I developed the term Body-Informed Leadership to describe the practice of being attuned to, and in conscious, skilful relationship with, the body’s signals as a leadership practice which generates safety and interconnection at the somatic level in our group cultures.
My Body-Informed Leadership programs are a whole-group exploration and acknowledgement of the stories we have received intergenerationally, at the Somatic level, about safety, danger, and interconnection. These Somatic stories transmit both trauma and resilience through our human communities, through time.
In BIL workshops, as each participant senses into their own personal Somatic history and lineage, they connect more deeply with their unique resources, gifts and challenges, and bring them together strand by strand to reveal the story of the collective, in both its unity and diversity. Together we explore the paradigm of dominance/submission, and of partnership, and develop Somatic tools and practices to support our collective transition from the former to the latter.
I offer this work to activists and change-makers of all kinds who seek to explore personal and collective Somatic imprints, to disentangle domination dynamics from their brain-bodies, and to sense, feel, and physically move their way towards more connective, creative and collaborative ways of relating within themselves, and with each other.
Part 1: Being Love in Action
Body-Informed Leadership Part 1 teaches that both “love” and “fear” are brain-body states. By learning the neuroscience of love and fear, and by exploring our personal, cultural, and intergenerational Nervous System imprints, we reclaim our ability to sense and feel – and in so doing, to choose – which elements of our own neuro-circuitry we inhabit in our lives and actions.
Only from this place of choice do we have the resilience and the creativity to create the changes that are so longed for in this world.
Body-Informed Leadership Part 1 teaches a core set of body-based skills and practices to:
- Self-and-co-regulate the nervous system
- Move, express and release intensity and emotional energy through the body, and
- Explore, understand, and transform personal and collective nervous system imprints
Taken together, these skills and practices lay the foundation for a new form of leadership: leadership which invites each and every one of us to become an active participant in co-creating a ground of Somatic safety in our group cultures; leadership which activates our hard-wired, physiological blueprint for interconnected, compassionate states; leadership which re-conditions our collective nervous system away from its current traumatic imprint towards a state which generates – and continually reinforces – love.
Part 2: The Dance of Interconnection
We humans are in a constant state of communication with the world and each other. Our psychology, emotional, physiological and Nervous System states, our motivations and needs, all of these and more are continuously expressed beneath our conscious awareness through patterns of sensation and movement in our bodies. These somatic patterns inform how we experience our sense of Self, and play a powerful role in how we show up in our lives, in our relationships, and in our group cultures.
In order to radically transform our group cultures to support greater interconnection, we must collectively learn the skills and practices to relate with this dimension of our experience in a good way. Attachment, trauma, Shadow, and difference are important elements of any group field which are negotiated in this non-verbal arena. Without the right language and understanding, we are unable to address and transform these deeper personal and collective group themes.
Body-Informed Leadership Part 2 teaches a core set of body-based skills and practices to:
- Become aware of sensate patterns in our bodies
- Become aware of how those sensate patterns inform our ways of relating to self and other
- Understand the ways that Attachment and Trauma are negotiated at the somatic level
- Receive, express, and transform individual and group somatic patterns using vocal sound and body movement
- Speak to non-verbal patterns in ourselves and each other respectfully, in a way that generates interconnection in our group cultures and empowers us to relate to Shadow, and
- Enhance our ability to be in conflict and navigate difference in our group cultures
Part 3: Riding the Edge of Difference