In today’s episode, we speak with trauma-focused Somatic Sex Coach, facilitator, healer, and embodiment leader Kat Nantz. (https://www.katnantz.com/)
We talk about everything from Kat’s work which is really about slowing down and bringing people back into their bodies and inviting more pleasure, about how boundary work is so radical in shifting our culture and getting off the hamster wheel and questioning whether the mindset of the dominant culture is actually serving us.
Our conversation takes a fascinating turn as we explore how our inability to notice and put words to what we’re somatically experiencing in our bodies, can have an adverse impact on how we’re raising our children.
And no conversation would be complete with a sex coach until we explored Disruptions With Purpose After Dark and talk about our capacity to have better sex and more enriched sex lives.
And finally, we dive into the world of trauma and our body’s role in helping us renegotiate that wounding.
Kat’s ability to hold the space for trauma and healing, grief and beauty, pleasure and pain is a miracle and I’m so excited for you to hear the genius and the gift that Kat is sharing with the world.
In this episode we talk about:
If this episode inspired you in some way, take a screenshot of you listening on your device and post it to your Instagram Stories, and tag me @amidehne.
I want to invite you to help contribute to this podcast by submitting a question for the Disruptions With Purpose podcast. All you have to do is go here and submit a question or episode suggestion that could be featured on an upcoming episode ((https://forms.gle/vonkDn8bCmeK2zRL6)
Kat Nantz is a somatic pleasure, sex, & relationship coach (https://www.katnantz.com/) who is deeply committed to supporting folks in coming home to their bodies and their capacity to heal & experience a deeper more expansive pleasure.
Kat teaches folks to advocate for their own pleasure and build resilience, and guide them to deepen their relationship to personal power through developing emotional, sexual and embodied intelligence.
Ami: Hi, Kat, thanks so much for joining me today.
Kat: Happy to be here. Thanks for having me.
Ami: So in getting ready for this conversation, I really found that I wasn't sure where to start with this conversation because there's so many things that I really want to talk about, and mainly because the work that you're doing is such an amazing example of a disruption to our cultural way of thinking to be more in alignment for us all to be living a life that's worth living. where I ended with all of it was that how does your work disrupt our current cultural narrative?
Kat: I love this question and it's a very big question. Yeah, I think I mean, my work is designed to disrupt the system that we currently live in and, a lot of the systems that we function in are built to oppress us, to take away our wild nature, and in that we lose, we lose a huge part of who we are and we don't know where. We're not aware of it. Right. We all have this feeling like this longing to. And back to our bodies are returned back to a different way of being, but there's this we live in a capitalistic world that tells us you have to keep consuming, you have to keep working and pushing yourself. So a lot of my work is really about slowing people down and bringing them back into their bodies. Like where where can we invite more pleasure and where can we find the edges of ourselves and our boundaries and. You be able to advocate for ourselves and in an boundry work, especially, I feel like boundary work is so radical and shifting our culture that we currently live in, because when we start actually getting that, we're overriding our own needs and that we're enduring in our life, it becomes really hard to continue doing those things. And that means we start to slow down and we start doing things that feel good for us instead of being on this hamster wheel. And so, yeah, I think anything that's around really bringing ourselves back into our bodies and healing and reclaiming more pleasure in our life is is really radical and a huge disruption.
Ami: So what do you mean by by coming back into our bodies? Kat: Yeah, so, I mean, another great big question when I'm when I talk about coming home to ourselves. And back into our bodies, what I'm talking about is, is the is feeling safe in at home, in our bodies, is feeling like I actually live here, like somebody is home. And so a lot of us, because we live in such a fast paced world. We we are overwhelmed, our systems are nervous, systems are overwhelmed, our bodies are overwhelmed, and when we're living in an overwhelmed state, nobody's home, nobody's here. We can't be here. And so we may drop in for moments. We may be able to check in and come land in our body for moments. But we spend a big chunk of our life living outside of our bodies and living up in our head. So the idea of coming home to ourselves is about being able to spend more time in our bodies and be here. If I'm not here, then then I can't experience, pleasure, enjoy and play. Those things become inaccessible to me because I'm not actually living in my body. It's it's sort of like we're like a cog in the machine. Right. And so the whole idea of returning to ourselves and landing back on our bodies and feeling at home in them is is huge. Right. Because we've, you know, had been generations since we've really felt like we we live in our bodies. Does that make sense?
