Since having my daughter I see, so so clearly, that she is a stunningly, unique divine spark of brilliant aliveness. Her every smile & cry, every discovery & experience is a gift.
As I’ve been seeing that gift in my baby – I can’t help but notice it more & more in the people around me.
Including the characters of this film, the guy at the supermarket, my husband & myself.
We so easily lose touch with this throbbing heart of divine experience that is around us.
We so easily lose ourselves to the 3-dimensional doing.
But for me, for my heart, it’s not enough.
Women like you & I need MORE.
Always, always I have sought to meet life more fully & enter it wholly.
Not in some kind of ecstatic-dance-high-24/7 that looks all spiritual kind-of-way.
Rather – in the little moments, day to day – to feel life FULLY pulse through me.
This is a skill I’m constantly practicing. I’m not perfect at it.
But I am immensely privileged that this pursuit is what I also call “my work”.
As a feminine embodiment coach, my job is to cultivate personal mastery in the area of FULLY SATURATED LIVING, & to partner with my clients to do the same.
As I return to client work following my period of maternity leave I’m realizing more & more how fucking awesome this modality is. I’m so in love with it. I use it constantly in my own life. And I’m so honored to be co-custodian of activating it in other fellow coaches & leaders.
Today on the podcast I want to share with you 4 reasons why I believe Feminine Embodiment Coaching is the most awesome modality in the world* (*for me & perhaps for you too).
In this podcast we explore:
- My return to work after maternity leave & how Feminine Embodiment has been such a giant help keeping sane as a sleep-deprived mother
- The definition of ‘Feminine Embodiment Coaching’ & how it’s different from other types of coaching
- How the mentality of “fixing someone” or “healing wounds” is so damaging & what we can do
- My story of healing adult acne using Feminine Embodiment principles
Our March class of the Feminine Embodiment Coaching Certification begins in 6 weeks! If you’d like to speak with myself or a member of the teaching team to see if this 6month online program is the right fit for you visit this page to download the curriculum & find a time to chat with us.
FULL PODCAST TRANSCRIPT
Hello and welcome to today’s podcast. I’m Jenna Ward, founder of The School of Embodied Arts and you are here today joining me for Feminine Embodiment Coaching, the most awesome modality in the world. Now, that title comes with a little asterisk, a little disclaimer. It is the most amazing and important modality in the world for me personally, and maybe perhaps this statement is true for you as well.
My heart is that as we explore a few really juicy points around this way of living, operating, working, you get more of a sense if this statement might be true for you too. Because only you know what’s right for you. Thanks for being here, let’s dive in. Welcome to The School of Embodied Arts podcast. I’m your hostess, Jenna Ward, Feminine Embodiment Coach, here for our weekly explorations of living, leading and coaching as emotionally empowered sensually alive and magnetic women.
On leading a new life with my babe and family as an embodied woman
Welcome and a very, very warm welcome to this conversation and this podcast today. I’m Jenna Ward, a Feminine Embodiment Coach, also founder of The School of Embodied Arts. And as you may know, I’ve recently-ish returned to work following a period of maternity leave and it’s been so interesting seeing the journey of motherhood and raising a child through the lens of the feminine embodiment model. Through all of the various personal changes that I’ve been through figuring out how I want to parent a child, through figuring out how to co-parent and deal with in-laws and others’ opinions and the whole gamut.
It’s reminded me far out how freaking much I love this way of not only coaching with others, but this way of using the feminine embodiment model as a way to approach life, as a way to living. My job as a Feminine Embodiment Coach is twofold. It is to cultivate personal mastery in the area of living a fully saturated life, and then to also partner with my clients to do the same. And a fully saturated life is the kind of life where you want to meet and to enter our life more fully. Not in some astatic dance high 24/7 that looks all spiritual and stuff, but rather, in the little moments, in the routines in the day today to feel life fully pulse through you.
As a newish sleep deprived mother, it’s the little moments that I have in the type of life that I’ve been privileged and have chosen to live. It’s these little moments that I have to make count. Today on the podcast I want to speak to you about this model and how we approach life through it. And if you are interested in coaching with others or if you are a coach yourself, then perhaps there’s some interesting points here for us to dive into together. So a really warm welcome.
On what feminine embodiment coaching is
In a nutshell, before we dive in, I want to just explain what exactly this Feminine Embodiment Coaching model is. Let’s break it down. Coaching. Coaching is generally a partnership between two people where the coach asks powerful questions to the clients. So coaching really equates to a partnership that’s based in questions. We can coach ourselves by asking ourselves powerful questions and if we work with a coach, they are going to use questions as the key tool to invite deeper understanding and awareness.
