The feminine practice is to be able to reach deep surrender, be in tune with her intuition and fully trust the flow of the continuous, invisible, infinite present moment; it is state of feeling, emotion, aliveness, grace and tenderness.
Embodiment basically means coming back into our body. And when we are attuned to the sensations, feelings, emotions and thoughts, we become more connected to our bodies; we come into our wholeness and integration. Embodiment is in its essence a process of becoming alive to our bodies; it is awareness of body signals and sensual recognition. As we become more attuned to our sensory and emotional perception, we savor the fullness of our human experience and become more alive.
Embodiment makes us more human; it is what brings our desires into physical manifestation.
Embodiment is about becoming whole. To feel deeply and fully. It is engaging with the energetics of our body.
Embodiment is actually our natural state of being. Children are naturally embodied as they are able to access their full range of emotions and sensations, and feel them and express them without resistance. They don’t deny their pleasurable sensory experience when they play with the sand on the beach. They don’t repress their fear or anger. They feel and express fully, wholebodily and wholeheartedly. But when we begin to be taught, told and showed that we shouldn’t express ourselves, we begin to close off our hearts and numb out our emotions and sensations. In doing so, we essentially shut down the natural gift of our body which is to feel and express.
For example, if you were raised not to feel what you feel, not to express how you wanted to express, not to think how you wanted to think, and not to try things that you wanted to try – you’ll most likely grow up not trusting yourself. You won’t trust your desires, your needs, feelings, dreams, creativity, and intuition. You will look outwardly for permission and you’ll ask questions like “Is it weird that I am…? Is it normal if I do …? Is it okay if I …?”
Emotional embodiment is the ability to feel and sense our emotions and feelings with tenderness, compassion and sensitivity so that we can fully embrace ourselves and feel more connected. And then we begin to listen to the language of our body. If we feel hungry, we get something to eat. And when you are invited to a dinner and wondering what you really want to be doing with your night, you are
listening to the language of your body,
checking in with how you really feel,
feeling the sensations inside you,
and using them to make your decision.
It is said that nowadays most women in the western world use only 20% of their body wisdom. We are living in a predominantly masculine-minded and focused society where the feminine gifts of intuition, feeling, allowance and emotional intelligence are often suppressed. A woman who has trouble letting go, trusting, feeling, loving, emotionally opening and just surrendering to love and intimacy, is in her unhealthy energy. Many women can’t connect to their body and their emotions; they are more comfortable living from their heads rather than their hearts, which ultimately disconnects them further from themselves.
There’s a society of people who have become incredibly angry, aggressive and emotionally imbalanced; all this stemming from inner pain when people are forced to be something against their very nature. When we are forced to live against the natural flow of our energy, we are essentially being denied a part of our individuality, integrity and worthiness.
Feminine energy in its essence is receptive and so, it draws in to itself. Masculine is the go-getter. This is also usually the problem of communication between the two energies: when she speaks, the feminine says what “she doesn’t want,”which to the man may seem negative because when speaking, he focuses on what “he wants.”
But this is how it’s supposed to be. The only thing wrong is that we are the ones who need to understand how energies work and respect the natural flow of life.
Today, many masculine “gurus” are coming forth and saying “focus on what you want and go get it.” But for the feminine energy, this is a perversion of its purity because it is about drawing in and receiving all that she already possesses within herself. Her “goal-setting” is actually about tuning into her true heart’s desires and being in a state of allowance, grace and surrender; she needs to feel connected to her authenticity, her body and her feelings. And so, many people have a hard time “attracting” and receiving, because we’ve become out of balance. Many women also have a hard time saying “no” because of this feminine imbalance.
It is extremely stressful when a woman has to live like a man, and vice versa. Not only are we beginning to harm our root and sacral chakras, which then suppresses our creative flow, but it starts to manifests physically on our health, also. Signs that a woman is disembodied are: low self-confidence, low self-worth and low self-respect, rigid movements when dancing or walking, inability to truly relax, inability to trust and feel her feelings, being overly masculine in her energy and qualities, inability to build deeply intimate relationships, pain and tension in the body, and inability to express herself truly.
We are living in a world where many women are disembodied; they are initiators, go-getters, problem-solvers and this makes them feel disconnected from their feminine energy. It is much easier to live from our heads than from our hearts and hips; our hearts feel everything and in our hips live all pleasures and pains.
The language of our body is sensation and sensitivity attunement.
Sensitivity attunement isn’t only about emotions. It’s about being sensitive to intuition, sensuality, our cyclic nature as women, our boundaries and choices, our sexual energy, other people’s energies, our creativity and our free emotional flow of energy, our feeling and our receptivity, and our ability to discern with a clarity of mind and purity of heart.
Feminine embodiment is basically an aspect of embodiment, which centers around the feminine energy. This means accessing and opening ourselves to feeling, pleasure, sensations, beauty, and creating a sacred space within and without where our desires can be freely drawn in.
Coming Back to Pleasure in The Body.
We need to reclaim our natural state of aliveness and pleasure; this happens by feeling our feelings and sensations in and through our body.
