finding resonance, wisdom, and intuition in the body
"The highest truth grows from the deepest roots of the body"
- Carl Jung"The spirit is the life of the body seen from within, and the body is the outward manifestation of the life of the spirit—the two are really one."
- Jung again
Approaching the Soma
The body isn't a tool or machine that we ride around in and control from the inside. The felt body—the soma—is an open and spontaneous field of experience where intuition, exploration, humility, and the lived life are constantly offering themselves to us. We only need to meet the soma on its own terms.
In A New Way
Somatic Resonance is less of a course than it is a lifetime ticket to a constantly shifting and growing garden of materials, practices, and evolving frameworks for approaching the soma.
For A New Day
Why cultivate this kind of relationship with the body? What does this make possible?
What do others say about Somatic Resonance?
The online course is available to buy at any time. You're free to follow your own pace and guidance through the materials and practices.I also host group cohorts, practice sessions, and Q&As semi-regularly, when there's interest. These are spaces to explore Somatic Resonance together, share our experiences, and ask the collective wisdom of the group for help.For now, these sessions are donation-based and open to anyone who has bought the course.
Approaching the Soma
Humor me for a minute, if you would: close your eyes and feel your feet. Notice the toes, the sole, the heel. Move up to the ankle, sense what there is to sense about it. Continue up into the calves and shins, even further if you feel so moved.Take your time, I'll be here.Notice how that felt, internally. If you're like 95% of the people I've tried this with, it felt like there was a "Me" behind your eyes, reaching out to the feet, checking in on the toes, receiving information from the heels. For almost everyone, this "Head-Me" is the one who is doing the experiencing of the body.That's not the only way it can be, though. It's also possible to allow the body to experience itself.When we learn this reflex, it feels less like there's a "Head-Me" who is mediating the experience, and more like a part of the body is shining brighter or noticing its own vividness. The Head-Me doesn't even need to be involved: the foot brightens its awareness of itself as a foot. The knees amplify their own experience of the knees. The felt field of the soma senses and explores itself, offering its experience to our usual awareness.
You may be thinking that this sounds like a neat trick, but not terribly important. But I have to protest.Our experience of the body—which is to say, our experience of experience—is a keystone to every part of our life. If we make a habit of experiencing the body at a distance, as a Head-Me who checks in on the body like he'd check in on any other tool, then our entire experience of life, relationships, and the world will continue happening from that distanced, dissociated mode.If we allow the body to experience itself, to present that self-experience to us on its own terms—then we start to open a doorway into the unexpected. We start to be surprised and enlivened by aspects of the world that we never noticed (or didn't even think possible) before.It all begins with finding, forging, and nurturing a new relationship with the body—not as a tool or an object, but as a friend, mentor, and wily trickster.
In the course, we explore practices, stories, and ideas that help move us away from a systematic, objective relationship to the body, and towards a more spontaneous, experiential relationship with the soma.This involves meditation techniques, helpful frameworks, conversations, guided practices, and more to come. To find out more about the unique format and presentation of Somatic Resonance, read on to the next page.
In A New Way
the course, format, and materials
Online courses tend to fall into a certain pattern, a certain set of expectations. They're arranged into a linear set of units and lessons, they guide you from the beginning to the end and are finished, they consist largely of videos where a head and shoulders talk to you in front of a neutral background.I tried to follow these expectations and do the usual thing, but ended up scrapping the whole project. Somatic resonance didn't want to be expressed that way.Instead, the course is hosted in Notion, as a database of interlinked pages. The basic structure of the course is as follows:
First, there is a 5-page mini-course, consisting of video and text. This is an on-ramp to the rest of the course, laying out all the main points and broad strokes of Somatic Resonance.
Next there are a handful of "Trail Guides" that provide themed pathways through the larger forest of pages and practices, according to your interests.
Finally, there is the wider forest of pages. After the mini-course and the trail guides have given you the lay of the land, you're free to wander through the pages not only at your own pace, but entirely at your own discretion, finding whatever links and topics resonate most immediately with where you are on the journey.
The forest of pages is divided into 5 "spirals," with the most core pages being tagged Spiral One, and the most tangential tagged Spiral Five. This forest and each of the spirals will continue growing and changing over time. As resonauts like yourself ask questions, provide feedback, and add to our collective understanding of the soma, pages will be altered and added to reflect this.As I've said elsewhere: it's convenient to call this an "online course," but really it's more of a wild garden, or a tended forest, where you can wander at your leisure, and to which you can return later, to find new details and perspectives on offer, waiting for you.This format may seem unusual, if you're used to more linear formats, but early reviewers seem to be enjoying the innovation. Continue to the next page, to see what people are saying.
For A New Day
testimonials & outcomes
Every relationship is unique, and the relationship each person develops with the soma is infinitely unique. That's one of my favorite aspects of Somatic Resonance, is that it allows each person to sense their way into the resonance that works with them, from the bottom up. There are no attempts to impose a top-down Right Way Of Being With The Soma.This does present a marketing challenge though. What can I say that encompasses everything? One person tells me this guidance helped with nervous system dysregulation and attachment issues—another says they found a mystical connection with a spirit guide. A woman left our work together saying she felt her body wanting to dance and sway all the time now—another said she's found more stillness in her sitting meditation.How to encompass the possibility space, without expanding outward in all directions?I'll simply say this: somewhere in the center of you—in your gut and your heart—there's a life that wants to be lived, a current that wants to flow through your existence. Somatic Resonance is the process of finding and living that life, of noticing and empowering that current. I can't tell you what the current is for you, I can only help you drop the things that are blocking it until you start to sense it for yourself.
the way river architected this course is pretty freaking rad. i've been playing around in the alpha version, and it's closest thing i've seen to those old "choose your own adventure" books. except it's in notion, and about somatic exploration lol
- Rob Hardy (@ungatedcreative)
As someone on an unfolding journey w my relationship to my body & getting out of dissociative states, I appreciate how this doesn't feel like a 'course' but gives a set of tools to try & play with without expectation...
As someone who can lean alll the way towards a systematic mind / McGilchrist L-Brain when stressed, I can feel the counterbalance growing thanks to sitting with these practices.
- Luke Butler (@lukebutler)
top 2 [online courses] i plan to play with for many years
- expanding awareness by @mashcroft
- somatic resonance by @thewilderlesslove how each creator continues updating them
- Sam Sager (@sc_sager)
My first reaction is that I really like that choice of trail, being able to choose gives me a sense of autonomy that I hadn't even realized was missing from ~all the other courses that I took that just had you going through things in a linear order.
- Kaj Sotala (@xuenay)
For anyone looking for bringing more calm into their body, not by trying to quieten their mind, but by finding new ways to listen to their body - I’d recommend looking into @the_wilderless new course: Somatic Resonance
- Zoe Palmer (@Palmerish)
I'll let you know if there are enough people to host meetings together