The path of embodiment is something that not many people 'know' they want to achieve or explore. For some (like me) it found me naturally, through my healing journey. And for others–it is sought after, usually through the lense of spirituality, where one is searching for 'the thing' or 'the answer.' Ultimately, if you want to become the best and most authentic version of you, embodiment is the way to go. Usually though, people do not realise it is the next, abundant step from discovering or exploring one's spirituality, to embodying your purpose & potential. So you may ask, what in fact is "embodiment?"
John Wineland describes 'embodiment' as "consciousness experienced within the body." It is the experience of spiritual phenomena or a newfound energy inside the body–whereby a whole new journey and enlightenment to 'self' is discovered, in order to gain fruition for spiritual enlightenment, or in this case, to "embody" it–in order to become a 'better,' more aligned or whole self.
For some, embodiment may mean sensuality expressed within the body, which allows people to connect to and with/in themselves in a whole new, mindblowing and expansive way. This exploration of Self within the body is usually done so through 'Tantra.'
For some, embodiment could mean exploring new essences and expressions from within you, so as to embody a newfound 'archetype' and hence, discover and express the traits associated with such an archetype.
In the spiritual world (usually in neo-spiritualism, or a subjective expression of the main root of spirituality) there are many different interpretations for exploring this one field of practice. For me, as a 'traditionalist' (as I honour the roots of embodied knowledge from which they've sprouted) embodiment means exploring the different facets of the human psyche, within the body, to exploring divine elements of Consciousness as we know it; and hence, growing or becoming that part of 'You;' and awakening and integrating such knowledge to further grow and understand the wholer facet of what 'you' are.
To me, embodiment is where it ends and begins; it is where we (or I) desire to go, and where I desire to end up...which, familiarily, feels like the beginning from where I originally started. It is the place of safety I attest to, and desire to move toward, and desire to feel deep within my skin and bones, and find home in the solace of being.
It is the process of discovering, opening up, and then becoming...and the fruits of one's labour is so sweet, because you actually become a heightened version or sensation of that which it is you are desiring to become.
It is beautiful. But often, the process of getting there can be unknowingly uncomfortable and treacherous.
For those whom are desiring to Become on levels they never were, and want to experience an 'overblown' expression of Life, here is the process of authentic embodiment; as I've practiced and witnessed it naturally through my own journey of Becoming:
1. You must heal your wounds, and heal your trauma.
In order for one to experience pure bliss and heart/soul alignment within the body, we must clear up the remnants of hardship and fear remaining in the psyche. For some, this may require some work. For others (like me) it requires a little more delving and diving. I've had great bouts of being deep within a process, perhaps for a number of months (or years...not a happy story) and then come out the otherside reborn and upleveled in my embodiment. It varies for everyone, seeing as everyone has experienced different levels of hardship and trauma in their lives.
The body and mind is typically 'one.' Meaning, what we experience in the mind, we feel in the body. This psychosomatic truth is beyond a 'belief,' it is in fact science. Our ancient ancestors knew this thousands of years ago; from the yogics developing and practicing yoga to experience more opening, freedom and flow in life, in the body, and hence in the mind. Our Amazonian ancestors (whom still practice Ayahuasca ceremonies today) understand that by alleviating the traumas or wounds stored in the subconscious mind, freedom and joy can be experienced afterward, and appear once the wound has been cleansed. The body-mind connection is something not only present but inevitable, and once you understand this through your journey, you will understand that clearing the mind is the pathway to clearing the body, and hence experiencing greater levels of embodiment.
Why do we want to achieve embodiment? Because it helps us to become who we really are.
Unfortunately, though, many people on the spiritual path sensationalise this experience, and many tend to get caught up in cycles of belief that healing is a neverending process. On the symbolic and perhaps metaphysical level, this can be understood as, 'hardships will always arrive,' or 'there are new layers of the psyche revealing themselves, at a certain period, once healing has been accomplished in one area,' with which I agree. What I personally do not agree with, and what I stand for when embodying authentic spirituality and living a human life full of joy and wellbeing, is that healing is not a lifestyle to be subscribed to. As someone who's been there and done that–I will tell you now, that this pathway is for those who want to believe that there's always something wrong with them. Which will always cause someone to be in a downward spiral.
As someone who's suffered from and healed complex PTSD (even after my spiritual awakening!) I can tell you that I much prefer living a human life, where my daily activities are enjoyed, and I encounter a therapist or qualified 'healer' to help me move through my internal challenges. When I once was subscribed to the belief that I could do it all on my own, the journey became tumultuous, and I was subscribed to the belief that I just had to keep healing, over and over (when really, the true root of suffering was not healed at all...because I could not get there nor do it by myself.)
A common theme you will see when encountering me and my work, and spreading what I'm passionate about, is the absolute necessity to go see someone if you're suffering. We do not need to do this alone, nor should we. Our natural human connection and way is to go to someone with more wisdom and experience to help us through our battles. And healing the mind, psyche and wounds calls for no less than someone who is extremely qualified to do just that, for you. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a healing loophole or frenzy for far longer than what you should...and the outcome could be much worse than what you intitally intended for or imagined.
