Hello. I am glad you are here. I am Rachael Koeson, a Certified Hakomi Practitioner who is committed to healing and integration of our whole selves. I understand myself to be one (of many) midwives for collective liberation. Collective liberation to me means that we are all supported to be free and in right relationships with our whole selves, all other beings and the earth that sustains all life.
I have two strong passions- healing and justice. For many years I have lived on either one side OR the other of that coin without seeing that they are not two sides of a coin at all but part of an integrated whole. In college I was an active participant in anti-racism and social justice work; regularly calling out oppression and racism. I was also unable to resource myself as I did that work. I burned out- I couldn’t handle the intense truths of how much damage systems of oppression do to human bodies and minds. In my years after college I spent time in various aspects of justice work that were less overwhelming to me- justice-oriented art with children in New York City; working at a Democratic Free School and a college for Midwives in Portland, Oregon; and starting an organic farm with my partner in Michigan.
At that point we had recently had our first child (working at a college for midwives is a sure-fire way to find oneself pregnant!), and I was so intensely overwhelmed by the transition I was experiencing into motherhood that I could not handle any outside information or efforts. I couldn’t listen to the news or allow myself to come into contact with the truth of so much pain and oppression in the larger world; all of my energy went to surviving my days with a young child. I want to note here that the passageway into motherhood does require one to draw in and protect oneself and I am in no way disparaging that important instinct! I fully encourage women to have stronger boundaries and do more protective resourcing when pregnant and in the early stages of motherhood. I know intimately how difficult post-partum can be! And yet, it was more than that for me; my nervous system just couldn’t handle any more external input because I did not have the skills and tools and embodied resourcing I needed to be more present- to myself and to the world.
It was then that I found Hakomi. I began working remotely with a practitioner and found hope, relief, understanding, awareness and the capacity to be resourced enough to be present not only to my own life and struggles, but also to those in the larger world. I was able to understand the underlying beliefs that kept me limiting myself and repeating behavior patterns that did not serve me. But perhaps most importantly, my body learned about self-compassion and I found ways to soothe and regulate my nervous system.
Because of Hakomi I was able to change in ways that felt important and I wanted to share that experience with others, so I enrolled as a student of the method. I completed an 18 month comprehensive training through the Hakomi Institute in April 2015 and became certified in September 2016. I started Making Space Hakomi in October of 2017.
In this first year of practice I have come to see that not only can I bring healing and justice together- I must. I am in the process of exploring ways to bring an understanding of how oppression (racism, paternalism, toxic masculinity, homophobia, ableism and more) live in all of our bodies. Oppression isn’t just damaging for those who are being oppressed- it is toxic for everyone. Many white women I work with have an intense internalized sense of needing to be perfect and not allowing themselves to feel or express anger AND then feeling like they are bad or wrong or alone in that. This is the effect of both embodied white supremacy and patriarchy at work- they serve to split ourselves off from parts of ourselves and from each other and see everything through a binary, right/wrong, good/bad perspective.
I feel strongly about the beautiful and effective synthesis of the strengths of Hakomi (based on mindful somatic work) integrated with a lens of systems of oppression to support people to heal from the toxic effects of developmental wounds AND oppressive systems by:
1) expanding our awareness of how we organize our experience;
2) creating new, more nourishing neural pathways through mindful, experiential processing;
3) accessing our intuitive wisdom;
4) integrating ALL of our many parts; and
5) cultivating embodied self- compassion
so we can be part of the movement toward collective liberation!
I love this work. It is so good for me; I need the help to remember to slow down, be curious and make space for what is present. I am truly honored to work with people who take on this challenging and beautiful path toward awareness and healing.
Sound intriguing? Contact me for a free 20 minute phone consultation to learn if we would be a good fit to work together.
“Learning to settle you body and practicing wise and compassionate self-care are not about reducing stress; they’re about increasing your ability to manage stress, as well as about creating more room for your nervous system to find coherence and flow.” - Resmaa Manakem, Author of “My Grandmother’s Hands”
"Deeply talented, Rachael has an unparalleled ability to listen. She skillfully guides and prompts in a way that allows for self-knowledge, allowing me to arrive at a level of clarity and inner unity-of-being that I had not experienced in the past. The sessions I have spent with her have been at the exact level of emotional engagement and relaxation that I needed -- leaving me energized and focused for days afterwards. Rachael was always grounded when I was not. Always thoughtful when I was scattered. Always nudging me towards wholeness when I was fragmented.
Every session with Rachael left me more and more at ease with myself.
Rachael has the perfect mix of professional ability and deep compassion. She is easy to trust and inspired me to change in unexpected ways." -KF
"Through my Hakomi sessions, I was able to see areas of my mental and physical health with "new eyes"-- having a clear vision by listening to my intuition. Rachael is a sensitive guide, sharing light and perspective only when areas of my health seemed perplexing. I am grateful for the opportunity to walk hand in hand with Rachael in this process of opening doors, observing and slowly walking into uncharted territories of myself. Hakomi is such an incredibly unique tool to better understand yourself, one that everyone could benefit from." -HD
"Rachael was able to help me during a very dark time in my life. I had not previously heard of Hakomi and I was blown away by the effectiveness of the method and particularly of Rachael- even long distance!
Rachael was patient with me and was able to make a big difference, more than anyone I tried locally. The things I learned by working with her have become tools I use on a regular basis to remind myself that I can care for me better than anyone else. The work I did with Rachael has made me a better person and mother. Sometimes I am still surprised at what she helped me accomplish by our time together- even on the phone." -JB
"My Favorite things about Rachael:
She is supremely present.
She is naturally nurturing.
She is happy to do what is wanted and
needed by her clients during sessions.
She is tenderly patient.
She is openly genuine.
She is gently professional.
She is a devoted family woman.
She is reassuringly grounded.
She operates from her very generous heart.
Her Super Power is: Compassion" -BR
"There is always some magnet that draws your eyes to the horizon or invites you to explore behind things and seek out the concealed depths. You know that the true nature things is hidden deep within."
- John O'Donohue