EMBODIMENT is the process of becoming alive to the signals of our bodies. The awareness of the signals of the body can also be described as sensual recognition. Being with the full array of sensory and emotional perception allows us to savor the full human experience: body, mind, and spirit – alive, open, and integrated. INTUITION is the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning. By just reading those definitions you are probably already able to recognize just how important embodiment, or being in and aware of your body, is for developing your intuition. Despite popular belief, intuition is not magic, but rather a fine tuned awareness of our bodies and our senses. We are born gifted with an incredibly powerful connection to our intuition, however life circumstances can tend to take away our ability to perceive it. Traumatic experiences that overwhelm our nervous system, religious views that convince us that our flesh is bad and not to be trusted, and not being emotionally attuned to as children by our parents are all common factors that cause us to dissociate from our body's messages. While learning to sense your body can be an emotionally triggering journey, especially if you have intentionally disconnected from it for many years in order to make it through life, we all have the ability to reconnect with our bodies and regain our ability to use our intuition. Reconnection to our intuitive signals relies primarily on two factors: perceptivity and skill training. These two, combined, determine how much we are able to intuit and productively use the information that we receive. Below are some exercises to help you learn to perceive the messages your body is sending. In the next email we'll chat about the skill of attuning.
EXCERCISES How much you perceive depends largely on how relaxed your body is. The information of our bodies is always available to us, but the stimuli of modern life can dull our sensory perception. The noise and tension of a stressful life can drown out the intuitive information our body continually receives. In order to make sure you are able to turn into the messages from your body you should start by being intentional about relaxing. Then once you've done a relaxation exercise start tuning into your body.
Take a moment in the shower to notice the water hitting each part of your body, starting with your toes, moving up to the tops of your feet, to your ankles, to your lower legs, and continuing up until you reach the top of your head. If while doing this you begin to notice any tension in any part of your body lean into the tension by slowly tensing the muscle even more. Squeeze and tighten as you inhale for a moment, then exhale and let go of the tension as much a you can. Notice the sensations as you relax.
Other ways to intentionally relax include taking a magnesium bath, listening to binaural beats with your eyes closed, legs-up-the-wall pose, and self massage. Remember that being intentional about relaxation is not self indulgent, it is a requirement for your physical and mental health.
Start by finding a comfortable position, one that you can hold for 5 to 10 minutes. Set a timer for the time that you choose and simply allow your mind to notice and track the sensations in your body. The key is to stay away from processing or questioning the information cognitively. Once that happens the raw data from your body becomes skewed by doubt, projection, and our conditioning tends to gets in the way. As you track the sensation notice the texture, temperature, and any other accompanying tactile sensations.