Updated: Jun 14, 2021
When I began my journey into embodiment I had no clue what it was or that it even existed as a way of being. I had been so completely disconnected from my body that I even rejected it as a part of who I was. Early programming taught me to hide (reject) my feminine qualities and to ignore the messages coming through my body. Furthermore, my body was not one that was valued by society,
But my mind... oh my beautiful mind. I sure valued the power of my logical mind, it was my ticket to override and overrule my "erratic emotions". It became an expert at compartmentalizing; little boxes all in a row, labels and all, just sitting on a shelf, stored away to be pulled out one at a time or... not at all. The efficient ruler not only liked order, it also allowed me to juggle a plethora of activities/responsibilities. A multi-tasker by design taking on more and more and perfectly able to "figure it out" for everyone. Arguably though, the skill I came to depend on most was the beautiful stories it wrote around the traumas brought to my door. My intuition, my guiding force, has also been honed since childhood. It's possible it started as a survival mechanism, but I could easily read people's energy and intent, feel their feelings. The more I trusted this, the louder it became. As a young girl it guided me to use the power of touch to show affection and support those around me. By puberty my intuition extended into my spiritual seeking and I began to see clear signposts guiding me through a treasure hunt I am still on today. Perhaps the value of these two aspects of my self reinforced the disconnect from my body. I had powerful and effective strategies for finding peace and happiness in my life, but we all reach a point where our bodies will no longer be ignored. For some it comes in the from of chronic illness, for others it comes from nagging body aches/pains, still others it shows up as uncontrolled stress and anxiety, for me it showed up when I chose gastric bypass. Let me explain... The process leading up to weight loss surgery is full of tedious requirements. I had been considering the surgery for 15 years. I had made it through the entire process back in 2010 only to have it canceled at the last minute. When I started it all over again it took me 2 years to finally be prepared. The first thing I had to do was choose myself despite my fears of it affecting those around me. The next step was letting go of my addiction to cigarettes. It was the last barrier between me and the drastic life changes coming for me. It was a true test of my resolve to take this path. A year later, after surgery, the perfect storm showed up. When crisis came, as it is bound to do, I was a mess. Not only with the current situation, but without my old coping skills numbing out my body... all my neatly organized trauma boxes spilled out onto the floor. My body had stored up all the feelings I hadn't wanted to feel and I was left raw. I floundered around seeking safety. My mind jumped into action writing and rewriting stories to soothe the pain... but... I knew I needed help. I asked the universe what was next for me and deep down I knew the steps I was about to take were going to change my life forever.
Moving Towards Embodiment
A full curriculum was soon laid out before me and what I found in this practice is another layer of stability. When my mind is busy, either reeling with thoughts of the stress of life, or writing those beautiful healing stories, I was missing the container that grounds it all. As I've become more familiar with embodiment I've realized that I've had glimpses of this in the past, but I didn't have the tools to move there at will. With the tools I am empowered to move beyond..
When I brought this work back to my clients, I began to see that many of them were much like me, living in their heads. Many were not fully aware of the tension they were carrying with them daily. They would be on my table and be surprised at all the tension points we were finding. "I didn't even know that was tight!" For others, the tension was to the point of muscle pain keeping them in a constant state of dis-ease or causing nagging headaches and fatigue. They were coming for regular massage to break the tension so they could get back to pushing through all the demands life throws at them.
Our bodies are constantly trying to communicate with us. The information may be constantly coming in, but after years (or decades) of setting those signals aside our brains have learned to filter them out of our conscious awareness. It's not until our bodies are screaming at us that we can no longer ignore them. This radio silence also makes it difficult to hear the more subtle signals our bodies send such as thirst, hunger, fullness, digestive responses, fatigue, restlessness, or the need to move. This leads to, or perpetuates, the prevalent problems of our time: obesity, dehydration, sleep deprivation, chronic tension and on... and on...
Our bodies are also the place where we EXPERIENCE emotions. The avoidance of perceived negative emotions alone can be enough to create the divide. Emotions come up... we push them down and lock them out. We THINK about our emotions rather than feel them. We are so desperate to feel better that we skip the step of feeling the feeling. In many cases we become so disconnected we are not even able to the feel the perceived positive emotions.
This road to embodiment leads us to living our unique experience fully and WHOLLY in the present moment. Along the way our baseline becomes calmer and clearer. When we Know who we are beneath the layers of programing, outside expectations, and even our past choices. We fall deeply in love with ourselves. We have gratitude for both the light and the dark within us. As we feel worthy we open ourselves to receiving the love and we cycle it back out into the world. This is the journey of healing, feeling our wholeness.