EMBODIMENT: TAKING ACTIVISM TO THE NEXT LEVEL

EMBODIMENT: TAKING ACTIVISM TO THE NEXT LEVEL

May 31, 2017

As an embodiment-centric brand, we believe that our agency as activists can be greatly amplified by working from the inside out: learning how to sharpen our senses and getting clear and creative action steps by practicing embodiment. Beyond being a window into both our inner and outer environments, we believe that the body holds the key to a more grounded and effective response to global issues.

For all of our peaceful protestors and activists striving to make our world safer, more just, and loving, thank you. We stand with you in making it crystal clear that we need a society that values diversity, equality, inclusion, respect, and a deep honoring for the land that holds us. Thank you for embracing the challenges and bringing forth monumental, positive change. These actions are paving the way for a society where all beings can be truly safe and free.

DEFINING EMBODIMENT

One way to describe embodiment is the practice of listening to your body's sensitivity, strength, sensations and needs. The objective of the practice is to locate your center, your balance, your true north — a clear reference point through which you observe and interact with the world around you.

HOW CURRENT EVENTS CAN AFFECTS OUR CAPACITY FOR EMBODIMENT

The political and social changes our country is undergoing, can exhaust both our individual and collective ability to navigate life from a place of peaceful and secured balance.

Undergoing sounds much like going under here, as so many of us feel stuck, under crashing waves that we have no apparent control over. The sensation of being powerless, in the face of large scale social and environmental threats, has the potential to weaken our capabilities for accessing embodiment. When we are overwhelmed, what happens around us starts affecting the way we process our inner sensations, rendering us incapable of clearly identifying and meeting our own authentic needs. As a result, we create a feedback loop of reactivity — instead of responsiveness — to our environment’s incoming information.

PUT ON YOUR OXYGEN MASK

When we prioritize deepening our level of embodiment, before we act, that is when we are able to truly make a change and impact the world around us. Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post was recently asked the question, “How do we prevent ourselves from getting lost in the fear and chaos of the country's current political issues and how do we take action?”

She responded, “...it’s like what they say on airplanes – secure your own mask first, before helping others.”

Counter intuitive, right? What about all of the pain, trauma and injustice happening right now? There is so much to do and you may feel like you need to be out there weathering the storm. Yes, now is the time to take action and help. But first, become your own pillar of clarity, strength and embodiment. Be the change.

Where is this metaphorical oxygen mask to put on? We believe it is found within the body. It is found through self-reflection, and letting go of the walls between your mind and physical form. It is the pursuit of embodiment.

4 WAYS TO LISTEN DEEPER

So, what is your organism telling you? Here are 4 suggestions for growing internal awareness.

1. Listen to your breath

Is it shallow? Try deepening your breath and magnifying the subtle sensation of each inhale and exhale passing through your nostrils. If your chest is constricted, let your breath open it up.

Try it now.

Inhale — Exhale

2. Feel the force of gravity

How are you experiencing gravity in your body? Bring your attention to the weight of your arms, your shoulders, your head. Are your shoulders hunched up and tense? Give them to gravity. Observe your feet interacting with the earth. Drop into the ground beneath your feet.

3. Eat slowly

When you eat, pretend you are a sommelier tasting wine — slow down and notice what flavors you are perceiving. Allow yourself to experience the sensation while you chew and listen to your digestion. Try humming while you chew to activate the tastebuds and pick up on more subtleties.

4. Sleep

Recharge your batteries. If you are experiencing an exhaustion sitting behind your eyes, prioritize sleeping. If you are lacking in sleep, your capacity to be strong and clear is greatly diminished.

The body isn’t merely a vehicle that brings you from A to B. It is the lens through which we experience everything, the processor of all stimuli, the very condition for consciousness to develop an awareness of itself. This is why embodiment is such a vital aspect of any physical/mental/spiritual practice as well as any political/social movement.

FUSING EMBODIMENT AND ACTIVISM: EMBODIED PROACTIVISM

Now is a time where our country may feel unstable and more divided than ever. If we unify with clarity and a deeper awareness of ourselves and our world, we can have a better understanding of what ripples we are generating with our words and actions. We can move forward with embodied proactivism: taking action on pressing political/social injustices from a state of clarity within the self.

By guiding ourselves into a state of embodied proactivity, we have access to an infinite pool of solutions to solve any obstacle before us. Most of all, we can break free from our own feedback loops that perpetuate the cycles of perceived separation. And, from this place of integration, we can fully enter the resistance.

ACTING VS REACTING

One powerful emotion that many of us may be experiencing during this time is Anger. Before entering the resistance with your fullest and clearest potential, any internal anger must be faced and addressed. Anger clouds our judgment and blocks our access to the big picture. It prompts us to fight, instead of strategizing and methodically dismantling the structures that need dismantling — it amplifies and perpetuates the very forces that we are trying to change. Therefore, if instead we take action after we’ve made an effort to transform our anger into creative proactivity, we can really become the positive change we wish to see.

PROCESSING OUR COLLECTIVE ANGER

The anger that millions of us may be experiencing now is critical to acknowledge. We need to feel and express this anger. This is a crucial and informative human emotion. Let this rage run through you. Let it run its course through your system.

Really observe the nation’s outside political forces that are moving with ignorance, divisiveness and racism. Notice where you hold these emotions. Locate the physical manifestation of this pain. Be present with the sensations for as long as you need.

When you are ready, disconnect from all of the noise. Try to completely clear your headspace. Turn off the news. Turn off your phone. Get physical — run, dance, do yoga, climb, hit a punching bag, yell: do what you need to do to drop out of anger and step into feeling awake, centered, and present in every cell of your being. Find your unwavering center.

BEING THE CHANGE

Often times, the greatest impact we have is in the tangible reality, offline, where we have full access to our bodies communications. It’s very easy to create artificial walls around people when all we have access to is their digital footprint. It is a powerful practice to make a daily effort to engage everyday with people outside of our immediate community. And, by engage, we mean communicating beyond the superficial.

Observe the way you communicate with others and listen to the thoughts that come in and out of your mind. Practice painting a loving picture of every single person you pass by on the street. Imagine how good a father they might be, or how deeply they care for the safety of their children.

Pay attention to the presence you hold in each interaction. Do people feel safe and comfortable in your presence? Are they free to express themselves fully? How can you hold yourself to exude a sense of safety?

For more specific actionable to make an impact, click HERE.

In conclusion, tend to your subtle needs as best as you can. Amidst all of what may feel like madness, commit to listening to your body and finding your clear mental space. Creative and effective solutions emerge from here.

Take a deep breath.

Get clear.

Get proactive.

You’ve got this; We’ve got this.

Models: Top Shaina McGregor / Bottom | Alice Yang

 



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