Embodied Resilience

Embodied Resilience; Navigating the Volatile Encounter

Can you recall an interpersonal encounter when you felt resistance arise in yourself or the person you were engaged with? The psychological response of resistance finds expression in the body as well. Common responses include a tightening of the jaw, stiffening in the torso or a shallow breathing pattern. These physical responses render us more rigid and prone to disruption of balance.

A supple stance, both mentally and physically, allows us to move and adapt to the changing environment. The interpersonal “encounter” may include both verbal and physical exchange. In describing a conversation we often borrow terms from the martial encounter. For example: “she really set him back on his heels” or “his comment hit me like a sucker punch” or “you’ve got to roll with the punches.” For those of us practicing a martial art, the physical encounter is much like a conversation played out in movement. In ether case, we navigate the encounter more gracefully when we have confidence in our own resilience.

The non-competitive martial art of aikido affords us the opportunity to physicalize the knotty nuances of communication and leadership in a safe laboratory of embodied resilience practice. Layer the activities with somatic awareness and the relevancy to our workplace encounters springs to life. Prepare to think, move and sense, as we explore a treasure trove of embodied learning activities that cultivate resilience, adaptability and suppleness in our encounters with other people.

This program was presented as part of the International Humanistic Management Conference, Seattle, 2017  View the blog post about this event.

Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) brought this program to their “all hands” meeting in 2017.  For this engagement, Suzane invited Karl Steyaert of Cultural Catalyst Network  to team up and customize the program to meet NEEA’s goals.

“Thank you so much for joining us.  I found the exercise to be a great fit for our organization.  Please extend my thanks to Karl as well.  We truly enjoyed having you both.”   ~ NEEA training  organizer and participant.