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Ep #279: The Somatic Studio: Coming Home to Yourself with Kyra Sutherland

Feminist Wellness with Victoria Albina | The Somatic Studio: Coming Home to Yourself with Kyra Sutherland

For the longest time, I thought I was the only one rolling around in my emotional outsourcing, completely disconnected from my body. The truth is we often disconnect from our bodies as a way to get through life. I’ve since been in community with many humans who have helped themselves reconnect with their bodies, and I want to share some of their stories with you so you too can see another way forward.

This week, you’re hearing from a recent member of The Somatic Studio, Kyra Sutherland. The Somatic Studio is my 12-week program focused on body-based practices that help you reconnect with your magical self, and Kyra is here today to share their experience of discovery and healing inside The Somatic Studio.

Listen in this week as Kyra offers their thoughts on why somatic practice matters and how The Somatic Studio community has sparked their healing journey. We discuss how the brain-body disconnect was showing up for Kyra, the beauty of becoming aware of your patterns, and how the community aspect of The Somatic Studio has been the greatest gift. 

Join me for the 3-Day Finding Embodiment Challenge by clicking here!

And, if you missed out on the latest cohort of Anchored, you can still work with me in The Somatic Studio, a live somatics and nervous-system-focused program! We start July 1st 2024 and registration is open right now. Click here for all the details!

What You’ll Learn:

What led Kyra to join The Somatic Studio.

How Kyra knew they needed somatic work.

What the disconnect between brain and body looks like for Kyra.

The ways functional freeze shows up for Kyra.

How the somatic work has supported Kyra in hearing and being in conversation with their inner children.

The power of a community like The Somatic Studio.

What’s changed for the better for Kyra since joining The Somatic Studio.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Kara Loewentheil

Full Episode Transcript:

This is Feminist Wellness, and I’m your host, Nurse Practitioner, Functional Medicine expert, and life coach Victoria  Albina. I’ll show you how to get unstuck, drop the anxiety, perfectionism, and codependency so you can live from your beautiful heart. Welcome, my love, let’s get started.

Hello, hello, my love. I hope this finds you doing so. Well. We are here today to talk with a recent member of The Somatic Studio, my 12-week program all about somatics, or body-based practices, to reconnect with your beautiful, magical, amazing self.

I'm sharing this conversation because back in the day, when I was super disconnected from my body, when I was rolling around in all my own emotional outsourcing, I thought I was the only one who was this disconnected. I thought I was just perma-effed. That there was no hope for me.

I now know that's untrue, and that most of us are just mammeling along when life gets lifey and we often disconnect from our bodies as a way to get through. Especially for human socializes women living in white-settler colonialism, late-stage capitalism, and of course, the patriarchy.

And so, I want to share stories of humans who have helped themselves to reconnect with their body, so that they may be inspirational for you on your journey. I'm very excited to share this conversation.

Victoria:  Albina: Hello, my love.

Kyra Sutherland: Hello, thank you for having me.

Victoria: Thank you for being here. I'm so excited. Yeah, so excited. We had so much fun in The Somatic Studio, didn't we?

Kyra: Yes, it was such a good time.

Victoria: Okay, we're going to dive in. But first, will you please share your name, your pronouns, and where you live in a land acknowledgement.

Kyra: 100%. My name is Kyra. I use “they/them” pronouns. I live in the unceded lands of the Duwamish and also Snohomish people, otherwise known as the greater Seattle area.

Victoria: Which has a secret second city under it, that Seattle.

Kyra: Yes, I did that tour when I was 10 or 12, and not since then, so I've forgotten all the details. But if there, somewhere.

Victoria: It’s wild. Yeah, so they built Seattle, and then it kept flooding. So they were like, “Oh, JK,” and they put pylons, but wooden ones. They’ve since reinforced it, I hope. And built a city on top of the city. I did that tour maybe 20 years ago, and it was really fun.

Kyra: Very creepy. I was a little bit too young, and too eager of an imagination, to do that tour very comfortably. I had a nightmare for a night or two afterwards.

Victoria: I bet, right? Because there's not not skeletons down there, legit literal skeletons.

Kyra: 100%. Yeah, we didn't talk about the skeletons. But we knew they were there.

Victoria: Don’t talk about the skeletons. Well, that's literally what The Somatic Studio is all about. Not literally, but figuratively, is talking about the skeletons.

