๐ŸŽ™ How Are You Arriving to this Moment?

Part II: Exploring Somatic, Social, and Relational Healing in Relation to Activism

Sam Chavez
Sam Chavez

Table of Contents

๐Ÿค“ Bite-Sized Knurd: Social healing practitioner, Emily Mitnick, and I continue our conversation on somatic healing and activism. This week, we demonstrate a somatic check-in practice to help us get back into our bodies in a culture that disconnects us.

In Case You Missed It: Exploring Somatic, Social, and Relational Healing

1116 Em Mitnick Interview 2

๐Ÿ“– Read Todayโ€™s Interview๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿซ

Sam Chavez (she/her) at Roots of Change

Hey everyone, this is Sam from Roots of Change. I am back this Thursday at the Roots of Change newsletter with Emily Mitnick. How's it going?

Emily Mitnick (she/her)

Hey. It's going well, Sam. Thanks for having me back. Glad to be here.

Sam Chavez (she/her) at Roots of Change

Of course. I decided to bring my partner onto the podcast and newsletter to talk about somatic healing in this moment that we find ourselves in, in the world, as things are just really uncertain and chaotic right now.

And I know a lot of people are really trying to figure things out.

Emily Mitnick (she/her)

First, Sam, I would like to begin with a check-in.

Sam Chavez (she/her) at Roots of Change


Emily Mitnick (she/her)

This is also an invitation to anyone who's listening, when you are coming into space, whether that's space with yourself, space with others, meetings, calls with friends, or family.

I love a good check-in. And the reason I love a check-in is because it's an opportunity for us to share how we're arriving and for everybody in the space to gain awareness around how everyone is showing up. So how does that sound starting with the check-in?

Sam Chavez (she/her) at Roots of Change

That sounds great.

Emily Mitnick (she/her)

Cool. So I invite us to just find a comfortable position. I like to always ask too, is there anything else that I can do to make myself even more comfortable? Because we're all worthy of comfort. And I think that is a micro act of resistance in a culture that is anti-comfort.

Sam Chavez (she/her) at Roots of Change

Yeah, it's a micro act of self-love.

Emily Mitnick (she/her)

Yes. Yes. So I noticed that I needed to adjust how I was sitting, to put my feet flat on the floor. That feels good. I'm already noticing what it feels like to have my feet on the nubby natural fibers of this sisal rug. It's feeling really good. Move my feet around there. Sam, I see that your eyes are closed. I invite anybody who might be doing this in real-time with us to Close your eyes, lower your gaze, let your focus blur. Whatever feels right to you in this moment for this check-in.

Sam Chavez (she/her) at Roots of Change

We will say, you know, if you're driving, don't close your eyes. But other than that, make sure you're supporting yourself.

Emily Mitnick (she/her)

Yeah, Sam is the primary driver in our relationship, so driving didn't even come onto my radar, so thank you for that. I would love to invite us to just notice our energy levels. What's your energy like right now?

Sam Chavez (she/her) at Roots of Change

It's definitely settling. It was a little activated earlier, just preparing for this and going on. So now I'm definitely feeling like a little more settled and being able to feel the ground and to be able to breathe a little bit more deeply.

Emily Mitnick (she/her)

So I'm hearing settling, your energy is settling, able to ground, coming off of some prep work for this conversation.

I'm tired. My energy is low right now. I'm a little bit hormonal. So yeah, this is low energy here. My hands at my shoulders. I'm doing a visual demonstration for anybody who might watch this video. And this hand at the top of my head is high energy. I'm right at my shoulder. I could go to sleep right now.

Sam Chavez (she/her) at Roots of Change

That's fair.

Emily Mitnick (she/her)

Yeah, taking that into consideration, I think, is also important. I do this when I lead meetings in organizations. And the purpose isn't to say that if our energy is low, to find a way to bring it up. It's to say, how can I better meet myself in this moment, given the context that I am in?

Sam Chavez (she/her) at Roots of Change

Yeah, and I've found it really helpful with my work, actually, in just being honest on where I am. I think in society, we're like, how are you? How are you? Oh, fine. And I've stopped doing that. I've definitely tried to be more honest. And I've noticed that people meet me when I'm like, hey, I'm a little tired, or I really rushed something last night, and I'm going to need to take another day to work on something.

And I think just giving that to people in little micro-moments, like you said, is really powerful.

Emily Mitnick (she/her)

Yeah, a hundred percent. And it also gives others permission to show up as they are, as well. Yeah. And it gives, it invites bravery, because it takes courage to, in our culture, share how we are. You and I were talking earlier today about how uncomfortable emotions and emotions and states that are perceived as quote, โ€œnegativeโ€ or โ€œnot positiveโ€ are not really honored. And so I think it takes a lot of courage to name when we're feeling low energy or sad or frustrated or anything again, that is perceived as negative.

And sharing those things that it invites others into their bravery as well.

Sam Chavez (she/her) at Roots of Change

Yeah, I love that. And that's like a great way to kind of pick up from the conversation of what we were talking about last week.

I know I talked to a few people who listened and read last week, and they were just sharing how the child raising their hand, being denied going to the bathroom was so resonant for them. And I just love the example that you just gave because the more that we allow ourselves to show up authentically to meet our needs, the more we're allowing other people to do that.

And that just grows and grows and, you know, Roots of Change is all about that. How do we build from the root to grow? And that's a small action that we can take. So I'd love to kind of pick up from there.

