Embodiment, a tangible or visible form of an idea, quality, or feeling.
Or as I briefly described in my last post, it is having full access to your body. Our bodies know what to do. They know what they want. They have the answers. We are just so crappy at tuning into them.
Embodiment is feeling at home in your body. Safe, nurtured, loved, encouraged, validated, and so much more.
And….. I have taught you the three pillars of connection. But those pillars don’t teach you how to get into your body. or how to get into an embodied state. They simply just tell you, “Hey girl, time to get out of your head and into the body….Okay cool, sounds good. but how the heck do I do that?“
Don’t worry, I see you, and I got you.
Beginners Tips To Embodiment
- Observe instead of identify
- Body Scanning
Observation versus Identification
What happens when a thought comes into your head? If you are anything like me (and like a lot of people I have met on my journey so far) you let that thought dictate your feelings, mood, actions, decisions, and generally speaking how you view your surroundings and relationships.
This thought may come up as you remember something from the past, it may come up as you anticipate something in the future, or it may just be about something going on in the present moment.
Disclaimer, not all thoughts are bad, right now I am talking about the chitter chatter, the negative self talk, the thoughts that really don’t serve you.
Let me give some real life context to help this make sense.
Common thoughts I used to have were: “You are so stupid, why did you do that? You are not good at your job. This person would feel better by now if they saw a different therapist. You are not pretty enough to pull off that outfit or that look. If I just bought this I would feel better about myself“…. I think you get the idea.
For me, these thoughts would flood into my mind when I first woke up in the morning. They would absorb my mind if I knew I was getting together with a group of people. They would circulate my head on my commute to and from work. It was soooooo exhausting. It hurt so bad. And I my head was the one creating all of it.
But then I learned the art of observing instead of identifying with my thoughts. This concept was something I intuitively came up with last year. But with my recent coaching classes I have learned even more about.
I truly see this as one of the first steps in becoming embodied. You will never be able to become embodied if you cannot separate yourself from your mind.
To observe your thoughts, you need to create space between yourself and the thought that is being created. As this thought comes up, pause, see it for what it is, just a thought. An idea that your reptilian brain created, not anyone or anything else!
If you can observe it instead of immediately identifying with it, you can then have space to actually get away from it, out of your head, and drop into the body.
For example, when I would think to myself that I am a lousy Physical Therapist, I eventually learned to create space by observing this thought and seeing it for what it really was. I realized there was nothing and no one telling me that this thought was true. I realized I needed to trust myself more.
Then I learned to appreciate the positive feedback I got from patients, the true and honest relationships I created with them, and the opportunity my patients give me to always continue to learn and grow as a therapist. If I am challenged by a case, I research and seek guidance from peers. I don’t just give up.
In this space between my thoughts and myself, I realized I am not a lousy Physical Therapist. In this space I felt the energy in my body, the heart racing excitement I get when I help someone reach their goals, the deep knots of empathy I have in my stomach when I see them hurting, and the feeling lightness in my chest and head as I create life-long, meaningful relationships with these people. I was not that one thought, I am so much more.
Sometimes our thoughts can be so overwhelming…. To the point where it is difficult to create that space. This is where noting comes in handy.
Again, this intuitively came to me last year and I even wrote an early post about noting. I believe it was in this post when I talked about literally writing down everything that was bothering me. Once it was written down I realized how those things, ideas, or thoughts were actually quite silly and unimportant compared to what really matters in life.
But noting does not actually need to be on paper if that is not your thing. Intead, as thoughts come in you can take note of them.
Noting is taking your thoughts and not making any meaning out of them. By not making any meaning you can then dive deeper into you body and becoming truly embodied.
Literally, as a thought, or thoughts come in, you can make note of them but allow them to exist without meaning or impact on you.
You see, as these thoughts come in, you can you really experience what it is like to be in your mind, but by practicing not placing meaning on it, you are then dropping deeper into your body. You are becoming embodied.
Practice right now!
Sit here and let thoughts come into your head.
As they come in, note them, see them, but place no meaning to them.
You are getting out of your own head!
Do you notice a change in the body? Do you feel like you sunk a little deeper into yourself by simply getting out of your own head?
If not, try again!
Sit here, breathe, let thoughts come in.
As one comes in, take note, place no meaning on it.
Now after doing that, tune into your body.
Can you now feel more of what is going on in your body?
Can you scan your body for any sensations. For example, do you feel tension in your chest? Lightness in your heart? An ache behind your eyes. Heaviness in your feet or your back against your chair?
If you can tune into those sensations, you are already a step closer to being embodied.
Ahhhhh a perfect segue into body scans.
Okay, if thinking about your thoughts, is a little too difficult right now, maybe simply start with a body scan, as briefly introduce above.
Start by siting, lying, or standing in a comfortably position.
Take a few deep breathes in through the nose and out through the mouth. Settle into the position you are in. Feel the ground, chair, bed, or whatever is supporting you.
Now start in the head. What do you feel here? Tension, an ache, chaotic noise? Just be with whatever it is. If you feel nothing that is okay. If you want to simply say you feel good, fine, or okay, see if you can dig deeper. But, if you can’t that is okay too…
Follow these steps throughout the whole body, to your jaw, neck, shoulders, arms, chest, stomach, pelvis, hips, and legs. If you follow the chakra systems, check in with each of those as well.
Be patient, be loving to yourself, and be open. If you feel nothing, that is fine. If you feel a million different things, this is also perfectly fine.
Most importantly, feel your body and don’t listen to your head. This is powerful stuff.
So…… if you have a hard time dropping out of your head into you body, start by creating space between you and your chitter-chattery thoughts, observe them instead of identifying with them. Take note of them and don’t give them any meaning. Don’t apply them to your life. These tips will allow you to get out of your head. And then, to begin to feel deeper into your body (you may already naturally do so after practicing those two techniques) try a simple body scan.
Stuck in a decision? Try a body scan. Feeling stressed, chaotic, overwhelmed, try a body scan. Can’t get out of your head. Try a body scan. Can’t figure out what you are actually feeling or wanting, try a body scan.
This may sound a little crazy but trust me! The seed has been planted, and who knows, perhaps sometime later today, this week, or sometime this month, a situation will arise and you will find yourself remembering this and using it. It takes baby steps, and let’s be honest. I am teaching you these concepts through a mediocre blog post! One day I hope to be fully teaching and coaching soo many people, just like you. I want to help as many people as I can live out their best, happiest, most alive lives.
Today it starts with this post and with you, and I am so grateful you are here reading this my love!
If you want me to walk you through a body scan, email me at [email protected]!