My only drink is meaning from the deep brain
What the birds and the grass and the stones drink
Let everything flow
Up to the four elements.
Up to water and Earth and fire and air.
~ Seamus Heaney “the First Words”
It is striking how surprised workshop participants are to discover that there is a direct correlation between their psoas and the Earth. Accessing the sensory system can spark epiphanies, feelings of calm playful curiosity, and a joyful wakefulness of being alive. But why do we humans believe it can possibly be any other way? Are we so disassociated from the processes of life on Earth that we cannot sense how literally we are made of water, soil, fire, and air?
As an educator, it is my task to help you awaken the source of bio-intelligent life. My portal is the psoas. A central tissue, the psoas is the center of our physical being that brings us quite literally to “the heart of matter.” Accessing Earth wisdom can be found everywhere yet only by returning to our core can we experience direct knowing from within.
The first step is to reshape the story of body from a mechanical objectified version to a dynamic bio-intelligent system; we are not machines we are part of a living web of life. Teaching somatic awareness to business leaders, executive managers, teams from Fortune 500 companies, NGOs, technology start-ups, non-profits, the U.S. government and military, Richard Strozzi-Heckler, in his book The Anatomy of Change, asserts that somatic “defines the body as a functional, living whole rather than as a mechanical structure. Somatics does not see a split between the mind and body but views the soma as a unified expression of all that we think, feel, perceive, and express (page 9).”
Step two is to foster the kinesthetic (somatic) awareness because doing so provides a direct sensory experience of being. This type of intelligence is not cultivated through the brain but through the dynamics of the body. Tom Myers, the creator of Anatomy Trains, calls kinesthetic intelligence your KQ. In addition to developing our mental and emotional intelligence, it behooves us to develop our kinesthetic intelligence. This intuitive system is a direct link to a larger field of knowing, support, and consciousness. Our survival and thus our capacity to innovate is directly linked to our KQ.
Just as the psoas emerges from our primordial origins, developing our somatic awareness brings us into a coherent system of balance and resiliency where every cell, organ, expression, is a flow of information. An expression is a biomorphic dynamic that crosses all living systems. Awareness is key as we have the capacity to witness our own process. It is important to note, however, that mindfulness does not do justice to the kinesthetic system because mindfulness is not consciousness but a human intention. Only through our kinesthetic intelligence do we derive a direct experience of life. In The Soul Of An Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness naturalist Sy Montgomery explains that “whether you’re a person or a monkey, a bird or a turtle, an octopus or a clam, the physiological changes that accompany our deepest felt emotions appear to be the same. Even a brainless scallop’s little heart beats faster when a mollusk is approached by a predator, just like yours or mine …” (page 115)
Consciously developing our KQ embodies a responsibility that as humans we need to catch up. We are intrinsically linked with all life forms and as we sense the vibrational field, the elements of all life will be touched and we will be moved by all living systems.