In our disembodied world, we’ve lost authentic connection with ourselves. Sitting for long periods of time at a computer, staring mindlessly into our phones and commuting long distances for work all contribute to this disembodiment. Even working remotely, not traveling, lends itself to this disembodied state because of our always on mentality (a lot of work, often in front of a computer without allowing ourselves the movement we need). The trouble, I find, is feeling like there’s not enough time to get everything done, and when something has to go, movement seems the obvious choice. But I know better, so I force myself out and never regret it.
Personally, I learned many years ago that movement contributes to overall wellbeing in concrete ways. When I began my walking practice nearly twenty years ago, I vividly recognized that it helped not only my physical health but my mental health as well.
Movement makes us feel more alive; it creates joy and clarity. Movement INVITES embodiment when we move mindfully, and in this way we also connect with the deepest parts of ourselves. Our hearts, bodies, minds and souls recognize their oneness instead of the separateness the brain creates.
Embodiment is a gateway to the authentic self. The body has a wisdom the brain will never know. The body feels, tells stories and expresses joy. It also holds stories that stay stuck without movement. WITH movement, we unravel the stories and the stuckness. We learn to relax. We feel pleasure more deeply. We release tension.
The brain tells stories too, though not necessarily true ones. By learning to slow down and BE in our bodies, we discover a magic we didn’t know existed. We practice movements that allow us to tune in, deeply, so we can hear what our body has to say.
A Simple Exercise
- Stand up. Hands at heart center.
- Take a deep breath as you open your arms out wide. Allow them to move as far back as is comfortable and stay that way, breathing into your heart space.
- Recognize the tension in your shoulders as you stand this way, arms open for several breaths. Can let the tension go with each breath?
- Bring hands back to heart center, breathing here and repeat as many times as possible.
How do you feel when you embody your heart, flood it with breath? What is the difference in the quality of breath with arms wide open and with them in front of the heart? There are no right or wrong answers. It is simply an inquiry.
The body is full of wisdom and inspiration. It is waiting to show you the way. Move it regularly and see what stories it has to tell.
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Interested in beginning a journaling journey, or taking your journaling to the next level? I’m writing an email course, Writing HERstory, that combines journaling and embodiment practices with prompts and exercises you can complete in a month. A daily email will arrive in your inbox each morning for 28 days, and a PDF guide of the entire course will be available at the end of the program––yours to keep forever. Sign up here to be notified when the course is available in early 2020.