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When was the last time you did a gut check around a tough decision?

Or told a friend to lead from the heart?

How many times have you sensed that something just didn’t feel right?

The Power of Somatic Coaching

Written by Lee Bodkin

That is the essence of somatic coaching, also known as embodied cognition. We subconsciously move out the head and into the body to see what it has to say about a situation. We don’t think about or question these intuitive hits — because we know them to be true.

In coaching and in life, understanding our subconscious drivers, specifically our thoughts and beliefs is essential to personal growth and achieving lasting change. As a trained somatic coach, I sometimes use embodiment to help my clients tap into the  body for valuable insights and information when they are wrestling with a tough issue or struggling to move forward. Depending on the unique need’s of each individual, I might offer a brief centering exercise or breathing technique to help them relax and sense into their body.

I invite them to see what’s showing up in the body around a particular word, emotion or issue in that moment. The thinking brain is allowed to step back, allowing a deeper knowing to emerge. The experience is unique to each person and situation. It might be a sensation like a tightness or lightness, fluttering butterflies or rippling waves, or an image.  Thoughts often emerge revealing the root cause of an issue they’ve been struggling with. To be clear, somatic coaching is not about accessing past memories or feelings — it is about working in the present.

After a period of exploration, I ask my clients how this new information or insight might inform the outcome they are wanting to achieve.

The business professional who wants to improve his communication skills discovers that confidence is the root of his problem.

The newly divorced young mother sees that her ‘people pleasing’ has been a significant factor in the breakdown of her marriage; it’s time to commit to herself.

The financial adviser senses water and realizes she been ignoring signals to open her own restaurant on the river.

In Brene Brown’s Atlas of the Heart, an HBO Max docu-series, based on her latest book, Brown introduces her audience to the importance of embodiment. She points out that many of us are disconnected from the neck down. It’s not surprising that this is a chronic issue in our society.

Using embodiment as a somatic coaching tool can help clients begin to sense into their body. Over time, the ability to feel what is going on in this moment becomes more accessible.