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LETTER FROM SE™ INTERNATIONAL BOARD CHAIR REBECCA STAHL – MAY 2021

by | May 17, 2021 | News and Events

Dear Global Somatic Experiencing Community,

There are so many exciting changes and shifts happening at Somatic Experiencing International
(SEI). There also remains significant heaviness in the world. And those two sentences seem to
describe so much about life these days. I find myself using the word “and” quite frequently. The
word “and” feels like a perfect SE word. As I have written before, SE is what taught me, and I
expect many of you, how to hold multiple truths at once in the body. And when we hold those
multiple truths, sensations and ideas can shift, something trauma wants us to believe is not
possible. Recently, the word “and” has become that constant reminder that so much is true at
once. And we are being asked to hold all of it.

Why talk about this now? The big shifts happening at SEI feel like these “and” moments. The
new name, the new logo, and the new website feel like an opportunity to grow into a space of
holding more, holding everything that is happening, and also giving us a little more space to feel
the shifts and the movement with more space. SE helps us notice that if we can move the
tension into a larger space, there is more room for it to move around – to shift and change. As
we move toward a more global mindset, there is more space for everything we are holding as a
community – more people to connect, more ways to engage, and more space to move. The new
website feels like SE – it’s navigable, it’s global, and it is gaining resources every day. Please go
check it out at www.traumahealing.org.

The new name, Somatic Experiencing International, is also a global mindset, which reminds us
how unique we all are and how connected and similar we all are. I find it fascinating to learn
how SE might look different in Kathmandu than how it looks in Canberra. When there is space
for there to be differences across the globe, there is space for there to be differences within
borders. And we do not have to be defined by our borders. Thanks to trainings being virtual,
people are assisting in trainings around the world they otherwise would not be able to attend.
Everyone benefits when more people from different cultures show up in the same space.

When the name Somatic Experiencing International was chosen in January 2020, I do not know
that any of us had heard of COVID-19, and if we had, we had no idea the impact it would have
on the world. We certainly could not have predicted that the name change would, in part, help
us think about how to hold bigger space for the collective trauma we would all soon endure. As
this community grows and gels around the world, we can pendulate for each other.  As COVID19
hits India and Brazil harder, can those of us in the rest of the world offer both
physical/financial support as well as community support? As a stabbing happens at a grocery
store in Dunedin, New Zealand and violence ramps up in Israel and Palestine, can the rest of us
offer our hearts, community support, and SE skills to those closest to the events? How can we
make each other’s space bigger? How can we help each other remember that trauma wants us
to believe it will always be like this, but that with more space, the energy can move, and we can
find moments of solace on a path toward more healing and integration?

Somatic Experiencing, the practice, is a healing modality. Somatic Experiencing International is a
community – a community where we can use what we know from the healing modality to say
“and” more often, to hold larger space, and to hold each other in that larger space. And
together, in community, we can navigate this heavy world.

As always, if you want to connect, you can reach me directly at rmstahl@traumahealing.org, or
SEI more generally at listening@traumahealing.org.

Warmly,
Rebecca