Internet Inspiration – April 11, 2014
April 11, 2014
Internet Inspiration – April 25, 2014
April 25, 2014

Enlightenment vs Embodiment

It’s been a while, friends! And I have much to say, but I’m out of the habit of writing. I kept waiting for the “right” conditions, I guess, the profound revelations, the perfect thing to say (as always). But I always call clients on it when they put off their current happiness, so I also will commit to staying present with my writing experience.

I read something last week that really struck me, and it was:

Living by principles is not living your own life. It is easier to try to be better than you are than to be who you are.

– Marion Woodman, Addiction to Perfection

This is so true for my experience. Whenever I did something I didn’t like, it was so easy for me to make up new rules and start again on Monday. In “The Dance,” Oriah Mountain Dreamer writes:

What if the question is not why am I so infrequently the person I really want to be, but why do I so infrequently want to be the person I really am?

Quite a question.

Here’s the thing about me and goals. Sometimes, when I have a goal, I have an idea of how my life will look once I’ve achieved it, and all the things I’ll be able to do then that I can’t do now. And then I start to think about how great it’ll be to never have to struggle again. Like, once I achieve this one thing, I’ll live happily ever after.

It’s like returning to the Garden of Eden, and all I have to do is follow the right path to Enlightenment. Maybe I adjust things according to new information I get, but my eye is always on the prize, and I can just keep adding new rules, new standards, very logically and scientifically.

Test and retest, always thinking of the goal.

But there’s another piece that’s necessary, and that’s Embodiment.

Embodiment is the other side of the whole from Enlightenment, and it’s very grounded in the idea that you exist in a body on Planet Earth. There’s a certain… inescapable reality to the fact that we are incarnated this particular way. So embodiment becomes about how you relate to having a body on Earth.

Enlightenment asks, “What’s next?”

Embodiment asks, “What Is?”

Do you rely on one more than the other?

It can be very difficult to just sit and be with the present, with What Is, without planning and scheming for the future. It seems easier to predict and try to control things into existence, rather than living wholeheartedly with whatever comes up in the present for you and your body.

I think people worry that if they acknowledge reality, that it’ll be permanent. Forever. As though Reality is the face of Medusa and it will turn us to stone for the rest of time.

It won’t. Your preferences are separate from the truth, and just because something is true doesn’t mean it has to be that way forever and always.

Acceptance is not the same as acquiescence.

What do you think would happen if you put words to the facts of your life?

  • I weigh 250 pounds.
  • I can’t do a pull-up.
  • Even if I hate it, this is the body I have now.
  • I just ate an entire large pizza.
  • I don’t know what to do next.
  • This job is not what I want.
  • I cheated on my significant other.

You are already working towards goals, you know what you want, could you just relax about What Is instead of fighting it?

Your hunger only leads to indulgence when you’re not in approval of it.

Or if you’re not present and paying attention to your body and your desires.

If you’re fully embodied, in support and in awareness of your body, your instincts, your desires, your pleasure, your hunger, you’ll probably not overindulge. Your fear may not be necessary, but slowing down probably is.

Sometimes what’s required is to pause for a moment and figure out your goals for eating. Are you eating because you’re hungry for food? Or might you be hungry for something else? Comfort, pleasure, safety, containment, escape? You can still be in approval of your decision to eat, and your hunger (for whatever).

I believe that every unwanted symptom, habit, or behavior, is your body’s attempt (however distorted) to achieve wholeness. They always make sense. If you’re bingeing, maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed, and your body made the connection when you were a breastfeeding baby that food = touch = love = mother, it makes total sense that you’d reach for food for comfort.

And that’s the place where I want you to rest: in the idea that every choice you make is the right one in that moment. If the choice you makes seems wrong or puzzling, it’s possible that you may be only thinking with the facts in your brain, and not with the animal in your gut. Or maybe the animal in your gut overwhelms you into mindless eating, and your brain is trying to come back into control.

 Give it a shot this week. Notice.

What are you feeling? How does it feel to exist in your body, here on our beautiful Planet Earth?

Where are you trying to go? What are your goals for eating? For pleasure? For dreaming?