What is Somatic Awareness?

​The word “soma” means “body” in Greek. Most of our physical processes are designed to be unnoticed. Even the ​more obvious physical movements like breathing and contracting muscles are often ​​not perceived. To begin to understand the body, awareness derived from an objective inner observer is a necessity.

All initial and consequent experiences of every human being form neuro-pathways in the nervous system and are then stored in the brain. This complex network of communication and adaptation is designed to keep us alive and separate from other beings. Without this function, we would not be able to have our life experience and therefore, this function takes precedence over other less vital functions.  Amazingly, the more complex aspects of our human nature are superimposed and informed and influenced by the more primitive aspect of the brain.

Becoming aware of, and to understand the function of the instinctual and physical workings will give you access to the automatic, sub, and unconscious aspects of your humanness.

As we learn and grow, we are developing adaptive strategies in order to continue to function and respond to life. This is when our personalities are being developed, going all the way back to the beginning. When our circumstances are giving us new and sometimes overwhelming experiences — and there is not enough capacity in the body to respond, we learn to bank and contain the charge of that energy as well as shift our attention to the tasks or demands at hand.

You may be seeing that this is related to the nine patterns of our Enneagram personality types and the adaptive strategies well described in the Enneagram system from a cognitive-emotional point of view. Also, there is a reference to the original essence or Holy Idea of each type, referring to a specific spiritual quality for each of them.

The underpinnings of these patterns have a somatic origin and take us to the root of the formation of these patterns.

The study and development “of awareness” of these somatic patterns gives us access to the first arising of these patterns.  As we attain a deeper understanding, we begin to awaken to the very nature of these patterns and for what they were designed.  It’s important to learn that we can gain the skills to choose to follow these patterns or not.