When the personal isn’t that political: what we can learn from the Rubber Hand Illusion about hyper-sensitization in activist communities

Even as a therapist and consultant who specializes in working where trauma and social injustice meet, I have always had some suspicion about how the connection between relational dynamics and systemic oppression is talked about in activist spaces. My primary concern with this has been about how dominant social justice discourse tends to completely skip…

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

Understanding ‘accountability abuse’

‘Accountability abuse’ is an abuse of power pattern that happens when we take on self-policing roles within a community without the appropriate checks and supports for ourselves. For me, accountability abuse is a more succinct way to define violent behaviors that tend to be categorized under ‘call-out culture’ or ‘cancel culture’, spanning from brutal accountability…

Read more

Universal Basic Income: considering the economics of healing justice

More and more, we are coming to understand that it is nervous system dysregulation that leads to violence to ourselves and others, and that individual and collective healing are inseparably connected. We are realizing that the urgency and vigilance that fills our lives, which fuels us through cycles of hyper-productivity and burn out, tears our…

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

Mitochondrial activism and the alchemizing of selfishness to love

NOTE: If you need a little biology brush up, mitochondria are organelles in our cells. Their main purpose is to convert food into energy. They have their own DNA and are theorized to originate as bacteria. There is a lot of discussion within our activist community these days about subjects like emergence, call-out culture, slowing down, healing,…

Read more

The hidden cost of call-out culture is bigotry

How does your body respond to the following statement? Call-out culture enables bigotry. And healing it within our relationships is one of the first responsibilities we have as radical/progressive/liberal people. One of the problems with how we talk about call-out culture is that we tend to treat it as an internal dialogue within activist communities about…

Read more

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…

Read more

How social change actually happens: through the body

Image: A diverse group of dancers, of different class backgrounds, cultures, sexual orientations, and genders, party at the legendary disco, Paradise Garage. I think it’s time for our social change strategies to become holistic and integrate an understanding of the body. While there are different expressions of oppression, from white supremacy to transphobia, on the…

Read more