Now as a Feminine Embodiment Coach, the types of questions that we ask, are questions that center the feminine, the feminine I define as the feeling flowing force of nature it is concerned with, and we can see parallels with mother nature and with the changing of the seasons and with the cyclic rhythm and pulse that is going on as an experience of life all around us. That is the feminine. And every human in every size, shape and orientation of body experiences the feminine.
We’re not defining the feminine here is female and we’re not defining the feminine as lipsticks and flower skirts. That’s not the feminine. The feminine is the yin soft emotional pulse that is flowing through us and through life at all times. And there’s a lot of types of coaching that doesn’t concern itself with this feminine feeling quality. But the types of coaching questions that I ask myself and my clients are absolutely feminine in nature, and they are also embodied in nature.
What we mean by embodied is coming into contact and communing with the senses of the body. Inhabiting those questions, inhabiting the feeling feminine states that those questions arise by feeling them. And we can most think about, and we can most clearly understand what embodiment is by considering what disembodiment is. When we’re disembodied, we’re disconnected from the body. Almost like there’s a cutoff at our neck and all of our energy and our thoughts are swirling from the shoulders up. We’ve got a lot of mindset work, a lot of thinking, a lot of strategy, a lot of lists of pros and cons and twos and furs.
When we are disembodied, we’re disconnected from all of the deeper feelings, intuitions and knowings of the body and all of our energy has no option but to be up in our head. When we are conversely embodied, we are feeling, sensing, having the internal experience of inhabiting, inhabiting the question inhabiting the feminine. In short, if we’re using feminine embodiment as a modality to look at life, as a modality to coach with, what we’re effectively doing is making sure that we are inhabiting the flowing feminine states and sometimes using a powerful question to invite us to go deeper into that inquiry.
I think this is a really different way of operating because it operates as if every moment and every opportunity, within every moment and within every opportunity, it operates under two assumptions. The first assumption is that there is a rich experience of living that is available to us to be had in every moment. As a mum, I might be changing my daughter’s diaper or preparing some foods for her, feeding her, cleaning up after her. It seems like that’s a huge part of my week, and I can find devotion in those small moments by entering them fully. And thus entering, inhabiting, embodying, my love for her fully.
On challenges and dealing with them the feminine embodied way
And then as that does, it inevitably brings up challenges for me. Frustrations like, “Gee, I’d love to sleep more.” Or, “Gee, I’d love to go on a date.” Or, “Gee, I have some desires of my own that I would love to actualize.” With this tool set, with this skillset, I can use coaching. I can use some powerful questions that I ask of myself to come back from states of overwhelm and disconnect and being unsure about what direction that I want to go in, and finding what the truth is inside of me. I’ll give you an example of this.
I really wanted this recent weekend for the rest of the family to fit in around my daughter instead of her having to fit in around everybody else’s schedules. Just for one day I wanted her needs, I mean her needs are always first, but I wanted my daughter’s needs to be absolutely front and center and for me as her advocate, and as her mother to get the rest of the family on board with, “Hey, let’s put this little person’s needs first in terms of sleeping, eating, playing what she needs,” instead of her fitting in with this trip and that adventure and this need. Just for a day, one day out of the week.
And as her advocate, I then found myself coming up against all kinds of challenges with that desire, which was a true desire of my heart. Challenges like expressing this to the rest of the family without frustration. Getting people on board, holding clear boundaries, speaking up when it was inconvenient to other people, holding strong in the face of pushback or criticism. I think a lot of women, no matter whether you’re a mother or not, whether you have family with you that you’re negotiating with or some other party. I think of a lot of us come into contact with these difficulties of finding our truth, expressing our truth, holding the boundary and the clarity around our truth while dealing with pushback because it’s what we deeply desire.
For me, just recently this weekend, I used the tools to do a little bit of coaching with them myself, do a little bit of coaching with my family, with my friends who I was asking this of, as a way for us to all come to this agreements together. And this is really different to other types of working, which might say, “You just need to change your mindset or you just need to make a plan. Or you just need to have a list of pros and cons.” This way of operating takes into account the fact, the fact, the reality that we are hugely complex organisms.
We have so many dimensions that are alive inside of us and that are influencing every single moment, every single decision, every single interaction. In the model of Feminine Embodiment Coaching, when you talk about the full body models. So that is the physical body, emotional feeling body, the mental body, the energetic spiritual body and through different philosophies. There’s other types of body systems.
But in addition to this, there’s also past lived experiences, the traumas of our family, the privilege that we find ourselves in, the society that we are occupying, the agreements and the rules of the domestication within which our civilization is, and a whole other heap of incredibly complex factors. And as a human, we are either skilled within ourselves at navigating all of those factors to come back to our truth and to live as it or we are not. And this is one of the reasons that I absolutely believe Feminine Embodiment Coaching is one of the most awesome modalities. Because nobody knows what’s right or wrong for you except for you.