So, back to embodiment–once we clear the mind and psyche of its baggage and hardships, we arrive at a greater state of inward and inner clarity. This then, translates as a freeing experience inside the body, and hence more of an authentic 'consciousness' can be experienced within–whether that's a divine experience, a liberating experience, a joyful experience, or feeling like you're more of your authentic self (which usually unfolds in that order.)
The point and purpose of healing is to free oneself of one's limitations and baggages, so as to live life with more expansiveness, joy and freedom–and after clearing the mind, embodiment is inevitably the next, natural step.
2. You must heal your body, and the physical tensions stored (with)in it.
Usually after (or during) the trauma-healing process, tension in the mind confurs to tension stored in the body. As we've established that the body and mind are connected or 'one,' the next phase of gaining authentic embodiment is actually physically clearing the body of its stored tension and in-built traumas.
What this looks like is (or can be): stretching, a yoga practice, or my personal favourite: massage and bodywork.
Ever question why you feel so good in the mind-and-body after a massage? Because physically, you've cleared the stored tension, and hence psychosomatically have cleared the mind. It is a far deeper process of investigation if you want to look into this field of practice ;) But...we can get there later.
For me, exerting my own bodywork through using a massage/foam roller (or I have a cork roller, because I love using eco-conscious and -centric items whenever I consume or buy something...for regards to the planet) as well as a trigger-point/massage ball, and self-massage tools has been a saving grace for me over the years. In fact, I can definitely attest to my natural spiritual awakening occuring as fast as it did because I listened intuitively to my body, and gave it what it needed.
Usually, when healing psychologically, tension arises in the body as healing does in the mind. So, it is extremely and incredibly crucial to treat the body during this process of healing and transformation, and you may find you actually get there faster, and with more relief and less pain.
I also get weekly massages from my local masseuses/bodyworkers (mine are the best, by the way...and I've seen them all) and they sort me out just right. Recently, from one of the big things I've had to heal from regarding my 16-year PTSD, I've had ongoing headaches or migraines from manifested tension over the years. Getting them to spend at least 10 minutes massaging my head and scalp is my absolute relief for the week! They probably think I'm crazy or overworked, but really, I'm just devoted to my healing process and journey. 😌
So, once we clear the body of its stored tension/s, we create space for more embodiment to be experienced. New areas of our being are unlocked, and we are eventually able to settle into the more authentic parts of ourselves. This happens naturally over a process over time, but the benefits far outweigh the journey of getting there.
3. Take steps in the direction of your heart and intuition. Expand.
As we cleanse the mind, and cleanse the body, we cleanse the spirit. It is inevitable to separate this process as all factors are intrinsically-linked. So, by nature (and if you're anything like me) you're going to start feeling wild, expansive, and free–or whatever words resonate with your own embodied experience.
In order to allow new facets of consciousness to come into your life, you must take the steps which your heart, soul, spirit or intuition is guiding you. Maybe, it's going to a nature spot you've never been before...and finding yourself there intuitively. Perhaps, it's going to a waterfall for a trek, dip and cleanse. For others, it could be going to South America or Cambodia, and seeing what unfolds for you there! Spirit has been known to create callings for each person, when they are ready to hear it, and whether or not you choose to take it up is solely dependant on how much you've cleared from within you.
When there is resistance to a calling, it is because there is trapped fear, or remnants of ego stuck in cycles, usually informed by past pain or trauma. The cure? Go do the work :) Call your therapist or support worker/coach for a session, and talk out what fears are arising. This process is always a blessing, because your spirit wants to open you up to experiences where you're able to be free and embody a whole new beingness of you. Opening you up to new layers and levels of consciousness, which will inform the perception and future path of your life.
Once you open up to this point, the journey becomes truly magical.
From here, we are filled with inspiration for our new steps in creating our life, how we choose to pave the path forward, and what elements of reality we wish to create next. The whole point of spiritual awakening is so we can create life on earth as we see fit; connected to ourselves, our community, and the ones we love. How we choose to shape and recreate our future earth. And this–is what true embodiment is all about. Becoming. The path of descending is actually more pronounced (and for me, more important!) that ascending (as most spiritualists may want to deny!) because we are human-beings. Coming home into ourselves, with newfound eyes and open hearts, is where we're meant and made to be.
From here, we are filled with inspiration for our new steps in creating our life, how we choose to pave the path forward, and what elements of reality we wish to create next. The whole point of spiritual awakening is so we can create life on earth as we see fit; connected to ourselves, our community, and the ones we love. How we choose to shape and recreate our future earth. And this–for me–is what true embodiment is all about.
So, I hope this clarified the journey for you, regarding authentic embodiment and how to go about discovering your own journey, so that you may open up and be free...and become who you were meant to be. If you take these steps and apply them properly, you will surely have a life-experience that will change you forever, and inspire your loved ones and those around you to take a sip of life's fruits, joys, and what's to come.
In love, service, and to your awakening & soulful, authentic embodiment–