In the last decade or so, Somatics, or at least the parallel term Embodiment, has perked its head up in the mainstream. While back in the day I wasn't sure about the reasons of being a member of any professional association, I am becoming more and more clear, and outspoken, about how we need to keep clarifying the professional standards of this work. We need to learn the skills to take this work into where it is needed, including underprivileged communities. We need to examine our own ableist privileges, and we need to do way better than offer retreats for those who can afford it, in distant, exotic corners of the world. This work goes beyond the self, including self-promotion. It has to. We need to recognize our lineages, pay respect to our teachers - which in many cases have been women, or circles of women - and know that our responsibility is to take the work forward, in the ways that we are both inspired to do, and in ways that recognize the complexities and challenges of our current political and social environments. This work is about community building, it is relational work. Embodiment cannot really happen without us recognizing the contexts within which we practice. And with whom we are practicing. This work is participatory. While it resonates at a cellular level, at an evolutionary level, we can't by-pass the various cultures, languages or traditions we work in. We need to learn how to create dialogues, how to ask, invite and empower. And while we represent knowledge based on kinesthetic experience and oral traditions, we also need to have our voices heard in the complimentary fields of academic and scientific research, where our work has often become fodder for someone else's research.
Supporting a professional affiliation, such as ISMETA or the Body-Mind Centering Association, is to acknowledge where we are coming from, recognizing the many years and decades of rigorous, commited study that has been done, and promoting an ongoing research and a future evolution of this work.