For example, if we are feeling tension or tightness, we first need to create awareness where in the body it is felt and then counteracting these by bringing energy in that place. The first way to do this would be by moving the body in unstructured ways such as dancing or any form of non-linear movement practices.
Secondly, we need to bring attention to the sensual experiences that are already available to us. Instead of looking for outside stimuli or fixes, which require more “doing” associated with the masculine energy, we need to tune in and create awareness of what is already there. This can be done through being in tune with our sensory and sensual self such as, the feeling of our hair on our shoulders at that moment, the sensation of the fabric of our dress, a delicious bite of chocolate, the touch of silk or the wooden table, the smell of vanilla or jasmine tea, and anything else that can reconnect us to the perception of pleasure.
Over time, these repetitive small sensual perceptions will train the body to be more alive and aware for sensual contact both with ourselves and our partners.
Katerina Plotnikova Photography
The 6 Core Elements of Feminine Embodiment.
1. B r e a t h e
Breath is powerful; it is how we are alive. It is a common belief that we breathe with our lungs but breathing is done by our whole body. In The Voice of The Body Alexander Lowen explains how the lungs actually play a more passive role in the respiratory process, as proper breathing involves the muscles of our head, neck, thorax and abdomen. The depth of breathing waves varies with emotional states; breathing is shallow when we are stressed and it is deepened through pleasure, sleep and relaxation. With each breath, a wave can be seen to ascend and descend through the entire body. The respiratory waves begins deep in the abdomen with a backward movement of the pelvis, which then allows the belly to expand outward. The wave then moves upward as the rest of the body expands, and eventually our mouth opens. The expiratory wave begins in the upper part of the body and moves downward, the chest collapses and the pelvis moves forward, which creates a pleasurable sensation. In adults, this sensation has a sexual quality even though it doesn’t induce genital sensations. Throughout the entire body, breathing is experienced as fluidity and lightness.
The breath is also the spirit or the soul and this is how true lovers merge – because the kiss already holds within it the final surrender. In all mystical philosophies, it is the breath that holds the secret to high bliss, which is also why it is the dominant factor of Yoga.
Inhalation of air is the base substance for the spirit of life. In a kiss, lovers inhale together the air of their beloved; they inhale each other’s spirit of life. When we inhale air, particles of breath enter our nostrils together with the inhaled air and they also reach our brain, and the lungs and the breasts, and from the lungs to our heart, and with that pulsing to all parts of our body merging with our blood and flesh.
As we already discussed, every part of our body rejoices in breathing and through we kiss, it attaches with another body like a memory. This also raises the temperatures of the bodies and our soul follows this temperature. It is a sensual experience.
When we kiss and want to experience another fully, we open our mouths. During orgasm we also open our mouths to breathe in. On the contrary, when we want to feel less, we stop our breath. The beauty about breath is that not only how we feel affects how we breathe, but how we breathe will affect how we feel. So we become masters of our state of being!
2. M o v e m e n t
Like we already discussed movement and breathing go hand in hand; our entire body moves when we breathe. Our bodies are made for movements and this is what signals to our mind that everything is fine within and without. A healthy body is one which is more flexible, fluid and graceful in its movements. The problem starts when we lose touch and disconnect from our natural movements. For example, when we sit for prolonged hours, tension builds and we begin to contract more. Any kind of movement is great, whether sports, dancing or taking walks outside even if only for a little bit.
For feminine embodiment dancing is best especially when it involves the hips. Make it a habit to dance in your home; you can even make it a ritual by lighting up candles or dim the lights, play some music that you love and just let your body express itself in any way it needs. You can see how some people dance or do sports and yet it seems a bit high strung; you need to feel pleasure and embody grace in your movements wholebodily and wholeheartedly. When you are more connected to your self and your emotions, you will naturally move more freely and feel, and ooze, greater pleasure in all your movements.
Dance, and hip movement, is so important for us as women, because it aligns us to our natural rhythm, our flow, our sensations, and reconnects us to our body and feminine energy. It also teaches us how to trust and surrender in our body, and in the flow of life.
Dance is a particular form of creative expression that is fundamentally different from writing, painting, composing or playing music. This is because the body is completely relaxed and surrendered in the moment; in fact, you can’t really cry because then your body would contract and you won’t be able to dance in such a contracted position. When we dance we are opening up a different channel, a different energy, a different mood. We develop a sense of freedom yet we are completely in our body; we feel both safe and playful.
3. S o u n d
Sound is natural to our bodies as is movement and breath. Sound doesn’t only refer to talking or singing, it refers to sighs and moans that our bodies naturally produce. Yawning itself is very important because it equalizes our energy; it releases tension and resets our nervous system. And “sighs of relief” actually occur naturally after every 4 or 5 breaths. In our conditioned society our body sounds are often suppressed because they are considered impolite. Imagine moaning of pleasure in public because you are sunbathing feeling the sun on your skin or while you’re eating chocolate.
While many of us don’t feel comfortable singing, we can always try humming, which is just as pleasurable for our body to release any tension. The more we do this and the more we connect to our own voice, the more connected we’ll feel to our entire self.
