I often call my work ‘a practice in embodied living’.
My tagline on my website even asks you to ‘engage with life’ as a remedy to our modern culture’s capacity to overstimulate, disengage or disembody us in the face of overwhelm, stress, social media and information overload, abuse, violence and oppression. Being embodied means showing up to experience our world as it is – and to strengthen ourselves so we can do our part to direct the future for all.
Most of you likely know I work through the physical body, movement and awareness. The word EMBODIMENT can mean many different things to different people, though.
Some online entrepreneurs use this term to conjur up images of being a ‘badass boss babe’, coaching women to be embodied leaders, confident business women, and to learn to embrace visibility.
The word is attached to everything from high level business consulting, financial coaching, fashion stylists, and conscious parenting. Others use embodied as a buzz word to describe their work in authenticity, self expression, psychotherapy, psychic realms and tarot, and lifestyle coaching.
A few people I follow online define embodiment as inherently feminine, that working with the body is innately feminine, or a feminizing of the way we move, live and practice. There’s a tidal wave of ‘Feminine Embodiment’, ‘Divine Feminine’ and ‘Embodied, Emerging, Awakened, Awakening and Conscious Women’ brands rising up, which I feel is so important for our global culture at large – and indicative of indeed how things are changing – and yet this term is essential for every human on the planet to understand, seek, and source within their own lives regardless of their gender identity.
Just like how we all can explore and express both masculine and feminine energies (I’ve yet to come up with a better way to describe different traits or ways of operating), exploring our embodiment means embracing the range of our own experience, and includes our sharp, skillful intellect or minds as well as intuition and body-based wisdom. I hesitate when an ’embodied practice’ or practitioner seems to polarize the mind and body against each other, almost as if we must switch from one extreme to the other, creating duality and divisiveness.
The mind and body are one.
The body and mind develop intertwined, animated by energy/spirit/soul. We’re created to use all the wisdom we can access. We exist now, embodied as the culmination of our lineage, personal experiences, and current awareness.
If you’ve followed me from way back when I started my business in 2007, you may remember that I was a certified personal trainer, so you might think of embodiment as fitness and health, or working out. I studied dance in college, so you may define embodiment as creative expression or being in the performance ‘flow’ or ‘zone’. If you practice Yoga asana, you may imagine making shapes and moving your body on the mat.
And if you’ve been around that long in my neck of the woods, you’ve witnessed my growth and the evolution of my work, my womanhood, my business.
Today, I’m getting clear with y’all about what it means to me.
So what does it actually mean?
Embodiment is defined as a ‘tangible or visible form of an idea or feeling’ and a ‘physical representation of something’.
Embodiment, to me, is embracing full spectrum, proactive living – as experienced through our senses and our physicality. Our physicality includes movement and stillness, our minds and emotions, our voice, touch, relationship and our environment.
It’s an inner journey of inhabiting our entire body intimately, and the outer journey of expressing who we are and who we are becoming.
Embodiment practice can expand our personal range and resiliency. Our capacity to stay with and trust intensity.
Ultimately, it’s the only way we can experience, digest and express life in the present moment.
So many techniques, workouts, practices and hobbies exist that can help us ‘drop in’ to our own embodied state. Being in Nature is one of the best ways for me to return to an embodied vibrance, peace and clarity.
The practices we do and choices we make – the doing – puts us into a particular state of being, or embodiment. If our practice is really serving us well, we can course correct and return to an embodied state more easily and quickly – both on the mat, in the studio, at home, or out in the world.
What hobbies, practices or tips help you ‘drop in’ to an experience of embodied living?
What’s your favorite way to be embodied?
Wild, vibrant and adventurous? Serene and peaceful? Sensual and receptive? Powerful and strong?
You can experience all of these, and our practice together opens up new possibilities.
I’d love to hear how you practice embodiment, including what you struggle with or how I can help. Post in the comments and let me know!