This morning I was standing at my counter, elbow deep in bread dough, lost in my thoughts. When I make bread I often think of my Mom and my Aunt, both amazing cooks and bakers. Sometimes I see my hands as their hands, and silently say a prayer of thanks for the women who have come before me.
As I was kneading the dough, I was aware of a robin singing his heart out, like really singing his heart out! I looked up and out my window, and sitting on our fence directly across from me was this robin. He was looking directly at me and singing! My heart expanded instantly. I felt so grateful, and humbled.
I let myself just be there. I stopped what I was doing and intentionally opened to receive this wonderful and unexpected gift. I asked if there was a message and almost right away heard the words joy, contentment, hope and happiness.
Yes little robin, thank you. In these times of uncertainty, when much of the time it can feel like we are working hard to find the hope, you come along and remind us to be open to receive, to tune in, to notice and hear the joy and hope just outside our window.
Touch the raven
play with the magic
Listen, let go and become
Let him fly away
taking what needs to be healed
To the sun, the moon and the stars
This painting and message is a work in progress. I will update this post as more is revealed.
Painting is a current work in progress
Felt sense, body sensations, body wisdom, body is your brain...
Since learning about and applying embodiment and somatic practices to my life last year I have noticed that I have more capacity to deal with the changing nature of life. My natural tendencies have been head driven, to push and strive, to figure things out. My body intelligence never entered the equation of solution. After all, my body was just a vehicle to carry my brain around in. I don't believe that anymore. I have come to understand that my brain is just one of many intelligent systems that I was created with.
Being trained, as we all are in western culture, to rely solely on my mind to solve problems or to create some kind of change in my life often falls short.
As teacher Wendy Palmer (leadership embodiment) says:
“You can’t change the mind with the mind alone, or we’d all be enlightened”
Embodiment and somatic practices have helped me to tap into information from my body about what is happening, what is present or what I am up to.
Practicing has allowed me to see my conditioned tendencies/responses and creates a choice point: I can bring myself back to center quicker than I could with just my mind alone, and from that place there is the possibility to choose something different.
“No awareness = no choice: Awareness = freedom” - Mark Walsh
The field of embodiment and somatic practices is growing exponentially as we learn more about the power of somatic intelligence. I am a beginner but a big believer in our inherent intelligent systems and their ability to inform us and lead us in effective and meaningful action.
Definitions and Terms
Somatics is a field within bodywork and movement which emphasizes internal physical perception and experience. The term is used to signify approaches based on the soma, or "the body as perceived from within"
Embodiment is cultivated through reflective awareness of sensations in the present moment. Embodiment is an integration of three sensory feedback systems—exteroception, proprioception, and interoception.