Welcome back to the Money Mindset Shift! In this episode, number 52, we are continuing the conversation of healing that we had in the last episode with Quinn. Our experiences don’t just happen in our mind, which is why this episode explores Somatic Feeling and Money Mindset.
As usual, let’s start by defining somatic feeling. Somatic means “relating to the body, especially as distinct from the mind” per Oxford Languages. So basically, somatic feelings, are those that you experience in your body.
For example, when you are anxious, you may experience the somatic feeling of tightness in your chest.
Quinn and I both really highlight this in our frameworks. Why? Because, in part we are both trained in Psychology, but somatic awareness and feelings are an important part of the healing process. In the Evaluate, Shift, Heal framework of mine, somatic feelings come in with the Heal part of the framework.
Your nervous system is more than just your brain, and you experience things more than just in your brain.
This is essentially the basis for somatic therapy – that things happen in the body as well, so it needs to be addressed within the body. A book that you may be familiar with that speaks on this is The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel A. van der Kolk.
A side note/word of warning, he was removed from his position in the Justice Resource Institute and Brookline Trauma Center in January of 2018 for creating a hostile work environment and workplace bullying. (https://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2018/03/07/allegations-of-employee-mistreatment-roil-renowned-brookline-trauma-center/ )
I mention this not to discredit somatic work, because it is backed with research, but to give you information so you can make informed decisions on how you want to access his work.
And by no means is he the only person that is talking about this. This is just the book that I’ve heard time and time again, and that I’ve read. So I just want to put everything out there. But if you’re looking for other people, there are more voices to be heard.
But let’s talk about somatic feeling and money mindset.
The idea that your relationship with money only happens in your brain is false. Your experiences of money, and especially of people using it to harm you or enact violence against you, is also very much experienced within the body.
Thus, it is important to also communicate with your body.
In the Heal part of the Evaluate, Shift, Heal framework, this is emphasized through prompts around noticing your bodily sensations.
Additionally, sometimes accessing the mental emotions related to an experience may be difficult for various reasons and the words may just not be there – but the somatic feelings that are there can act as guideposts for what you are experiencing.
A great tool for this is the Emotion-Sensation Wheel by Lindsay Braman which can be accessed at https://lindsaybraman.com/emotion-sensation-feeling-wheel/. By going around the outside of the wheel, you can identify the somatic feeling and then as you move inwards from that point, you can see it connect to an emotion.
Now, sometimes the somatic feelings may be similar for different emotions. So heart racing could fall under aggressive which is under anger, or your racing heart could also fall under insecure and fear.
But this tool is just there to give you some language, at which point you can be like, “Mm, am I feeling aggressive? Am I also clenching? Or am I also quiet?” You can kind of start to discern through your experience, and find that emotion and the umbrella emotion.
Thus, this gives you language for what you are experiencing, both in your body and in your mind. (It is also an epistemic issue or relating to epistemology if you want to take this even deeper. But we’re not doing that in this episode.)
However, developing this awareness and language is part of the larger concept of somatic therapy, and actually two major pieces/interventions of it.
There are obviously more that you would be guided through if you were to do somatic therapy with a trained and licensed professional. But in your journaling and within the Evaluate, Shift, Heal framework, this developing awareness and language of your bodily sensations, or somatic feelings, aids in your ability to not just describe what is going on within you, but to also move forward.
Again, the somatic feelings act a bit more like guideposts here. They are features in the landscape that mark areas for you to gently and compassionately explore within yourself. And as a result, change your relationship with money.
If you have the Limitless Money Mindset Journal, you may have noticed this within some of the prompts. If you don’t have the journal, you can obtain it on Amazon at: https://a.co/d/5e1N0tr
But here are some additional prompts that you can explore.
- When I think about my current relationship with money, what sensations do I notice within my body?
- What emotions are paired with these bodily sensations?
- If you were speaking to a loved one (friend or family), and they told you they were experiencing these things, how would you respond to them? (And the idea with this one is to give yourself that same compassion.)
- When I think about my ideal relationship with money, what sensations do I notice within my body? (So we’ve gone from current relationship to ideal relationship. So in that way it is sort of a bit like the Evaluate part of the framework. We’re just evaluating the somatic feelings, the bodily responses.)
- What emotions are paired with these bodily sensations?
- How can I support these sensations and emotions? (For myself I’ve noticed that sometimes it is uncomfortable with the ideal relationship. I feel uncomfortable in my body. And so part of supporting those sensations and emotions is recognizing it becoming more comfortable, looking at why I’m uncomfortable, all those sorts of things.)
This is not an exhaustive list of prompts, and there are definitely more ways to explore somatic feelings. I also highly encourage you to explore them in a safe environment with a licensed professional since these feelings and the emotions linked to them can be A LOT, especially when attached or relating to traumatic events, making it important to be guided through those feelings with a grounded and trained individual.
If you find that you accidentally step into one of these deep areas, stop journaling. Go give yourself space to disconnect for the time being. Do something nourishing or do some self soothing. And reach out to your licensed mental health professional.
And if that happens, it is okay to pause the journaling work, or focus on an area that is safer for you to do so on your own. There is no judgement, no shame, any of that. You work with what you’ve got – where you are at.
But this is exactly why the somatic feeling work is so important to healing your relationship with money. May the prompts aid you, and happy journaling!