Embodiment – Your Body as the Source

Everything you want is on the other side of the sensation that arises from embodiment...

embodiment


principles of embodiment

If you are at all familiar with my work, you will know that I consider embodiment to be the beginning, middle and end of a magical practice.

However, when it comes to embodiment (and finally, deliciously, meeting our own bodies from the inside out) then it's true to say that not everything we find during the process of "dropping in" is pleasant. One of the core responsibilities we have when it comes to opening to the source of our magic (aka embodiment) then, is to know how to self-soothe and regulate ourselves in the face of what can sometimes feel like - pretty big energy

With a sensitive nervous system, more akin to people pleasing than sovereignty (it's what we learn), the good side is that sensitive types tend to feel other people and things very easily. My family says I am like the deer in the pack, or the canary in the coal mine, for example. I often get a sense of the thing way before it arrives. And light years ahead of anyone else. And whilst that may sound braggy,  it's just a reflection of what happens when you grow up groomed to place to locus of attention on other people's wellbeing.

There are pros to this level of sensitivity. My loved ones have come to take my sixth/feeling sense pretty seriously over the years, for example. (You can read more about developing your intuition HERE.) 

Clients also reflect the accuracy of my sixth sense on a regular basis.

how we can get stuck with embodiment practices

The downside of all this embodiment though, is that it is easy for a sensitive nervous system to get into overwhelm. In this way, embodiment can sometimes be too much of a good thing.

It sometimes seems to me that the entire purpose of the spiritual path is about being able to find ground in power. And yet power opens. Power makes things wider. Power amplifies and ramps up. 

One of the ways we can make sure that all the power that is available to us through our bodies does not overwhelm us then, is by developing a set of muscles and practices that help us stay in the process of embodiment and move energy through as we do so.

It's like if you imagine life force (or magic) is like water, and life and our body is the pipe, and that where pinch points develop or where water slows, stagnates or gets stuck, are the exact places that we need to open through practice to return ourselves back to being a whole human.

I like this analogy because it reminds me that life force (or magic) is not something that we GET more of. Indeed, the more we open to receiving it, the more we probably need to pass it on. In other words, it travels through the pipe (us) and out into the world. 

Our body is literally the instrument of this deliverance.

THE TANTRIC 3 AND EMBODIMENT

It's the same with sensation and overwhelm then.

One of the reasons we feel overwhelmed is simply because sensation has become trapped in us. It's like we've tried to stop it flowing through and out. We know from a nervous system perspective that resistance to feeling and moving energy can result in a freeze or shut down, for example.

When you embark upon any kind of healing or realignment work then, it is to be expected that the pressure starts to build up. In other words, you build power and sensation through practices like sex magic or meditation. You listen more deeply and you pay attention to what is going on in your body. And the system responds. Your body begins to move things.

If you are not accustomed to facilitating this movement? Then it may go awry and manifest in all sorts of ways like anxiety, panic or even depression (as our subconscious desperately tries to slow things down and take us back within our window of tolerance.)

Here are three ways that we can help our bodies deal with big energy then.

In fact, these are absolute tantric basics.

Try them in times where it all feels a bit much, and see how they help.

movement...

Let's just touch base with a few different ways you can work with movement - specifically if your intention is to move big energy through these ways may be helpful for you:

THINKING ABOUT MOVEMENT

If you are so shut down that actually moving is terrifying. Or perhaps you system is so tight that even small movement is painful - this one is great.

I heard a trauma mentor of mine once state that even thinking about movement can get things, well, moving, inside. It's a great place to start. Imagine yourself doing the movement that you feel you can't stretch to right now. It can have a strong impact and help you come out of freeze or shut down. To the point where you can, actually move.

PHYSICAL MOVEMENT

 I recently did a spinal attunement session. I was invited to let go into the music and just start moving my body as it wanted to. I know this kind if thing is "de rigeur" and everyone and anyone teaches this. Whether it's ecstatic dance or body based meditations or anything else. Free movement has been around a long time. What I enjoyed about spinal attunement however, was the fact that I was lying down. Which meant that the movement started very small and I felt much more tuned into subtlety as a result.

 Pretty soon of course, energy started coursing through my body and moving me. This is hands down a phenomenal "feminine" practice. The body is your instrument and nothing can get stuck when you allow yourself a few moments of this every day.

creativity as movement

Personally, I use this a lot when I feel my system shutting down or going into overwhelm.

I love to get myself on a street corner for example, or installed in a really nice cafe. And begin to let the words flow. Could be a journal piece, could be totally intuitive and result in something poetic. Or could just be pure observation of what's going on around me.

Either way the effect is the same. Even in moments of near panic I have managed to ground and calm my energy by moving it through me in this way.

Of course, there is no reason why any art form could not be equally as helpful. From painting to playing music. Whatever gets you into flow.

BREATH

I do not teach breath work as almost everybody else teaches breath work. I was trained in a technique called "Buteyko" which actually gets a person to breathe less volume of air and not more.

 Whilst there are obvious benefits in terms of creating and intensifying sensation with deep, hyperventilation style breathing techniques, there are a lot of risks to our physiology if we do this too. It's like trying to run before we can walk.

But when we get our breathing dialled just right? All I can say is it's a place of massive surrender for me. I remember once calling my accountant to discuss a very stressful situation and loss of an enormous contract. He called back fifteen minutes later expecting me to be off my head with cortisol. (My words not his.) Instead I had breathed in this way as I waited for him and I was superbly grounded and clear for our conversation.

DIAPHRAGM BREATH

The best way I have found to move energy when it is feeling overwhelming in terms of my breathing, is to find a space to lie and put my hand upon my diaphragm. Could be that I rest my hands on the side of my ribcage where I can tune into the diaphragm muscle as it expands and contracts too.

Then the simple instruction I give myself is to breathe in and then to let go of all tension  in the area. This letting go of control facilitates the out breath. Indeed, we never need to make the out breath happen.

SOUND

You can move a lot through your body with sound.

Some of my favourite ways:

SCREAMING IN WATER

Jump into a large and deep body of water and scream. No-one will hear you but the water spirits. And they know how to keep a secret.

GO FOR A DRIVE AND HOLLER

If you can drive get into the car and hit the freeway with loud music and let rip. Scream, rage, cry, shout - vocalise whatever needs to come and do it loudly. (Obviously, pull over if the emotions get too intense to be safe on the road.)

THE "VOOOOAAAAAH"

I learned this from trauma coach Seth Lyon (who I believe got it from Peter Levine.) Start with the Voooo, and move the sound down into your base chakra til you get to the 'aaaah". It has an amazingly regulating effect.

SING SING SING!

You know you wanna! The good ol' fashioned way to release pent up or stuck emotions.

So there you have the classic "tantra 3" of movement, breath and sound.

With all of the above I hope this gives you confidence. That you can truly handle whatever comes your way and you have the strength and physical capacity to move it through.

This way, you can return your body to a state of flow. To allowing the water to run through and out into the world where it belongs. And you can get back to the fine art of opening your magic and effecting transformation.

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Julia


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This post was written by Julia