Embodied Life™ Newsletter Archive

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"Presence, Embodiment and the Simple Joy of Being"

February 24, 2023

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Mary Oliver

Everyone I know is interested in enhancing the experience of living - the richness of their lived experience. Presence, the capacity for being present in the moment, is the key to this enhancement. Although it might seem obvious, still, a helpful question is to ask, why is this so?

In old bingo halls there was a sign "must be present in order to win". I think life is like that. Only in presence, can we really see into the eyes of a loved one, experience the gifts of the senses, and intimately connect with anything. To relish beauty, nature, food, music, etc., we must show up in the moment.

Yet, being present also includes touching deeply into the pain, disappointment and collective suffering that surrounds us. It is not possible to be present just for the good, enjoyable moments. Joy and sorrow are a pair. Living with a commitment to presence is an all or nothing path. In presence, these challenging moments enter more impactfully and usually pass more quickly.

Emphasizing present moment experiencing allows the childlike qualities of wonder and freshness to arise. Empowering presence allows us to enter the moment without being controlled by the baggage of the past. We can meet joy and sorrow fully and let go, freshly available to the next moment. Everything in life - from our work, hobbies, relationships - everything - is radically enhanced and becomes more authentic as our presence grows.

Embodiment - More than the body

Why embodiment?

Seeing the centrality of presence for truly living, we then can wonder, HOW? The great gift of embodiment is that the physical body is a doorway to the here and now, to the present moment. More than only sensorial, embodiment means that our thoughts, feelings, movement and the outer world come together in our bodily experience.

The "feeling body" is always carrying our felt-sense of past situations. When these are carried unconsciously, without presence, they painstakingly chain us to our history. Feelings are not some disembodied products of thoughts; they also exist as bodily sensations. Learning this language helps us to process and digest these feelings in healthy ways, allowing greater presence for our unfolding life.

Also, embodiment includes our ever present inter-connectivity with the environment. We do not exist separate from the earth, the air, the atmosphere and the whole cosmos that carry, support and nourish us. To be present is always to be in a world, we are fundamentally inseparable from that world. In embodied presence, we are never truly alone.

There is a simple joy in being alive - a joy in just Being. Joy is natural in ordinary, everyday moments of presence. When a moment has pain or sorrow, it can be processed and digested through the body. Though this can take time, freeing the past, in this way, is a natural process. Embodiment is the reliable doorway. Both joy and sorrow become gifts of life through presence.

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