What is Embodiment. . . What does it have to do with Pleasure & Sexuality?
Embodiment, pleasure and sexuality are all connected with how we live our day-to-day lives, how we receive our own physical and emotional sensations, and how we respond to other people and the world around us.
Let’s tease out what these different qualities mean
Embodiment is an experiential awareness of sensations in the body.
An embodied state of being means feeling comfortable, present, and at-home in the skin you’re in. You are embodied when you’re able to connect with what’s happening inside you, noticing with awareness how your body reacts and responds to life’s moments and situations.
Embodiment can mean feeling the tightness of unease or nervous trembling experienced after a challenging interaction or facing a fear. It’s also the warm fluttering or electric pulse felt from sharing a tender moment or kiss.
Embodied living begins with slowing down. This requires presence and practice.
The rewards and benefits are felt when you shift gears from “doing and thinking” to “being and feeling”.
The human intellect is a gift - it’s a part of who we are. However, if we are always thinking and analyzing, always in our heads, we can easily disconnect from the felt pleasures and experiences of life.
It’s important to balance using the mind and also being aware of the body - to the innate wisdom of your physical sensations.
The bridge between the mind and body is our breath.
I invite you to take a few deep breaths as you are reading this.
Pause for a moment and breathe . . .
What do you notice? Do you feel present and aware of how your body feels?
If so. . .Voila, that’s a taste of embodiment.
A big nugget of deliciousness resides in the pause, in the quiet presence of our body and its array of strong and subtle sensations.
Being with what is may certainly pose some challenge in this digital zeitgeist of distraction and busy preoccupation. Many folks go to great lengths to numb or suppress any stirring of emotion because it can be uncomfortable to feel what the body has to say. But there is great potential for pleasure, too!
In order to tune in we have to turn off all distractions and be willing to get curious. When we are connected with ourselves, we are better able to distinguish our needs, wants and desires. This is deeply empowering.
And what does all this have to do with Pleasure?
Embodiment is the foundation from which pleasure is cultivated and our sexuality is expressed. It’s a place of ripe potential and possibility. And pleasure begins with you being in your body - experiencing embodiment - and getting to know what you really want.
The journey into embodiment and pleasure begins with you. If you don’t know what brings you pleasure or how you enjoy being touched, how is anyone else going to?
When we feel into our bodily experience, experiment with what feels wonderful and what is unwanted, then we begin to be able to share and teach others our desires, wants, boundaries and needs.
Just like embodiment, pleasure is a practice. It too, requires presence.
How we connect with our Sexuality is expressed through our body in how we speak, smile, stand, sit, dance, laugh, pour tea and live. The sexual aspect of this human experience is an ongoing and evolving process. It encompasses our values, attitudes, experiences and feelings. We are sexual beings by nature, and how we express that is unique to each individual.
Ponder your pleasure for a moment . . .
Are you listening to your body?
How might you bring more presence into it?
Would you like to experiment with some playful practices of embodied awareness?
If so, here a few easy and fun tips to bring more embodiment and pleasure into your daily life. Your sex life will thank you for it!
* Enjoy long, deep inhales throughout the day. Every time you walk through a door, inhale and exhale with awareness.
• Smile more; notice how that feels. Feel the muscles in your face. (If you don’t feel smiley, do it anyways and see what happens!)
• Slow down. Bring awareness to how you walk.
• Notice how you feel in your body. Set a reminder to breathe consciously and reflect on sensations in your body 2-3 times a day.
• Move your body! Stretch, dance, twirl, squat, walk. Notice how the movements feel and what works best for you.
• Touch yourself. Caress and discover the texture of skin and the sensations in your fingertips as you explore.
• Whatever size, shape, sex, colour, form of your body … appreciate it, in some way, every day.
Having gratitude for your body and breath is a powerful act of self-love and embodiment. Celebrate that today!