Emily Mitnick (she/her)

What you bring up is this point about doing the work of activism. And thinking about somatic work as a form of activism doing that within community is so so important.

I know that for me, like so many of us, especially those of us with marginalized identities. There were so many moments where I was not held in community, where I didn't feel like I could ask for what I needed. I also live with sensory processing sensitivity, which basically means that I'm really, really sensitive. For me, it plays out with sounds, smells, like touch. Feeling like I had to like conform and fit in in these spaces where authenticity like wasn't really valued or welcomed, that was really tough.

There's an individual component of the work that's really, really important. Yeah. But making sure that we are surrounded by people who will support us in doing the self-work and who are also on their own self-work journeys is super, super critical. I mean, in my in my own journey, my healing. Progressed exponentially when I finally found myself situated in community with, in community the way that I just described.

And that can be really hard to come by. And that's a whole, building community is a whole process in and of itself, but it has to happen in conjunction with this, with this work.

Sam Chavez (she/her) at Roots of Change

Yeah. And I'm sure we could have a whole episode or series to talk about community and ways of being and how we get there. Because another piece to that is our society just not allowing for community and the self-work. You described your experience of not having community and that feels like a very universal experience in many ways, because so much of our society is like a flattening of our personalities.

You know, with work, you show up to work and you're expected to get the job done. And now we have the phrase, โ€œTake your whole self to work,โ€ but that's not really what is being incentivized in our society. And so that's where that work of community is so crucial, so.

Emily Mitnick (she/her)

Yeah. Get the work done at any cost, at the expense to yourself. Do whatever you need to do. Doing anything. And really that is just inviting a boundary-less existence.

Sam Chavez (she/her) at Roots of Change

And I think it goes back to somatics, right?

Feeling and knowing in your body when something doesn't feel right.

Emily Mitnick (she/her)

Yes. I'm thinking about work that I love to do with folks around feeling boundaries in the body. And that's really powerful work and that also has to do a lot with work around:

  • what does consent feel like in the body?
  • what does a yes feel like in the body?
  • what does a no feel like in the body?
  • what does a maybe feel like in the body?

And again to go back to this example and if you didn't listen to the previous episode we share an example about a child who is in school, asks to go to the bathroom and gets denied again and again, and or made to feel like their needs are unreasonable too much.

I invite you all to go back and listen if you haven't. In that example, the child is learning not to trust and listen to their body. And in doing that, it becomes very, very hard to trust and listen to our body in other ways as well.

So boundaries and what a โ€œnoโ€ feels like begins to feel fuzzy. What a โ€œyesโ€ or a โ€œmaybeโ€ feels like begins to feel fuzzy. And in a society that, in a capitalist society, let me just say, that invites us to push ourselves aside for the sake of productivity, what is happening to the child is just happening to us again and again and again and again.

So I also, I want to say kudos to the folks in the workplaces who are building these cultures of like bringing that invites folks to bring their whole selves to work. Because I do just want to acknowledge that most of us need to go to work and pay rent and do all of that. It's not like if we have to do those things, or if we work within an organization, these things can't happen. There's a lot of opportunity to bring this into the work. So I just, I know it's like what you do at Roots of Change. I just wanted to like, you know.

Sam Chavez (she/her) at Roots of Change

Yeah. No, definitely. I mean, I think we need to bring it into all of our spaces, right? And that's where it becomes like the individual work and the collective work together. Because really what we're talking about is reframing and restructuring different kind of realms of our lives with work, with our own self and like our own personal relationships.

So I guess like going back to the yes and the no in the body, like how do we begin to find ourselves back in our body and start to see the yes and the no, like in this world where we're not being asked, we're not trained to do that and when it's frankly shamed to do that.

And we will be back. I know, I think Thanksgiving is next week. So we'll be back again just to talk about this and talk about repair and talk about community more.

Emily Mitnick (she/her)

Yes, and for anybody who watches the video, maybe we will get a better camera that doesn't make us glow in the worst way possible.

Sam Chavez (she/her) at Roots of Change

Yes, Casper the Friendly Ghost has made it into November. All right. Thanks, everyone.

About Emily Mitnick (she/her)

Hey โ€“ I'm Emily. My greatest joy comes from creating and fostering relationships that offer space for people to feel seen, heard, and nourished so that they can bring their greatest gifts to the world from an empowered, embodied place.

For the past 13+ years of my professional life, Iโ€™ve followed my curiosity to explore how humans relate to the built, natural, and social environment, navigate relationships within organizations and with work, repair and transform through intrapersonal and interpersonal conflict, and heal the connection between mind and body.

I'm deeply excited about designing and facilitating people-first, integrative experiences that are supportive, inclusive, generative, and sustainable. Doing this work with people who are committed to creating a more equitable, compassionate, and creative world excites me even more.

When I'm not at my desk, you might find me riding my bicycle up steep hills, writing poetry and telling stories about queerness and mental health, playing the guitar, gobbling up books, and running mountain trails.

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Sam Chavez

Sam is a writer, strategist, and curious human. She founded the roots of change agency in 2020. Sam is a queer, white, LatinX activist whoโ€™s passionate about a livable planet & equitable societies.


Navigating heart-first activism & storytelling. We explore the ๐ŸŒฑ roots of our world to support communicators, organizations, and activists ๐Ÿฅต to avoid burnout and ๐Ÿ“š tell empathetic stories that cultivate connections that ๐ŸŒ empower โœŠ๐Ÿฝ social change.

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