Kyra: The figurative skeletons. And there we have our segway.

Victoria: Champion. Well, before we dive into it, I want to know what lights you up. What are you passionate about?

Kyra: Oh, I forgot about this question. Let's see, what lights me up? My coaching business, that's in its first year, continues to light me up. I am constantly just so grateful for my lovely, lovely clients. I am currently lit up by a cozy MMO video game called Palia

Victoria: What does MMO?

Kyra: MMO is… We're going to get deep, deep into the nerditry here.

Victoria: Alright, we can just surface nerd.

Kyra: Oh gosh, I'm going to embarrass myself. Mass Multiplayer Online. There we go. So, it's like the World of Warcraft; one of the original MMO’s. You can play with strangers on the internet, but mostly I just play with my wife. Yeah, and puppies, puppies light me up. Books light me up. And somatics light me up.

Victoria: Oh, well, that's a delight. Yeah. Thank you for the excellent segue.

Kyra: You're welcome; all about the segways today.

Victoria: I mean, right? Come on, now. So, you were recently in The Somatic Studio, and I'm curious what led you to join us?

Kyra: 100%. I had been like in the thought work sphere for a while, through Kara’s program originally.

Victoria: Shout out to Kara Loewentheil and The Clutch. Kara’s amazing.

Kyra: Still in The Clutch. But Kara’s very focused on the cognitive thought work side of things. Which is amazing, it was absolutely where I needed to start. My brain had no idea how to look at itself past the standard talk therapy, ‘tell me about your history, trauma, etc.’ And I got so far with thought work. It was amazing.

I went to one of her Clutch College lives, and then I got so into it that by the end people were telling me I needed to be a coach. And so, then I started a coaching business. And at some point I had an accountability buddy that mentioned your name and the Feminist Wellness podcast. And so, I started listening to that too; because of course, we're nerds and we're just going to deep dive into everything. That's what hyper fixation is.

I got to this point with thought work where I just had done all the cognitive work, and I was realizing that I had autism for the first time. So, I was unmasking and I was figuring out sensory overload, and not just anxiety attacks that my thoughts made. And I found that I hit this point where the cognitive thought work wasn't helping as much, because there was no thought to unpack, it was just pure body response.

I got kind of stuck. And so, I was thinking about Anchored as a commitment for the future. Got to save up money; do I do that or do I do Life Coach School certification first, etc. etc.? And then, just when I was having an existential crisis about that decision, you announced Somatic Studio.

I was like, “Well, that's a sign from the universe, I have to do that. Because I need the somatics tools specifically, and I want to hang out with Victoria:  in a room, and sold.” So yes, to round out the thought work approach. And it absolutely 100% worked.

Victoria: I love that. So, I heard you say, “I knew I needed the somatic stuff.” How did you know that? If someone's listening and they're like, “Oh, do I need this?”

Kyra: 100%. I'm going to say that a lot today, I can already tell. 100%. We have a new brand. I think the thing that clicked for me, when I was unpacking, especially unmasking for the first time, is that I kept having these experiences where my brain and my body were just not on the same page. My brain is very convinced that we are safe, and my body is very much not feeling safe. I can't figure out why. And I can't figure out how to get to the bottom of it.

And especially for just late-diagnosed neurodivergent folks, that is a thing. So, it was like this fight between my brain, who knew all the tools and could apply the thoughts and could apply the thought letters and could apply the model, and then my body was like, “But no, we're still going to have a meltdown, and you can't do anything about it. It's still going to be a terrible experience.” So it's like my brain and my body were just not on the same page.

Which I mean, we talked a lot about body work and calming your body before the brain work can happen, before logic brain comes back online, etc. etc. Yeah, so even just trying a couple of the somatics tools in the shower. Which is my favorite place to do thought work because no one can bug me. Just grounding my body first made so much of a difference, of just orienting to my surroundings. It made so much of a difference that I was like, “I need more of this. This is the key that I was missing.”

Victoria: I’m curious if there's an example, that might come to you with ease, of doing the thought work but the body says no. What does that look like? I have a majillion examples from my life, if that's helpful.

Kyra: Yeah. Give me your example first, so that I have time to think about it.

