My husband is the sweetest.
He is so proud of me & my work that he tries to explain what exactly what ‘feminine embodiment’ is to every other man & dog he meets on the street…
Except, the ‘work’ I do isn’t particularly easy to explain…
So often he returns a little frustrated, asking me (yet again)…
What exactly IS feminine embodiment?
If you’ve felt the pull towards ‘embodiment’….
But don’t really ‘get’ what it is…
Or if you’ve tried to explain what it is to others…
Only for both of you to leave more confused than you arrived…
This article is for you!!
In the first 2 years of my explorations with embodiment, I didn’t cognitively understand that’s what I was doing.
Despite working with clients & routinely guiding them into the body to find the answers they sought, I didn’t have a polite label for exactly what I was practicing.
I knew it wasn’t traditional energy medicine where we use meridians or chakras to correct energy.
I knew it wasn’t traditional talk based therapy which centers your story & works hard to create understanding & meaning from your head.
I knew it wasn’t me ‘doing’ something to ‘fix’ my clients.
Rather it was a much more natural invitation to all the wisdom that was already here.
This is the first trick with embodiment… it’s actually our natural, default setting.
Consider a small child who’s playing in the sand. They delight in grasping the different textures, the warmth on their skin and delight flood their body. Then a small wave comes close to where they sit, and the rush of water scares them. Instantly the child burst into concern, fright, tears. Only for the wave to pass & their parent to rush over & comfort them. Delight returns again in moments.
Children are naturally embodied – able to access their full range of emotions AND express them, with ease.
They don’t deny the delight their senses experience on the beach.
They don’t repress the fear or fright.
They FEEL & EXPRESS fully.
Yet as adults, we learn to navigate an increasingly complex & treacherous world…
A world that often is incredibly painful to feel.
A world that doesn’t always welcome expression of our emotions
(EG: “Strong men don’t cry”)
(EG: “Don’t be so hormonal”)
And in doing so we shut down the natural gift our body has to FEEL & EXPRESS.
Numbing out our emotions & sensations.
Keeping our hearts closed.
Emotional embodiment is the ability to feel & sense our emotions & feelings with sensitivity so that we might embrace & express them in empowered ways.
In essence, this means we are inhabiting more of ourselves. Letting more of who we truly are fill up this body, the temple that we’ve been given to live within.
EMBODIMENT = INHABITING SELF
If embodiment is about simply ‘inhabiting yourself more fully’ then we are ALL ‘doing’ embodiment, to some degree, every day.
You are (at times) consciously aware you have a body & are living in your body…
- When you sense those feelings of hunger
- When you feel that pressure that tells you ‘time to pee!’
- When you’re deciding if you want to accept this dinner invitation, and wondering what you really want to be doing with your Thursday night…
You’re listening to the language of your body.
You’re checking in with how you feel.
The sensations that living inside you.
And using them to navigate the world.
We all do this to some degree – otherwise, our bladders would burst!
In my experience, most women in the western world are using about 20% of their available body wisdom.
This was the case for me & perhaps why I was drawn to embodiment.
Certainly, I had emotions & I could tell you when I was hungry, but I will still living most of life from my head.
If I had a decision to make I would spend days, weeks or months circling around in my mind trying to understand why this was happening & how I could fit it.
Life was an endless to-do-list of problems to solve & destinations to get to.
Inside my body, there was not a sense that life was fully penetrating me. I didn’t experience an open heart that bursts with the (imperfect) beauty of life regularly. I didn’t feel currents of sensation & pleasure alive inside me, just because I was alive.
I was more like a robot than a flower.
So many of us spend so much time in our heads because it’s easier than being in our hearts (which feel everything) or our hips (and all the pain & possibility of pleasure that live there).
And when we leave our body, and all galaxy of information she holds, we become disembodied.
When you’re dis-embodied (which most of the population is) you:
- Eat your emotions
- Use external sensations (like sugar, food, shopping, sex) to fill the numbness of your body
- Break your own boundaries & agreements
- Feel you’re not ‘good enough’
- Don’t know how your body wants to move
- Have trouble making decisions & knowing what you want
- Dis-honour yourself
In our hyper-masculine world, it’s often easier to be dis-embodied than it is to be embodied.
(and a note for discernment here – embodiment isn’t binary. You are not either “embodied” or “disembodied”, rather all of us are on a continuum somewhere in between at all times.)
When we’re embodied we have to deal with all our sensitive human-ness.
In a world that wants us to be hyper-productive & just “get it done”. An embodied human can feel like the ‘broken’ and ‘unproductive’ woman at the board room table.
If we consider the body is built of 4 dimensions – physical, mental, emotional & energetic – then within this body is a huge volume of information, data, intuition & deep inner knowing.
Most of us are using this inner encyclopedia to about 20% of its capacity.
When we turn into the encyclopedia of our body we don’t read it like a book.
It’s not a head based or cognitive process.
And this is why it can be hard to understand embodiment with our minds – because it’s not OF our minds.
Rather the language of our body is sensations.
Our inner encyclopedias are read through feeling them.
Take a moment to consider these questions…
1. Where is there tension in my body?
2. How do I feel when somebody whispers to me “you are beautiful?”
3. If I breathe into my heart, what does it want me to acknowledge?
4. When I’m in a room with my mother how big or small is my energy field?
How did you answer these questions?
What resources or process did you go through to answer them?
An embodied woman would pause to feel her answer & come to know her truth through being sensitive to the encyclopedia of information alive inside her at all times.
These are the two key skills of embodiment…
- Sensitivity and
But embodiment isn’t only about being sensitive to emotions.
We can also become sensitive to the currents of…
- Our cyclic nature as women
- Our decisions & boundaries
And so, so, so much more.
THE ‘FEMININE’ IN EMBODIMENT
So if embodiment is inhabiting the body more fully & becoming sensitive to her currents of sensations through all dimensions (physical, mental, emotional & energetic) – what’s the feminine got to do with it?
Every human, regardless of their gender-identity or sexual-identity, contains both feminine and masculine energies within.
Our feminine energies are the feeling, flowing, emotional currents.
Our masculine energies are the directive, penetrating, go currents.
In the western world, most of us are really great at embodying our masculine (though not always in healthy ways).
We can be directive, productive & go-go-go. This is the society we are raised in.
But the feminine energies. The feeling, flowing, emotional currents are an aspect of our nature that most of us (men, women & gender-fluid alike) that we’re not taught to embody or embrace.
In this way, embodiment is for everybody. Everybody benefits.
And feminine embodiment is simply an aspect of embodiment that centers & values inhabiting & experiencing the feminine end of our nature more fully.
The more I guided my clients into their body – to experience the encyclopedia of sensation, insight & wisdom that lives there – the more they began to understand themselves & the decisions they truly wanted to make going forward.
Accessing this clarity from the deep inner knowing that lives within each of us also brings with it all the essential ingredients for success…
- Feeling our worth & enough-ness
- Doing it with pleasure
- Creating a magnetic field to draw our desires in
I confess, I’m addicted.
The skills & practices of embodiment have been absolutely life changing for me.
I use these skills…
- In my daily embodiment movement practice – Primal Feminine Flow
- In my life as a woman – The Embodied Woman
- In the way I coach my clients as a Certified Feminine Embodiment Coach
- In the way I run my business as a Feminine Leader
So I’d love to hear from you. What stops you inhabiting your sensitive, feeling body fully? What stops you being an embodied woman? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear