Setting the Stage for Embodiment in Your Life.

“The body is the shore on the ocean of Being.”
― Sufi saying

This morning I am keenly aware that all of what I experience in life is by design and I am in awe of what has been created in my life. I see it as a grace-filled perfection of sorts.

And by perfection, I am not speaking of “perfect” as in nothing goes sideways.

Do I have moments of ruminating on the uncontrollable?

Do I experience pangs of anxiety about the future or annoyance that something did not go exactly my way? Well, yes, some of that pops in now and again.

Yet I am finding that the intentional structure of my freedom-filled life takes precedence, and this way of perceiving my world is front and center, granting me a perspective of pure gratefulness for what my life has become even the stuff I don't want, and the stuff that makes me uncomfortable.

Do you ever wonder, like I do, what allows us to be present and engaged in our life without taking a header into the abyss of what scares, annoys, and disturbs our peace?

Today’s article is the first dive (taking a look at embodiment) into what that structure looks like for me. None of the ideas are life-shattering revelations or perhaps even new, but are ideas that speak to the practice of staying centered within ourSelf while experiencing the ordinary ups and downs life has to offer. This center, In the midst of the mundane, is where we can find the brilliance of who we are and thus who we are becoming. It is also where we can see what our life truly is and thus see the reality of what we are manifesting.

“Bodily experience is wholly and completely trustworthy”
Peter Levine

Since the 1980s, we have learned how our minds (thoughts and beliefs) are tantamount to mindfully manifesting (attracting) our desires and living abundantly. Then, in the late 1990”s and early 21st century, we learned that it was not only our mind but also our spirituality (listening to that which is greater than ourselves) that would bring the promise of happiness, the promise of living our purpose, and the promise of prosperity.

What I feel is often overlooked and undervalued is how our vessel is an integral, and very necessary player in the manifestation of all of the above.
Things that we are not always fully aware of are;

  • How our body, as Dr. Bessel A. van der Kolk MD coined, “Keeps the Score” of not only this lifetime but of our entire soul’s journey.
  • How the sensations of our biology (to borrow a term from Deb Dana), are talismans and indicators asking for recognition and awareness.
  • How every awareness of a stimulus through our body is information from our conscious and subconscious and from consciousness itself.
  • And most importantly how none of what the mind and spirit experience could be so without our bodies.

The bottom line; to live unembodied leaves a gaping hole in the equation of our lives, so for this reason I will outline my structure of practices that create space for embodiment.

First let us acknowledge that there are a multitude of reasons (trauma, illness, dis-ease, pain, spiritual seeking) we disconnect, disembody and vacate our body. Our culture often looks at the physical miracle of us as something to shush, something to control, and something to use. We see our biology, as a bunch of cells waiting for something to go wrong, or worse, we view it as something that has already gone wrong, and as something we must fix.

What I propose is that we gently entertain the thought of our bodies as amazingly intelligent instruments that are showing us the way home to ourselves every minute of every day and night!

I am inviting you to allow in the thought that no matter your shape, your size, or the current state of your physicality, you dispense with the idea that anything is wrong and that you make the choice to be with what is present, with curiosity and compassion.

I am suggesting that we receive sensation, with kindness toward ourselves and that we care for all of it like the precious intelligence that it is.

This in turn brings embodiment to the table, giving us an opportunity to experience the sensations, intelligence, and information, that are only available through our beautiful vessel.

Setting the Bodies Stage for Embodiment

1. Nourishing Sleep — The number 1 structure (and often the last one we address and the first one we give up) for living mindfully is a sleep strategy, or if you prefer, a sleep discipline. Without proper rest and deep sleep, our system is left with remnants (thoughts, ideas, nourishment, and toxins) that run amok causing an ecosystem that cannot regulate itself back to homeostasis. Yuck! Who would want to embody that?

