What is embodiment…. and how does it affect your pleasure?
“Embodiment refers to the experience of living in, perceiving and experiencing the world from the very specific location of our bodies”
We live in our bodies, through our bodies, because of our bodies.
We are not a mind and brain just borrowing a flesh and bone suit for the duration of our precious lives. Our understanding of the world, the meaning we attribute to things, our sense of self all come through being a body.
We are embodied beings.
Even from within the womb our bodies are essential to our learning, growth and relationships with others. Throughout our lives in our bodies, the movements and expression of our body communicates much more clearly and truthfully than our words do.
The body directly experiences the world it is enmeshed in through the senses.
It abounds with an understanding we too often ignore, yet the body is more informed than the cognitive brain!
Our bodies experience sensation and awareness all the time, which informs the brain to make meaning in unceasing stream of data.
This is far from passive.
Understanding comes from the information sourced from our being in a body.
The body very much influences the mind, that part of us that is not, in fact, stuck behind our eyes where we ‘feel’ our thoughts arise.
We KNOW intuitively, from feeling, that the mind and soul and body are not separated at all, they never were.
How could they be?
When we are disembodied, detached, removed from our sensate experience, we are cut off from our deepest knowing, that deep, intuitive or soul knowing.
When we are not present in our body we are cut off from our sensual pleasures -as experienced through the 5 senses- and from our relationships with the natural world. Our insight and intuitive understanding of other bodies is dulled. As is our desire.
We are made for pleasure, all kinds of pleasure from the effect of the soft touch of the breeze on our cheeks to the surge of pleasure from a good belly laugh to the seeming infinite pleasures of peak orgasm. Our body is wired so that we need pleasure and we seek it. The endogenous brain chemistry associated with different pleasure states is vital to our brain and nervous system.
When we push pleasure to the side we become disconnected from a fundamental aspect of self.
At our core as modern humans we long to regain the intimacy with our bodily experience. We have been conditioned with this concept of the brain and it’s thoughts as being of primary, or of even sole, importance. We privilege our thoughts and minds, finding an imagined split between body and mind, and position the body as inferior.
This has been the dominant way for the past centuries and has damaged the sense and expression of our self, our health, our capacity for self love, our connection with others and our sheer potential for pleasure in our body-mind Modern life keeps us from being in our bodies in so many ways, pulling us away from experiencing life being a body. Being embodied is psychologically healthy, a key element of identity, a thriving in self.
A fullness of self.
Additionally, traumatic experiences, habituated belief patterns, conditionings of our society/ the Patriarchy/religion, emotional blocks and other inner wounds we gather in our life experiences show up in our body.
Often, in order to cope, we compartmentalise or reject these sensations to the point that parts of us become numb.
For many of us today, disconnecting from our bodies might feel like the only option available to us. A way of feeling safe. We stop moving, we stop looking after ourselves, we stop trying new things, we stop touching ourselves in all of the ways, we fall into habits, we numb ourselves with substances, sedentary habits, external entertainment, repetition, porn etc.
We hardly feel at all…. because we are afraid we might.
However, we can do the very opposite- by feeling into our body sensations and going within to reveal their unique intelligence. We can inquire into what is true for the wounded parts of our selves, and perhaps find other supportive parts or to just bear witness to their story.
In this way we connect, honour, accept and even transmute these inner wounds as they arise in our body-mind.
We find pathways back to the fullness of self.
This is a major focus in my coaching process.
Making the unfelt felt and the unconscious conscious.
Bringing you back to wholeness. Gently, with love and acceptance.
Finding out what is your personal experience, what is your own answer to 'what is embodiment'
We all need an embodiment practice to return us to fullness.
An embodiment practice is a method of using the unique sensations of our body as a tool to develop deep awareness, find connection to the energy of our body, the earth and others around us, to stay present, self-regulate, feel whole, feel belonging, find balance, know ourself, accept ourself, love ourself and be empowered.
Embodiment practices, or other more spontaneous ways of returning to the body and it’s sensations are the gateway to expanding our pleasure potential.
The pleasure that can result from listening and paying attention to our bodies in all their fleshy, juicy, radiant, nerve filled reality. A practice of slowing down in pleasure- all kinds of pleasure- and tuning right in to the present moment as it is, allowing whatever to manifests.
That pleasure is extraordinary! It starts with sensual pleasures (pleasure through the senses) which lead to fully embodied sexual pleasures of a kind we always knew were possible, but didn’t know how.
I’ll be sharing some basic embodiment practices in my next email/ blogpost that you can try and see what and how you feel.