“It is better to be early than late.” – Carlos Rosas – Trailblazer and co-creator of the first global somatic education cardio dance fitness and personal growth programs
“We don’t need leaders who know about leadership – we need leaders who embody the capacity to lead in the midst of ambiguity and complexity. The concept of embodied leadership is derived from somatic coaching, a unique approach that brings the body forward as an advocate in creating a place for change and transformation. It brings together language, action, feeling and meaning and is based on the idea that the mind and body are inextricably linked: to develop one, you must cultivate the other.” (Peter Hamill – The Embodied Leadership: The Somatic Approach to Developing your Leadership)
Embodied leadership is becoming more prominent as we become more concerned about the impact of the modern lifestyle on our physical health and vitality. In addition we know also know the inter-connected impact of our physical experience, physical health and how it impacts on our thought processes, moods, decision making and action in the world.
An exciting new opportunity is opening up for leaders to change how they grow and develop through augmented virtual reality. Instead of passively sitting and playing virtual games and simulations, a whole new paradigm is opening up with this new technology which makes reality not only a cognitive experience, but also felt in the body and emotions. Somatic leadership, for example creative movement and technologies of mind, are new approaches that, combined with augmented virtual reality, can make change and growth fun, effective and enable innovation and leadership in a novel way.
The somatic leadership philosophy and practices are rich sources for health care professions to help develop health care centric models of leadership that utilizes the language of the body. It takes us out of all of the “cognitive” leadership processes, and gets us right back into our authentic self – as lived and expressed through our body.
Simple embodied and somatic leadership experiment to demonstrate what I mean
Much is written about functional fitness for teams and organizations – to be adaptive, healthy and respond to constant change.
Let’s think about what it means to have functional fitness?
If we look at personal functional fitness there are five qualities we need. These are: stability, mobility, strength, agility and flexibility.
Narrowing down our focus we will investigate the sensation of stability.
As you read this, connect to your body for a moment. If you are sitting, feel where you experience stability in your body. Is it your back resting against the back of a chair? Or is is the sense of feeling a stableness with your feet on the ground? Or your shoulders? Your head?
If you are standing or walking – can you feel the stability in your legs? Where is it in the stride of your walk?
How do you sense stability?
For me stability feels like a deep solidness, a sense of being centered, and calm even while there is a lot else going on around me. When I really connected to that sense of stability in me, even when I move, I am confident and feel that I have more clarity and inner security. In that centeredness I also feel an aliveness and openness for more creativity and possibility – a sense of confidence.
Once I am better connected to this quality inside myself and my body by paying attention to it for a few days, I can now start paying attention to where I sense and experience the sense of stability around me, and also identify where it is missing.
For example, as a leader I can look at my team and ask myself” How functionally fit is my team? And how functionally fit is my organisation? Where do I sense sluggishness, stuckness? How can I lead to help cultivate more stability, centeredness and inner security?
You will find it remarkable to see how much creative and informed your perspectives become as your gain more awareness and create a more natural and simple language about the untapped potential of the inter-relatedness between your body, mind and your world around you.