Victoria: Totally. Yeah, I mean, let's see. I hear this all the time in Anchored, of people being like, “I truly, in my brain, believe I'm worthy of love. But that…” We were talking about this yesterday in Anchored. This woman was like,

“I just want my husband to give me touch that is nonsexual, like hugs and pets and pats. Just like I'm a puppy. You know what I mean? Just like we are puppies together. I just want that safe connection. And my brain is like, ‘I deserve that. I'm worthy of that. Of course, I should get that.’ But when he doesn't do it, my body goes, ‘Oh, I guess this isn't for me,’ and I collapse into self.”

And then the tape starts, right? “It's okay. I don't get what I want. It's fine that other people get what they want. I'll never…” all those kinds of survival skill stories from childhood.

Kyra: Yeah, definitely. I think my version of that was very much centered around rest. I've done all the thought work of, “Yes, I deserve rest. I don't have to have everything crossed off the to-do list, I can rest. I can watch TV. I can play video games. I can do whatever I want.” And then, I would sit down to rest, and my inner child and my body would be like, “No, but that's Danger.” “But this is allowed.” “I don't think so.”

Victoria: Yeah, God, that has been so much in my own work.

Kyra: Yeah. So, getting to the root of those stories. Of, where is my inner child just having big opinions? Or where did those big opinions come from? Who do I need to care for so that I can allow my body to rest?

Victoria: Yeah, and for me it's also been that very much, and holding space for my nervous system to reorient. I don't want to get too jargony, but it's about uncoupling and over coupling, right? So, rest in my nervous system was very much coupled, connected, with unsafety.

And so, therefore, the other side of that   productivity, proving myself, I'm a good girl. Look, I did the laundry. Look, I did the chores. You didn't even ask me to clean the kitchen, but I cleaned the kitchen. Love me. Please, love me. Please. Please, love me. Please.

All that little girl stuff was way over coupled, right? Being lovable and tap dancing for my lovability. So then, of course, of course, productivity was my, oh my God, safe place focus. And then, I'm just going to do a little loop to the attachment stuff here. Then in my relationships, way over functioning.

Kyra: “What if I just did all the things for you, so that then you could love me? But can I do more things, and then you'll love me better?”

Victoria: Right. But then, what happens if they don't love the thing you did?

Kyra: “Oh, then we're going to have a whole spiral in a corner. That's dangerous and unlovable. I'm broken.”

Victoria: “I am broken, because you didn't actually want me to do that; wash that thing for you.”

Kyra: “Can I fix all your feelings for you? You won't have to ever have a human experience while you're dating. No?”

Victoria: “No? Wait a second.” Yeah. Someone I love, from a very loving place... and if you're listening to this and you're like, “Oh, shit, it me. Damn it,” peace, love, compassion, curiosity, care, right? All the things we talk about. I didn't know I was doing it. Kyra, did you know you're doing this?

Kyra: God, no.

Victoria: Absolutely not. I had no idea.

Kyra: I was helping. I mean, let's talk about how we learned all those patterns from our parents. I'm sure my parents will listen to this; I love you very much for doing the work. You're amazing. And also, codependency is learned pattern.

Victoria: 100% not a disease, not a permanent label; it is a learned survival skill. What a skill it is, though. Let's pause. We talk about that so much in The Somatic Studio. And we talk about it in Anchored. We talk about it here, that all these skills are friggin’ brilliant. I mean, the experience of them sucks. But they're just self-love, actualized in these really painful ways.

Kyra: Yeah. I think, especially as growing up with someone who had autism and didn't realize it.

Victoria: Yeah, I can only imagine.

Kyra: I am different from other people and I can't put my finger on why. So, if I just overcommit and overperform all of the time, then maybe people will give me the love that I don't feel like I can get, because I am different and wrong and broken. Maybe?

Victoria: Maybe. “Maybe, I don't know, I'll just try harder and ignore myself more.” Yeah, and so it's no wonder we end up somatically in the functional freeze I talk so much about. Yeah. So, it sounds like you resonate with the concept of functional freeze. Can you share a little bit about…

Kyra: Always.

Victoria: Okay, cool. What it looks like, and has looked like, for you? I talk about you. I try to always give examples, but it's so different to hear it from someone else.

Kyra: I'm planning on unpacking some of this with my clients as well, because I think functional freeze is also like sort of what people think is autism. And I think there's a lot of overlap there, which is super fascinating. So, there's the sort of stereotype of autistic folks kind of not having feelings. “Alexithymia” is a word that's thrown around of not knowing how to conceptualize and talk about your emotions. And there is some truth to that within the disorder, absolutely. Brains are weird; brains do weird things.

