Embodiment has been a dedicated exploration of mine for the past couple of years.
Prior to that embodiment was something that I witnessed in others – there is a quality about a person who has cultivated a lifestyle that honors, respects, and spends time in deep internal connection. Their bodies move with fluidity, their minds appear to be calm and collected, and they use language that is rooted in pleasure and gratitude. They have a very intimate relationship with themselves that provides them deep nourishment – this relationship is palpable when you are with them. They radiate clarity, joy, and a sense that all-is-okay. They are grounded, not too serious – they laugh easily, and they have a wisdom about them that is transcendent.
I can not help but be drawn to these kinds of people. I want some of what they have.
Two years ago I put the word Embodiment on my vision board and started to explore what this means. Over this period of time I have attended Feldenkrais workshops, spent a weekend learning embodiment exercises from Philip Sheppard, received my mBIT coach certification, dedicated a summer to Flourish, received exceptional body work and acupuncture, continued my yoga practice, started swimming again, and most recently spent 3 hours a week for 8 weeks fully engaged with Continuum Movement.
I have also spent a lot of time exploring my bodily response to my thought patterns, and primarily I have SLOWED WAY DOWN. Something that was very challenging for me to do initially…
This two year period has forged a new path in the life that I want to be living.
For the past 11 years I have been pretty steadfast in setting myself up for the career path I thought I wanted due to what it would provide. Recognition, income, a sense of purpose, respect, etc. And for the better part of 9 years my drive was cultivated by what I would gain at some point in time. A bigger house with new furniture, new clothes, more vacations, less financial worry, a purposeful & integrity based career, and more pleasure.
SOMEDAY I would achieve this. Someday I would be successful.
And then I found myself breaking down. Literally.
All that goes into gaining success felt really hard on my mind and body. Or was it the juggling of motherhood, reality, life in general, combined with all that is required in gaining “success” that was hard on me?
Regardless, my internal experience on a daily basis was one of constriction, anxiety, tension, pain, and frustration all covered up by a pleasant smile and feigned confidence.
I was busy, productive, dedicated, and driven. And living in my head. I was not happy.
Two years ago I committed to living life differently so that the light within me, the place that holds hope, joy, pleasure, peace, and ease would not die off, because I could feel it happening.
When I first met Don and Diane St John I was immediately drawn to them, and after attending an introduction workshop of theirs I knew that they had something to offer me that would change my life. It took almost 2 years for my schedule to allow me to attend a Continuum Movement based workshop of theirs.
And recently I spent 3 hours per week, for 8 weeks in a row, exploring fear, shame, vulnerability, and ecstasy along with the basics of Continuum Movement. It was an intimate group, a total of just 7 of us.
I am still processing my experience. It is definitely the solidifying factor in my thinking (since a very young age) that life could/should, feel more vibrant, rich, deep, connected and pleasurable.
This past two years of exploring embodiment, topped off with 8 weeks of deep internal exploration, has completely shifted my MO.
I have been feeling so alive, at-home, centered, connected, and excited about my inner state of well-being. Maybe I have started to rewire my neural networks because the sift I am experiencing is SO DEEP and very different. Or maybe I am just returning to living life the way we are meant to.
What I am feeling is not completely foreign, it is almost like I am remembering how-to-be.
I am in touch with a very deep part of myself. Dare I say it, I feel like I am cultivating a connection with my soul that includes feeling the relationship. Literally. I have had moments that feel magical, buzzing, soft, sincere, nurturing and so very real – at the cellular level.
To feel this has captivated me.
My oldest daughter, Charlotte, has been asking the same question for the past 3 years now, “What am I here to do?”. When she asks the question, in various ways, she includes, ….”it is hard to explain what I feel……sometimes I don’t know if I am me, or if I am the cat that I am pretending to be, or if I am the grass that I am playing in….”, and her question always finishes with, “What am I here to do?”.
I can follow her thought stream enough to believe that she is expressing the felt connection with herself and everything around her that only happens at the soul level. The state of Flow, that is the foundation of my Recreational Therapy education, where the connection to everything-all-at-once is palpable. A transcendent state. And more common in childhood.
I can remember feeling this way too as a child. And as a teenager and young adult. But as a full grown adult, partner, working mother, and aspiring career woman I have not cultivated the opportunities for these transcendent states enough.
To feel deeply connected with self, and everything else all-at-once, requires presence. And not just the concept of presence – but actually embodying the various layers of presence. And there are many layers to this concept I am discovering.
Sadly, it is hard to do (consistently) with how quickly our society moves.
I have literally had to let go of a lot (layers of inhibitions, binding beliefs, ego based ambition, old shame, anger and resentments, etc) and take back time. Meaning, saying no or maybe more than yes, feeling comfortable in not being too busy, and exploring what it feels like to be rather than do.
I have been “do-ing” for as long as I can remember. I think it gets passed on by previous generations; I certainly come from a long line of women who “do” really, really well.
So here I am feeling like I am returning to what truly living life means. And it feels so simple, so easy, so fluid, so real.
I feel connected to my body and have this child like energy within that I will continue to explore.
It is in this place that I feel most authentic and at-home.
The concept of embodiment has lured me in. I get it now. I understand why some people have chosen to create careers out of teaching others how to return to, explore, and enjoy their inherent self.
There is magic within us. A wisdom that it so genuine, so full of love and guidance.
This deep place is felt not thought.
And it seems like with a consistent practice, and choosing to live connected with this deep place, one would have what they are in constant search of.
At least this is what I am finding.
Embodiment is about spirituality. It is about attuning to and honoring our innate wisdom. It is about returning to what we inherently know. It is about slowing down. And it is about feeling and being with our incredibly intelligent body.
Honoring it. Nurturing it. Loving it. Enjoying it. Making it a priority on every level.
And in being this connected to self – the ability to live fluidly with others’, the earth, the cosmos, Divine Love (all gods included) – feels natural, so very genuine, and what we are meant to do while living.
This connection is rapidly becoming my favorite tool for self soothing and living life authentically.
The deepest of gratitude for my teachers; thank the gods that they are in my life and committed to their work.
My life is becoming so much more meaningful and pleasurable with all that they have helped me awaken to.