Story #1 │ Embodied Self-Awareness

It’s More Than Physical!

‘Embodiment is the key, not-embodiment is the way’, an interesting statement that I came across recently. Human life is full of paradoxes, including body-mind practices. Let’s undress this statement to get to the naked core of it.

The last decade scads of body-mind practices sprang to life rapidly. These practices mostly revolve around cultivating embodied virtues. Is there a particular muscle that you can train to live a more embodied life? You could say so. The key – as for any practice that you wish to master – is dedication, training and repetition. Even for you, gifted soul! Engaging in dance/movement therapy-coaching means developing embodied self-awareness. Huh, what?! Hang tight, I am about to break it down for you.

You daily perceive and absorb the world through your five senses, moving body, analytical mind and sensing heart. These lived experiences evoke a ton of thoughts and continuously changing emotions that (un)consciously affect your behavior. Understanding that your inner and outer experiences are interconnected brings you one step closer to more self-awareness. Are you utterly aware of what’s going on in your body, in your emotions and in your thoughts? There is a chance you’re not. And that is fine, you are human!

Your body is a vast container of your lived, sensorial experiences. You feel, think and (inter)act through your body, every second of the day. Whilst actively involving your body (in stillness or movement) to improve self-awareness, you expand your capacity of bodily knowing. This implies a bottom-up process of learning. The implicit, intuitive, sensorial, nearly tactile information retrieved from your body, gives you more understanding of the wholeness of your being. Is this raising a few eyebrows? Possibly. 😉

I’d like to use the analogy of photography. Advanced photographers with a good eye pay attention to detail. With their camera they zoom in, giving special attention to subtle, intriguing details that capture their attention. As they observe closely, previously hidden elements get exposed. These details are interconnected and co-define the full image. Body-mind practices invite you to play with your bodily capacity of zooming in and zooming out as a way to understand how subtle details (including thoughts, feelings, and sensations) act upon each other. This is one way to access your body intelligence and to develop embodied self-awareness.

By improving your embodied self-awareness you will gain more control over the way your thoughts, emotions and sensations influence your behavior on a daily basis. You can train this muscle, enabling you to put your embodied glasses on/off whenever it is needed. Brilliant, right!

Embodiment is the key, not-embodiment is the way.

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