But I think another huge part of it is that, especially as high-masking neurodivergent folks, I've learned lessons my entire life about how my feelings are wrong and bad and the incorrect reaction.

And so, I entered this place, for the first however many decades of my life, of, ‘I can't feel because then I will be judged, and then I will be unsafe, and then I will be ostracized. So instead, I'm just going to never feel anything, until it's 11pm and everyone has gone to bed. And then, I can maybe sob about everything that happens during the day. But until then, I am only a head. My body does not exist, because my body is unsafe.’

I mean, that's where I lived kind of constantly, until I started thought work, until I started Somatic Studio especially. It's been just the greatest gift, and also the wildest and most overwhelming experience, to start to tune back into my body and be like, “What feelings are actually there? I'm not sure. Is that safe?”

So, lots of grounding has had to happen. Just reminding myself that I am safe. And that has always been a theme for me.

Victoria: It's so interesting. This always happens when I am first introducing folks to somatic practice. Folks really want a lot of things to do. Do you remember that moment? Week six, someone was like, “Excuse me, I need more things to do.”

Kyra: “I need more tools. These tools aren't working enough.”

Victoria: Right. “The 12 tools you have given us, that I'm not practicing, aren't working enough.” And I get it. That's all I wanted at first. Right? I wanted to be in that productivity cycle of, ‘let me wake up in a functional freeze’… Which means you're functional in the world, but you're disconnected from self in this profound way... ‘Let me do stuff.’

Kyra: I feel a little called out.

Victoria: Yeah, we were starting with me. Thank you, we’re calling me out. But we'll call you out next. Of course we want stuff to do. Think about when and where we live. Right? And earlier I said “capitalism”, but an economist friend recently corrected me; that we're actually in neofeudalism. Because there are so many billionaires now, that we are actually in this neofeudal state, in relation to the Bezos and Tesla guy.

Kyra: We don't have to go too deep there.

Victoria: We all know who we're talking about. But my point is, those frameworks teach us that productivity is everything. And that the point of being a human is to do-do-do. And so, of course, we come to somewhere like The Somatic Studio, that's about healing that. And all we want to do is, “Okay, I counted my fingers. I did this in my arm. I did the figure eight, I did the… I did. Why is it not more better? Give me more to did.”

Kyra: If I just keep “didding” forever, then eventually, I will hit a point where I am healed and magic, and I will never have to feel sad again. Plot twist. Sorry, guys. It doesn't work that way. I'm here to tell you. Victoria is amazing, but she's not that much of a miracle worker. You are still a human.

Victoria: Spoiler alert. If you walked into The Somatic Studio human, you shall walk out. Yeah, it really is so much about the being with.

Kyra: And they’re just sitting with; even the uncomfortable feelings, not trying to run away from them or push them down or ignore them.

Victoria: Yeah. And we collectively need new skills and tools to be able to do that.

Kyra: Yes, 100%. I think before I was in this course, because I didn't have the tools, if I sat down I’d begin feeling uncomfortable emotion. I could brute force my way through it, probably. But it's not a comfortable experience. It's not good for me. And then, I'm having this pattern where I'm not trusting my brain, and I'm making things feel more unsafe in my body. That's not going to get me to the place I want to go.

Victoria: So, what do you do now?

Kyra: Well, we're still working on it. Because of course, it's a lifelong process. Integration is slow. But when I remember that somatic tools exist… I think the most powerful tool for me has just been orienting myself back to my environment. I think that was…

Especially the part that I was missing. I was always looking inward. I was always trying to understand what was happening in my body. But I just got so focused on my body that I lose where I am in the world. And then, it's really hard to feel safe, if I'm feeling ungrounded, basically.

So, first step now, when I'm feeling this activation or brain fog, or brain shutdown or functional freeze, when I'm at a place that I can unpack it, is to sit down… We've talked about that, looking left to right. Flossing the phrenic nerve is my new favorite tool, and all my clients know about it now.

Victoria: Oh, yeah. Floss that phrenic nerve, my nerds.

