How Can We Live More Embodied Lives?
A huge theme for this coming year is this idea of embodiment and how we can live our lives in ways that honor our bodies and their physical and emotional needs.
As the year comes to an end, here are a few questions we can reflect on, to help us set the stage for living more embodied lives in 2022:
The answers to these questions will vary from day to day and from moment to moment, and there is no wrong answer. What’s true for you right now?
Whether the experience of being in your body is a very pleasant one in this moment (maybe you are enjoying a delicious meal, or smelling a scented candle or you just finished a really fulfilling movement session) or a very unpleasant one (maybe you are sick or injured and in a lot of physical pain, maybe you are suffering from depression or another type of emotional pain), making the time to simply take note of how you feel can be so helpful and important.
Again, there is no blanket right or wrong answer here, but these questions can help you explore the right answers for you.
If there is a form of movement that your body is craving, how can you make that into a regular practice? If there is a type of food that makes you feel good from the inside out, how can you integrate that into your diet?
What are the activities that make you happy, that make your heart sing? How can you carve out more time to do them more regularly?
Is there anything that doesn’t make you feel good, that you can do away with in your life, or make less time for? Have you been getting enough rest on a weekly basis, or does something need to change so that you can get the rest you need?
We have a lot more control over the experiences within our bodies than we think. But rarely are we taught to tune into the body, to learn and understand its language, to listen and to give it what it needs.
More often than not, we are taught that our bodies are dirty, we are taught to feel guilty for seeking pleasure, we are taught to neglect our body’s needs and to treat it like a machine that can be pushed around to yield the same level (if not ever-increasing levels) of output and productivity every day no matter what. In fact, most of us treat our bodies even worse than machines, because even machines need maintenance from time to time... yet how many of us take the time to give our bodies the maintenance they need?
Now, if thinking about these questions brings up anxiety, resistance, or resentment for you, notice that too. Again, there is no wrong answer. What’s coming up for you? How do these questions make you feel, and why? No matter what is coming up for you, your feelings are valid and deserving of further exploration.
I am wishing you a fruitful time of reflection as the year comes to an end. May you make new discoveries that will help you step into a better, happier, and more embodied phase of your life!
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12/19/2021 10:14:51 am
I loved this blog post so much. I am studying the formation of empathy and the necessary practices to embody empathy and empathetic care towards others. I appreciated this statement, "...rarely are we taught to tune into the body, to learn and understand its language, to listen and to give it what it needs." Thank you, Yame!
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Yamê is a Brazilian-American
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