The body is always giving us feedback on how to do and be our best. Unfortunately, most of us are so much in our head, that we totally miss the subtle guidance the body gives us every day – in the form of feelings, body sensations, tension, etc.
But here’s the deal – if you miss the subtle messages or the whispers the body sends you, the body ramps up and sends you a tap, if you miss the Tap, the body ramps up again gives you a SLAP, and so on.
In my case, it was two years not being able to walk on my right ankle. I was told I’d never run or be able to play volleyball again.
The first time I remember hearing the term, “Embodiment” was right about the time that I had that ankle injury. I was doing some work with a coach named Dawn Strom, who specialises in movement. Given that I had no clue about that word and its meaning, you can guess that I was totally out of tune with my body. It never occurred to me to listen to the wisdom of my body. To me, that was crazy, woo woo talk. And because of my obstinacy, I missed the “whisper” and the “Tap” and ended up hobbling around for two whole years.
I healed myself by starting to listen to my body. By working with it.
When we tune in to the body, listen and receive the message, we are shown the way to our best self. We can even be shown how to heal. I know this now and I teach people how to tune in through the Passion Mapping work that I facilitate for other Changemakers. I have seen the light and am a TOTAL convert!
I believe that all Coaches can greatly assist their coaching clients by sharing Embodiment practices with them. So, I wanted to share my awakening to Embodiment with you.
To help me, I thought it would be cool to bring in the very same woman who introduced me to the idea of embodiment in the first place, Dawn Strom. Dawn is an embodiment mentor and Business Strategist for Movement Experts and I’ve asked her to give us an introduction to Embodiment and how we can use it in our coaching business.
Listen to our full interview here or read the condensed version below.
Where does the practice of Embodiment come from?
I think of Embodiment as a practical and ontological movement towards reclaiming connection through the experience of our bodies as primary to our experience of ourselves. It is a movement away from thinking of the body as something outside of ourselves to viewing our bodies as a foundation part of our experience.
There is no direct founder but rather a variety of academic and professional disciplines that focus on embodiment as a conceptual anchor to explore a variety of topics like cognition, movement, somatics, psychology, etc.
The actual dictionary definition is “the representation or expression of something in a tangible or visible form” or “a tangible or visible form of an idea, quality, or feeling”.
Embodiment, on a personal level, opens up a path to anchor into the body’s ways of knowing- what you are sensing, feeling, perceiving, intuition, and your sense of intention, purpose, and meaning in the moment. It is an ontological concept of making the “invisible” part of your “being” (your thoughts, feelings, intuitions.. ”soul”) visible through the tangible body.
Embodiment is a path of both deepening your self-knowledge and connecting into the bigger matrix of life.
What is it that makes Embodiment so amazingly transformational?
Embodiment is a transformation tool because it offers a path to explore both the deeply personal and the universal aspects of human experience. We all breathe to live. But my experience of breathing connects me deeply into my experience of myself and responds to my states of being.
What type of problem is Embodiment perfect for?
Embodiment is a great tool for client’s who are struggling with body related pain points.
It is also helpful for those who are feeling blocked or stuck in their change process as it can help you pinpoint the roots of your blocks and transform them. It is also a great tool to support self compassion and guide clients towards the next right actionable steps.
I also use embodiment to help clients to create personalized strategies to improve their health, balance their energy and increase productivity, self expression and sense of meaning and purpose..
How easy/hard has it been to create a business from Embodiment practices?
I have created a business focused largely on people with chronic health conditions or going through a health crises and now with other movement professionals and coaches. It has been a clear path for me. But taken work.
What type of person should seriously consider training in Embodiment?
Coaches therapists, heart based individuals working with people who are emotionally stuck or struggling. Coaches interested in emotional intelligence and healing.
Psychological soul healing.
Is there an Embodiment certification?
As embodiment is more of a meta concept, there are many different paths to embodiment. There are a variety of different training that teach techniques to help you guide your clients to use embodiment for different goals – health, business..relationships etc.
I offer teacher training in the Gyrotonic expansion system which is a movement system created as an embodied and intuitive approach to exercise. I am also trained in Body Mind Centering and I have developed a series of tools and strategies that I am looking at integrating into a health coach certification for movement professionals.
How can people learn/study Embodiment?
Research online what kind of training aligns with your goals. I suggest looking at training that is approved by the International Coach Federation (ICF) or the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching (NBHWC).
If you are interested in Gyrotonic movement or integrating Embodiment tools into your practice I also work with clients to develop their own embodiment methods using their unique expertise and experience.
What is your definition of success?
What are you grateful for?
To be alive and to have gone through significant life challenges early in life. This really formed a deep core of resilience and purpose in my life. And I am grateful to have a business that is a creative outlet for me to live and create in alignment with my values.
If you could only share 3 truths about life with your nearest and dearest, what would they be?
- There is always a way.
- Life is movement.
- My grandma my grandma used to always say – “the lord helps those who help themselves.” I internalised this message as: We have the resources in us to help ourselves. You always know… even if you don’t know.