I’ve been noticing myself talking endlessly about embodiment as of late, and have had to ask myself, “What exactly is embodiment?”
My answer is: Embodiment is a continuously unravelling experience of being able to feel more than you ever have, pushing edges of experience you’ve never fathomed could exist. And those edges are all YOU- places where you can experience more of you and how you relate to the world around you. There is a rich feeling of aliveness and you begin to feel more deeply connected to yourself and others every day. Your capacity for both pain and pleasure expand as you realize you can sit with a full range of sensations- that it is within your range of tolerance to sit with more and more of the sensations life offers. We “get out of our heads” and learn to direct the mind by creating choice in every moment, including the choice to feel, even when it’s uncomfortable. It begins as we come out of the dissociation that is inherent in being a human. We begin to access more and more all parts of our psyche that we have disowned or unconsciously shut down out of fear or denied because we were negatively impacted others when we expressed them.
I notice myself wanting to keep bringing myself back to embodied presence constantly. Craving it. Not wanting to live without it. Some days it’s easy. Some days I have resistance to it.. but as soon as I notice disconnection or resistance and flip the switch back to embodiment, everything lightens, opens, and I feel like home to something incredible again. Breath is the key ingredient to dive into embodiment. This shows up most distinctly in my yoga practice. If I set my breath just right in the beginning of my practice, I can experience total bliss, even ecstasy, with tears and deep insights. If I don’t set my breath before practice, chances are that my yoga practice will be filled with impatience and anxiousness until the class is over. (I can show you how to get your breath down and how to use it to get incredibly grounded- setting up a guided meditation/coaching session could be very helpful.)
So, what does embodiment feel like?
This might sound lofty, but it feels like Awakening. Like I’m waking up to myself as spirit in a human form. I’m incarnating on a deeper level and because of it, I have access to much more energy and resource than I would otherwise. I don’t notice my body as an object anymore but as a vessel for a should to animate and connect with myself, others, and life. As I touch every new space in myself with deep presence, those areas light up and I discover a new world that’s alive and palpable, where I can feel more than I ever felt before, where I can feel things in myself I never could have imagined were there. This connection through presence feels like actual physical contact is being made with myself and others, because there is no separation, just connection. My heart opens up, I breathe deeply, I feel all parts of my body, and I’m vulnerable but strong. Every part of my body feels light.
All embodiment starts with the breath, and the breath then transforms the nervous system. Once we get a somatic (body) memory of this new and altered state, we can duplicate the experience. The more we practice this new state, the more we re-wire our brain for a new experience of life. In yoga, there are certain mantras that are considered “bij”, or seed mantras. Every new experience, mantra, thought, belief is considered to be in a seed state until the brain is rewired with a strong enough neural pathway that this new experience becomes the new you and old behaviors/thoughts/beliefs are rewired. While in this seedling state of transformation, it is so, so important to be gentle, yet, to devote more care and attention to the practice than you normally would. When the seed is treated as precious, it receives the nutrients, care and attention it needs to grow strong while in a fragile state. Once that seed has grown into something big and strong, you don’t need to keep your eye on it as much- you can shift your awareness to growing something else that’s become more important to you.
Some of the main practices to begin experiencing embodiment are: breath work, energy work, dance, meditation, authentic relating practice and yoga. If you’d like anyone to assist you in coming into this state, please feel free to ask me. I’d love to be of service as this work is so much fun!! Love to you all:)