4. T h e F e l t S e n s e
Awareness, witnessing, sensitivity and the present moment.
There are four pillars of embodiment: breath, movement, sound and awareness. In the next three core elements, we will cover the pillar of awareness which basically revolves around our authenticity, because living authentically and true to our essence and core self, are absolutely crucial for feminine energy.
The felt sense is a term by Eugene Gendlin meaning our ability to directly experience the physical sensations of our body. This is also what the Buddha referred to as direct experience. This is similar to feeling our feelings which I discussed in detail in both The Brilliancy of Feelings and The Emotional Body.
To feel our feelings and stay present we need to be aware of where in the body we are feeling them. When we say “I feel angry” the next questions we should ask ourselves should be: How does anger feel like in my body? Where in the body do I feel the energy? What sensations are present in my body when I feel angry?
When we start being more aware of our sensations, we start feeling our feelings rather than thinking our feelings and we bring back our energy to the heart. This also allows the feelings to flow naturally as they touch and untouch us without disturbing us. We also reclaim our sensitivity to our body’s language, learn its unique messages and create space between the present moment physical sensation and the emotional energetic charge that our thoughts have attached to feelings.
Just like feelings, physical sensations are not stagnant, they move freely and change constantly; they ebb and flow like waves, like the breath of life itself. When we feel an emotion stuck in our body, we can release it by body work, movement and breath. We can also transform and channel powerful emotions such as anger into something of fire and passion, that could be empowering and ecstatic rather than destructive.
5. R e l a t i o n s h i p t o S e l f
Compassion, empathy, kindness, tenderness, love, trust and self-acceptance.
To live a life of authenticity, we need to know who we are by being in tune to our parts and feelings; and then it is about allowance and acceptance. Love is about acceptance; unconditional acceptance of all that we are as we are. It is also important that no matter how we feel, and especially during our not-so-great times, that we must try to stay in our tenderness, which is what I write in detail in my article on Tenderness.
Tenderness is the beauty in this world.
Everything in life is a relationship and we are capable of building a relationship to anything in life; we can even build intimacy to a room when we spend enough time in it and when we truly notice how everything is interrelated, how spirit is inbued in everything. The notions of pain and pleasure, right or wrong are only our perceptions based on our conditioned human mind. What’s pleasure for one may be pain for another in the mutual exchange. We often think that’s a good feeling, so I want more and that’s a bad feeling, so I need to get rid of it. The truth is that they are all purposeful because they signal to us messages about our state of mind and where we need to focus more; what part of us need attention and integration, so that we come into wholeness and holiness.
When we feel through the heart, we allow our feelings to just be as they are and as they need, and we hold the space for compassion; and we then start building the capacity to hold space for other people’s feelings. Love is about acceptance. And acceptance is about trust that we can fall into ourselves and allow ourselves to relax in the knowing that all moves in divine timing.
Often times things lose power over us when we become aware of them and experience them from a place of deeper understanding; and this is why confession and prayer are so powerful, because we speak it all and surrender it to a higher power rather than hold it all in within ourselves carrying burdens. What negative emotions are trying to tell us is that they desperately need to be released, which is why they make us feel so uncomfortable. They show us the way for which parts of us are not flowing and need more love. And loving emotions allow us to access and viscerally feel our spirit; they are the closest thing for heaven on earth and feeling heaven on earth is how we raise our frequency.
Resistance is what causes things to persist. Empathic embrace, understanding and acceptance are what integrate all of our parts and reconnect us to our heart and to our true self. And when we build this sacred space within us where we can contain all of our emotions holding them with our love, we can then hold the space for another to thrive as their true selves also.
6. T h e O t h e r
Intimacy, stillness and presence.
Intimacy means into-me-see and it is based on authenticity; which is based on self-acceptance and vulnerability. We can’t connect to another deeply if we aren’t connected to ourselves first. Intimacy is also about being felt by another. We need to feel felt by another. And it is our own depth of feeling that will give us the depth of satisfaction and pleasure.
True intimacy and deep love are the most beautiful things that we can experience as human beings; to be heard, to be seen, to be felt, to be loved, to be touched by the one we love is priceless. To be able to feel another beyond the boundaries of our bodies, to make love to another in a way beyond our body, is truly ecstatic. And to be able to do all of that, we ourselves need to be comfortable and attuned to our own body and pleasures. We also need to be fully present for another and what they love and need through intimacy; we need to pay attention to our lover every day no matter how many years we’ve been together because we all change; we need to kiss them and hold them not in the way we always did bur in the way they need to right now. To build intimacy we also need to provide for one another a safe sacred space where we can be truly present for one another, where we will allow another to thrive in their true nature. We can only experience deep love and sacred relationships when we come from a place of authenticity, self love and acceptance, and being in our true self.
We should build a devoted sacred love life where we will nourish and experience one another truly and deeply, mind, body, heart and soul, every day.
For more of my writings, browse through my publication Art of Love.
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Cover Art by Boyana Petkova.