On living your truth
In order for us to be good humans on this planet, we need to be skilled at being us, at being ourselves. I don’t need somebody else to come in and tell me what’s right for me. In fact, nobody else can advise me or tell me what’s right for me. Only I can know that truth and I can only know it by experiencing it, feeling it. And that feeling happens inside the body. The body is the temple that we have to feel. I feel like if we want to be good humans and actualize the truest desires that live inside of our heart, then we must cultivate personal skills of understanding what that heart wants.
And that happens by occupying, inhabiting, embodying in our heart. On a personal level, that’s one of the biggest reasons that I love this modality. And the second reason is that as a coach in this way of working, I freaking love guiding people to their truth and to the actualization of that truth within themselves. I am a totally imperfect human, and I don’t have anybody else’s answers. I do not profess to have everything sorted. There’s tons of stuff going on in my life that is so far from perfect.
I am deeply imperfect, and I also have not lived through every experience that there is to live through. My perspective, my view of the world is, and naturally is confined and defined by the experiences that I’ve lived. And I’ve lived as a relatively privileged white woman with a lot of benefits that have been provided to me. Now, not every client that I work with fits that mold. And that’s not necessarily, I’m not saying that’s the best mold or the right mold, that’s just my mold. And your mold, my client’s molds are all vastly different. So how can I possibly nor anybody else’s answers or even hold the same perspectives or the same truth?
I can’t, and I don’t promise to. And one of the reasons, perhaps the third reason that I love this modality so much is that it’s not about any one person being right, but rather it is about each of us finding our own truth. And that’s a very difficult thing to do in this day and this age. I consider myself a pretty modern woman and yet, the roles of the good girl, the people pleaser, the polite guest, the good mother, whatever you believe that to look like. I find all of these roles and these stories, these narratives that we can easily expect ourselves to occupy and to have to live up to, are sneaky little, sneaky little so-and-sos and in different situations, we can find ourselves living out the expectations that are placed on us and that we place on ourselves rather than truth.
And that’s not what the world needs of us, that’s not what I’m excited about. I’m excited about whatever your truth is, you’re living is that fully you actualizing that. Now that we have a little bit of an understanding around this definition of what feminine embodiment coaching is and what it can look like in some different situations, I want to speak a little bit more about why this modality is anti-fixing and anti-healing. And this is a really big topic of conversation. That is the fourth reason that I fricking love this modality so much.
On healing from a disembodied practice
So to tell this story best, I’m going to go back in time and speak about when I was a kinesiologist. You may be aware that I have a background in clinical hospital pharmacy, that was a previous Korea incarnation. And I also have a background working as an energy medicine practitioner specifically at kinesiologist. Now, I’ve got huge respect for energy medicine practitioners and big respect for kinesiologists. But unfortunately for me or fortunately, depending on how you want to look at it.
The way that I was taught or interpreted my learning to practice kinesiology was a very disembodied approach. And what that looked like was, a client would come to me with a particular problem. Maybe they had a sore elbow or they were exhausted or they were looking for their sole purpose. Huge spectrum there because I was seeing a huge spectrum of clients. And they would come to me with this challenge and it would be my job as the practitioner to diagnose what the energetic imbalance was for them and then to go ahead and fix that energetic imbalance by doing all kinds of magic, energetic work.
And sometimes this worked really well, and other times it didn’t. But irrespective of how well the modality worked, there was one really big issue that I had with it and that was the power dynamic. One of the reasons that I did not enjoy being a pharmacist is that in my experience, the modern medicine system has an incredibly large power imbalance. The medical practitioner of whatever form or shape is the one with all of the knowledge, who knows what the problem is, gives a diagnosis, and then gives a prescription. Actually prescribes to the patient what they must do in order to heal, to fix themselves.
And there’s wisdom in that. I’m really grateful for all the knowledge that the medical and the modern medical profession to have. But this power dynamic says I better than you do, I’m an authority over your body and I’m going to tell you what you have to do to be fixed. And that power dynamic is inherently disempowering. It literally is the power away from in the modern medical model of the patient. And what I saw in my kinesiology practice was that was actually replicating this hierarchy of power. I, the practitioner can give the energetic diagnosis. I, the practitioner can tell you what energetic systems you need to fix. I, the practitioner, have the power to fix those systems.
Where is that empowerment for the client? Furthermore, in this model, clients in my experience were not invited to actually have the embodied experience of their healing. Meaning healing occurred in this magical way that was not perceptible. It was not felt or sensed or known inside of their body. For all intensive purposes, they could have been taking a nap. Then that also, again, it did not sit very well with me as a practitioner. The final nail in the coffin for this way of working for me happened when I went off the oral contraceptive pill. This is many years ago now.