Ami: It totally makes sense. And for me, I'm I'm like a I really learn well and understand more when I can. I'm going to have, like, an experience. So can you tell me, like, an experience or an example of what that could look like?
Kat: Yeah, well, I'll give it all I'll give it a good example that just have been to me recently. So I'm currently running a six week course called Rewilding Pleasure. And the first week, a big a big part of the exploration in the first class is looking at where are we overriding our own needs in our life? Where are we enduring things that do not feel very tolerable and end in looking at that? And so then the next Monday comes and it's supposed to be the second class and I'm feeling really unwell and I feel really sick. I'm having a hard time getting out of bed and my inner dialogue is saying, just push through, just push through. You've got this. You can just do this. It's only a three hour class. You can do it. They're relying on you. If you cancel, they're going to be disappointed. And what does that mean about what? That looks bad. You're going to cancel. Like, that's lame. But my body my body is saying, slow down. We need to heal here. We need to soften here. We need to listen like what's going on in the body here. And so there is like this I'm holding these two conflicting things, right? This messaging that's not mine. Those are not my beliefs. It's like I don't actually believe those things. But that dialogue, like it runs it runs the show.
Kat: And those beliefs are ones that I've learned from the culture that we live in. It's like this dominant culture that tells us we are not good unless we're producing, we're not good unless we're doing. And so I chose and I, I realized because then I started doing the math in my head. So this is how spiraled out I thought about it. I was like, OK, how many classes have I run? Because I've only ever canceled one class before because I had a severe migraine. And I've I've run over one hundred and sixty classes and I have only ever canceled one. And I have a chronic disability and a child. You know, it's so unreasonable that I have never canceled a class except for once before, this is the second time and also like so wild that I had to do that to to justify and say it's actually OK for me to do this. And that's for me who spends a lot of my time noticing where do I override, endure and not set boundaries. And so I did. I canceled the class and I felt so much better being able to just actually take care of my body. And so that's that's a good example of where. I don't remember your original question, but that
Ami: Was my original question, my original question was, was it give me an example of how how we experience things in our body and how we're we're told culturally that we're not supposed to listen to it. And like what I'm hearing, what you're saying really is you're really teaching people how to say no, is that a lot of the work is like, you know, we live in a culture where we have this expectation we're supposed to be on all the time and we push through things constantly without actually even realizing we're doing it. Like there's so many times in my life that, you know, now we're talking right now that I push through things constantly. Ever since I've been a kid, you know, I we don't stop. We don't stop and ask, like, what is it that I actually really need? And so what I'm gathering from what you're saying is it's OK to say no and to stop and to listen to what or yes and keep going. But first, actually checking in with ourselves first.
Kat: Yeah. Yeah. And as you're saying that I'm thinking like the thing that's popping in my head is that we also now live in a culture where self care is really promoted. Like most people now in our generation or any younger generation would agree with. Self care is really important, but self care is often actually like basic needs. Take care of yourself, slow down and eat a meal to self, have a bath, take care of yourself, just like wash your face, put on a nice outfit or, you know, a lot of these things. And those are great. I love doing those things and those are important, but they're still just like scratching the surface. So now even our like even our wellness industry capitalizes on, on us still consuming and still going right. Like even my job does. People pay me to teach them how to do things right. Like it's like this. We don't live we don't really live in community. We've been so pulled out of community and put into these like nucular homes where we rely on very few and we're just like exhausted. Right. Like we were just like in a consumption pattern. And when we start to slow down and actually notice what's happening in our body, we realize we're actually in no to a lot of things. But it's also scary because for a lot of people, our bodies don't actually feel like a safe place to be because we've spent our whole lives being pulled out. I think of this example of like I'm taking my daughter Lenore. We're at the grocery store and my partner and I are there and she's like two years old and she wants something and we're saying no. And she just has like a full blown meltdown, just like yelling in the store and breaking down.
