31 Jul The Art of Embodiment
Back in the day I used to believe that embodying your goals was largely down to luck.
These days I see embodiment more as lifelong commitment, a discipline of thought, word, posture, breath, and deed.
Three years ago I read a strong affirmation on the front of an artist’s workbook about becoming financially solvent doing the work she loves. I was inspired to write my own personal goal, or intention:
“I am joyfully, easily, generously and gently supporting myself, using all of my wonderfulness, by listening compassionately to the deep song and rhythm of the earth, from within and without; and by dancing lightly along my true path.”
Throughout my life, my career path has taken many unexpected twists and turns, and at the time I was thinking mainly of my bodywork practice. However, three years later, here I am employed by the NHS (National Health Service) as a senior paediatric physiotherapist in a special school, doing work that I love and earning a regular salary.
As I said that affirmation, almost daily, there were days when the words sounded hollow, and it was almost too painful to say. I felt so far from achieving my goal, and would I ever achieve it?
But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in this life, you have to trust the universe, believe in yourself, and follow your star; however many strange and unexpected turns your path may take.
There is also something about letting go, allowing the possibility of never achieving that goal, staying fluid with all possibilities; and still putting it out there day after day. Many times in my life I have noticed that I can strive and strive towards a goal; and when I finally give up and move on, PLOP, it falls into my lap! I guess that demonstrates the power of letting go, and the futility of striving too.
So I continued voicing my intention, and as I spoke it aloud, and listened to the silence as the words resonated, I used my breath to make some space inside for some cellular re-configuration. I began to actually feel how my body would feel when I had achieved my goal, to allow enough softness in my tissue (I like to think of my fascia softening like the layers of a Vienetta ice cream, slowly melting and letting go of form), to let go of my habitual shape, and allow myself, on a cellular level, to become the shape of who I would be when I achieved my goal.
With each breath I was letting go of my familiar shape and habitual posture, trusting the physical sensations of the unfamiliar, and allowing my body, cell by cell, to gently fall into the shape of my desired future. I was literally projecting myself forward into the future of my choice.
I believe this is also what happens in a Body Harmony session. Giving and receiving Body Harmony regularly is a massively powerful and important tool for my conscious embodiment process.
Other major acts of embodiment include meeting my life’s partner and finding our beautiful home. Recently I returned to hospital for an umbilical hernia repair operation that both I and my surgeon knew I had needed a year previously, only to be sent home because there was now no evidence of the hernia.
Currently I continue to voice my intention about my work, and now “My beautiful, nurturing, seaside home, within sight and sound of the sea, is waiting for me and is emerging at the perfect time.”
Watch this space…
Written by Kate Verney, Body Harmony Association Teacher BSc (hons) MCSP HCPC