• Ryan Cooney

Reflection from the Beginning

Updated: Nov 12, 2019

"Each time you climb to a higher vantage point the range of your vision is enlarged and your understanding of your entire situation is altered."

-Swami Rama and Swami Ajaya, Creative Use of Emotions

A place to start.

I love learning about fundamentals and I love getting the basics right. The idea I have is, if you set a good foundation, what you build from that place will come more naturally and easily. I want to lay out some fundamentals of body centered consulting, so anyone looking to make some changes to your life can have a solid foundation to build on.

I received my training in several different areas but the most significant would be Somatic Experiencing® or SE™. SE™ is centered around the idea that we are a whole. Our mind is intimately connected with our body. This is incredibly obvious but amazingly complex.

We Take in information from our environment and this information lets us know we are safe and can relax, or if there is danger we can mobilize to be ready for action. This is our autonomic nervous system (ANS). It's responsible for our fight, flight, freeze reactions, as well as, our rest, digest, socialize behaviors. It is active everyday, responding automatically to life. But our world is colored by the connections our experiences have created and they are not all beneficial. What happens when, “don't talk to strangers,” turns into an actual fear of strangers? The body will be mobilized to a fear response every time you see a stranger. Maybe not in a big way. It could be very subtle, just a tension that feels uneasy, but how would you feel then being social and there is a feeling of unease with everyone you meet?

Our understanding of the world is painted onto the world and our bodies react. It is subtle, but amazingly significant. It’s like an opaque veil that we wear, and we don't even realize we are wearing it because it’s all we ever see day in and day out.

“Fish will be the last to discover water.”

-Albert Einstein

Most will never realize this veil is there, and more than likely people don't want to take it off. Maybe at one point there was a belief that saved saved their life, or holding that belief protects them from feeling a vacuum in their life that at one point was terrifying. The veil has a purpose. Habits have a purpose. Automatic behaviors and reactions have a purpose, and none of it may be apparent in the moment.

Many people come to a place in their lives where they begin noticing a negative effect of this veil in their life. They no longer want to see things a certain way and look for a way to shed this veil or pattern that no longer serves them. This is where SE™ comes in. Only when you really see it can you begin to challenge it. This is much easier with someone present though, acting as an observer from the outside. Because again seeing through the veil is not easy. Automatic thoughts are fast and most of the time the movements or sensations that are connected with those thoughts are just as fast.

“You can’t do what you want till you know what you’re doing.”

-Moshe Feldenkrais

These ideas were the start of something amazing for me. The journey through the SE™ training was an awakening that I continue to cultivate. The world is a different place for me now. My hope is that, if you're reading this, you might find a place to start too. If you have found this interesting and want to learn more check out the resource page or contact me and we can work together to support a process of connection, self discovery, and resiliency.


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