Kat: And she's just got lots to say. And I watched as my partner, like, he just squirmed. He wanted it to end because he was so uncomfortable watching watching this display of, like, rage and disappointment and upset in her. And so he was trying to calm her and soothe her and get her to stop so people would stop staring. And I felt like, yeah, rage on. Like rage on. Like, let it out my job. I just let that primal wild body speak. And to me, I'm like I my responsibility is to my child, not to these adults. But this is part of our indoctrination is that we are taught to care about what the adults around us think. And so we've been really conditioned to be afraid of feeling like embarrassed or feeling in our bodies. Like even if we think of how you and I are sitting right now, it's like how much expression is really happening. Like we're just so here's how you are allowed to be in the world. So just even as young children, we start pulling them out, tantrums are bad. Stop yelling in the store, stop acting that way, stop being that way. And we start telling them it's not safe to be in your body. It's not safe to feel those big feelings. And we tell them it's wrong. It's wrong to feel rage. It's wrong to feel big. It's it's wrong to express yourself in your body. And then and then we become adults and we're wondering why don't I have access to my body? Well, this is why why does anybody feel unsafe? Well, because we've been taught our whole lives that our body is an unsafe place to be.
Ami: It's so interesting, I think so often to my own children who who inherently just love to be in their bodies. And what that looks like for them is they love to climb things and swing on things. And the higher the better or the more dangerous the better. And for me, I grew up being able to access that part of myself like I was very much allowed to climb into to do crazy things with my body. And it was OK. But my parents really trusted me. And so for me, I really let my kids do that, like they can climb to the tops of trees. They I give them a lot of trust to do things like that. And I noticed how uncomfortable it makes people around me and how much I'm like, yeah, go kids is just so great. And then I find that I'm like teaching them. I'm like a male Esmé like listen to your body right now, like listen to your intuition. It is guiding you. So if something feels uncomfortable in the tree, you need to listen to that, like don't go any higher for doesn't feel good.
Ami: And that I feel like one of the best things that can be teaching them is how to actually listen to it. But I notice how parents around me are like your kids are really unsafe. You really need to take them down. And how uncomfortable I get and wonder and question like, why should I be letting them down like I'm being judged right now. This feels very uncomfortable because I'm being judged by my alliance to my children. So, yeah, it's a very interesting predicament to be in and how much I bump up against other parents or adults who have very strong opinions on how my children should be operating or acting. And I almost feel like it's kind of like like a mischievous little joy that I get of just being like, no, I'm actually going to let my kids do that. Like, this is like the way that I'm going to actually disrupt the way that we've been currently doing things is is letting them is like actually just like fully letting them be. Yeah.
Kat: What a gift to give their children such a gift. Thank you. And and when people are saying like that's unsafe, what's unsafe. Can you be specific because what you're saying when you yell to your child that's unsafe, you're saying the whole world is unsafe. What do you actually mean? Like what do you actually want to say and use the words you want to say? Like, I'm not sure how I would get down from that tree. That would make me feel scared. How are you feeling right now? You know, like just like actually being able to use our words. And because this is just a thing we yell at children now. It's unsafe, that's unsafe. That's not safe. And if we're doing that all the time, our children start looking around like, oh, like what is not safe, like the whole world or like this activity or like, I don't know, it feels good in my body. So you're telling me it's not good, but I feel like it's good. And so then this dichotomy happens, right? Like this like this conflict in our in our own in ourselves where we trust our bodies, that we're being told not to trust our bodies. And this happens in so many different ways as children. Let's think about food. You have to eat. You must be hungry, like, you know, even even that. It's like, well, we could just trust that our children are not going to let themselves starve to death because they don't. I know I've never met a child that's just going to, like, starve themselves to death or, you know, dressing them. It's like all of these different areas where we want them to grow up and be free thinker as an independent and be able to build lives of their own and and be happy and well well adjusted and attached to their partners. But all of these different ways, we were just like telling them the opposite of what what we want them to be as adults. Hmm.
