We so often dwell in our thinking and judgments, hopes, and fears… and indeed we have been trained and conditioned in our culture to default to that. Thinking has a place, of course, but when we lead with that exclusively, we disconnect from our body and felt senses. This puts body and mind ‘at odds’, a false duality that blocks our access to the truth of reality that our body and heart know directly. We are designed to use all of our intelligence, body/mind/spirit, and when we do not, we are led out of balance by our limited thought processes that would have us perpetuate the past and what is familiar.
Inhabiting our bodies fully is the very definition of presence… this breathing body is always right here, in direct contact with the energies and reality of this moment. Our body is experiencing all this, giving us something like natural bio-feedback and felt sense of what it is taking in. That feedback is designed to give us the information we need to make responsive choices in real-time, rather than react from thought based on the past and memory. Tuning into our body feedback is a skill called interoception, one that we can hone and refine through practice, and learn to trust it as a built-in course-correct and compass. When we are fully here in our body, our felt sense, heart and belly, we are in true ‘relationship’…able to connect with others with openness, true compassion and tenderness. Presence and intimacy with ourselves… this body, this moment…allows for intimacy with another, with the world, without the interface of the little-self concepts, fears, and assumptions that separate us.
When we are leading with discursive thoughts and fears, there is a subtle, or not so subtle, tension in the body. And tension tends to be reactive and defensive. It is relaxation and presence that can truly respond to the moment openly and creatively. Response-ability is based on our connection to the living moment, right here in our body and breath. Response-ability is the ability to listen, it is a willingness to be free, a commitment to Love.
Embodiment is a function of the nervous system, a skill that can be learned. The defense physiology of held trauma and pain defines a nervous system that can not be fully present and has learned to feel unsafe and cut off from the impressions of the body. Re-training and healing our nervous systems helps us to stay at home in the body in this overstimulating and sometimes challenging world. With somatic healing and regular practices, wholeness and resilience can be restored to the body, and we have full access to all of our intelligence, and all that we need to meet and evolve with this life.
Here is a short guided relaxation/embodiment practice…enjoy !
Credit to Jeya Juillard and Gaia Orio Art for the featured art! Thank you 🙂