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Somatic Psychology - May 2015 - Santa Fe
Spring Equinox: Witnessing Our Own Awakening
By Corine Frankland
The spring Equinox arrived on March 20th, ushering in the potential of new life, new energy, and new manifestations. This cycle of rebirth is well upon us, evidenced by the annual arrival of the tulips and crocuses, blooming forsythia, budding aspens, and the flowering of apricot and plum trees.
At the spring equinox, we honor the fecundity of the land, the sprouting of the seeds within earth, and the promise of abundance. As we awaken from the slumber of winter, romantic thoughts of spring fill us with joy and excitement. Visions of throwing open the windows in our homes, planting our spring gardens, wearing Birkenstocks without socks, or perhaps dreaming of a “budding” romance may arise with the coming of spring.
Yet the reality of spring is that it is a season of dramatic change. Romantic illusions aside, one day we are dancing in our sandals and the next we may be donning our snow boots. Spring snowstorms and wild fluctuations in temperatures, not to mention blooming juniper, remind us that life and her rhythms are not always as we think they should be or how we prefer them to be. Still, the snow and ice will thaw and melt and the juniper will complete her cycle. This time provides a moment of pause, a state of equilibrium, where we can reflect on how we are like the daffodils that endure the late spring snows of northern New Mexico. It is both a challenge and a test of faith to thrive in a season of unpredictability, yet if we awaken to the teachings of the spring, she imparts deep wisdom about the strength of faith, birth, and clearing out the old to make room for the new.
As we embark upon the spring cleaning of our gardens and abodes, the body and mind also benefit from such intentional clearing. Winter is a time of rest, a time when our energy turns inward. We spent many days nestled inside our warm homes expending less energy and perhaps eating heavy foods to fortify ourselves. As we now move into a state of increased activity and daylight, we may become aware that our energy has become sluggish or stagnant. Massage and somatic polarity therapy, alone or in combination, are both highly beneficial modalities to move stagnant energies out of the body. Somatic polarity therapy, developed in the late 1940s by Dr. Randolph Stone (nee Bautsch), is an energy-based, body-centered practice that combines both western medicine and eastern wisdom traditions. Somatic polarity practitioners work from the understanding that energy fields and currents exist everywhere in nature, as polarity therapy asserts that the flow and balance of energy in the human body is the foundation of good health. When energy is unbalanced, blocked, or fixed due to stress or other factors, pain and disease arise. Polarity therapy seeks to find the blockages and release energy to normal flow patterns, and to maintain the energy field in an open, flexible condition.
As a somatic polarity therapist, my work is influenced by seasonal shifts and changes. In early spring, the element of air often presents a call for a balancing within my clients. As we emerge from winter and semi-hibernation, it is common for the body to present symptoms of stagnation and excess gas. The body, an ever-intelligent system, moves such gases to the periphery of the body, away from our vital organs. As a result, this air often builds in the connective tissues and settles in the shoulders, forearms, colon, ankles, and joints, creating congestion and lethargy.
In the practice of somatic polarity therapy, the element of air also governs the heart, the center of compassion. Whether we are coming out of the dark nights of winter, or a “dark night of the soul,” clearing the heart through the use of healing touch and gentle talk therapy allows access to an opening of the heart center. When the energy of our heart center opens, there is often a release of sadness and hurt, a rebirth from our pain into a gentle acceptance of our experiences and humanness. Releasing this energy
provides the opportunity to experience compassion for both self and others, giving and receiving and moving through life, allowing relationships with the self and others to open and flow more naturally and lovingly.
As we embrace the beauty and complexity of this magical and unpredictable season, notice the flowers that are emerging and the trees that are blooming, meditating on their strength, courage, and vulnerability.
Consider sitting silently and contemplating the following: What wisdom am I bringing with me from the dark of winter? Who am I becoming? What am I awakening within myself? What do I hope to birth and how might the earth and her teachings best support me?
Earth and her abundance allows us the ability to blossom with the joy of living, to feel our roots strengthen our connection to the life-giving soils of our lives, to be a witness to our own awakening. A blessed spring equinox to all.
Corine Frankland, Ph.D., is the department chair of liberal arts at Santa Fe University of Art and Design where she teaches courses in women’s psychology, archetypal psychology, and Kundalini yoga. She is also a somatic polarity practitioner, specializing in anxiety reduction, grief and depression, and women's reproductive health and wellness.
You can find her on Facebook at
Vibrational Healing Santa Fe or visit her website at www.myvibrationalhealing.org