On seeking wisdom of my own body
And the adult acne that I had been taking that pill for came back with a vengeance. And I was using all of my energy medicine tools and they weren’t working to help my acne. So I felt like a huge fraud. It was at this time that I really considered what is healing? What is healing? What is it that needs to be fixed? Is this acne something that our need to heal and fix about myself? Certainly that’s the mentality that the modern medicine and even the kind of alternative medicine model would encourage me to adopt. And none of those ways of operating were getting me results.
What I did instead, was I asked my body, myself, “How could I open and love this acne?” And I would invite you to maybe think of something that you’re trying to fix about yourself right now and just feel for a moment the difference between this thing, whatever yours is, mine at the time was acne. How can I fix you? Ask yourself that question. And then on the other hand, let’s ask this question, “How can I love you?” So acne, how can I fix you? Versus acne, how can I love you?
Fixing something is concerned with healing it, bringing it back from a state of brokenness. Loving something acknowledges that it is already part of you as wholeness and it doesn’t need to be changed. It simply needs to be embraced back into your wholeness and loved. I would like to suggest that as a human, there is inherently absolutely nothing wrong with you, that all parts of you are beautiful or pots of you are incredibly worthy. Now, as a catch out here, is a little asterisk. You may have been through experiences that in your experience have been highly traumatic that you perceive have or need to be healed. Those are different experiences to mine.
Here I’m absolutely not trying to say that healing is wrong. If healing feels like a return to power for you, then all power to you. But I do invite you to challenge and to question if this mentality of healing and this mentality of fixing feels as good and feels as whole as the alternative question that I’ve just proposed, which is how can I love you? This question, “How can I love you?” Is absolutely central to the modality of Feminine Embodiment Coaching into the way that I love my life. And it’s the fifth reason that I freaking love this modality so much.
On radically loving me
My acne, when I invited the question, “How can I love you?” I found that I moved into a process of emotional embodiment, and this is a process and a tool that we teach in the Feminine Embodiment Coaching certification as a way to guide clients into deeper, heartfelt, emotional vulnerability so that they can get to their truth. And when I asked that question of my heart, “How can we love this acne more?” What I found was that there were layers of shame, hurt, betrayal, anger, frustration, rage, hatred, so much existing inside of my heart directed towards my skin.
And as I danced and moved and liberated all of those various layers, what I found at the real heart of my acne is I love you. And with or without it, you are more than enough. And I found that not as a thought. It’s easy to tell ourselves you have more than enough. There’s a very different reality to experience it, to embody it. But as I embodied that reality, as my heart showed me, “With this, without this you are loved.” My relationship to my acne changed and where before I was hiding behind makeup, I found myself feeling empowered to go with less or none. Where I found myself agreeing to relationship terms based on my beauty … To put that quite literally, I was told by a then partner, “I’ll marry you if you can solve your acne problem.” Superficial much?!
I got rid of that lover for sure. A whole heap in my life changed as a result of really getting to the root of loving my acne and as a happy side effect within a few short weeks, at the upper limit months, my skin totally changed. I could count the number of blemishes that I’ve had on one hand since that time many years ago. Central to this story is the idea that maybe that thing that you think needs to be healed, that you think needs to be fixed, in fact simply just needs to be loved. And tune in order to actually love that thing, whatever it is that you’ve identified, we must come into the feeling feminine experience of it. That is feminine embodiment.
This way of operating, this going into the depths and loving rather than looking for a problem to solve is in my experience, such a powerful and needed way for us to lens self-development. Otherwise, our self-development just becomes this big long list of to fix ups. Like we are a house that needs renovation. If you’re interested in finding out more about this way of working with yourself and with clients, then I would encourage you to check out our Feminine Embodiment Coaching certification at feminineembodimentcoaching.com. It’s a six month training, which centers both the personal mastery and the coaching skills to be able to safely and successfully guide clients deeper into their bodies, in felt somatic ways so that they can create and achieve their goals and actualize their desires in the most authentic way.
It’s been a real pleasure joining you for today’s podcast, and I’m so grateful for your presence here. You are an infinitely amazing human being, and I hope that today you have the opportunity to take that beautiful aliveness that exists inside of you and to let it be fully felt, number one, by yourself first and then shared with the world. Because the world absolutely needs more embodied women, more embodied humans, because we need more love. Big love to you, and thank you for joining me.
If you loved this episode and want to explore more like it, head over and subscribe on iTunes or jump across to Jennaward.co/podcast and we will lovingly hand-deliver the best of the podcast, as well as new episodes to your inbox each week.