Welcome to my Ecosomatic blog. It seems appropriate I begin with a definition and explanation of the word “ecosomatic”, as that is the descriptive term I am using as the methodology for my transformative coaching work. I could also say it is the background conversation for how I see people I work with. Ecosomatic has everything to do with aliveness. I feel that some of the most important work for us in the modern world is to reconnect to the natural world, and for many if not most, this begins with a depthful connection to ourselves. So here we go:
Ecosomatic – The intersection and coupling of Deep Ecology and Somatics
Deep Ecology – “The foundations of deep ecology are the basic intuitions and experiencing of ourselves and Nature which comprise ecological conscience.” Deep Ecology-Bill Devall, George Sessions
The first principle of deep ecology put forth by George Sessions and Arne Naess (1985) relates directly to an ecosomatic approach to transformation:
The well-being and flourishing of human and non-human Life on Earth have value in themselves. These values are also values unto themselves.
Somatics – The human living body in its fullness. This fullness includes: cognitive, narratives, stories; moods and emotions, a felt sense of; life, energy, sensation, awareness.
The principles of an embodied somatic life has humans living generatively within themselves, within families and communities, with environmental and social justice a living and breathing reality. (Paraphrased from the work of Richard Strozzi-Heckler)
There was a time in human history when all humans lived in full relationship with the natural world. We not only lived in this relationship, but recognized our place and role as stewards and caretakers of the life that surrounds us. There are still a few places left on the planet where this survives – deep in the jungle, deep in the African bush, and pockets of the revival of very old indigenous ways in the modern world. There was a knowing and necessity to take care of all life. The embodied wisdom was that when we thrive, we all thrive; when we suffer, we all suffer. As a standard this has been to an overwhelmingly great extent, lost. This separation and disconnect of humans from the natural world began thousands of years ago. There is no distinct moment or event we can point to be able to say “This is when it started”, as there seems to be a very gradual beginning with an acceleration in the last 500 years. Upon close inspection there looks to be a direct relationship to the lost of our embodiment of the natural world and the beginnings and growing of human civilization.
One way to approach scrutinizing civilization is that it fits the needs and breakdowns of the times. As larger and larger groups of people began to live together existing forms of relationships, behaviors, beliefs, land use, tribal boundries, war, and taboos had to change to ensure our safety and survival (food) of the populations. (I will be delving more deeply in this transformation and separation in future postings)
What this separation from the natural world has produced is what may be termed “the ills of the modern world”: pollution, scarcity of water, alteration and destruction of the natural world, brutalization and oppression of certain groups of people, an epidemic of self-loathing, self-destruction, distrust of ourselves and others. At the same time, humans have achieved the miraculous in the fields of technology and medicine. We live longer, our lives are more comfortable, we live in more peace and safety – oh, but wait – not all of us. Not all humans on the planet are served by the miraculous. Upon closer inspection, it appears the miraculous arrives on the shoulders of those who don’t live in it.
Ecosomatic transformation is an approach that includes the principles of deep ecology, combined with the somatic process of embodied change to produce satisfaction and fulfillment in individuals, couples, families, communities and organizations. It reconnects us to the nature that we all are. It asks that we live in accordance to values that regard all life as sacred to assist in living as balanced, generative humans in a balanced generative world.
In future blogs I will be exploring the history of our separation from the natural world, deep humanity, what it is to live an Integrated Self, with purpose and fulfillment, generativity, reciprocity, and the necessity of fun and play. I invite your questions and comments.