Tending Broken Soil: Healing cultural codependency through embodied practice

This is a 3-session online course


“When we practice autonomy as solidarity, solidarity as autonomy follows.”

Hi I’m Tada.
I’m a somatic coach and consultant whose practice for the last four years specifically revolved around the subjects of whiteness, trauma, and cross racial-cultural relationships.

Through my time of studying white supremacy through the lenses of neurobiology and energy medicine, I’ve observed a profound dilemma in racial justice work: because whiteness itself originates from a dysregulation pattern coming from a lack of Hara (the Japanese word for the spiritual center in the abdomen-pelvis), the natural tendency is for us to show up to so-called anti-racist work, without having developed a center of self that is needed to navigate the psychoemotional stimuli that come with building cross-racial-cultural relationships.

The roots of gut trauma in white culture are deep, originating from unspoken cultural traumas, such as ethnic genocides and plagues, in the white ancestral past, that continue to affect the neurological patterning of white people centuries after. These traumas have become so deeply codified in whiteness as cultural norms, such as reliance on sugar and other stimulants, sitting posture that forms a rigid sacrum and spine, shallow breathing that reduces circulation to the lower limbs, and the prevalence of antibiotics that diminishes gut flora diversity, that they have become an invisible part of our modern culture. Indeed, you can say that the entire colonial project has been a ‘globally exported’ war on the abdomen-pelvis.

As white/Western medicine has only begun to recognize recently, this belly-lessness of whiteness is highly significant to our overall health. Hara, or rather, our gut-brain, has been found to be the seat of our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being, whose function it is to anchor our autonomic nervous systems capacity to effectively self-soothe.

In what is commonly called anti-racism work, the belly-less legacy of colonialism shows up as racialized codependency: a relational dynamic in which we, caught in a web of childhood and ancestral shame entangled in our Hara, reflexively take on a collapsed submissive position through which we fixate on fixing the problem of whiteness for others. This dynamic may be hard to recognize at first but it may have the following dysregulating impacts:

  • Burn-out from the covert injection of childhood and ancestral trauma responses into anti-racist activism
  • Inability to discern how to take in anti-racism education because of loss of self and consequent trauma-bonding with powerful figures

I believe that, while it is normal and essentially ‘part-of-the-process’ for there to be some level of racialized codependency in allyship work, it is vital for it to be seen clearly for what it is and worked through – not upheld as liberatory behavior.

Understandably, stepping into such a form of (self) centered allyship takes a huge amount of courage, as it is at first glance opposed to what racial justice work is supposed to look like. Yet, when you begin to work on Hara and see the relational impact it has on individual and cultural individuals, you start to see the deep paradox within our bodies, that liberation is only possibly by revealing our mysterious nature to ourselves.

If you feel ready to step into allyship in a way that is more enlivening, self-responsible, and sustainable, this mini-course is open to you.

Looking forward to connecting!

Course breakdown

This course is broken in down into three basic parts made up of videos of lectures, somatic exercises, and a discussion with the class ‘teaching assistant’, Kate Fontana.

Module one: Understanding Hara (the gut-brain)

In this module you will:

  • Learn about the connection between the gut-brain and trauma
  • Gain some tools to start activating and healing your gut-brain
  • begin to explore the connection between white culture and gut-brain wounding

Module two: The roots of white supremacy

In this module you will:

  • Learn touch into joy in the belly
  • Learn more about the intimate relationship between ancestral trauma and white supremacy that revolves around the gut-brain

Module three: Centered allyship, healing cultural codependency

In this module you will:

  • Be introduced to a model for understanding colonialism based in attachment theory
  • Understand how insecure cultural attachment leads to dynamics of cultural codependency
  • Work on disentangling culturally codependent behaviors from trauma responses that come from early childhood

You may also access a more detailed preview here.