Updated: Nov 29, 2020
What is embodiment?
Getting out of our heads is a good start toward becoming more embodied. If we are in our heads all the time we don't stand much of a chance.
Embodiment is physical. It is physiological. It is action, behavior and results. Embodiment is bringing forth something into concrete reality that was once a passing thought, fleeting feeling or idea. Embodiment at the end of the day is our impact. On the most basic level embodiment begins in our physiology. A mentor of mine likes to remind me when I'm lost in my head that our physiology doesn't lie. What is the quality of our breath, our attention to our body and body language, how alert are we, how relaxed are we? Can we think beyond ourselves?
Can we express our ideas and feelings in our physiology moment to moment or is there a disconnect? The disconnect is normal and you don't have to feel guilty about it.
Embodiment is a practice. As of writing this, I've been rock climbing for about 20 years. I'll use climbing as an example of the disconnect between knowing how to do something vs actually doing it -- Embodying it.
You can watch someone climb up a wall and understand intellectually how they are doing it...
Legs push up, foot moves there, hands move there, arms pull, etc. At first we can see it by watching someone else or maybe reading about it but our body can't quite do it yet.
To do it takes persistence of action. We try. We fail. We try again. We get better at embodying the moves we are attempting as we get stronger and as we practice. Being embodied is like that. It's just how it is.
It's not really different to embody the life we want, to move through life differently. We have to practice. It starts by becoming present. It starts by becoming grounded in the moment. It can be as simple as connecting to our breath and checking in with how we are showing up in this very moment.
What are we embodying in this moment?
Our projections and judgements?
Our victimhood and pain?
Our deepest insights?
Somebody else's life all together? In order to embody what we want, we need to consider: What do we need to shed or strip down? What stories or personal narratives do we need to let go of or reframe? What hardwired beliefs no longer serve us based on what we see in front of us? What do we need to become aware of or more present to? What small, daily actions move us in the right direction, towards our goals?
On choosing to embody big stuff in life... you know, for those trying to move mountains:
There is no lightbulb moment where suddenly you are embodied. You just have to practice.
Are you trying to go it alone? Do you have a team and support system helping you that can hold you accountable if they see you in your head or not fully embodying your vision?
Human beings are relational creatures and it's not weak to lean on each other. It is practical and wise. The result is human civilization. Trying to go it alone is actually arrogant and isolating. Who will keep you out of your head? From tribal times long ago we have used teams strategically. I choose to have a team to help me dive deeper into my own embodiment. My team has my back and reminds me often of this powerful secret that I hope you take to heart:
"If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together".