What in the heck does that mean… embodiment as truth?
I was talking to an embodiment/yoga teacher some time ago and I said to her “I’m just feeling stuck.”.
Stuck? She said… then move.
If you are stuck, then move. I protested, but I feel stuck in my work, stuck in my writing, stuck. “Those are thoughts” she said, “Move your body out of stuck”.
So I moved. I walked, did yoga, breathed, gardened. And I became unstuck.
As Einstein said, we cannot solve a problem with the same thinking that created it. We need to move outside of thinking.
I was going to jump in an online class this morning on inflammation and depression, but I noticed that when I thought of writing to you instead, my heart instantly opened! My body said a big, loud YES! This is truth for me.
It is not unusual for people to live their lives according to what they should do instead of what they feel designed to do. Sometimes this is out of necessity but there is always a place to find your passion.
And that place is always in the body.
Society has placed an over-arching value on intellect, academics and thinking our way into a smarter, better world.
Well, it turns out that thoughts are not all that reliable, unless they spring from a well of truth and creativity.
Thoughts become beliefs and beliefs get stuck in our body. They become part of who we are.
How do we know what feels true to us? As opposed to conditioned thinking from the past about what we are supposed to do, think, feel and believe?
This is embodiment: making the journey back into the body, below the neck, out of thinking and more connected with the sensations, emotions, senses and awareness that arise in the body.
Many people get stuck in patterns of people-pleasing, critical thinking and perfectionism that are rooted in OLD stuck beliefs about who they are.
Disordered eating? Addictions? Anxiety? Burnout? All come from a disconnection with the body, with truth.
The inner critic, all the ‘shoulds’, all strict guidelines on “how to live” come from the mind.
Here are some examples of embodiment:
Addiction to blame: what if we could actually feel the anger and helplessness and develop a plan instead of pointing fingers.
Eating disorders: what if we could actually feel what is rising in the body, the anxiety, the fear, and notice all the destructive messages that make us hate bodies and feel not enough.
Anxiety: my favourite topic. What if we could notice the tension rising in the body, see what the mind is telling us in real time, and relax into our body, knowing that right now we are in fact safe. Then proceed.
As well known trauma psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk writes :”The Body Keeps the Score”.
All the patterns of trauma, fear, joy and delight leave imprints in the body. They even get handed down for generations.
Don’t worry, we can also move out of patterns when we can see, feel and release them.
The body is honest, if you let it speak.
The body feels. This is a good thing.
The body speaks in whispers and in roars… are you listening?
The body will guide you if you can quiet the mind long enough to let it lead.
THIS is what it means to be embodied. To lead from the heart, and let the head be a powerful tool.
Try it now:
Breathe deeply in your heart area.
Does it feel tight? Closed? Open?
No judgement here.
Let this be a guide to you, your own inner wisdom, your intuition.
We are not blind. We are just not listening.
If we truly listened beyond our thoughts of success, failure, achievement and comparison, we would not see the environmental destruction, political chaos, anxiety and war in the world today.
If we can learn to sit with ourselves in our bodies, we can get all the wisdom we need.
Take care of your vessel.