Ami: Yeah. One of the things that you do a lot with people is helping them experience pleasure. And you mentioned one of the areas that you work with people on is supporting them in creating and shaping their lives, their passion and desire, and to explore and deepen the relationships to personal power and to deepen their bodies capacity for pleasure. Why is experiencing pleasure so important? Mayor.
Kat: Because when we can experience pleasure, we're safe and when we're safe, we can live big, alive, bold lives. Hmm. When we don't feel safe, we live really small. Everything feels dangerous. Everything feels scary. Everything feels like a threat. So the way that our nervous systems are wired are to search for a threat and safety. And my safe right now, am I in danger right now? And if our body is always looking for the bear or the tiger in the room, then. Then pleasure becomes impossible. And now there's a difference, it's like I can have an orgasm and not be in my body, but I do need to be home to experience pleasure and play. And Joy, like my I do actually need to be in my body for those things so we can experience things that feel good in our in our body, but it doesn't mean that we're actually, like, fully experiencing them. So to be able to actually sink into the moment and feel pleasure, that means like really like how let's say in this moment, like even just noticing that there is this beautiful bright sun coming through the windows and a room is warm and it's bright and I have a cozy like shake skin rug under my feet. And the only reason I'm able to really notice those things is because I feel safe enough to look for those things because my body is not in a fight mode for looking for the bear or the tiger.
Kat: And pleasure, pleasure and itself is just radical, it's so radical to choose a life that feels full of pleasure and that can be sexual pleasure. But but it's also like our bodies are built to feel pleasure, like we we feel so much like the sun on our face and being able to enjoy that or going for a swimming and being able to feel like the strength in our body moving through the water like these. These are pleasurable experiences in our bodies built to feel those things. But right now we live in a world that overwhelms our system, overwhelms us. We've got to get up. We're going to get the kids ready. We've got to go to work. We've got a grocery shop. We've got to clean. We've got to consume. We've got to do this. We've got to do that. And there's just this onslaught of like to do lists. And our body doesn't really have very many opportunities to soften and open. And that makes our relationships difficult, it makes them more fraught, it makes more and more opportunities for conflict and less opportunities for connection. If we're if our system is overwhelmed, we're priming our body for always looking for stress, for things that are stressful. And so when we start shifting in orienting ourselves towards pleasure and safety, our bodies are our lives just become so much fuller, so much more alive, so much more becomes available to us that wasn't there before. Hmm.
Ami: So pleasure then isn't just sexual pleasure, but it's all types of pleasure. And so, so so the work that you do, is it primarily based around sexuality.
Kat: Yeah. Yeah. So my title is Somatic Sex Sex Somatic Sex Coach. I could say it myself. So the somatic piece means in the body. So it's, it's like part psycho education and then part bottom up approach, meaning like we, we go into the body and notice what's happening in the body and do some like trauma resolution or boundary repair. So I would say like a lot of my work is focused around sex because that's the thing I'm really passionate about people being able to have really beautiful sex lives. And whatever we learn there applies everywhere else in our life. And I can't say if I can't set boundaries over here in my life, then that's going to show up in my sex life. If I can't experience pleasure in my day to day, then I might be feel numb during sex. So there's like our our sexual energy. Our erotic energy is our life energy. Like, that's just plain and simple, like our life force is our sexual energy. And so right now our culture lives is we only activate and play with that energy in the bedroom is very contained and the bedroom is one of the primal places where we're actually allowed to be primal. We're actually allowed to be fully inside our own experience and our own body while also simultaneously being fully inside somebody else's erotic self. So it's like this really beautiful place for rich collaboration and we're just like going about it all wrong. We just have boring sex, a to be like very performative. And so a huge part of what I'm wanting to do in this world is really shift the way we interact with our sexual selves and and and claim our sexual self as our own, like like my sexual energy belongs to me. My sexual life belongs to me. I don't have to go outside myself to have that that longing that that space filled by somebody else like it belongs to me. And when we claim that as our own, then we're not relying on partners to always feed us in a way and then endlessly feeling disappointed.