Kyra: And just taking in my environment, and especially grabbing the glimmers that make me happy in my environment. So, I started doing this work, and realized that I'm very happy in our hobby room/office area. Because I've covered it in little knickknacks that I love, it's so cute. And then I went to my bedroom, and I was like, “These walls are too blank. I only see clothes on the floor. This is a problem.” So, now we have to redo our whole bedroom so that I can ground better. But it needed to happen.

So that, grounding in my environment, is beautiful. And then, I have a lot of conversations with my inner kiddos these days. I hit the point, in week 10 of Somatic Studio, when my inner kids were just always talking. The threeyear-old toddler was just like, “ba-da-ba-da-ba-ba-ba-ba-da-ba…” And I was like, “This is a lot.” But they forgot there were 20-something years to catch up on, because I hadn't been listening for that long.

Right now we're riding the storm of inner kiddo having big feelings about how my wife can play video games, “but I’ve got to be busy. Aargh. Mumble-mumble.”

Victoria: Yeah. I know there are people listening who are like, “Wait, what do you mean? You can hear your inner children? What does that mean?” What does that mean for you? And how does this somatic practice, and this work we've been doing together, how has that supported you in being able to here?

Kyra: That's such an interesting question, and something I'm playing with, with my clients. Because looking at your inner children is slightly different for everybody. I think the key for me was getting to the point where, if we were talking about a learned pattern like people pleasing, or being anxious attachment in my friendships, I can usually trace that back to a formative moment of ‘oh, the mean girls in sixth grade. Oh, that one thing that my dad said that one time.’

I want to trace it back to that thing. Then I have this image in my brain of the kid that I was at that point, whether it was called three, five... And if I'm thinking about that experience that informed me, that coded in my brain as a small trauma, then I really have to talk to the inner kiddo.

Sit down and have a conversation, squat down on the floor and have a conversation with that little five-year-old and be like, “Did you know that maybe you're safe? Did you know that maybe you coded that wrong, and your dad does still love you?” Yeah, and I think any of the big, really uncomfortable feelings for me, stemmed back to ‘five-year-old lizard brain is having a meltdown about its self-worth.’

Victoria: Significance and belonging, right? Two core components of safety. And when those are over- and under-coupled with the rest stuff of the world, they need a lot of tenderness and love from us to be able to shift. Yeah, I love that work, and I love those examples you shared.

Yeah, from there, continue to show up. Once we've established that baseline trust with our littles, with our parts, we can show up and continue to hold somatic space for them. So, a big thing, and we did this in The Somatic Studio, and this has been a big thing I've been doing in my own work and with my clients, is finding just the edge of the feeling. Just holding the edge energetically. This is either Peter Levine or Kathy Kain’s, but we just hold the edge.

And then, I just start sobbing. I don't even need to really cognitively know what's up, I just get to trust. And this is that trust part; that I trust that my nervous system is resetting.

Kyra: That's such an interesting parallel to like, if you're approaching the work of grounding back into your body and your body is not feeling safe, then it's safer to just touch the perimeter instead of going deep. It's safer to just feel my seat on the chair than to feel my guts inside me.

Victoria: Oh, my gosh, absolutely.

Kyra: So, it makes 100% sense that if I'm thinking about a big emotion that's uncomfortable to look at head on, if I just touched the perimeter it's easier to get my hands around it.

Victoria:  Right. Well, because one of the things that's so vital in this work, and is why I'm so stoked that we are collectively talking about stress, distress, and trauma and somatics… it's #trending. I get really nervous, when the reels come up and it's like, “Do this somatic thing.” We need to titrate. We talk a lot about this in The Studio. “I shall not go faster,” right? I mean, I took an oath: Above all do no harm. And the nervous system needs slowness.

Kyra: I think that's part of the important part of why a community like this is so important, especially when you're starting this work. I don't know where my boundaries are. I don't know where my limits are. And it's so easy to just blow past them into full meltdown range.

But being held in a community and having a wonderful teacher, helps to feel out the boundaries and the felt safety when my body is not capable of telling limits yet.

Victoria: Yeah, for sure. Because the last thing we want to do is flood our nervous system.

Kyra: Yeah, I do that all the time, and it's not great.

Victoria: Yeah, getting actually triggered is a lot. Yeah, I hadn't been actually triggered, I'm glad to say, in quite a while. Something happened a couple weeks ago, and I was like, “Oh, snap!” I was watching myself dissociate, because I have enough resourcing and groundedness and skills,  and I've been doing this work for 20 years now. Right? That's also wild.

