groups of…

Read more

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…

Read more

A Funk Lesson: If life is a dance, violence is a choreography, but so is justice

… A white woman sees a black man. They call police officers on him. Then the officers murder the black man. Then the officers go free. Then the masses rise up. They are met with resistance from the state. They clash. Eventually, the masses become quieter. They burn out. They reorganize. They grieve. Then a…

Read more

Privilege and its neurochemical pleasures: why it matters and how we can hack it

In cultural somatics we understand that: the systemic IS somatic. That is to say, that macro-level systemic oppression is really an embodiment of micro-level individual trauma. This simple framework allows us to apply learnings from somatic psychotherapy directly to healing at collective scales. Today, I want to talk a little bit about how this cultural…

Read more

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…

Read more

Believing survivors isn’t the same as holding their trauma

CN: Discussion of racial and sexual violence I want you to know that, even as I write this, I’m a survivor of childhood abuse. Being received and believed by others has been a big part of healing all aspects of this. I firsthand understand how healing it can be for survivorship to be believed. I…

Read more

The key to healing whiteness is understanding cultural somatic context

A SPECIAL NOTE ON ‘WHITENESS’: This article refers a lot to whiteness. Heck, its in the title. If I am honest with you, I have lately been developing a lot of weariness around how language such as whiteness or (toxic) masculinity can imply a person’s body is the source of violence. As a somatic therapist, I…

Read more

Boundaries and the body: how our sense of space is shaped by our embodied state

My ancestors came to me and told me: No is sacred. It is important for our No to be witnessed. We deserve for it to be upheld. And they also told me that some ways of saying No can end up traumatizing us in ways we don’t intend. This isn’t our fault. This is because colonialism and patriarchy…

Read more

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…

Read more