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Somatic IFS Newsletter December, 2022

I imagine that our ancient ancestors during the long dark cold nights of winter, in harmony with nature’s deep dive into a dark, restorative slumber, cuddled, told stories, and dreamed. For us, the fast pace of the upcoming holiday celebrations may collide with our inherited expectation of a seasonal time to rest and reflect. We defy the darkness with colored lights strung on our houses and businesses. We shop, bake, host, and attend social functions. Our bodies adapt well to the demands of modern social norms, but they also find ways to rebel.

I have learned that when I am doing too much, my parts tell me I haven’t done enough. If I listen to that message and do more, I may get sick. My tired and introverted parts tell me this was the only way they knew to get me to rest, be cared for, and gets some alone time. If instead I listen to my body, I notice tightness and bracing in my shoulders, face, and diaphragm. I stay with the sensations; my flesh softens. I notice a heaviness in my heart for loved ones that I will miss, and for those who are suffering in various ways. I stay with these sensations and the parts that pull me into the past or the future begin to relax. I become fascinated with the ever-changing sensations and pulsations in my body as I simply sit and breathe. My dog lets me know it is time to take a walk in the cold crisp air and admire the trees’ skeletons.

Every day many more of you join my mailing list. I am amazed and grateful for your interest in Somatic IFS. Just when I thought I might move into semi-retirement and take up whatever folks do, I have been gifted with an abundance of opportunities to share this way of working and being with ourselves and others. In early 2023 I will be leading a retreat in California and two retreats in Costa Rica, then a five-day workshop for French speakers in Switzerland.

As you may know, these retreats (or the online version, a Series) are the first of two steps of being trained in Somatic IFS. Those of you who have attended the 30 hr in-person or online program (and who also have the qualification of the IFS Level 1 or equivalent training), as well as participants of the upcoming winter retreats are eligible to apply for the Somatic IFS Training. The Training builds on the experiences of the first phase to deepen your knowledge of Somatic IFS with clinical issues through demos and supervised practice sessions. Many of you have asked for an online version of the Training. I will be offering this training this spring, and those of you who qualify will be contacted. Information about the Somatic IFSTraining will be available on my website

My holiday wish is for us all is presence—being as present as possible with those moments of true connection with family and friends, with the precious opportunities for quiet reflection, and with the necessities and intelligence of our bodies.

Susan McConnell


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