  • Set your sleep intention by using your journaling or meditation time to delve into why sleep is important to your body.
  • Get curious and ask (Creator, God, Nature, Spirit) to show you exactly what biologically takes place during your sleep patterns.
  • Become your very own MRI machine, watching, feeling, and seeing what happens each and every time you send yourself to sleep. (Spoiler alert, this is also quite relevant for the mind and spirit aspects of yourself, but for this week we will focus on bodily functions.)
  • Protect your sleep Intention by taking note and building awareness around
  • how you give away your sleep time.
  • how you may de-prioritize it, or even
  • how you use it to escape.
  • Be willing to look at all aspects of your relationship to sleep
  • Protect your intention and allow that to become your why as you send yourself off into this magical, productive, and very important part of your day.
  • Prioritize your sleep strategy or routine for 7 days.

Journaling or meditative questions to ask:
Please show me the bodily functions that sleep facilitates?
Please show me any areas that are in need of extra care?
How much sleep is right for me?
What gets in the way of my sleep?

2. Nourishing Movement — Our Biology was designed to move and to express through movement. I heard once that we should give our entire body a run through its range of movement at least once each and every day. I love the simplicity of this idea. And I find that with that being my goal, and not, for example, a goal of merely 10,000 steps my movements are more expressive, joyous, and fun. I invite you to keep this simple idea in mind, whether you use running, walking, yoga, dance, sex, or any of the millions of other ways to move. We are more likely to stay embodied if it’s actually fun to be in there.

  • Set your movement intention by using your journaling or meditation time to delve into why movement is important to your body.
  • Get curious and ask (Creator, God, Nature, Spirit) to show you exactly what biologically takes place during your movement.
  • Choose your movement with intention.
  • What is your body craving in the way of movement?
  • Release the need to “exercise” for a specific goal like weight loss, physical appearance, a healthy heart, etc.
  • Protect your movement Intention by taking note, and building awareness around;
  • How you may give away your movement time.
  • How you may use movement (exercise) to escape your body?
  • How you may use movement to abuse your body?
  • Be willing to look at all aspects of your relationship to movement.
  • Prioritize your movement strategy for 7 days.

Journaling or meditative questions to ask:
Please show me the bodily functions that my movement facilitates?
Please show me any areas that are in need of extra care?
What movement does my body crave?
What gets in the way of my activity?

3. Nourishing Food — While, it is true, that bringing the proper nutrients into our body is important, it is not as confusing as our culture would like us to believe it is. As we release our death grip on goals, outcomes, and books about the newest diet trend. We can settle into mindfully feeling what resonates with our system in the moment. As we retrain the mind from what not to do and what not to eat, we can focus on the body and what it would like to be nourished with, what would feel good, what is it that our biology (and not our overconsumed mind) is craving, and what foods will supply the nutrients that facilitate optimal connection to the wisdom of the body.

  • Set your foods intention by using your journaling or meditation time to delve into why food is important to your body.
  • Get curious and ask (Creator, God, Nature, Spirit) to show you exactly what biologically takes place during and after you take in nourishment.
  • Choose your nourishment with intention.
  • What is your body craving in the way of nutrients?
  • Release the need to eat for a specific goal like weight loss, physical appearance, a healthy heart, etc.
  • Protect your food Intention by taking note, and building awareness around;
  • How you may give away your nourishment (by consuming something with no nutritional value)
  • How you may use food to escape.
  • How you may use food to abuse your body.
  • Be willing to look at all aspects of your relationship to nourishment.
  • Prioritize your nourishment strategy for 7 days.

Journaling or meditative questions to ask:
Please show me the bodily functions that my food facilitates.
Please show me any food-related issues, I am ready to see.
What nutrients does my body crave?
What gets in the way of my nutrition?

I’d love to know if you can relate to what I’ve shared here. Let me know in the comments below what comes up for you as you read this post. If you know anyone who would benefit from reading this post, then feel free to share it and if you feel called to, join my mailing here to receive my weekly Mindful Monday musing much like the above.

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Laura Perkins

Laura Perkins

Mindful Living Coach & Spiritual Guide, supporting others, using ThetaHealing®, & practices rooted in the yogic tradition. www.lauraperkinsmindfulliving.com