How Embodiment Coaching Strengthens the BODY, Mind, Spirit Connection
Think for a moment of someone that you admire because they are very centered and grounded… They’re living in harmony with their body instead of fighting against it. Would you like to feel that way? Are you tired of feeling like you’re always reacting to outside forces, instead of being propelled from deep within? Do you want to have more control and influence, but at the same time be more empathetic, and sensitive to others? If so, then embodiment coaching is a great tool for learning about yourself — many things you never knew or even thought about before.
EmBODIment coaching begins with learning how to live in your BODY. What would you say is the purpose of your body? I’d love for you to sit with this question for a while and observe your feelings about your body. We need to become good at feeling our own body and seeing how it connects with our thoughts, emotions, and intentions.
Our body is not just a structure. Our body is living evidence of who we are being and what we are doing. It doesn’t lie. The way we hold the body, move about, form habits, take care of, use or abuse the body expresses who we are. Wilhelm Reich, an Austrian doctor of medicine and psychoanalyst, opened our eyes to how our personality is expressed in the way the body moves. He taught us that the body’s outward appearance is an accurate reflection of what’s happening inside.
The good news is that we can respond appropriately to past influences to shape our best future. As Mark Walsh said,
“Our physical form is our perceptual, cognitive, emotional, inspirational, relational and behavioral lens – it is how we see, think, feel, create, relate and act. How we move is how we are, and we literally “lean” towards one life or another. Embodiment is not just inhabitation – being aware of the body (implying a separate something that is aware of the body as “it”) but being aware AS a body – the body as I.
Becoming conscious of our usually unconscious personal shaping, developing a range of options in this regard, and having the freedom of choice as a result, is what “embodiment” means to me. More poetically, when awareness and embodiment entwine, the body turns from a prison to a question – a question of spirit, of love and of meaning. More concisely, and in the fullest sense: embodiment is the subjective aspect of the body. If this has all been a bit verbose – “how we do” and “the way we are” are as good a definition as any.”
Having an awareness of self and mindfully choosing how we do and who we are being is a good definition of embodiment. Are you fully aware of and consciously nurturing this wondrous place wherein you live?
Embodiment coaching goes beyond the health and wellness of the body. Its approach focuses on the short- and long-term experience lived in the body. Whether you’re coaching yourself or clients, embodiment takes practice. Your perceptions, your values, your goals are greatly impacted by your embodiment, your way of being in the world. And, as Mark Walsh says, “If we can’t feel ourselves, we can’t feel others and we can’t feel the planet.”
Physical activity done with mindful attention increases the connection between body, mind and spirit. As you perform an activity ask yourself..
- What am I doing in the body now?
- How are my emotions showing up in my body sensations?
- How is my breath changing?
- How are my sensations and thoughts changing?
If you’re coaching someone, you can ask them the same questions plus…
- Can I show you how you’re sitting/standing/presenting yourself?
- How is your posture, breath, sensations, and feelings different?
As you do your assessment, be curious, without assuming or jumping to conclusions. No judgments allowed! Use self-regulating techniques like centering and breathing exercises. And trust your gut instinct and intuition.
As I teach in the Embodied Coach School, embodied intelligence requires a set of concrete basic life skills on two levels. They are Awareness and Leadership for Self and Others.
1. Self Awareness
- Short-term: basic body awareness — posture and movement, emotional awareness and intuition — especially through a practice of mindfulness.
- Long-term: increased knowledge of traits and patterns
2. Awareness of Others
- Develop sensory acuity to be an observer, not judge, of what their bodies tell you.
- Develop deep listening, empathy and emotional connection to understand what they say and don’t say.
- Learn to self-regulate by predicting triggers,shifting states and using centering techniques.
4. Lead Others
- Inspire and influence with integrity.
- Help others to grow, change, transform by your example and influence.
Enrollment is open for my 2022 Embodied Coach School. Download my free report, 10 Steps to an Embodied Practice to get started. Embodiment coaching will help you bring out the best in yourself and the people around you. Are you ready to make a difference? Even if you don’t plan on becoming a coach, the principles can be applied to both your life and your business.