What is Embodiment and what does it do?
The Challenge - Stress, disconnection,
fitness, aches and pains.
The methods involved in Embodiment are intended to both address the barriers or challenges to being embodied, and develop the skills that are needed to practice.
The biggest barrier to embodiment will be different for different people, but the main one is anxiety or tension. The modern world can feel like It is full of pressures, disconnection, and emotional challenges.
Embodiment helps us to connect more deeply with life, manage stress, communicate and relate, and develops resilience and skills that are useful in any context.
Embodied Living - confidence, communication, connection :
It is well know that a huge part of communication is non-verbal. This means that when we are communicating, what people pick up on is more about tone, of voice, state of consciousness, and energy levels, among other things. So we can say that when we are communicating we are both using using our being, and communicating our being.
Confidence is an important resource for performance, public speaking, and an all round positive characteristic in pretty much any context. How can we develop a confident communication manner? Put simply, by establishing a confident physicality and awareness of our own being.
Its important here to note that I'm not talking about being a body builder, or a fashion model. For instance, actors come in all shapes and sizes but what they share is a practice in the skill of using their being to communicate. Social anxiety, self esteem and emotional wellbeing are all related to embodiment.
So we can take that by developing our embodiment, we can improve our skill in communication, confidence and connection with ourselves and others.
By extension, if we want to communicate a certain emotion or feeling when we communicate, for example enthusiasm and high energy, or relaxed awareness or good vibes, or all of the above, then it makes sense to cultivate and embody these resources.
The awesome thing is that there are tried and tested practices for embodiment and non-verbal communication, and the applications are wide ranging.
There are many traditional methods and practices for developing embodiment, the main ones are: certain types of Yoga, most martial arts, dance, creative practices and many types of meditation.
Embodied living, and the Living Body Method, are about finding the similarities and crossovers between many various practices and ideas, and applying them to all kinds of contexts: health, psychology, coaching, communication, relationships and professional development, to name a few.
Through embodiment, we can be more alert to changes in our environment, socially and physically, allowing us to respond with initiative and care. Being present to the physical space we are in is an essential element in relaxation, confidence, and understanding of what is happening around us.
There are powerful primal underpinnings to why physical awareness of ourselves, the people around us, and the space we are in, is a skill to develop. Awareness and embodiment draws on deep internal resources that anyone can develop: the body itself is a highly evolved system. Even though the modern world is so different to how humans evolved, we are not so different.
As natural beings, we have in times past had a deeper relationship with the natural world.
Being centered in the space can lead to deepening awareness of the way other people are in the space, and by extension, the shifting social dynamics.
The resource of spacial presence that made an effective hunter-gatherer in the past is still available to us in the modern world.
Embodiment both uncovers and develops this resource for application in all parts of life.
Embodiment is about:
Relaxation - Breath deeply and watch your breath.
Inspiration - Prioritize your inspiration, play, and creative flow.
Body Awareness - Learn to access the resources of your self.
Strengthening - Make what you discover stronger.
Mindfulness - Pay attention and enjoy practicing.
Critical Thinking Exercises - Understand your practice on your own terms.
Observation - Look closely at life.
Map making - Creatively reflect on experiences.
Embodiment can be something as simple and personal as being mindful of ones breath while waiting at the bus stop, writing down or talking about what we feel, and remembering to value small achievements in practice.
Our ability to be embodied comes from our past: our ancestors lived in environments that demanded and supported high levels of physical awareness, co-operation and resourcefulness. We can develop our embodiment through practice.
The overwhelming majority of communication, and therefore relationships, is non-verbal.