Embodiment – What does it mean? I have been thinking about this a lot as part of my life and counselling practice as I continue with Body Trust® study. I am guided by this manifesto
From the Oxford Dictionary: A tangible or visible form of an idea, quality, or feeling. ‘she seemed to be a living embodiment of vitality’. Most definitions had a similar meaning. This from yourdictionary.com: The definition of an embodiment is a visible or tangible form or a concrete example of an idea or concept. When someone is really cheerful and sunny and happy all the time, this person might be described as the embodiment of happiness.
As I have been journeying with Body Trust® and embodiment I notice more and more how much my body communicates with me in ways that I had not fully appreciated as embodiment. I love for some reason watching when people put themselves out there doing what they love. Singing, dancing, music, being creative, play, having a hobby and find myself searching these links, examples when I need to inspire myself, raise my energy, come back to being present. I respond often with tingles, goose bumps, emotion, smiles from the inside out and at times laughter and toe tapping. These are all acts of embodiment and remind me I am alive and what that feels like.
The work of Body Trust® is all about embodiment, connecting to our bodies, learning to trust our intuition, accept our bodies as they are and listen to the needs of the body learning to trust ourselves in how we look after the body and in particular for me around the relationship with food, the body and self. This can be so complex and I have been amazed just how much of this disconnect is reinforced largely by social structures that are designed to imply that the body, therefore you is a wrong, shape, size, colour, gender, age, so many things so that we buy into commodity, whether that be products or services. There is no other agenda. Lets us undermine people, hurt them, lie to them and then lets make them feel better so they spend but really we dont want them to get better because then they will not buy from us.
Ok I did not expect to go there quite yet but this is a lot of what is occurring. In the journey of learning more about trusting the body with intuitive eating, nourishment, trusting mindfully what feels right, what play feels like, joy, the aspects of embodiment mentioned above has increased, therefore is a marker of success,you would think and it is. However following years of chronic dieting the ‘set point’ of body shape, size has been affected from the very first diet. Dr Linda Bacon in Embrace (the documentary) Why Diets Don’t Work – worth 1.27 minutes
As I nourish myself more mindfully and intuitively and allow my body to be guided from the inside my body has
grown and will settle into who she is when she is ready. It has been interesting how some people have seen this as a marker of not doing so good when in fact it is completely the opposite. I have never felt as well and this week at a check up with a doctor, she remarked that my blood pressure was ‘beautiful’. I like her, she gets it. My bloods and all other health indicators are actually really quite good. When you see me you will see energy, vitality even though my heart is aching for another reason but I am here in the present.
How can this be? Embodiment! This has not been an easy journey, has taken many years and will continue to be a challenge because we are shaped by so many outside ideas and so many of us have been influenced by such rubbish that it is hard to see, to know the clarity but it is out there and there are more and more of us that want you to know that you can be free from the tyranny of food and the industry, even medical aspects at times, that affects how you feel about you and your body. Not your fault!!!
Much of disembodiment can be around the fear of feeling, the fear of feeling uncomfortable, feeling angry, sad, anxious, grief for example. Unfortunately as we try to not have these experiences we also dull down all the other emotions and feeling that nourish us, that are fun, that have us experience awe in different ways. It dulls our sense of intuition and therefore trust in our selves. This is a short blog of mine: What’s wrong with me? Learning to trust you
I was surprised at the definition of embodiment as a visible or tangible form or a concrete example of an idea or concept. When someone is really cheerful and sunny and happy all the time, this person might be described as the embodiment of happiness. They are actually talking of feelings, experiences as concrete ideas, concepts that they are tangible. We knew that and this is where even it was not written anywhere, we know it from inside when we are embodied! This also applies to the whole spectrum of emotions that come along with life. This too is embodiment and is as valuable as the cheerful dispositions and in fact when we chase these more delightful emotions only we can get caught in the happiness trap and ways of avoiding the healing the tools to respond to all of life.
So Body Trust® teaches us to learn about embodiment and that there are many aspects. The more that we can be connected to our intuition in any way the more embodied we will feel and the more life we will experience. Sounds easy and of course it is not but it is a whole package and is your birth right. It is not some notion of nirvana we were designed to feel and be with ourselves, not disconnected but embodied in every way. This is what I stand for and believe in.
I am so grateful for Body Trust® and Be Nourished.org which is radical in its approach only because it is about truth and justice and the reality of who we are. How can that be radical? If it means having better relationships with ourselves, our bodies, food and each other, then bring it on. You and I, all of us are worthy of that and what a far better world it will be to live in. You only need to start with you. There is a whole community that is growing world wide.
I trust this because I have journeyed with every single thing I bring to test this and it works. Hard work, not pretty, but we are doing hard anyway, may as well be for growing pains. This is what I proudly stand for.
With love and belief that we deserve our best life.