Semantics and Somatics

“Every day is a chance to get better”

I saw these words pinned up on a notice board. Although I understand the intention behind the message, I have to say I tend to disagree, here’s why.

Reading the words quietly to myself I allowed them to filter through my mind and down into my body, curious as to know how my body might receive them at a somatic level.

I was surprised at the impact. Call me overly sensitive but this statement landed with a degree of austerity. It triggered an immediate reaction, momentarily flicking my ‘I’m not good enough’ switch to the ON position.

It was the word ‘get’ that did it for me. Implying (for me) that there is somewhere else I should be from where I already am. Not necessarily as in a physical destination I needed to arrive at, but in terms of applying myself or achieving more. The word ‘better’ indicating that somehow that who I am isn’t enough.

Feeling deeper into this, I came to notice that the meaning I have at some point in my life attached to these words, whether consciously or not indicates effort, striving, pushing, forcing, making, which quite frankly,  speaking energetically feels depleting, exhausting.

I’m not suggesting we don’t need to make any effort in our lives. Action of course is necessary, but we do have the option to choose how we feel as we approach  action.

Is it then simply a matter of semantics?

Research is inconclusive on this.


What we do know though, is the language we use can keep us in survival response.

And also………………

There’s learning to accept ourselves fully for who we are. Each and every one of us has our own unique strengths, talents and gifts. Why aren’t we content with focusing on these instead of areas of perceived weakness where we may feel at some level, less than?

How would that change our overall perception of ourselves?

You are already a wonderful, unique being. The trick is in remembering this. You don’t have to prove yourself to anyone.

Don’t allow the semantics to let you feel ‘less’ than, ‘broken’ or ‘wrong’ in any way.

Change the wording and it will change how you feel. Playing with the sentiments of this sentence, I changed it to

“Every day is a chance to be amazing”

This lands softly in my body. I feel a sense of expansion arise in my chest, creating a space that didn’t previously exist. A sense of room to move, that creates (for me) a sense of momentum, a feeling of safety, that my body requires to be able to act upon my desires.

How about you, have you noticed how certain words or phases initiate a response at a somatic level?

In my client work I use a somatic approach exploring these sensitivities which can affect a persons behaviour and actions. This can make all the difference between being stuck in a freeze state and moving forward and reaching your dreams and ambitions.

Curious to know more about this approach? Email me at allison@allisonmarlowe.com and we can arrange a time to chat.

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