When the Earth, Body and Movements meet

In my writing and research work as a doctoral student in mindfulness and structural power and oppression, I feel deeply humbled by some of the insights I am coming to. While I am only at the beginning of this journey, I have become deeply invested in understanding what it means to be in the world with the identity locations I have. What does it mean to be an engaged-in-the-world person? As a mental health worker, I have come to actively engage with post-modern ideas of mental health, a world where we center preferred ways of being, a political stance on engaging in our lives and with our lives, thanks to the labor of my dear friends at NPI, for teaching me this. I learnt from my dear teacher and friend about the mycelium network and the mushrooms, about the potential of living gently, connectedly and with resistance.

Growing up, I gravitated towards mindfulness as a practice. It taught me to slow down enough to access intentionality. It also literally saved me from the depths of my dark wakeful nights as a new parent. Mindfulness almost seemed like the awareness I needed to get alive to this mycelium network of my being. It allowed me to listen to my body, to open to neuroception-the hum of the nervous system.

When we allow ourselves the possibility of stepping away from the hegemony of modern medical science and its marriage with capitalism, we give ourselves the opportunity to connect with what Adrianna Marie Brown calls emergent design. A possibility of learning from nature how it organizes, nurtures, and grows. We also chance upon the possibility of seeing the body as more than just a vehicle for the mind. This language of the body has been a powerful tool in embracing the work of holding space for mental health organizing at Pause for Perspective and holding space for myself.

What once seemed like a lot off faff seems transformative. Hey, people can change. I can start to see differently. What I have learnt from the immersion I am partaking in is that Somatic Psychology is this opportunity of accessing that which I can change and recognizing the dance with that which I cannot yet. Energy psychology, a branch of somatic psychology has been a field I have come to explore in the last five years. My father, an author and energy psychology mentor, with lived experience in using and teaching these practices has been an important teacher in this journey for me.

Connecting with earth and the space around has become the necessary opening I need to continue to look within and hold space for all that shows up in the now. In a way, this allows me to first honor the universe of my body and the many ways in which the energies around me need intentionality.

Here is an excerpt from his soon to be published book “Awareness Journey” by Selvan Srinivasan, that spoke to this connection we have with natural systems of the earth:

“Circadian rhythm is the cyclic pattern of flow and ebb of energies in the twelve different energy meridians in our body. Let me use an analogy to explain the energy meridians. When you look at the topography of India or any large landmass for that matter, you will see various rivers flowing through, originating at different points, and ending at different points. These rivers are fixed channels for the water to flow through. The flow of water increases or decreases in different rivers at different times during the year due to various factors. Energy meridians in our body are similar channels and each channel govern the functioning of different organs such as heart, stomach, spleen, liver, kidney, etc. The energies flow at high tide and ebbs in each of these meridians in a set cyclic pattern in sync with the sunrise and sunset.”

When we begin to look at the broader ways in which our bodies, its connection with the earth and the cosmos shows up, we start to see ourselves as connected deeply and widely to evolving systems of life. We offer ourselves the opportunity to step away from oppressive ways of being.

I would like to invite you to join me in exploring the spaces energy psychology can take us. I will be learning once more in this 8 week energy psychology program, staying with energy, my body and the space around me, with Selvan this October.

To learn more about the program that will be conducted in person visit the website here: http://hyderabadpsychologist.com/awareness-journey/eight-week-program-in-energy-and-somatic-psychology/

If you are not in Hyderabad but are interested in the online version of the program, the details here may pique your interest: http://hyderabadpsychologist.com/awareness-journey/


Aarathi Selvan