Implicit Bias & Self-Ignorance
April 17, 2018
July 17, 2018

Session after session, as the table holds your body; Zee and I hold you with our presence.

Today your bones sink onto the table. Your eyes close. A big sigh.

Perhaps you rest a little.

Aliveness trickles into legs and arms and
you are back in your body. (Welcome back).


It hurts to come back.Your body a frozen limb unthawing—ow! ow! Pins and needles as forgotten flesh re-animates.

Crying, shaking, sweating.
No override. Your body is in charge now.

Such grief.
Wrench-throwing, gear-stopping grief.

The table and Zee and I continue to hold you. Stay with you.

Now tears roll. Tremors. Your diaphragm clenches, unclenches, pushes up hunger:

“I need this time, this touch.
Stay with me. Stay long enough for me to find myself, feel myself, hear myself.
I hurt, I’m tired. I can’t hold up my neck. Hold it for me.

I can’t hold myself by myself. You hold me. my chest is sore. I do not have the heart to hold myself.”

I hold your neck. I witness your body.
As the storm cools, your body discovers, “Oh, I do have a heart. I can hold my neck.”



Another day,

Another bodywork session. You arrive thready, vacant.

Gradually you fill up with yourself. You are back.
It’s scary to come back.

Your body stiffens–
—“Wait!” it says.
“I already know there is nothing I can ever do to make people see me and love me so—

–Why show up?
Why let people see me?
No one will care.
No one will respond.”

(Your jaw shivers; shudders in your shoulders.)
“I’ll be left in the cold with all the other discarded ones.”

The table and I hold this you, too. Steady.

“Anyway, I don’t know how to come back from the dead.
Why should I come back?

“I am good at my disappearing act.” (Yes, you are.) “I am the ether; I leave no trace.”

(While you are being ether, may I hold your feet? Hold your abandoned feet, your floppy feet, your deadwood feet? I hold them and hold them.

Your feet tell me they deserve to be held for a long, long time.
Your matter deserves infinite wooing, infinite patience.)

As your mind quiets; your body whispers its terms:

“I refuse to come back unless someone shows up to meet me. Unless I hear, over and over: I see you. I hear you. I want you. I am glad you are here.” (I am nodding, yes.)

Ghost bodies are insatiable, inconsolable.
Unable to absorb what they need. Still, a little sinks in.

I hold your feet in my hands, no agenda. Take your time, feet. Do your disappear thing.

I squeeze your leg bones. Take your time, legs.

Your feet warm up. Your legs plump up with presence. Safer now to inhabit them.

I stay with you as you begin to see, feel, find yourself.

I ask you, “can you feel this pressure, this contact? Can you feel the size, the weight, the shape of your muscles in my hands?”

(Welcome. Come now, into this life.
Do you feel these bones? They are yours. Fill them up.  Fill them out. It’s time to claim your life.)

You sigh, you arrive. Your feet are dense, your legs laden with matter. You matter.



Another bodywork session.

We affirm your body’s boundaries.
We practice Touch me; Stop Touching me.To give your body an experience of
declining touch, requesting touch, receiving touch.
Chosen, boundaried touch.

First, you choose a neutral place on your body where you are comfortable being touched. Perhaps your forearm, or your foot.

We find out exactly how you want to be touched: “I want you to hold my foot with one hand on top and the other underneath. Use this much pressure.”
I practice holding your foot this way until I’ve got it right.

Then, I ask you to command me thus: “Hold my foot! Stop holding my foot!” (or, “Touch my arm! Stop touching my arm!” etc.).

We begin. You tell me to touch your foot, and I do.

You tell me to stop touching your foot, and I do—immediately.

I pay attention, stay present.
Following your body’s timing, we go back and forth between touch and no-touch.

We repeat this sequence several times.
I ask you to notice your sensations and feelings.

Sometimes your body says,

“It’s scary to say “stop touching me!” I am hungry for touch. If I tell you to go away you might never come back! How dare I tell you when you can and cannot touch me?”

Sometimes your body says,

“Hey, it’s confusing to be obeyed, for my body to be listened to. I feel disoriented, nauseous.”

Sometimes it’s,

“Who do I think I am to tell you to come and go? I am afraid you are angry at me now.”

Sometimes you just giggle, at turns nervous, delighted, gleeful.

Sometimes your body sighs,

“Oh, wow, you did exactly what I told you to do. And you stuck around. I feel…cared for.”

Sometimes it’s,

“You mean I can say “no” and you’ll stop and stay with me? I can say “yes” and you’ll continue and stay with me….wtf? I feel dizzy…I feel relief.”

You can schedule a somatic and intuitive coaching appointment (video or in-person) or find out more about Dr. Vanissar Tarakali at

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