Beyond Somatics: Eco-Somatics forms the elemental fabric to grow our capacity of weaving sustainable transformation (ft. Jillian Hassard)

A reverie composed on 13/12/22
Written by Jillian Hassard
Freedom is abundant and resilient: Community, Belonging, Regeneration, Receptivity and Reverence all flow within relation. Liberation is where information, diversity, and connection unite for sustainable change – Our differences only contribute to the resilience of the whole. A thriving ecosystem has many moving parts that nourish one another. Collectively, we have been conditioned by a society designed to prioritize productivity over humanity, intellect over embodied ancestral wisdom, science over holistic medicine, and humankind over Nature. Much of our suffering, isolation, and inaction comes from the unnatural pressure of current systems designed to disrupt intimacy with natural forces and the elements that make up our wholeness.

This culture of dehumanization strategically forges competition, individualism, scarcity, urgency, hierarchy, censorship, and closed minds– really anything that serves to numb or pressures you to accept the status quo as THE ideal – to be the driving force of our decision-making process. Compounding this concoction of disconnection is a gatekeeping of knowledge and traditional binary concepts of right and wrong, success and failure, them or me, that furthers the disparity of monetary wealth, opportunity, and well-being while bolstering oppressive power structures that prevent aligned action birthed from an informed choice. Many of us forget that we do have a choice because our nervous systems are undoubtedly– and unsurprisingly – overwhelmed, which only furthers the agenda of self-abandonment, confusion, stress, and an unforgiving rigidity that fuels a lack of literal and figurative resources. The thing is, Knowledge, in all its forms, is not to be hidden or owned. It can’t be bought despite what we’ve been programmed to believe. Rather, knowledge is a meeting place, just like Nature and our nervous system.

What is Eco-Somatics?

Regulated nervous system is one of the most impactful gifts you can both give and receive.
Enter eco-somatics; a natural, sustainable resource that lives within and accessible to all. Eco-Somatics is an ancient wisdom that transcends time and place; It is a gift from the Black, Indigenous communities, and Peoples of the Global Majority who came before. This is a process of embracing the complexity of humanity, our animal body, and the ecosystems we inhabit and simultaneously co-create. It is the fabric that forms our spirit and also a (re)membering of what we have unconsciously forgotten.

The shared aspects of ecology and somatics are the recognition and reverence of relationships, patterns, processes, and transformation. Somatics derives from the Greek word soma, meaning ‘the living body in its wholeness’. Grounded in neuroscience, Somatics asks us to live through the sensuous: physical, mental, and emotional awareness. The term ecology derives from the Greek word Oikos, meaning household, habitat, or dwelling. Ecology studies how and what organisms interact with one another and their environments. Ecological discourse breathes interdependence as it displaces humans from the center of the web and reprioritizes the essential role of natural elements like water, plants, nutrients, physical/mental/spiritual wellbeing, connection, and other ingredients for our survival. In doing so, ec0-somatics encourages responsibility towards the planet and one another without hierarchy over any living being and instead weaves a mycelial network that encourages accountability, curiosity, compassion that invites us into the fullness of be-ing: of Nature.
The intentional shift from somatics to eco-somatics is to transform our relationship with the interwoven cosmologies of land, lineage, and aliveness; to open our understanding of human life that we perceive directly through the senses to all life; seen and unseen yet felt. Within eco-somatics, we push the boundaries of what we know to enter the mystery of the unknown with trust in Nature, each other, and ourselves.

Our bodies are Expression of Nature

I invite you to delve into an intentional way of be-ing and experiencing our sentience. One where our bodies aren't seen merely as tools for doing, commodifying, or exploiting, but rather receptive and generative, fluid + flexible, whole, sensuous beings of innate wisdom who recognize the multitude of ecosystems that live inside of us and those that we participate in; continuously relating and infinitely interchanging witheach other and Nature. Here, we welcome all our dimensions into the conversation instead of sharing only parts of us that others and culture deem “acceptable” or “useful. Our nervous systems are intelligent and communal: eco-somatics doesn't look for what is wrong or ponder why but explores how to sustainably shape more kinship by disrupting unsupportive relationships, patterns, and processes and composting it all into new beliefs which foster aligned action for all beings past, present, future.

By expanding our sensory perceptions and becoming intimate with the natural rhythms of our bodies + Mother Nature, we contribute not only to our own healing and transformation but also that of the earth and of realms we have yet to witness with all our senses.

We heal such individual and collective wounds simultaneously by protecting and regenerating our resources for introspection, communication, intuition, and action. By returning to the belief –and way of life – that our body is an expression of nature, not separate from it nor above it, we open to new dimensions of vision, tools, approaches, and diversification of experience that cultivates the awareness required to be curious, creative, compassionate and allows us to curate lasting connection and capacity needed to grow toward thriving rather than surviving.

Eco-Somatic exploration moves us beyond the stories of the mind while holding feelings of despair, confusion, numbness, resistance, and resentment about the current circumstances and the state of the world without bypassing the unfurling process of grief and the effect of oppressive systems. Instead, this intimate portal nurtures space for softness, vulnerability, sensitivities, values, trust, and expression: all keys that transform how we respond from our collective state of freeze into an inspired movement of vitality, belonging, reciprocity, and endurance that we have always embodied. Eco-somatics is the boundless possibility of reclaiming the transcendent power of embodiment in pursuit of societal and ecological liberation: birthing opportunities, connections, and challenging questions that we cannot comprehend at present and choices that are yet even to exist.

In essence, Eco-Somatics asks us to hold one another as the Earth holds us: as an alchemical meeting of possibility, patience, hope, flexibility, and integrity that weaves new futures of harmony tenderly growing together.

Meet Jillian Hassard

Jillian Hassard
Jillian is a visionary, a creative, intuitive healer, an embodiment practitioner, a storyteller who feels like my sister from the other side of the world. She has found her purpose in designing soul-infused brands and holding space for fellow earthlings through intuitive eco-somatic support. 

Jill is offering a special deal for StoryAlchemist community: 1-hour somatic session for $70 (with sliding scale available). Mention the deal when you get in touch with her to book your own nourishing and healing experience. Read more about the impact of her work here

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Masha Mazi is a business consultant specializing in brand-building and brand storytelling. Her work is a unique mix of contemporary practices (marketing, strategy, user experience, service design, learning experience design, graphic design ...), regenerative leadership, and earth-based wisdom infused with mystery (human design, pathworking, spiritual ecology, archetypal work, mythmaking, ecosomatics, and deep psychology). 

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Masha Mazi started the personal project Story Alchemist to explore the intersection of spiritual ecology, soul searching, branding and business strategy, and rewilding. 
Ⓒ Story Alchemist, a project of Maša Mazi s. p.