As a child, I was fascinated by bodies—by which I mean anatomy and physiology. I pored over the encyclopedia set we had… especially the clear pages showing an organism’s systems and structure from skin to bones. I thought I’d become a physician one day.
But then I discovered the human mind and brain. Understanding our functioning, malfunctioning, and dysfunctioning became my passion, and I ultimately earned a doctorate degree in experimental and cognitive psychology. As part of that process, I learned about James and Eleanor Gibson’s ecological approach to perceiving and learning. It spoke to me in a way that cognitivist models of functioning (often called “information processing” theories) did not. I wanted to understand our functioning in a holistic, realistic way.
I never forgot my first passion, though. After years of working as a college professor (and many other jobs), I returned to school to become a licensed massage therapist. In that process and in my work as an LMT, I found validation of the Gibsons’ rejection of mind–body dualism. Professional therapeutic touch affects both, and can heal both.
Today, embodied psychology is an emerging field. You may have heard of embodied cognition or embodied emotions; those are specific topics in it. Whether rightly or wrongly from an academic perspective, I see common threads between embodied psychology and the ecological approach. I want to explore them from both an academic and a personal, informal perspective.
The phrase “body and soul” is common in the English language. Despite its poetry, to me it implicitly embraces that ancient, flawed philosophical dichotomy. I couldn’t embrace that… et voilà—Embody and Soul.
My tagline—”I want to look at life in the available light”—is not my creation; it’s from the Rush song “Available Light”, from the 1989 album Presto. I am an unashamed huge fan, and may be quoting their lyrics often.
I’ve done and been many things so far: university professor; experimental psychologist; massage therapist; proofreader; copy editor; developmental editor; writer; reviewer; ghostwriter; pharmacy technician; martial arts practitioner; knitter; flutist; cook, baker, and candymaker; traveler; teacher; small business owner; parent; and multiple times over, a blogger. As I am, so too will this site be perpetually in progress.
Most links here are coded to open in the current tab, with occasional exceptions that are identified in the title field when hovering over a link. That gives most control to you, the reader, which is as it should be.