The Miyagi-Yoda effect and the ‘politicized somatics’ industry

Let’s just do this: straight, no chaser.Something that has come to me through my experience within the politicized somatics industry, is that the majority of what is taught as embodied/spiritual activism, is charismatic people asking you to jump through hoops of ‘discomfort’ to embody certain ideological programming. If you are following me, the above is…

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What does it mean for a practice to be cultural-somatic?

Transparently, this article started off with a cascade of titles. “Cultural somatics is dead” “Who killed cultural somatics?” “A farewell to cultural somatics” You can probably sense my grief, disdain, and resolve. I think the way I have been writing over the last few years, under the anguished moniker of ‘Selfish Activist’, these would be…

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Somatic pathways for animist connection to place and body

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my ancestral traditions of Japanese folk animism. For those who may be new to Japanese spiritual traditions, Shintoism, the official animist ‘religion’ of Japan, that declares it a nation of “Yaoyorozu-no-Kami (八百万の神)” or 8 million spirits, has multiple strains that reflect Japan’s history of class and racial-cultural struggle.…

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On somatics being an Asian practice

I want to share something with you in this article that I, as an Asian person and somatics practitioner, believes is critical for us students of modern/Western somatics understand the work we do. I often refrain from speaking from my specific racial-cultural position as I understand how often that can mean usurping the power of…

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The cycle of ‘Orientation-Differentiation-Integration’ in animist-somatic healing

Over the last few years of working on the development of an animist-somatic practice, often alongside my frequent collaborator Dare Sohei, I’ve observed that we may see there are three pivotal points of the trauma resolution cycle. These are orientation, differentiation, and integration. In this piece, I would like to share a model for trauma…

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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…

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Why I, as a therapist, support Andrew Yang

Hi, this open letter is for everyone, but especially for my fellow therapists and healers.Today I want to talk to you about: why I, as a therapist, emphatically support Andrew Yang. Before I start, I want to preface that it feels scary and vulnerable to endorse a presidential candidate so clearly on my professional website…

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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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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…

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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…

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