Ami: You know, it makes me think about. So I've taken one of your courses before and it was life changing in that what I walked away from that course getting was that I could ask for what I wanted and that was a mindshift for me. And after I got that, that I could ask for what I wanted sexually, it started showing not only those are having amazing sex, I started having wonderful sex after that. If you're really has it has fundamentally changed our sex life. And I just didn't know that was OK. Like I really had it. The sex was something that was completely different, that almost it was something that had to be done to me versus the I could engage in it and actually have what I wanted when I asked for it. My partner lit up in such a big way too, because he didn't no longer felt like he was like, I don't know what to do anymore. Like, you know, he was unsure, but now we can get it together. And so so my sex life turned out amazing. So thank you for that, Kat. And but also, I think, be able to ask for what I wanted in my life, period, like it transferred into into my day to day, like being able to say, actually that doesn't work for me. But what I really want is this and that. That was OK. And so I feel that this work is is is not just in the bedroom. It is might be like a playground to start it often, but it expands into so many other threads and tentacles in our in our lives. Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. So good. So you do a lot of work with people who have experienced sexual trauma. And Peter Levine, who's kind of the father of the somatic experiencing therapy, did I say that right? Somatic experience therapy. Yeah. OK, Peter Levine says that the paradox of trauma is that it has both the power to destroy and the power to transform and resurrect. How does the statement resonate with you?
Kat: Oh, that's so much I love you, I love you. Oh, that's so good. Yes. Yeah. Yeah, trauma offers us and and this is this can be tricky to say, because a lot of people are living inside inside their trauma, having experienced really. Word affects and so then this statement may not feel true, right, and they feel like it's just destroyed them and they can't see the possibility of repair, that can happen. The thing about the possibility, so this is in my I'll speak to my own experience and things that I've noticed in my clients is that trauma offers us this beautiful opportunity to really, really, truly meet ourselves. I get to see, like, what what am I really made of here, and that doesn't mean I have means I have to be resilient and I have to be like the person who's, like, so strong. I persevered and came through all the things. But it means that, like, I have an opportunity to really, really meet myself in a way that somebody who hasn't experienced the things that I have doesn't it isn't it isn't confronted with that trauma. Trauma is so fascinating because really what it is is too much too soon to beg like something like too much happening to your system that it overwhelms you. And then we're trauma really get stuck is in the lack of witnessing after after a traumatic event, whether it's like a shock trauma, like a car accident or or prolonged exposure to neglect or whatever it is, whatever the trauma is, the the big reason why it's so stuck in our body is because we don't have these we're not able to focus on these beautiful moments that may have happened before or after.
Kat: Now, obviously, in chronic exposure to abuse, that's very different. But like let's just say it's like a car accident or like like sexual abuse or something like that, where it's like it's happened to us once or maybe twice. And so our body is constantly compelling us to be in relationship to people or situations or things that will help us resolve our trauma, help us renegotiate that wounding. And this is really incredible. And so most people can relate to this. If you think of like, what's the thing in your relationship that you're always fighting about? What's what is that thing? You know, it just doesn't ever stop. And for me, that example was is not monogamy, because my partner and I were nominally bigamous. And we we started out as like we were polyamorous. That's how we got into a relationship together. But it was always so hard for me. And and I couldn't figure out why it felt so painful. And it always felt like he's if he just changes his behavior, if he literally just says this thing differently or does it this exact way, then I will feel better. And how tricky is that because it's setting him up for failure? He can never be that, but that's the way that my body is trying to control that experience because I don't feel safe. And so when I'm living in this experience, I was really intellectualizing what I was experiencing. I felt. Horrible things in my body, and then I wanted to leave my body and figure out in my head what was wrong with what I was feeling in my body.
