As I was thinking about putting together a Somatic Yoga practice to balance and relieve the neck muscles, I overheard someone use the term “a pain in the neck” to describe someone else. How odd it is that we choose the anatomy of the neck to describe someone who is irritating; particularly a neck that is in pain. Why not the knee or ear?! Why do we pick on the neck? It is the superhighway of the nervous system, the gateway between the brain and the heart and the pedestal for our uniquely expressive face. I wanted to know the source of the saying. According to the All Powerful Dr. Google, it is a colloquial expression that goes back to the early 1900’s. “Neck” was substituted for the terribly vulgar :-0 “pain in the ass” by the upper class to sound more polite.
You Are A Soma
Admittedly, people can be annoying, just like discomfort in the body. But part of embodiment is the language we choose to use. What we say is what we become. I follow the belief that the repetition of offensive language around a particular body part soaks into our “Soma”. “Soma” is the Greek word meaning “living body” and the root of the term “somatic”. Viewed from the outside, a human being is a body with a certain shape and size. However, when a human being looks at him/herself from the inside, he/she is aware of feelings, movements and intentions – a very different fuller being.The somatic viewpoint is that humans are self-aware, self-sensing and self-moving and therefore, self responsible Somas who can change themselves, as well as bodily beings who are subjected to physical and organic forces.
Embodied Language Homework
Assuming you don’t want to have OR be a pain in the ass or neck, I challenge you this week to notice the language you use that involves the body. Be it about yourself or someone else, our brain and heart are taking notes that are written in the Soma. Perhaps you refuse to do something “only over my dead body” or your “back is killing you”, or your “heart is breaking” over something someone said or did? Can you consciously choose words that you want to embody?
If you want to read more about embodied language, you can find my “How To Speak To Your Body With Healing Words” blog here: https://embodywithmm.com/the-healing-words-within-our-body/