Embodiment: where the mind steps back and the body takes the lead. While this is a key element, embodied living asks us to remember that the mind and body are not separate, but share innate intelligence that, given the chance, offers us deep healing.
Yet for many women, today’s modern landscape of rushing, racing and resisting has made it increasingly difficult to relax, let go of overthinking and anxiety, whilst finding safety and intelligence in ‘the body’.
Embodiment is about trust and safety; it is learning to have your own back, without the need for approval or validation; it is about speaking life into the work you do in the world; it is about having healthy and loving relationships that support healing, connection and growth; it is about getting out of your head and living from a heart-led place.
If we think about this in terms of daily living, these ideas would form the soil in which an embodied life is grown! How then, do we do it in today’s world?
1. Less Dopamine, More Nature
Did you know that the straight, man-made lines of the city contribute to stress? Research has shown that being in cities with straight lines and right angles negatively impacts our sympathetic nervous system.
Your surroundings alone may be a cause of your chronic stress, anxiety and dis-ease. Nature is created with curved lines and fractals, nature calms our nervous system, naturally, because we are divinely created to thrive in that habitat.
Daily exposure to sunlight every morning, while having your bare-feet planted on the earth is a great way to begin connecting with the intelligence that comes alive in your body when she connects with the ground.
If your morning walk consists of strolling down a house-lined street, try driving a few miles to a local park, the beach or lake for your 30 minutes of morning movement.
2. Anchor Creative Pursuits
Life is created in duality. We cannot have the sunlight without the darkness, nor the warmth of Summer, without the cold of Winter.
“The greatest source of release and relief for all that mess that’s deep down inside of me: is creating. Making light out of the darkness. Beauty from pain. That’s how I see my art, whether the written word or my hand embroidery and applique work.” – Kelly J Mendenhall
While you may lack control over what has happened to you in the past, you do hold the power to provide the body with an outlet to express what has often been suppressed. Dare to think outside the box. Turn the brutality from your life experiences into beauty, by pursuing creative outlets that liberate you from your trauma.
Find a meditative and expressive practice that encourages peace both internally and externally. Perhaps a community art or sewing class, drumming circle or even a Women’s Only Meditation that offers time for connection and sharing.
3. Seek Real-Life Connection
Distraction and disconnection currently helms the rise of disembodied living. Fueled by the fear of missing out, we can find ourselves mindlessly scrolling the social media airways, looking to meet one of our most fundamental needs as a human being: connection.
Embodiment requires us to disengage with our ‘autopilot’, and become conscious in life. It is helpful to “find a consistent embodiment practice that works for you. Without it, you tend to move through life on autopilot, being driven through reactivity without conscious awareness of the root cause.” according to Jessica Jordan-Munn
A simple practice that you can implement immediately, is to begin raising awareness in your every day: what do you notice happens without much thought?
Bring awareness to how often you pick up your phone, tap the Instagram app and start scrolling. Ask yourself: ‘What am I looking for?’ What am I seeking that being in real life isn’t providing me with right now?’
When you have your answer, go and create it, in real life. An invitation here to pick up the phone – don’t text – call a friend and ask them to meet you at the beach for a walk. Tell them you’ll pick up coffee on the way! Your body is speaking to you when she moves you toward the phone to open that app, she is asking for deeper levels of connection. Learning how to hear the intelligence of your body is a skill and one that demands practice. Move with kindness and compassion as you practice disengaging from your autopilot day-to-day functions.
Connection and joy awaits!
Revisit Your Values
A sturdy value system guides conscious decision making, bringing aligned living and healing where before the fast-paced world had you prioritizing ways and values that were never yours to begin with.
“Trying to live up to expectations of being in connection and embodiment based on external values and belief systems, slows the process of finding your embodiment.” – Shannon Olsen
The fallout from moving through your day with mis-aligned values, is the all-too-present symptoms of perfectionism, people-pleasing and performing. Women succumb to the 3-P’s due to the constant pressure of living up to society’s expectations and unspoken rule to fit-in-the-box. This leads to self sacrifice and burnout.
When we learn how to anchor our true values, we begin to hear the intelligence of the body once again. In order to revisit what matters the most to you, carve out an afternoon on the weekend, create a sacred space where you feel safe, spread out the sheepskin rug, light a candle and play soft music.
Think and feel into what is the most important thing to you, is it family, is it health, is it conscious communication, is it your healing and happiness? Jot down, in order of importance from 1-5, what you value the most from a heart-led place.
Then, next to each value you have written down, elaborate on why this is important to you. Once you know why each value matters to you, they become your true north-star for making decisions to live from alignment every single day.
From this place, we begin to come back into coherence and ease, openness, and of course, embodied living takes the lead.
Embodiment for a fulfilled life
Embodiment is the key to less disconnection, less distraction and instills a sense of alignment while supporting you to live a fulfilled life. Wielded with grace, it’s the not-so-secret weapon helping women to usher in a beautiful new age heart-led-living and deep connection. It can do the same for you.