Kat: It wasn't until I actually slowed down and noticed what is happening in my body that an image popped in my head, a memory, a moment that I had forgotten about, popped in my head. And it was that moment. It was that moment that that this trauma pattern started. And it was a moment of abandonment with my mother. And I realized in that moment, because I would have recurring dreams about my partner, like cheating on me, and he would always say the same thing, and it was something he would never actually say to me, but he would always say something along the lines of, well, I'm just going to take what I want and and you can stay with me if you want. But like, I'm doing this because I wanted my life for me. And then I realized in that moment my mom had said that to me, my life is for me now. You can you can come live with me if you want, but like, I'm going anyway. And in that moment, my that was a trauma pattern was created, I felt unsafe in relationship to my mom, I felt like people were unsafe. I couldn't rely on people. People are always going to leave me for somebody else. And so I didn't realize that. So I was always like collecting this evidence of all these ways that my partner was messing up non monogamy. And if he stopped causing harm to me in our relationship, then I would be open to it. But really, it had so little to do with him.
Kat: And so this this is the fight over and over and over again, same fight over and over and over again in our relationship. And it was always I feel terrible in my body. How can you change to make me feel better? So when I started listening and coming back into my own body. Huh, there's some grief here. There are some really deep pain here and some loss, abandonment that needs tending to. They needed me to slow down and just be here with it and listen to it, and when I started to do that, the trauma pattern softened. Our conflicts, like we we were not in conflict around this anymore. And so I was able to actually start saying, here's what I need for this, this relationship dynamic to feel possible, and I was actually able to really get what she needs here instead of the outside of me. I was able to oh, this is what's actually required here. And what a beautiful opportunity for us to repair something so big in my body in relationship together. He got to play a role in that healing. We got to do that to get together. And that's such a big piece of being relationship. Like we get to heal together. So I I mean, most people will have their own example of like here's the thing we fight about all the time and we think it's about the fight, where to stand up on our head about it. But when we actually slow down and listen, what's my body saying? What's our body saying here? Then we get to the real answer. Hmm.
Ami: So really, what I don't know why this part of my head, but when you talk about when we leave our bodies, does that mean something like going to drink or going to eat food or like those be examples of it? Like a way of leaving our body could be to to do those things, like eating food or checking your phone or going for a run or distracting ourselves with something. Is that what you mean by leaving our bodies?
Kat: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah, yeah. There are some and this isn't I want to be clear and say it's completely normal to leave our bodies. Sometimes our bodies just feel like an unsafe place to be and that's actually OK. It's OK to choose and say my body feels overwhelmed right now. I'm just going to check out for a few minutes. I'm going to go do this other thing and that might be check my phone for five minutes. So once we actually start noticing, like I'm doing these things because my body's feeling this way, then then it feels like we're choosing it. And that's the important part. But what we would call that is it's a form of disassociating like my body feels too overwhelmed. So I'm just going to go outside of it. But we so many people live in a chronic state of like like a light disassociation, like we're just like have we have a really hard time being in our body because we're overwhelmed because we have way too many things. We're not we're not able to slow down enough to even heal from these big traumas a lot of us have experienced. And trauma can be a lot of different things, but we're add on top of that that like we are pushed all day long, like very rarely can do many of us have enough control over our lives that we can actually just like. Oh, you know, do what we want with our days, like, really follow our bodies impulses and listen to what our body wants to do with our day because we got bills to pay people to take care of. You got stuff to do.
