Embodiment and the Pearl
The body doesn’t lie. “You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” Mary Oliver. The instinctual part of us moves towards pleasure and avoids pain, its inherent animal nature. This natural tendency is confused by the mind’s normal processes of controlling, comparing, managing and protecting. The body’s innate wisdom has been demoted in this culture. Integrating the body’s knowing with the mind’s reasoning is a powerful marriage.
When passion aligns with action and awareness, the distinct individual is formed, the “pearl beyond price”. Three conditions interrelate in creating the pearl: a hard outer shell, the soft, inner tissue and the trapped sand. The metaphor for the pearl shows how body is key to the mysterious process of becoming a unique human being.
Becoming the Pearl
The first stage of pearl making is the focus on the shell. Just like the shell of an oyster, we create protection for the wounded, painful parts of ourselves. The body and our movements reveal the places we are holding on too tightly, pretending to be in control, or right. Holding those tensions with tenderness, while listening and understanding their need to keep us safe, allows for more relaxation, greater possibilities and more permeability.
As we become more present and embodied, curious and compassionate towards these protective parts, our witness, conscious self develops, providing greater safety for uncovering the vulnerable core. Each inner voice and body symptom become information to expand and know our sense of ourselves.
The third part of pearl making is the necessary ingredient of sand, the irritation that life and relationships – both inner and outer – inevitably bring. The judge self longing for rigid perfection has to live with the passion for freedom and expression, creating the perfect sand of polarity. The witness expands to hold them both, listen and allow for the true marriage to be found. The body becomes more flexible, yet able to admit faults.
The Embodiment of the Pearl
Being embodied naturally allows all aspects of self to be experienced, creating the conditions for pearl making. What is loved points the way! Sand is life’s clarifying intelligence and body confidence moves us towards the goal.
Suzanna Yahya Nadler, MEd in Dance/Movement Therapy, Body Poet and Licensed Professional Counselor.