Your Butt as an Ally

A note from Carl:


Hi friends,

To begin with, we wanted to invite you to save the date of March 17-19, as our dear friend and mentor, Russell Delman, will be in Salt Lake teaching on “A Safe Harbor in the Storm: How to be Lighthouse and Find Safety for Self and Others.” You can register here. Also, I have a couple spots left for my Hara class beginning Feb 23, and Erin had a last minute spot open for her annual Women Embodied course. Please contact us if you are interested.

As I sit here at our neighborhood Publik Coffee with the laptop, I am grateful for my butt. I am grateful to feel my contact with the cool, firm surface of the chair, and the reminder that I am here, I am right here. My butt has been one of my most powerful allies in these last months, and one that I have forgotten at least 500 times a day. In fact, I don’t recall a time in my life where I have been more drawn away from “I am here, I am right here,”  than I have been recently.  The headlines, the Facebook feeds, the conversations…

And yet, each time I return to the sensations of my butt meeting the support of the Earth, I experience life through a very different lens- and things become much more workable.

It is so simple and it is easy to miss it.

The idea or memory of my butt doesn’t help. Just the humble return to the living experience, over and over and over. So much moving in my inner life, and I am here- I am right here.  I can feel all that is there, I can act in the world, and I am here.

In the Tibetan Buddhist teachings, they say that one of the great values of a human body is that it gives a more stable ground from which to experience, as opposed to the Bardo (in-between state) after death, where disembodied consciousness gets pulled and whatever thought or image appears becomes the entirety of one’s reality. In many ways, this image is a great metaphor for our modern life- the less embodied we are, the less we are aware of “I am Here,” the more the ebb and flow of our thoughts or emotions become the entirety of our reality.

And again (I had lost it for a few moments while writing) I am here…sit bones, my weight, this spot….

Last week, Erin shared a beautiful collection of poems, resources and other forms of support- I have revisited those poems and writings a few times in the last days. This week, I’d like to offer a brief 5-minute guided practice to help re-connect you to your butt, your sitbones, and this spot. It can help make sitting more comfortable and can help to put you in touch with a valuable ally to forget and remember over and over. You can listen here

And, of course, a poem.

Accepting This
-Mark Nepo

Yes, it is true. I confess,

I have thought great thoughts,

and sung great songs—all of it

rehearsal for the majesty

of being held.

The dream is awakened

when thinking I love you

and life begins

when saying I love you

and joy moves like blood

when embracing others with love.

My efforts now turn

from trying to outrun suffering

to accepting love wherever

I can find it.

Stripped of causes and plans

and things to strive for,

I have discovered everything

I could need or ask for

is right here—

in flawed abundance.

We cannot eliminate hunger,

but we can feed each other.

We cannot eliminate loneliness,

but we can hold each other.

We cannot eliminate pain,

but we can live a life

of compassion.


we are small living things

awakened in the stream,

not gods who carve out rivers.

Like human fish,

we are asked to experience

meaning in the life that moves

through the gill of our heart.

There is nothing to do

and nowhere to go.

Accepting this,

we can do everything

and go anywhere.


Wishing you well,


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By training and profession, I am a somatic educator. Over the past 25+ years I have trained in and taught modern dance, tai chi, Indian and Tibetan yoga, yoga therapy (specializing in back pain). I completed a 4-year professional Feldenkrais training in 2007 and a 3-year Embodied Life training in 2014. I also study and work with somatic meditation and the profound practice of embodied inner listening known as Focusing.

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