Ami: Yeah. Yeah. It's as you're talking with that and thinking about just recently I thought of going to the gym and I've been really focusing on fitness. And one of the pieces that really got me into it was I was a part of a challenge at my gym. And so it was a really intensive challenge. It was. It was it was coming. How how can you have the biggest weight loss of the biggest visual transformation? And my my character is like, oh yeah, there's a challenge. I'm going to win. Like, I was like, I am going to win, I'm going to win. So a big part of the challenge was to to change your diet and to really look at what you're eating and and to to not eat as much food as I typically would eat. And what I found from this experience wasn't just about weight loss, but it was about how much I go to food when I'm feeling boredom or uncomfortable or stressed or unclear and how uncomfortable the challenge was for me, not because I was going to the gym every day or not because I was eating chicken over whatever chips, but because I had to come up with other techniques of dealing with the things that felt so uncomfortable to me, you know, at the end of the day, when I was just like, have nothing else to do because it's quiet, it's more quiet. I would just I notice I would eat food because, like, what else am I going to do? Like, I'm feeling something that feels uncomfortable for me. I have to sit in silence and have all the things that would come up. So I would I notice I would eat a lot. And so by doing this, I recognized like that is something that has been really unhealthy for me and that there's other things going on. And I found breath to be so helpful, like in those moments, OK, I can eat right now. I could actually choose to breathe instead. And like just that alone, having another choice alone was so healing for me. Oh so good.
Kat: Get hmm. Yeah. That makes me think we were talking about this a while back in February, like any year, unprocessed processed sugar and like most sugar is actually. And as a way to punish myself, not as a way to be like it's not healthy to eat sugar, you should take it out. But because sugar actually makes me feel like my personal body, like if I eat sugar, my face starts tingling and I have severe pain and fogginess, like there are actually consequences to my health and my life, my aliveness. When I consume sugar, that doesn't mean that I'll never eat it. But just giving my body a break. And what I noticed and what I noticed was I didn't actually really crave it. It was like like you're saying it was. I want to use the word boredom, but it's not boredom, it's I feel something.
Ami: Hmm. Yeah, exactly. That's great. Yeah. Yeah, I feel something
Kat: Coming to the surface. There is a backlog of things to feel here that feel too big that I can't even begin. So let me leave myself here because that feels more tolerable. And that is the state that most of us are in. There is a backlog, a backlog of things waiting to come to the surface, things that are beckoning for us to listen to them. Things that are painful and hard to be with. And they're not going anywhere. You're right, and those things are making us sick in a different way. There's so many different ways that our body is calling us to come home, come home, come back to me, come back. We've got this. We can do this. But we've spent most of our life, like, comforting ourselves in ways that are. Not really the comfort our body needs, but it's good enough, it's like getting the job done for today, then we're just we're piling we've got all these things to get to. And so when we start actually slowing down, like you were saying and listening and we're like, oh, boy. And so my invitation for people, if they're experiencing that, is to go slow and to not be hard on yourself. Kat: You don't have to, like, heal everything all at once. Like, you know, we're not projects. We don't have to always be working on ourselves. But but to just see, like, how long can I really before we reach for the thing that feels comforting and and gives us an escape from our body. Can I just stay for a moment with this uncomfortable thing in my body? Can I just be be here a little bit longer before I leave and just see can I stay with it for just a moment? And when you're saying just taking a breath, that's a great example. Can I just breathe for a moment and just be here with what's coming up now? I have to do anything with it, not make any meaning of it. Just notice that there are ways that there are things that are coming to the surface. When I slow and when I soften, I am not like on the treadmill. And then the more that we just stay with those feelings, the more we build bigger containers to be able to feel those things.
Ami: We'll see, maybe it is so great for so many reasons because. Yeah, it's like. It just it gives the opportunity for people to see potential and possibility, really does and to to really get that the way that we've been doing things is not how we have to do things. That there is an option that is the thing that I'm really taking from this and the work that you're really doing, Cat. And just the way that you articulate it all is just so accessible and you just really get me over there like I just want over there. Yes, yes, yes. I want all of that for myself and I want that for the world. And there is a way out this doesn't have to be this all the time. You know, I'm so curious, too. about, people in recovery, you know, because I've been in that world for so long and I might have family members that are, you know, sober alcoholics. And I've been in a 12 step program for my own healing. And I and I'm wondering, have you been working with people that have been in recovery at all? And have you noticed that somatic experiencing is gets to the root of something in another way?
