Em-what? What is Embodiment?
Everyone’s heard of mindfulness and it’s benefits, but what about embodiment? There's a whole load of hashtagging going on, but not always much depth or meaning. So what's the fuss all about?
When you see someone sitting with shoulders rounded down, head slumped forwards, you get an immediate sense of how they might be feeling.
(What was your internal answer?)
Likewise for someone walking along with a spring in their step, their gaze forwards and out.
That is embodiment. It’s hard-wired into our communication, expression and understanding of one another. There are archetypes of expression that run through the arts, the same shapes that are not cartoons, but clearly portray states. Statues that tell us if a person was a leader, portraits painted that show sensuality, care or determination often have similar qualities to pose and expression that show us without words what this person is like (or how they want to be seen).
Embodiment is how we understand art. It's deep in the symbols and signs of sculpture and icons, movies and stage performers. We get it without even thinking about it.
And it’s not a one-way street. Changing how you are being, through recognising your state, can alter how you feel.
EMBODIMENT IS HOW YOU ARE BEING YOU.
Why does that matter?
Because how you are being informs all our relationships. Though informed by places, cultures and the state of those around us, there are fundamental tenancies that we all have. The best bit, is that they are not fixed. Shy kids can grow up to be exuberant adults. Introverts can take to the stage. And there are simple, deep, effective ways that people can explore being in different ways, in order to live more fullfilling and balanced lives.
What Embodiment isn't...
Generally I'd say exploring embodiment isn't other people telling you what you feel or need. A quick scan of hashtagged instagram posts tells me that I need to "decolonize my pelvic bowl by embodying it", I'm told that "my body always know how to let go" (but what if it doesn't), it's staying powerful in crises. There's a post about vomiting affirmations and manifesting hard for 10k of cash. It quite often involves yoga, candles, a whole lot of shaking. It's a death metal band, it's men with no shirts, it's flowers, it's teabags, it's the lymphatic system, it's filters. For some online it's breakfast.
More to follow....
Emilie is an embodiment coach, doula, yoga and dance teacher with over 15 years of teaching; facilitating groups, individuals and couples. She brings her experience of the life changing transitions of birth and parenting and the playfulness of spinning hula hoops plus 6 years of working with Embodied Toolkit to her work as a coach. Embodied coaching focuses on what we do in the now, it is theraputic but defintely not therapy, deep but practical and simple.