Recently someone asked me to give them “crib notes” on being embodied. They asked, “What does that mean anyway, and how can I practice connecting with my body, moment-to-moment, day-to-day?”
Embodiment means holding an awareness and connection to your body; your physical environment on the inner and outer level. You can glean this awareness and connection through your senses and notice the sensations that arise.
Making conscious, unconscious processes
You are doing this unconsciously all the time – your primitive brain uses all the information from your senses to spontaneously navigate the world. But it’s when you bring consciousness to this process that you can enrich your life experience and build wellness. Your body/being thrives on being noticed.
What do you notice when you bring yourself present to the moment? Physical sensations and, with practice, ease in noticing feelings. Sadness, calm, excitement, fear, pleasure, frustration - the inner landscape offers rich guidance about your response to the moment.
Feelings and sensations as a bedrock of a relationship with self
Feelings and sensations noticed in the body help you stay connected to yourself. They ground you in time and space. With practice and learning to trust, this inner information becomes the bedrock of your relationship with yourself and the world around you. It becomes a nourishing source of knowing that feeds wellbeing.
Simple practices add grounding and richness to the day-to-day, moment-to-moment experience of life.
As you go about your day, bring awareness to your physical movement. The day is full of movement – making your morning tea, brushing your teeth, bringing in the mail, tidying your environment, how you sit at the computer.
Practice being attuned to the way your body moves. Notice the pleasure of feeling your feet on the ground, how your spine and bones hold you upright, how your muscles, bones and tissue work to move you through your day.
Even in stillness, the breath is creating movement throughout your body. The more you notice the breath, the more you will notice these subtle ripple effects in the ribcage, the spine, the belly. Could you perhaps even notice the breath moving through your whole body?
As you notice the sensations, you can also drop in the question, “Are there emotions and feelings streaming on these physical sensations?” It’s a practice to learn to make the links between your physical sensations and the emotional feelings level of your experience.
And perhaps it’s not all pleasurable, what you notice in your body. If there’s discomfort, tension, maybe even pain, do you notice how bringing conscious awareness, even to these sensations, can create a shift? Particularly if you were to specifically tune into and acknowledge the emotional message the discomfort may be carrying?
Adding a moment of touch can enhance this awareness
– a hand on your heart, belly, tops of your thighs, or holding your face on your hands. Notice what the weight and warmth of that touch can open.
The rewards for cultivating this ability to link the physical and emotional are immense. This awareness forms the bedrock of your relationship with yourself. As you dare to know what’s really going on, this awareness becomes a guide moving you in the direction of authenticity, towards what’s genuinely important.
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