But my inner watch, or my medial frontal cortex… my favorite part of the brain…

Kyra: Nerd stuff, nerd stuff.

Victoria: Yep, I was watching this part of me dissociate. I was like, “Oh, snap! I'm getting, actually legit, for reals, triggered right now. What just happened? It flooded my nervous system.” It was fascinating to watch it. And I'm just both so grateful that I had the resourcing just to be able to step in, and to go back to how we do what we do. This work must be slow, because when we over activate the nervous system, all work stops.

Kyra: The brain shuts down when we are in freeze mode. The end. Yeah, and I think it's important to note for the folks listening at home, let's highlight the fact that you have been doing this for 20 years. I am not at that point yet, I will get there. I can sometimes see myself dissociating for like two seconds, and then the rest of my brain is like, “Okay, bye. We're just going to ride this wave of freeze until we feel a little bit more safe.” So, that awareness comes with time, and then actually being able to do something about to change that pattern takes much longer.

Victoria: Yeah, it's so worth it. Neither one of us is in the business of shortcuts, and there are some pretty great shortcuts, you know what I mean? So, you brought up the community. I feel community is not a shortcut, but it is.

Kyra: Yeah, I think this community especially, that acts as basically a little baby shortcut for your nervous system, is that when you aren't ready to give yourself compassion for your human patterns and your human brain someone else is there to do it for you. And that was so beautiful about this community.

I'm very familiar with coaching communities. I've been in the clubs for several years at this point, and having that be a coaching focused community is amazing. Peer coaching helps me move forward in thought work. It's not as effective for bodywork, because I can tell someone to calm down and that's not how bodies work. So, having this space just be a space where people hold you and see you and validate you…

I think I had a couple posts of, ‘I am very upset about the thing. I'm not at a place where I can rant to anyone who is in my life, because they're going to get activated too because they don't know this work, so instead I'm going to scream at you guys, just so that I can be seen.”

And then I would receive so much compassion, and so much “You are so loved. You and me both, baby. Human brain’s going to human brain. You are safe. This community is here for you when you cannot be there for yourself.” It was so freakin’ life changing, and gave me the blueprint for how to get myself kindness.

Victoria: That last part made me really teary in a sweet way. “The Somatic Studio community gave me a blueprint for how to give myself kindness.” That’s very tender. It's very tender ravioli. I definitely had a PhD in giving everyone the love, care and tenderness I wanted.

Kyra: It goes back to over acting as a friend, ‘so that I can give other people kindness, and maybe they'll give me that kindness back.’ But nowhere in there did I ever give myself the kindness that I was giving other people.

Victoria: “Well, no, we were very busy.”

Kyra: “Doing other things. I don't have time for compassion.”

Victoria: “No, don’t be silly.”

Kyra: “I can have compassion when I finish the to-do list.”

Victoria: Yeah. “And the to-do list is mostly having compassion for him. I'm sure he didn't mean to yell at me. I'm sure she didn't mean to stand me up.”

Kyra: Which I know we've talked about, on both podcasts, in Somatic Studio before, but I can try my best to give other people compassion but if I'm judging myself the whole time, it gets a lot harder to not judge someone for road rage. Then I get real activated. And I'm not even showing up for my friends with as much compassion as I want to if I am constantly hustling for my worth and for my lovability.

Victoria: Just to go back, I'll do a whole show about coupling and under couplings. It's actually super frickin’ complicated. But when we are just performing our feelings, they are under coupled to our lived experience. They're not connected. It's a performance, right? So, when you're on stage, and you're Hamlet, you're performing the feeling that you are not really having the feeling.

Kyra: Yeah, it's just like another mask. Which is a big theme in my life. Same way as I can mask to pretend to be a neurotypical person. When a neurotypical person is having a conversation with me, they can tell that that's not authentic. That I'm not really getting the social cue and the eye contact, and I'm trying to overperform to make the thing happen.

The same thing kind of happens in friendships. Other people's brains and nervous systems can tell the difference between actually here, coupled with my body, and trying to perform it. It feels different, not just to you, but to the people you're around.

Victoria: Yeah. And so, when we can be in a space where we can coregulate our nervous systems… Because everyone's showing up to The Somatic Studio being like, “Hot Mess Express, how did you get here? Oh, you took the six train, I took the Hot Mess.” There's this shared level of vulnerability, that lets us have that empathy and compassion in a real way for others.

