Living In Your Body
Are you living in your body? That seems like a strange question, doesn’t it? Where else would you (or could you) be living? But the truth is that there is a difference between occupying a body and fully living in it, embracing it, being embodied.
Many of us have become accustomed to living in our heads. We analyze everything. We think more than we feel. We live in a world of shoulds and have-tos – it’s part of our survival. From how much money we need to how hard we have to work to how many calories we should eat to how much we should weigh. We worry about things and wish things were different. We analyze our past and plan our futures. And it’s all done in our heads.
And some of us believe that there is something not right about our bodies. Too big, too soft, too boney, too curvy, too many curves in the wrong places, not enough curves in the right places, too heavy, not pretty enough. And when we spend our days – and eventually years or decades – disliking our bodies, we tend to leave them. We pack up and move out and disconnect and reject those awful bodies that don’t cooperate and mold themselves to what they should be.
And once we’ve disconnected from our bodies and moved fully into our heads, we start to lose our body wisdom. We lose our connection to our emotions, which reside in our bodies. We forget that we are actually whole and perfect and complete just the way we are. And from that place of disconnection it’s impossible to have a body that we love – not matter what size or shape it is.
About 10 years ago I was at my idea of my “goal weight.” I was wearing a size 6, something I never thought was possible for me, having worn a size 12-14+ most of my life. I remember being at Macy’s, browsing through the rack of clothing marked with the letter “S”. And in that moment I had this overwhelming feeling that someone was going to come from behind, tap me on the shoulder, and say “Excuse me, Miss, the Extra-larges are over there.” That’s how dis-embodied I was.
And from that place of living outside my body, as I’d become so accustomed to doing, it is no surprise that gradually, over the years, the weight came back on. I never owned that new body. I have very few pictures of myself at that weight. I was still the big girl – even if there was an “S” or a “6” on the labels of my clothes.
Embodiment is a feeling, a connection to the body you live in. It’s getting out of the masculine world of your head and into the sensual, feminine world of your body. It’s noticing your breath, your heartbeat, the flow of energy through your cells. It’s feeling fully alive. It’s seeing yourself, every inch of yourself, as you are, an amazing, living, breathing, healing, nurturing, present being. It’s being fully in your feminine power.
Think of a time when you were fully in your body – maybe you were young and were running through the sprinklers, or dancing, or jumping and playing. Or maybe you were a woman making love or getting a massage or meditating or taking an amazing yoga class. Can you close your eyes and become that embodied version of yourself? Can you take a moment right now and sense into your body, breathe into any sensations you are feeling – pain, pleasure, discomfort, anxiety, joy, hunger, thirst – just take a moment and notice. No judging, no analyzing, just noticing, acknowledging, coming back to your body.
Allow yourself the privilege of tuning back into your body, moment by moment, day by day, until you gradually spend less time in the confines of your analytical mind and more time simply living in the sensations of your body. Rebuild the relationship, the trust, the wisdom that your body has to offer you. After all, your relationship with your body is the longest, most sacred relationship you will ever have.