(n.) a tangible or visible form of an idea, quality, or feeling.
To ‘embody’ is as simple as ‘making visible’ and as an expressive arts and embodiment coach, I am forever in awe by the wisdom that arises through embodiment practices.
Our movement and body ‘makes visible’ all of who we are: our mood, personality, history, family, and culture. We are embodied beings from the moment we are born. Half the time, we communicate much more clearly though our body than our words.
I don’t know about you, but when I was first introduced to embodiment work, I was shit scared. I was training as an expressive arts therapist, and in my first drama therapy session, my heart was pounding like the hulk playing basketball (the hulk plays basketball, right?). I was embarrassed before I even got handed this imaginary fish by my therapist (a story for another time).
As we’ve gotten older, we've disconnected from our bodies and rely on our thoughts and mind, without being curious about their relationship to the rest of who we are. This over reliance on the thinking mind results in feeling out of balance with our world, and ourselves. As human beings, we are integrated body-mind-soul. Our nature seeks to express itself freely, while at the same time, protect and preserve itself in challenging circumstances. This double task of expression and protection can be polarising, offering double messages about what we feel, want and need.
Cognitive neuroscientists have revealed we’re conscious of only about 5% of our cognitive activity. 5%. The mind is only 5%. (5%!!!). so most of our decisions, actions, emotions, and behaviour depends on the 95 percent of brain activity that goes beyond our conscious awareness. Embodiment practices and exercises come in many styles, shapes and methods, but at the core, is simply dropping into your body, letting go of the thinking mind, and feeling the somatic experience.
When we inhabit our body, we come closer to the feeling of wholeness. When we are embodied, rather than living in our heads, we have the sense of existing everywhere in our body at one time. Our experience of our own body, becomes a whole self experience. For this to occur, we need to become just as sensitive to our bodily sensations and feelings as they manifest in the body, as we are to our thoughts and our outer experiences.
To be embodied, is to be conscious and aware of the whole of ourselves – our body, our mind, our emotions and our soul.