Which starts to couple the concept of compassion and safety. Maybe it is safe to actually feel compassion for them in a real way, and not just performatively. And so, then that begins to open the door to do it for ourselves.

Kyra: Yeah, I love that so much. That's 100% true.

Victoria: And that's why this work has to be in community. I will say one on one is important; there's a time and a place. But I feel like these big shifts, for me, happen when I do this in a collective.

Kyra: And the beautiful part of a collective is that it gives you so much proof that you are not the only one. I can do this one on one with a coach all day, and then they’ll be like, “But I also have this human brain.” And I was like, “No, but you're the teacher and you're the guru. I don't believe it, I think you might just be an amazing god.” Then I do this in a community, and I’m like, “Oh, other people also have human brains. Maybe I don't have to believe that I'm broken.”

Victoria: Yeah, that’s true. What's changed for the better now, after The Somatic Studio?

Kyra: So much. So much. And it's only the beginning, because we're only what, two weeks out? Yeah, I think on the very action line, logistical side of things, I have finally started looking at top surgery and testosterone, which has been a big, emotion-filled experience for me. It's big change, it’s big scary. And it was really funny that I just hadn't looked at it at all; it was too big, it was too scary.

And then, three months in Somatic Studio, and I just did it one day. I was like, “Oh, now we're on this ride. Okay.” I'm still noticing all the ways that it's like integrating itself into my life. Just bigger things that I can take on, and feel all the big feelings that come with them, without just completely shutting down and giving up and taking three weeks off. Which is especially important while I'm building a business and have a day job and do roller derby and have a partner, and I'm also transitioning. It's a lot.

I think before Somatic Studio, I was just overwhelmed and frozen in my brain. I was very much functional freeze, still doing all the things. The day job will take a little longer, because being around people who don't know this work is a little bit harder to show up for myself. But in my personal life, I am already finding it easier to say no to things that I don't want to do.

I've started saying no to the derby commitments that I don't have space for. And when I'm getting activated by something my partner is doing, it's much more easy going to the other room and grounding myself. And also having the language to come back and be like, “Hey, remember how I talked about nervous systems and ventral vagal? Yeah, so I was in dorsal vagal. And I promise it's not your fault. But also let's talk about how to not have this happen in the future. Please, and thanks.”

So, just having that language and that level of awareness is already making such a huge difference in my relationships and in unpacking all of my other stuff. And now, I'm even taking it to my clients. I'm already helping clients with somatic based practices and body scans, which is not a thing I would have felt comfortable walking someone through before.

And it's beautiful timing. One of my clients is going through a huge health thing right now, and so just giving him the safety to do a body scan and feel grounded in his body has been life changing. Not just for me, but for the people around me. I could keep talking about all the things that are different for another 10 minutes, but it's just sneaking its way into every little corner of my life, and making everything so much better.

Victoria: It feels so beautiful to hear that. Yeah, it's almost like, what was that saying? “When one of us heals, we help heal the world.”

Kyra: Yeah, some person said that. I don’t know who.

Victoria: Did I hear it like 260-some odd weeks in a row? Yeah. But it's legit, right? When we are regulated, we are more open to others. We're kinder to others. We can have for real, actual compassion, empathy, care.

Kyra: That's showing up so physically in my life right now. I had started the business, and then I had hit my limit of how much I could handle, while also doing a day job. We stalled. My goal is to have 10 clients by the end of the year, and I got three and my nervous system was like, “That's enough. We're done now. No more. I'm tired.” Literally, my capacity to heal the world was limited by my own capacity. And so, being able to do this work.

I think about it every time I get on a call. I think about your motto of, ‘I have to heal myself before I can heal the world.’ And now, our social media is up. We're making progress.

Victoria: I love it. Heal the World. Yeah. I'm glad you started with you, because you deserve it.

Kyra: Heck, yeah, I do.

Victoria: Yeah, you tell them.

Kyra: I deserve all of the love. I can rest whatever I want.

Victoria: Yeah, whenever. Whenever. That's true, though. Yeah. And I'm glad that you have some new safety internally around rest. Pretty impressive and important and amazing. You're so inspiring.

Listen, I think we could have a 16-hour conversation, and we probably should. I should have you back in six months, and we'll see how are things going. And in a year see how does this continue to ripple out into your life.

