following is the first 500 words of an article published in the
Spring 2007 Somatics Magazine.
All copyrights are reserved for Somatics Magazine and the author,
Silver Love. Permission is given to viewers by the author to make
a copy of this portion of the article for educational purposes
only (that is anyone who wants to read it and learn from it) and
all material used must be accredited to her authorship.
Somatic Awareness as a Guide for Making Healthy Life Choices
By Silver (M.C.) Love, M.A., M.A., PMA.
In 1973, I was career counselor in a progressive and humanistic-oriented
college, Santa Fe Community College, in Gainesville, Florida.
People were coming to me in a career center for guidance with
feelings of emptiness and confusion concerning their career choices.
They were more aware of what the external world, including parents
and other authority figures, would find acceptable for them to
do with their lives than what they themselves felt they would
like to do. In fact, I quickly discovered that most people I counseled
had no idea as to what their own inner needs were and how to identify
them. Feeling called to explore this problem, my colleague, Robert
Sterling, and I spent the next five years developing a process
of self-awareness that would be useful in helping people to find
a reliable, inner reference upon which to base life decisions.
Using the term principles in the same manner that Johnson (1986)
uses this term in the original sense of the meaning as beginnings
(p. 4) or the sources of discovery, I would like to share the
underlying principles of our work. These principles were found
by examining how we developed our work and the mysteries that
intrigued us and led us to develop a strategy or technique for
working with others. I would like to share these principles because
they hold a key to somatic awareness that is still unexplored
today, yet much needed to understand our true inner nature, both
individually and collectively, and to illuminate us in choosing
a path of unity, creativity, and health for ourselves and as a
Accessing the Bodys Internal Record of Inner Needs
Many people seeking our career guidance expressed to us that they
had an inner conflict between what they thought they should or
should not do for a career and what they felt about it. To explore
the source of this inner confusion, we first turned to Jungs
(1959) theory that there are two distinct rational functions of
judgment in the psyche thinking and feeling. He points out
the problem of the one-sided dominance of the thinking function
as happening when the feeling function becomes dependent upon
thinking. In this case, feeling is merely kept as an accompaniment
to thinking, which may learn to operate around an external system
of thought that conflicts with the feeling function. Thus, the
persons thinking may not be relevant to what is valued internally
and may be divorced from the awareness of the body and its needs.
In this case, thinking dominates and the feeling function is suppressed.
It appeared that many people we were seeing were suffering from
the domination of their thinking function and expressing the emptiness
that domination caused. We postulated that if a person is overly
dominated by externalized thinking that suppresses the awareness
of feeling values, the organism suffers because the persons
inner needs are not met.
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back issues, Spring 2007.