Embodiment and the Elements (Watch this on YouTube)
Where are we and what are we doing if we are not embodied? Clearly the state of the world is a reflection of our dismissiveness towards the only planet that we have to support us, the earth underneath our feet, and this devaluing extends to our own earthly bodies. When we are not embodied we are not present to what is arising. Our preoccupation with the future or the past comes at quite a price. Only episodic bouts of pain, beauty or intense emotions erupt to remind us of the now. There are so many ways to push aside the moment, to forget about the breath that sustains us.
EARTH The process of becoming connected into one’s body is about intention. Whatever we focus on, breathe into, becomes conscious and valued. When we attune to our bodies we extend importance to the mystery of muscles, bones, organs and tissues, our own earthiness. Likewise, this widens our recognition of the body to the earth. Not only can we become aware of the every arising sensations in our body which speak to us, but we can begin to sense the larger needs of the earth. Becoming embodied allows us to be containers for the alchemical processes of our life.
WATER Just as water cannot exist in one place without a vessel, our watery feelings need the support of a body being present. Without the capacity to hold and witness our feelings, they are disowned, put on others via blaming or projecting. Rather than being able to grieve the many losses in this present-day world, more and more people are resorting to violence and extreme positions to protect against the painful emotions that are intolerable without a receptacle. Embodiment brings the necessary capacity for holding.
FIRE We have turned our fiery rage and disregard against the earth and other earthly creatures because it is too terrifying to claim the vastness of our energy, the power of our passion and love. Instead the young parts of us that have been ignored and rejected are raging to be seen and acknowledged as important. Again our loving embodied attention to these angry, scared parts which are accessed viscerally as energy, tension, contraction, give back appreciation and confirmation that they are seen. The fire of anger can be quenched through embodying and feeling. Underneath the dynamic energy that lives in our bodies, there is access to creativity, visions and dreams.
AIR What we consider to be living is actually, a cut-off existence in which we mostly identify with the thoughts in our heads. Figuring things out, planning, processing, managing, comparing keep us out of embodiment, and in a continual state of rumination. This entrapment blocks us from knowing and accessing the many opportunities for change that exist within and without. Alternatively, turning towards the simple act of breathing, noticing the air as it enter our bodies, opens us to new possibilities.
We have been gifted with amazing bodies and a magnificent planet. Why not live inhabiting this existence with matter truly mattering.
Suzanna Yahya Nadler, MEd in Dance/Movement Therapy, SoulWork Practitioner, Body Poet and Licensed Professional Counselor.