And for now, before we go, is there anything else you want the good people to know about The Somatic Studio? About why somatic practice matters? I mean, we've talked about it, but anything else pending? Or if someone's like, “I'm nervous, should I do this thing?” What would you say to that?

Kyra: Yeah. I know that the big source of anxiety for everybody, myself included, is the money. And late-stage capitalism, neofeudalism, notwithstanding money, is complicated. Do what makes sense, and what is safe for you and your budget. And also, this can feel like a really big expense for people who haven't learned how to spend money on themselves, ever.

Especially people who associate as women; we don't need to go into that whole thing. But the benefits that you will get for your investment are 100,000% worth it. And now, we're going to get a little mushy. The community especially, that Victoria is able to build with her own safety and love and compassion for her and her kiddos is unparalleled.

I haven't been able to find anything else like it so far. So, if you need the care and compassion, and you can't give it to yourself, this is 100% the place for you.

Victoria: Mushy, mushy, sweet feelings over here. Thank you. It's been a whole journey of loving myself, so that I can have that appropriately coupled loving of others. Yeah, I spent a whole journey. Yeah, I'm really grateful to be here, and to get to love you and all my clients from such a deep place in my heart.

Kyra: And I get to do the work too, and then I go out and heal more people, and then they go out and heal more people.

Victoria: Pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa… It's so good. Hey, listen. Everyone listening wants to follow you on social media and learn all about you. How can they do it?

Kyra: We talked about how I've just made my social media account two days ago, so that I could do thing. I've already been on Tik Tok for a bit, that was my first content. So, I'm @joyfuldivergent on Tik Tok, and also Joyful Divergent on Facebook and Instagram now. Right now they have one post, but they will have more posts than that by the time this podcast comes out. And if you can't remember all those things, my website is also and it will be linked to all my social medias.

We went for solid branding, and I'm here for it.

Victoria: I love that.

Kyra: Yeah, and even if I'm not your coaching niche, every like and follow helps. So, give me all the love. I want it. I can reach more people. Give me the love.

Victoria: Oh, you're such a love bear. Thank you for being here.

Kyra: This was so much fun. How has it already been so long? I want to talk for five more hours.

Victoria: Well, I mean, we should do it. We'll do it. We'll do it. But I think we should close this one out, we’re almost at an hour. It did just squeak right by, huh? For me, that's one of the benefits of a more grounded, ventral vagal, relaxed nervous system, right? Because in sympathetic or dorsal I'm watching the clock, stressed about the next commitment. And now, it's just like, “Alright, here we go being chill. Being chill. Being chill. Being chill.”

Kyra: Day job is so busy right now, this is a perfect way to start my day. So that I can not be stressed about how busy my day is.

Victoria: I love that. Really grounding. Find your feet. Alright, well, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for being here.

Thank you all so much for listening to this episode of Feminist Wellness. Kyra is a fantastic human, as all the humans in The Somatic Studio are. And as are you. Thank you for listening. It is such an honor and a delight and a privilege really, to get to share this information that has so radically changed my own experience of being a human in this life.

And I'm so endlessly grateful for all my teachers who have taught me and guided me and supported me towards ever greater somatic presence, bodily presence. Out of functional freeze and back home to myself. It's a wild gift. I'm grateful for it.

And I'm grateful for the opportunity to share it with all of you here, and in The Somatic Studio. If you want to learn more, you can head over to I know, pretty complicated on that URL. Trying to keep it confusing.

Join us if you feel moved to be more present in your body, in your life, in your relationships, in your parenting, and yeah, just being you. Join us, it's a darn good time. There's a lot of crying; I'll just tell you this upfront, there's a lot of crying. But it's really beautiful crying. It's the kind of crying that as the capacity has the power to help heal the nervous system and rewrite those neural tracks in your mind. That's a pretty groovy thing.

Alright, my nerds. Thank you for being here. Let's do it what we do. Gentle hand on your heart, should you feel so moved. Remember, you are safe, you are held, and you are loved. And when one of us heals, we help heal the world. Be well, my beauty. I’ll talk to you soon. Mwah! Ciao.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Feminist Wellness. If you want to learn more all about somatics, what the heck that word means, and why it matters for your life, head on over to Victoria: for a free webinar all about it. Have a beautiful day my darling and I'll see you next week. Ciao.

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