Kat: Oh, yeah. I mean, if you've only got ten minutes, we don't have enough time for that. Absolutely. Because like a substance, substance is like alcohol are so, so effective at dampening the too much that's happening in our body. And so, like alcoholism, like it's a really great solution to not actually have to feel the the the pain in your body. So for people and often people who are who struggle with addiction have to have like a lot of things happen in their life and we can sort of say, yeah, yeah, that makes a lot of sense as a coping coping mechanism, as a way of adapting to to a world that's like not able to really hold you and allow you space to really heal from what's happening. I also have a lot of people who struggle with addiction in my life and I've seen this pattern. And what I notice now that I'm able to bring the lens of. Of somatic experiencing trauma awareness and understanding of what's actually happening in the body and why they need to reach for that thing to support them in that moment, I'm able to really soften in my relationship to them and have this deep well of compassion and empathy for them, because I get it. I'm doing that in different ways. And and and we're we're all, like we talked earlier, being pulled out of our bodies and and we're learning that feeling big things in our body is bad and unsafe. And so part of the healing work is, is retraining our body, toning our what's called your ventral vagal tone in your body for safety, really toning your body for connection so that when we feel big things that are really hard, we're able to also feel safe at the same time.
Kat: Because that's the missing piece for a lot of people, is if I feel too many big things, anxiety, depression overwhelms stress or hurt, pain, grief. If I feel too much of that, I'm going to be unsafe. If I'm unsafe, then I'm in danger. And that's not good for our nervous system to be in a constant state of danger. And so when we start to couple safety with danger, like a feel not feeling good in our body, then we're able to be able to just stay with it. It's OK for me to feel these big things so then we can really get to the root of it. What's really going on here? So really that work is so much about creating safety in our lives so that we have these safety resources that we can pull on. When I'm feeling like my day has been too much and I'm going for that drink, then I can just I can build the tools to be able to pause in those moments and OK, I am safe here. What do I need here? What? So, I mean, that's like really combating a very, very complex issue. And the other piece is that people who struggle with addiction often struggle with mental health issues. And our culture is just. Yeah, it's just really, really pushes those people to the fringes and like we need to call them back into our community and hold them and love them and care for them as if they are our own children, our own selves. And, yeah, there's just not enough care for people who are struggling. And I really just stand for shifting the way that we're in the community around these things. Well, yeah, it's
Ami: All of that. Thank you for taking this big, huge topic and putting it into something that is adjustable. But like, really what you're saying is that we have to start normalizing, that our bodies actually have the capacity to do work. That is not just intelligence is not just up in our brain, but that we need to start connecting with our bodies and normalizing that because that is something that my generation never spoke about but our parent's generation never spoke about, but that I feel like our generation can start our children's generation and start talking about sort of normalizing. And then it can be something we talk about in schools and we can be something we talk about the universities. And then it's not just something that you go to a therapist once a month ago and experience, but it's something that happens in the day-to-day like which is taught from a very young age.
Ami: What you're talking about right now gives me so much hope for the future in that so much of what is happening right now, I feel in our world is a reflection of how we're feeling inside, but unable to articulate or say we're like reaching for the candy jar or reaching for the drink all the time. And what that looks like is climate change, you know, marginalized populations, child abuse, all of these things in our world feel so heavy and dark. But what you're talking about right now gives me so much hope because there's a solution to the problem. Like it really feels like there is a way out of how we feel so desperate sometimes and we don't even always recognize it. And it is so it's trying to build the connection that it's so perfect because we can just go slow and that the healing of the world in the healing of ourselves can be something that is it feels like it needs to happen right now. And yes, there's a lot of things that do, but also that it can be slow and we start turning to ourselves and looking to our own healing, that the healing of the world is going to come from that place and that there's so much possibility and hope for change in our world and how we're showing up in it. So, Kat, thank you so much for taking the time today to share with me all of the things that you've been doing in the work that you're doing in the world to really change how people are and giving them access to themselves in a way that most people have never experienced before. Well, thank you, ma'am. Really appreciate your time.
Kat: Thanks for having me.