Our earliest experiences of cooperation, non-violence, mutual care, vulnerability, strength, capability, resilience, love, safety, belonging, connection, meaning, and self-expression are created through movement beginning as early as in utero. We learn about ourselves and our environment through movement. When life shows us that the world is unsafe, we can re-teach ourselves these fundamentals through movement again.
We can roll, crawl, reach and grab, lean and be caught, balance, laugh, dance, touch, and share dynamic, authentic space with others. We have at our disposal the most effective and charming avenue to a well-functioning social engagement system and neuroceptive ability: move with people who feel safe.
Somatic exploration is highly informative as it exposes the unconscious experiences, impressions, and patterns in which couples, families, workplaces, classrooms, and communities are enmeshed. It can feel vulnerable or emotional or empowering or unusual or really playful and fun. How does strength play out in our relationship? Where is the power? Is it easier to follow or to lead? Do we feel more comfortable with intensity than with peace? Can I hold you? Can I let you hold me?
The potential for the body to speak is limitless, and our bodies crave the freedom to act within the container of moving metaphor
Playful somatic inquiry creates the interpersonal dynamics that encourage connection, communication, and growth. We feel in our bodies what it's like to support one another, make space for one another, honor one another, problem solve together, and create meaning together. Thus we lay the groundwork for healthy relational neural pathways.
To feel supported is to know you are supported. To negotiate space together is to understand how to make room for all. Feeling it in the body introduces the idea in a tangible, visceral way and affords the cognitive self an opportunity to create it again and again, until defenses and projections are relinquished in favor of the safety, comfort, and pleasure of relationship.
Relative Play looks a lot like, well, play, which is a good thing. We learn faster in a state of play (some studies suggest 90% faster, in fact, than without the element of play), and playfulness reinforces a sense of safety within activation, or "good" stress, training our systems to become more resilient and flexible in the future.
We use our bodies and tools (balance boards, fabrics, balls, and swings) in a variety of relational practices to simultaneously invite insights and set the stage for safety and healing. Together.