For the last 20 years I have been devoted to conscious embodiment practice. By which I mean, exploring with both my body and mindful awareness psycho-spiritual and personal development, emotional regulation, physical healing, and ultimately wholeness. I can trace the origins of this path in two ways. For one, I have always been fascinated with having a physical body and enjoyed expressing through its form. I danced right out of the womb and have not stopped. What ignited a truly conscious embodiment path was a sacred wound, the sudden and tragic death of my first love and long time friend at age 21. This was a heartbreak too unfathomable to fit into any map of understanding that I possessed so I embarked on a quest to meet the mysteries of life and death. It would not be an understatement to say that the resources I have developed through somatic practices have saved my life on numerous occasions. While I do mean this in a literal sense, I also mean it in a much larger metaphorical sense. Learning to live more fully in my body is the gift of meeting life fully. And falling in love with living both an incredibly joyful and deeply painful human experience. The regular, steady rhythm of practice grounds me in the center of the highs and lows.
Recently I had two significant invitations to reflect on this path. In graduate school I took a Leadership Embodiment Practices course. This offered the opportunity to bring an academic lens to both my personal practice and my work as a somatic practitioner while also a deepening into these practices. (Which you know I loved!).
I also facilitated a weekend retreat, Undomesticated, which was the most explicitly erotic, emergent and experiential group containers that I have facilitated professionally. One of my biggest take-aways from that weekend was that it was also probably the safest container I have ever held. This had me reflecting not only on my learning through my personal path of embodiment coupled with 20 years of teaching experience, but also on all of the resources that the participants that attended the retreat had developed along their embodiment journeys.
As I reflected more on the meaning of the words somatic and embodiment, in both my passion for these paths and how they inform my work, I found myself in a labyrinth. I realized that while I speak these terms from an intrinsic bodily sense of them, I did not have a strong, clearly differentiated definition for these terms. I wanted to know their origin stories, what I really meant when I used them and, particularly, to have a very clear way of speaking about them to anyone. So here is what I discovered and where I arrived after a relatively short research rabbit hole on these bodies of work.Read More