em'body'meant + menstrual cycle awareness + abandonment
e m 'b o d y 'm e a n t
( e m b o d i m e n t )
We are meant to be in our bodies. Meant to know our bodies. Meant to feel our bodies and express our innermost selves within our bodies.
In the previous months I've been drawn to the intersection between embodiment, cycle awareness, and trauma. Both in our understanding of it, and our ability to feel through & perhaps along the way - heal it.
As I've become more literate in the language of my body, it has inevitably become a safer place to be.
And as our bodies become more safe, they naturally open.
It's become evident to me that as our bodies become a safer places to be, trauma naturally begins to move into the foreground of our awareness.
As our bodies become more open, they not only open to all of the pleasure and joy, they also become orifices for our trauma to move through.
As if through osmosis, the parts of us that we've disowned, pushed down, or disassociated from, begin to say "hey, I think I'm ready to be loved now. I feel safe enough to be seen, understood, and held in loving empathy."
It's a weird thing you see. We think that as we "heal" we magically rid ourselves of our shadowy, un-integrated, and unloved bits. But in fact, I've found the opposite to be true. Because as we become more self aware and more attuned with our bodies we also naturally become more aware of our trauma.
Rather than arriving at an immediate sense of "healing", embodiment helps us simply remain present with the feelings and sensations that arise. Here we learn to dismantle the ways in which capitalism shows up even in the healing process. Wherein we lean into feeling and being, rather than doing, becoming, and arriving at a goal of what we think it means to heal and when.
Our bodies are smart and despite our own resistance to them, they show us both what we're ready to move towards and away from. What we've outgrown & are ready to let go of. Equally so, what we're ready to embody. As we dive into deeper dialogue with body & breathe into the more essential parts of ourselves, we begin to unearth what we once needed to push down in order to "survive". What once served as an adaptable skill in the past, no longer serves our self development, joy, and ability to connect with ourselves, others and our environment.
Our em-body-meant, or our ability and birthright to know and be in our bodies - is multifaceted.
We are meant to be in our bodies, meant to feel sensation, meant to move, express, undress, and be seen in our messiness and glory.
Our embodiment is our joy, confidence, gratitude, and pleasure. But equally so, our embodiment is also our rage, grief, loneliness, and deep longing for love.
Our embodiment is not just "love & light" as it is commonly portrayed as these days. Its not just a buzz word for feeling confident and sexy.
Embodiment is the medium in which we explore our traumas and de-colonize our bodies & psyche's. It is the truth of who we are and what we're feeling right now, in the present moment,expressed.
It's through knowing and feeling our inside our bodies that we can truly begin to live.
When we begin to access our ability to feel, we not only access our ability to feel pleasure and joy, we also access our wounds, unacknowledged grief, traumas and pain. When we know our bodies we open ourselves to the fullness of who we are. Meeting the full spectrum of our capacity to feel. Because to feel, is to live.
As we become more embodied we rise in resilience, becoming more capable and prepared to peel ourselves open to the next available layer. We're more able to go darker and deeper and come out the other side stronger and wiser. And no this is not some pretty process to be glorified by an end product. Growth is painful and confusing. Shedding skin is uncomfortable and deeply vulnerable.
It's often not about "finding who we are" but rather, about un-becoming all those things we aren't in order to become more of who we already are. Who we've always been underneath the conditioning, colonizing and socialization.
To be embodied, we need to feel safe within our bodies. Safe enough to feel and from that place, express.
Underneath all of our self protective mechanisms lies the greatness of our own unique embodiment.
So how does this relate to the menstrual cycle ?
Menstrual cycle awareness is like any other form of self awareness - a tool that helps us understand ourselves and thus take greater responsibility for the quality of our lives.
Menstrual cycle awareness is a way to understand the happenings and experiences of our lives from a wider lens...a more body based and cyclic one. Through becoming more attuned to our bodies via our understanding of the menstrual cycle and reproductive anatomy, we also become more attuned in general.
More attuned to our thoughts, sensations, boundaries, and desires. We become more tuned into how we want to live our lives in a way that feels integral, dynamic, liberating, and powerful. Slowly, we step away from the gregorian calendar and lean into timekeeping of the body.
Through learning about our bodies we also learn how to be in them. Knowing our reproductive selves is at the core of who we are and where we come from.
The reproductive is not separate from the sexual or spiritual. Our reproductive selves, regardless of gender, is the innermost essence of who we are.
We come from sex, are made of sex, and come to know ourselves and the world through sex. Through knowing our sex (our reproductive organs and processes) - we come to know ourselves.
Through intimacy (in-to-me-see) with self through the body, we understand how to better be in them, and thus show up to the altar that is our life.
Cycle awareness -
a path into embodiment & out of abandonment
I've become fascinated with and devoted to embodiment because I know well, what disembodiment feels like.
I know disassociation and numbness.
Distraction and busyness.
The kinship to shallow breathing and fast paced living.
The pitfalls of socially sanctioned accomplishments in exchange for our presence and joy.
I know what it feels like to not want to have a body because it feels too painful to be in one.
I know the dystopia of escape.
I know what it feels like to have these silent unnamed contracts with our body. The ones that prefer shallow protections over full embodied expression.
It's tempting to follow in the footsteps that have came before me. The imprinting of family, society, and culture run deep.
A huge ancestral trauma that's been passed down generationally both through the bones and habits of my family - is abandonment.
People being abandoned and then eventually inverting that into an internal abandonment.
But the truth about abandonment is that when we feel we've been abandoned, we've likely first abandoned ourselves.
For many of us, we have so much pain in our bodies - the natural tendency is to leave them. We live in a disembodied culture, because we also live in a traumatized one. & Unresolved trauma inevitably keeps us out of our bodies.
When we're not in our bodies we've by definition abandoned ourselves.
Yet through learning about our bodies we also learn how to be in them.
Menstrual cycle awareness has been my main ally in helping me stay connected to my body. This cyclical lens and way of living keeps me honest and in integrity. It reminds me to slow down enough so that I can actually feel. & Keeps me grounded on this ever spinning earth...
When we're deeply connected to our bodies it's impossible to abandon them.
Embodiment is the antithesis of abandonment.
An invitation into your senses
Spring is such a lovely time to re-awaken & re-commit to our sensate selves - our bodies.
A time that naturally connects us to our senses, we are invited to touch, taste, smell, see, and hear with the fullness of our being.
a being that feels cannot abandon itself.
So this spring I invite you to reclaim devotion to feeling and being in your body.
It's these small moments of devotion that make up the bigger ways in which we live our lives.
In our modern day society, it's truly radical to be in your body. There's been so much build up both collectively and individually of unaddressed trauma. So for most, learning how to be in your body involves deep ancestral de-conditioning.
Be gentle with yourself in your attempts to surrender.
My prayer is that you cultivate an inner safety that invites you to trust yourself enough to feel your way through life.
When you feel the to urge to escape, may you offer yourself a warm hand over your heart.
May you lend another to your soft and vulnerable belly and just breathe.
& May you acknowledge the absolute radicalness of this.
Being in your body does not have to be complex.
Your body is always available to you.
To live and love, whether it be yourself or another, is vulnerable.
And we cant truly live and love if we're disconnected from our bodies.
It's only through being vulnerable enough to feel ourselves and others that we step out of abandonment and into embodiment.
Vulnerability is the antidote to our disconnection.
Both to ourselves and each other.